In re Grand Jury
Jamesian Philosophy Refreshed
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2d ago
 The Supreme Court's first opinion Monday of this session, a week and a half ago now, was disappointing. Much awaited, but more of a whimper than a bang.  One of the two cases decided is intriguing, but the SCOTUS decision entirely evaded the reason for the intrigue.  The case turned on the extent of the attorney-client evidentiary immunity. If an attorney and a client have a discussion about some completely non-legal matter (say, the client's recent travels), the fact that they happen to be attorney and client is not germane. The conversation may be pertinent if the client la ..read more
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Crazy Eddie and Gary Weiss
Jamesian Philosophy Refreshed
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2d ago
I believe I've written earlier in this blog about independent journalist Gary Weiss' book, which came out in the summer of '22, about the rise and fall of the Crazy Eddie consumer electronics chain.  My review is available in the Nov/Dec. issue of The Federal Lawyer.  I bring the subject up again simply in order to quote a favorable review of the book in The New York Times.  "The meat of this limber book is its investigation into the deep family drama and funny money behind Crazy Eddie, which aggressively undercut competitors like Circuit City and The Wiz with some astoni ..read more
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A thought about the history of journalism
Jamesian Philosophy Refreshed
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2d ago
If we want a date for the birth of the world wide web (www), considered as an available and useful toolfor journalism, we are probably best off fixing on March 1989, the month when Tim Berners-Lee, a computer scientist working for the European research organization CERN, wrote up his proposal for Hypertext Transfer Protocol (http), something that would which allow not just the geniuses at CERN but … anybody … to use a browser and set up a web server, and get a website started. It took a while yet for a lot of institutions and then individuals around the world to catch on. When one thinks ab ..read more
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Resolving the lottery paradox without abolishing Venn Diagrams
Jamesian Philosophy Refreshed
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1w ago
  Yesterday I wrote about the lottery paradox, the epistemological crux of some of my recent reading. I refer you back to yesterday's post if you come to this not knowing what the term means. I will proceed today presuming that you know.  Now, clearly, part of what makes the paradox ... paradoxical is the rule of conjunction. This is the idea that if A is known and B is known then it follows that A + B is known. Or, in a weaker alternative statement: if A is rationally believable and B is rationally believable then A + B is rationally believable.  After all, why can we not sim ..read more
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What is the lottery paradox?
Jamesian Philosophy Refreshed
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1w ago
 My recent reading has included a book on epistemology,  It is an anthology of essays on the "lottery paradox," edited by Igor Douven, a professor at the Sorbonne.  What is the lottery paradox? That takes some explaining. Consider two propositions: "I will be in Chicago next week" on the one hand and "this lottery ticket will lose" on the other.  Make some reasonable stipulations here in two sets First, I believe I will be in Chicago next week because I have made plans. I have both the airline ticket and hotel reservations.  I have a great deal of interest in an ev ..read more
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The shock of the newer ... 6G
Jamesian Philosophy Refreshed
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1w ago
  ... we're talking about 6G already? Some of us still have our ears ringing from all the talk that accompanied the advent of 5G! Indeed, in some quarters 5G was blamed for the advent of Covid-19. That was nonsense, of course, but it reflected the shock of the new. Now we must be prepared for the shock of the newer, Sabine Hossenfelder, a prominent physicist, has spoken to this point recently, specifically speaking to the matter of frequency. SixG will give us much lower latency and capacity. No more frustrated waiting for something or other to finish buffering. (Isn't that something yo ..read more
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Five good books on contemporary politics
Jamesian Philosophy Refreshed
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2w ago
To continue on the reviewer-ish roll from yesterday. I understand the word "contemporary" in the headline to exclude any books that are primarily concerned with any events prior to the contested presidential election of 2000.  And I will keep the chief focus here on U.S. politics, though I hasten to add that the concern is not insularity. At least three of them are focused on the contentious relationship of the United States to the rest of the globe.  Without further ado: 1) Woodword, STATE OF DENIAL (2006). Woodward writes a fair amount of dross, but this is one of his better ef ..read more
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Five good business books
Jamesian Philosophy Refreshed
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2w ago
  Were I to list the five best business books of recent years, (let us say, of the new millennium) I might offer this, in chronological order, without any imputation of relative priority.  Robert Bryce, PIPE DREAMS (2002). There were a lot of books above the rise and fall of Enron published around the time this one was. But this one holds up better than others of the herd.  Michael Lewis, FLASH BOYS (2014). A fascinating look at exchange structure issues, such as how exchanges collaborate with high-speed traders to allow them an advantage from their trading velocity. Who be ..read more
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Goodbye to Anarcho-Capitalism
Jamesian Philosophy Refreshed
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2w ago
  For those of you who may not know: the image here is not me. It is just what you get if you search for a stock image of a man waving goodbye.  I am waving my own internal goodbye these days to the ideology of anarcho-capitalism, which for particularity I used to call Rothbardian anarcho-cap. It may come as news to some readers that there are varieties of anarcho-cap but, take it from me, yes there are. Rothbard's is different from, say, Molyneux's. I no longer care enough to try to explain why. But I wasn't exactly a Rothbardian either. I understand now that my anarcho-cap was u ..read more
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How wise is the Reg CF Crowd?
Jamesian Philosophy Refreshed
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3w ago
For those to whom the terminology is new: 1) Reg CF is an SEC rule on the creation and use of equity crowdfunding portals, the intersection of high finance and social networks.  2) The phrase "the wisdom of crowds" was the title of a 2004 book by James Surowieck, deliberately echoed in the phrase I'm using as a headline here, which in turn I take from the source I'm linking you to below.  So the question "how wise is the Reg CF crowd" means "can equity crowdfunding portals as they exist at present effectively aggregate disparate information in the way Surowieck had in mind?  ..read more
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