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can i become the media but yet still hate it?


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"Wise men make proverbs and fools repeat them" --Samuel Palmer

RE: Mac Rumors: Ultra-Portable MacBook Likely at Macworld San Francisco 2008?
Topic: Miscellaneous 10:06 am EST, Dec  1, 2007

hahaha. I'm one of those people and I was literally going to send him this story!

k wrote:

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster believes that the likelihood of an ultra-portable MacBook is about 85% at Macworld San Francisco.

Munster bases this prediction on circulating rumors about the ultraportable MacBook that have been making the rounds amongst Mac rumor sites over the past few months.

Well, big grains of salt are required to be attached to Munster and his ilk in general, but damn if I don't hope this is true, if only for the fact that releasing this device would reduce, by a lot, the amount of bitching I hear from a significant percentage of my friends.

RE: Mac Rumors: Ultra-Portable MacBook Likely at Macworld San Francisco 2008?

RE: The Problem with the Legal Profession
Topic: Society 11:01 pm EST, Feb 11, 2007

Good stuff here in your response. Thanks for your thoughfulness on what I was saying.

Here is what I agree with you in your response, coupled with some observations:

1) I should hope that you aren't going to tell me all trademark enforcement is reasonable.

Of course you are right here. As in any system, it is pushed to its extremes. The better question is not whether firms are pushing it or if the laws are broken that get us there. This is what happens when you have undereducated (on the subject) congressmen putting this stuff together.

2) Frankly, given what I do, I am comparing this to advanced degrees in basic science and engineering, which you don't have to pay for, or management and economics, which are expensive, but don't have the same sort of lifestyle associated with them upon graduation with the exception of the crazy world of business consulting firms.

I agree, you bastards in the science field have had it easy for far too long! :)

Basically, at this point, there are grad school degrees and there are prof. degrees. Lawyers and doctors work their asses off. Business school grads are beginning to face a similar fate-- the value of an MBA is quickly dropping to the point where the only people making real money with it are those in a big consulting firm. It's only benefit-- two years, rather than three. $35k saved there.

Now, some things that I believe I can provide some insight on:

3) The point I'm making is that I don't understand why some law firms can't pay less and expect less (in terms of hours, not quality) and hire more people. The economics are similar, and my understanding of the sort of work typical junior associates perform is not really difficult enough to require a degree from harvard.

Here's the thing: the economics don't work out. I have seen this firsthand. You don't make as much money with more associates and less hours. Reasons: overhead. More staff to support them, more physical space needed for them, you have to pay their health insurance, and other benefits. All of those things go directly toward partner profits. Partner profits are regularly reported in the legal press and directly affect your ability to get top talent (read: large portfolios of business) in partners and top talent out of law schools.

The most profitable firms in the world require 2400 billable hours a year and will fire you if you don't make it. But if you do, they will pay you $160,000 as a first year and give you five-figure bonuses. Read and for more details on the big firms.

That said, you don't *have to* go to a big firm. There is literally every size in between. I have a friend who just went from a multi-thousand attorney firm to a three-person firm. My dad has been in-house at multiple countries and in private practice at several firms. There are many paths.

4. The question I'm trying to answer for myself is whether those... [ Read More (0.1k in body) ]

RE: The Problem with the Legal Profession

RE: The Problem with the Legal Profession
Topic: Society 1:45 pm EST, Feb 11, 2007

Frankly, I am a bit disappointed by the unwarranted attacks and slights against my profession, and more so, against my particular practice area found in this stream.

As a person whose letters have ended up on Chilling Effects, I ask that you consider that there may be more to how the world works than you might read in one article (or any number of them).

And as a person who did not get a large firm job right out of a top-tier school, who has huge amounts of student loan debt, and yet was able to make my way into one of the top five largest firms in the world, and don't feel like I "pray [sic] on fear," I take some exception to your comments.

Let me break it down (like this).

Being a lawyer (much like life) is what you make it. There are limitless specialties, practice areas and types of jobs you can take. Not everyone is a litigator, who apparently "win in court not because they are right, but because their counsel is more persuasive for bad reasons." There are innumerable other things you can do as an attorney.

(Indeed, rarely does anyone win in court because they are "persuasive for bad reasons." Either you are indicting the jury system because you feel your fellow citizens are too dumb to come to a rational decision, or you are blaming the winning party for winning because they had a better reasoned argument. It rarely comes down, in court, to pedigree. Many of the best and most famous litigators went to lower-tier schools.)

That said, you have identified a primary rub.

If you go to law school, like any other professional school, you have to pay for it. Thus, you have to actually take a job that pays money in order to pay it back. And when it comes down to it, law school, per year, is no more expensive than any other degree (that you actually have to pay for).

As a result, you can't simply become an "officer of the court" for free, just because you want to serve for the betterment of mankind as a public interest attorney. Not unless money is no object.

Thus, you have to take a job to pay your bills. Sound familiar? The easy route to get out from your crushing debt, as it turns out, is to take a higher paying job. And, if you can believe it, employers who pay a higher amount, don't do it out of the graciousness of their heart! They make you work (read: bill) more hours.

So, you end up in a situation where students are fighting for the higher paying jobs, in the higher paying markets, and it becomes an employers market. Thus, they can demand the people from the best schools.

Is there truly no difference in the quality of education between a top-ranked school and a third tier school? Is that why you went to such a terrible engineering school? (That's sarcasm, before I get flamed.) That said, don't get me wrong, I have met a lot of dumbasses from Harvard Law, and I have met a lot of people who came from lower-ranked schools who were intelligent, hard-working, a... [ Read More (0.7k in body) ]

RE: The Problem with the Legal Profession

King Solomon: Pro-Infant Vivisection
Topic: Current Events 12:11 pm EST, Nov 23, 2006

Rangel doesn't want a draft-- Dems so-called "fear mongering" is related to the fact that Bush's idiodic war has put us in a position where we might need one. THUS, the reality of the situation may require a draft. But this reality did not occur passively. It was CAUSED.

Oy. Charlie Rangel is not really advocating a draft. Also, Swift was not seriously advocating that the Irish eat their own children. Rangel is advocating a public debate about the costs of the war, with testimony from Administration officials, and he is advocating that war supporters in Congress make a choice between ending the war and commiting political suicide. As he explained after voting against a similar bill he sponsored in 2004:

Rangel accused Republicans of using his bill to assuage fears that President Bush had plans to reinstate the draft, stating, “The Republican leadership decision to place the draft legislation on the suspension Calendar is a political maneuver to kill rumors of the President’s intention to reinstate the draft after the November election.”

He went on to urge Democrats running for reelection to vote no.

“I am voting no, because my bill deserves serious consideration,” his statement continued.

“It should be subject to hearings and to expert testimony. The administration should come and tell us about our manpower needs, about recruitment and retention, about the extent to which out troops are overextended. And they should give us their views about shared sacrifice. If they did all of those things in a serious way, they would have to admit that my bill is an option.”

Decius wrote:

Americans would have to sign up for a new military draft after turning 18 if the incoming chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee has his way.

Remember when Democrats were fearmongering that Bush would enstate a draft if reelected... Um...

King Solomon: Pro-Infant Vivisection

RE: slight paranoia: FBI Visit #2
Topic: Miscellaneous 9:45 am EST, Oct 29, 2006

My guess would be that they didn't have a search warrant the first time they came to speak with him-- they just asked permission to come in and ask some questions. Then they worked all night crafting the warrant so it was perfect for their wishes, and then came back once they had it.

Decius wrote:

I didn't sleep at home last night. It's fair to say I was rather shaken up.I came back today, to find the glass on the front door smashed.Inside, is a rather ransacked home, a search warrant taped to my kitchen table, a total absence of computers - and various other important things.

So, they go to his house yesterday, talk to him, and then leave... And then they return in the middle of the night, break in, and take his stuff?! Why didn't they just seize stuff when he was there in the afternoon?

RE: slight paranoia: FBI Visit #2

Intelligent Design Might Be Meeting Its Maker
Topic: Society 4:06 pm EST, Dec  5, 2005

Thank you New York Times. Jesus, it's about time for this article to come out.

The truth of the matter is that ID isn't supported by science. It *is* a political issue and it *is* a religious issue. And one supported only by a relatively narrow religious viewpoint too.

John G. West, a political scientist and senior fellow at the Discovery Institute, the main organization supporting intelligent design, said the skepticism and outright antagonism are evidence that the scientific "fundamentalists" are threatened by its arguments.

"This is natural anytime you have a new controversial idea," Mr. West said. "The first stage is people ignore you. Then, when they can't ignore you, comes the hysteria. Then the idea that was so radical becomes accepted. I'd say we're in the hysteria phase."


"The future of intelligent design, as far as I'm concerned, has very little to do with the outcome of the Dover case," Mr. West said. "The future of intelligent design is tied up with academic endeavors. It rises or falls on the science."

This guy's pretty savvy, because he knows that if you make your opponents look unhinged, you undercut their credibility. It's good politics. But then, if the scientific community is hysterical, it's because there are actually people claiming to be scientists working as hard as possible to destroy the very notion of science. That makes me angry too. But that doesn't mean i'm unable to make a rational argument. I'd like to think he's right about his last statement, because it works to the advantage of the scientific standpoint. This segment from earlier in the article is very telling :

The Templeton Foundation, a major supporter of projects seeking to reconcile science and religion, says that after providing a few grants for conferences and courses to debate intelligent design, they asked proponents to submit proposals for actual research.

"They never came in," said Charles L. Harper Jr., senior vice president at the Templeton Foundation, who said that while he was skeptical from the beginning, other foundation officials were initially intrigued and later grew disillusioned.

"From the point of view of rigor and intellectual seriousness, the intelligent design people don't come out very well in our world of scientific review," he said.

That says an awful lot to me. You keep hearing about the "science" behind ID, but I don't see it being produced. Here's an organization who's dedicated to reconciling science with religion *asking* to spend money on this research. But no, nothing. So the claim that the liberal academic elite have been blocking ID from the journals falls a little flat. If the science was there, someone could have published it by now.

But that's not the point is it. Mr. West's claims not withstanding, this issue has almost nothing to do with teaching science or doing science. It's a fron... [ Read More (0.2k in body) ]

Intelligent Design Might Be Meeting Its Maker

RE: The politics of taxation
Topic: Society 7:59 pm EST, Nov 21, 2005

Decius wrote:

ryan is the supernicety wrote:
How exactly are tort lawsuits impacting individual's freedom?

In general, situations where a company cannot allow me to do something that I want to do in the context of their services, or they cannot offer a product at all, because I cannot agree to take responsibility for myself.

For example, I cannot learn to scuba dive because I have athsma. Now, I understand my athsma very well and I am perfectly capable of dealing with an attack in such a scenario, but no one will teach me, because they fear liability.

Another example that occurs to me is Kinder Toys. An Italian candy available in 100 countries but not in the U.S. According to the linked article this is a regulatory issue rather then a product liability issue, but the lines are thin here. Even if these regulations were removed the toys in question would likely face civil liability problems.

The problem here is that this stuff operates on a lowest denominator principal in which everyone must be protected from anything that might defile the most hapless of citizens. Some of the things I'm protected from I don't really want or need to be protected from, and I don't have a choice. These aren't always caused specifically by civil liability. There are criminal laws that come into play as well, and its not always easy to tell the difference between something you can't do because of a law or something you can't do because of civil liability.

I do think that these things are visibile to regular people in their everyday lives, and thats why arguements about "tort reform" get traction with voters. There is a sense, when the local punk venue has to shut down for a month to make their bathrooms wheelchair accessible, when the local antique store has to put a big orange "watch your step" sign in the middle of their nice asthetic hallway, when you can't buy a beer after 11:30, and you can't practice golf in a public park, or buy a bicycle with the handlebars higher the the rider's head, that we might just be a little too coddled. Now only one thing I listed there is really related to civil liability. But this is why this kind of issue gets traction. People preceive that "lawyers" are responsible for all of this, one way or the other.

Sure, "lawyers" are involved because all of regulation involves the law. As you said, only one thing on your wohle list involved something that would be covered by so-called 'tort reform,' and I actually can't figure out which one that would be. But by lumping people's hatred of all things 'lawyery' into one thing, its total obfuscation and supports the point that its all just politics. And if its all just politics, then its money.

Saying that people support tort reform because "lawyers are responsible for all of this" is like hating bus drivers because your flight is always delayed...

Tort reform is an issue (non-issue?) that I am interested in politically. Large tort awards are extraordinarily rare and most punitive damages go to the state (hence why they are punitive). Punishing the lawyers who bring such suits is simply political payback.

And yes, while I agree that there is a symbiosis between the trial lawyers and dems (as you argued), the simple matter is that objectively, in this case, I happen to believe that the trial lawyers are right and thus, to fight against them (and, in fact support the rights of the corporation against the individual), the repubs are wrong, morally and factually, on this issue.

RE: The politics of taxation

Cisco, Security Researcher Settle Dispute
Topic: Technology 7:43 pm EDT, Jul 28, 2005

Looks like they have reached a settlement, according to the AP.

Cisco, Security Researcher Settle Dispute

RE: Dean elected DNC chairman - The Washington Times: Nation/Politics - February 13, 2005
Topic: Miscellaneous 11:06 pm EST, Feb 13, 2005

k wrote:
] ] "We are definitely going to do religious
] ] outreach. We're definitely going to reach out to the
] ] evangelical community," he said.
] What part of standing up for what we believe in puts reaching
] out to authoritarian christians at the top of the list? The
] actual priority for the party is "attempt to emulate the other
] guys because they are doing so well right now."
] [ Yeah, that doesn't make me happy, though I didn't like the
] other guys any better. Still, I was kind of hoping he'd roll
] in there and say "Will we court religious voters? Of course,
] because religion in america is important, but we don't believe
] in exploiting religion in the service of politics, and we will
] not do that." Pandering to the fundie element -- and yes, I
] am making an equivalence relation between evangelicals and
] fundies -- should never be part of the democratic platform.
] -k]

//You guys are actually both missing the context of the quote, I believe. I was at that speech at Capital City Brewing on Wednesday night and he was mentioning the fact that there are things which we and the evangelicals have in common. For instance, his example was defending what Hillary Clinton said the other day-- Democrats are not pro-abortion, we all hate it. But, being pro-choice and their being pro-life, we are never going to change each others mind. Therefore, we must reach out in order to find the common ground-- why don't we work to minimize the number of abortions which occur in this land.

In addition, I heard Dean speaking tonight on Capitol Voices on NPR here in D.C., and he was referring to outreach to Catholics (I know, not the same as evangelicals [former recovering catholic]). His comments were directed to a part of Catholicism that I have never been ashamed to be affiliated with-- its central tenets of social justice and service, which is something that the Democratic party has and should stand for. -r//

RE: Dean elected DNC chairman - The Washington Times: Nation/Politics - February 13, 2005 Faces of the Fallen
Topic: Current Events 10:42 am EST, Nov 13, 2004

Wow. The Washington Post puts up a website which lists each and every casualty in Iraq, in order, with their photos, personal info, etc....

Wow. Faces of the Fallen

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