Category Archives:

Bots Love Me

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.

Posted in | Leave a comment

House Rules

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.

Yours Sincerely,

A. Michael Froomkin

Posted in Coral Gables, | 1 Comment

Guest Blogger Bill Clinton to Give Endorsements in Coral Gables Election

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 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.

Creative Commons photo by veni markovski. Some rights reserved.

Posted in Completely Different, Coral Gables, | 8 Comments

Special Feed for Coral Gables-Related Posts

If all you are interested in is my Coral Gables-related posts, I have a special RSS feed just for you: 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

Posted in, Florida | Leave a comment

Top 10 Reasons Why I Didn’t Write About It

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:

  1. I had nothing original to say that wasn’t being said on lots of other blogs.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Drafted something, but didn’t like the way it sounded.
  5. 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].
  6. I had deadlines for real work.
  7. 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.
  8. It would make UM look bad without sufficient justification (most often applicable when I have nothing original to say).
  9. I was out of town while it happened.
  10. Beats me.
Posted in | Leave a comment


–via the awesome Pulp-o-mizer.

Posted in | Leave a comment

Civilized Discourse Construction Kit

Jeff Atwood, of the great Coding Horror weblog, writes about his new “next-generation, 100% open source discussion platform built for the next decade of the Internet.

He’s calling it “Discourse“.

As much as existing forum software is inexplicably and terrifyingly awful after all these years, it is still the ongoing basis for a huge chunk of deeply interesting information on the Internet. These communities are incredibly passionate about incredibly obscure things. They aren’t afraid to let their freak flag fly, and the world is a better place for it.

The goal of the company we formed, Civilized Discourse Construction Kit, Inc., is exactly that – to raise the standard of civilized discourse on the Internet through seeding it with better discussion software:

  • 100% open source and free to the world, now and forever.
  • Feels great to use. It’s fun.
  • Designed for hi-resolution tablets and advanced web browsers.
  • Built in moderation and governance systems that let discussion communities protect themselves from trolls, spammers, and bad actors – even without official moderators.

Our amazingly talented team has been working on Discourse for almost a year now, and although like any open source software it’s never entirely done, we believe it is already a generation ahead of any other forum software we’ve used.

Love the ambition, love the name. Not so sure yet about the interface, though, which seems very busy with all those avatars and stuff.

Posted in, Software | 3 Comments