My first substantive post at discourse.net was ten years ago, and Rose Burawoy, Political Scientist, an even meatier post, was only a few days later. I was horrified by Guantanamo and by the Padilla case.
A great deal has changed since then, for me personally and for almost everyone else. Padilla is out of the Navy Brig and in a Miami jail — but Guantanamo is still there. It is hard not get used to it, but we need to make that effort.
Meanwhile, the blogging project has become somewhat more erratic as I have become deeply enmeshed in other projects, particularly Jotwell and We Robot. And I’m trying to keep up my scholarly writing productivity too; something has to go, and as I result I write fewer long pieces here. But not none!
If you haven’t been reading for ten years straight you might want to look at an arbitrary list of discourse.net’s greatest hits. It has what I think are the best posts — not the most popular. If I were listing the most popular it would be a very different list, probably headed by How Not To Pick Up Women Online, which for some years was on the first or second page of Google for people searching that phrase without the “not”.
More importantly, if you have not already done so, please would you take a minute and tell me a little something about yourself? One of the greatest rewards of shouting into the wind is to sometimes hear a voice answer back.
Here is a photo of Miami at night because it has pretty clouds, and because I needed a test photo to see if I’ve fixed various blog issues.
Photo by James Good on Flickr and licensed subject to Creative Commons Attribution, Noncommercial, No Derivative Works license.
No, this is isn’t a commercial for We Robot 2014 — that comes in a week or two when we issue the Call for Papers.
I was just looking at my Akismet Stats. Although blog readership is down (but Twitter followership — of a feed that is pretty much all auto-tweets from this blog — are way up), there is one category where numbers are booming: spam. The year isn’t over yet, and I’ve had twice as many as last year — more than 348,000 spam messages through the end of August.
Of those messages, just eleven got through my two-stage filters: Askimet plus the WordPress Hashcash Extended plugin.
Meanwhile there were an average of about a hundred real comments per month; I think a grand total of maybe one or two got wrongly held for one reason or another.
Dear Candidates and Friends-of-Candidates,
Thank you for sending me your opposition research. While it is interesting to read the dirt you’ve dug up on your opponents and the harrowing accounts by anonymous witnesses to various things, I am not going to print anything for which I do not have a source I can link to, or a person who is willing to stand behind it. I am prepared to hold back the name of the witness if I can meet the person myself and reassure myself of their bona fides. (But keep in mind I’m going to be out of town Monday and Tuesday.)
This blog permits anonymous comments, and a portion of my scholarly work has been about the importance of protecting anonymous speech as a constitutional right, a human right, and an essential safeguard against various forms of repression. If you want to say stuff either anonymously or under your own name in the comments, attributing it to someone you know, I’m fine with that. Readers can make their own judgements. It does not follow, however, that I will lend whatever little credibility I have to publish something that you give me, under my own name, when I don’t know where it came from.
Just wanted to make sure we’re all clear on that.
A. Michael Froomkin
I am very pleased to announce that due to my winning a lottery sponsored by the Clinton Global Initiative former President Bill Clinton will post one item on Discourse.net later today, in which he will reveal his endorsements in the upcoming Coral Gables election.
Gables-watchers may recall that Mr. Clinton provided a robo-call endorsement in the 2011 Mayor’s race for Tom Korge. I do not know what prompted his interest in the 2013 race, but the former President is known as an avid follower of political races around the country, and Florida would be an important swing state were Hillary Clinton to run for President in 2016.
Check back often — I will approve President Clinton’s comments as soon as he sends them to me.
If all you are interested in is my Coral Gables-related posts, I have a special RSS feed just for you: Discourse.net RSS feed for Coral Gables-related posts only. Of course, I’d rather if you came by and sampled the whole thing, but I understand that some readers are only interested in the (very erratic) local political coverage.
Similarly, if you don’t use an RSS reader, you can bookmark my Coral Gables archive page which, despite the name, will always have the latest Coral Gables-related post at the top.
(Unfortunately for those out of town I don’t know how to make a feed with everything except the local stuff. Sorry about that. The election is soon, so just bear with me.)
For those who came in late, here are the main posts so far
People sometimes ask me why I didn’t write about something. This happens more often than I would expect, be it in comments, in person, or by email. But not being a professional pundit, and indeed having long given up promoting the blog, I feel no obligation to weigh in on everything.
So here are the top ten reasons I didn’t write about that thing you asked about, more or less in order of frequency:
- I had nothing original to say that wasn’t being said on lots of other blogs.
- You’ve got the [law/economics] backwards in your comment, but it’s clear that no amount of facts or explaining will get through to you.
- Even I can tell that I don’t know enough about it, and I don’t have the time, energy, or inclination to find out what I’d need to know to write about it sensibly.
- Drafted something, but didn’t like the way it sounded.
- I don’t agree with [law schools'/U.Miami's] critics, but anything I write is too likely to be dismissed as partisan pleading for my [profession/employer].
- I had deadlines for real work.
- I’m writing about that topic for a law review, and it’s too hard to compress an article into a blog post; I’ll link to the article when it’s done.
- It would make UM look bad without sufficient justification (most often applicable when I have nothing original to say).
- I was out of town while it happened.
- Beats me.