Not Only Filters: Some Suggestions for Dealing with Malware Protection in Libraries
Happy 4/04 Day!
Recently, I was at the Cambridge Public Library looking for divorce paperwork for Massachusetts (for more on why that happened, check out this post.) CPL doesn’t use filtering software on their computers (woo!) and has a clear and concise use policy as well as individual privacy screens. From that perspective, it was an ideal library computer experience.
However the short form financial statement (non-malware pdf at link), available from the MA court website and necessary for many court filings, was actually blocked by CPL’s anti-malware software. I tried a couple of different times to download it, including on different browsers, before eventually finding the form was available elsewhere on the Plymouth County Court website.
Filing for Divorce in MA: Doing Law School Right
Most law school assignments don’t make you reflect deeply on your relationship to your community or to the legal system. But I actually did something this semester that made me heavily consider how I as a law student relate to Cambridge, and how the law relates to everyday people. I tried to figure out how to file for divorce in Massachusetts.
To be clear, no, I’m not married, and no, I’m not getting divorced.
There are very few Internet services that I’m actively an evangelist for – Twitter is one, because I’ve met so many cool people through it. The other that I’m always trying to convert people to is Rdio, which is a music streaming service.
The Great Book Project of 2013: Now in Video Format
Last month, I gave a show and tell talk at the Quantified Self Boston meetup where I talked about quantifying my book reading habits from last year, and what I learned from setting diversity goals. It was a ton of fun - I did a 5-minute Ignite-style intro to the project, and then the audience asked some great questions.
Things that Make Me Happy
I wrote a long reflective post about my first semester of law school and how I feel that the legal educational system sets people up for failure by forcing them to give up things that are important to them.
But just writing it made me sad and a little annoyed, so posting it here would make me sadder. I’ll explain at some point. But for now, have a list of things that make me happy.
Perma: Solving Link Rot and Reference Rot
Jonathan Zittrain, Larry Lessig and I have been working on a paper laying out some empirical evidence of linkrot and reference rot in law review and Supreme Court citations, and proposing a solution, which is called Perma.cc. Our research found that 49% of links in SCOTUS opinions and between 60-70% of journal links are broken - a huge number that only increases as time passes. The full results are available at the draft on SSRN.
Given that the New York Times picked up this research, it’s about time for me to write something about it. Sorry blog readers, I was scooped.
So I’ll just say this: Perma has the potential to save legal scholarship and court opinions from some of the problems the paper mentions. This change, like many changes to legal citation, needs to come from below - from the libraries and journals, and then upwards to the courts. I’m thrilled that our empirical work has enough of a shocking numerical value to get folks to pay attention, but even more thrilled that we have a real solution to offer.
The End of the Books: What I Learned
Some basic facts:
- I started January 1st, 2013.
- I finished September 7th, 2013.
- I read 176 books. (That’s about 22 per month or a book every 1.4 days.)
- 29% of the authors were people of color.
- 49% of the authors were women, 51% were men.
- The furthest behind I got was 16 books. (More about that.)
- I never really got that far ahead; maybe by one book, once or twice.
Unpopular Privacy, Arbitrary Justice, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf, My Beloved World, The Sand Child.
The last 5 books! Putting me at 176. One got lost along the way, and I don’t know where it went. Wrap up post is coming. Until then, this is a pretty good summary.
Damn, this may have been the best week of books yet! And it was just last week.
Women, Race and Class; Black Genius, Feminism Unmodified, Like Son, The Internet Police
The end of the vacation books! I’m almost done blogging about reading! Woo!