I’ve been working on my dissertation for a few months now (it looks at American privacy law over some 150 years, and investigates how technology interacts with that law). Some of that work will emerge here in draft form eventually, but for now I’ve been thinking about the theoretical/critical framework for my work. Much of this framework will be implicit — since I’m writing a dissertation in history — but it will guide me nonetheless. It will develop throughout the writing process, but here are some initial thoughts.
“Liberty of contract” had originally been envisioned as a means of protecting individual rights from government interference, but decisions implementing it ended up justifying federal government intervention.
It seems like everyone is talking about MOOCs. According to proponents, massive open online courses will revolutionize higher education and turn traditional academics into the hand weavers (and potential Luddites) of the twenty-first century. But can the efficient delivery of talking heads to far larger audiences than permitted by even the largest lecture halls, all without the geographical constraints of physical buildings, really replace today’s in-person classrooms?
I have put up a paper I’ve been working on, “Embracing the Opposition: The Conservative Appropriation of Liberal Critiques,” that explores the appropriation of the critiques and rhetoric of liberals and progressives by modern conservatives.
Kara Swanson’s presentation on blood banks highlighted the move to commodify blood first, and then — at least partly in reaction to product liability concerns — to de-commodify it and move to a service-provider, gift-based system.
The idea of nullification — essentially, states telling the federal government that state law outranks federal law — is both seductive and persistent. As philosophically desirable as this may be, 200 years of settled law says this is a dead constitutional theory.
Two days ago I received several emails notifying me that my sites were all down. Soon thereafter my VPS hosting provider emailed me to say my server, and numerous others, had all been lost, and they had no backups.
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