Lawyers Using Bots to Hassle Busy People, or: How I had to waste time giving myself permission to quote and paraphrase myself, really

It’s all just so bleepin’ INSANE.

Here’s the deal. Two, no three, years ago a buddy of mine, who shall nameless so he’s not associated with this mini-quagmire, asked me to contribute a chapter to a book he’s editing on a subject near and dear to me. Fine. Glad to. So, over a year ago I put some of my work in progress online at The Valve, a group blog where I have privileges, in order to get feedback on my ideas.

Which I did. Thank you very much, interwebs.

Time goes by, I turn in my final chapter. My buddy likes it, his editor likes it. And then the publisher sends some bots out on the web to compare text in their book-in-progress to whatever’s on the web. What happens? My chapter gets flagged because, hey! some of my prose is out there on the web.

And you know why some of the prose in my chapter is out on the web you clueless bot-masters? Because I put it there! That’s why.

Anyhow, my buddy sends me a note explaining the situation and asking me to send him a note explaining that, yes, I put that stuff out there on The Valve. Here’s my exact message: “Some of the prose in my [name redacted to protect the innocent] chapter first appeared online at The Valve — where, for example, I’m quoting [some worthy]. So I’m just re-using my own prose.”

My buddy passed that on to his handlers and we figured that was the end of it. But, no, not good enough. His handlers got back to him, this time with the very passages the bots had swiped from the web. Continue reading

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Wakefield: Admit Nothing, Deny Everything, Make Counter-Accusations

That’s pretty much all Andrew Wakefield did on CBC Radio’s The Current the other morning. He has always acted in the best interests of his patients (The children! The poor wee sick bairns!), never did anything unethical, had no conflict of interest, the British medical establishment (enabled by muck-raking journos and no doubt spurred on Big Pharma) is out to get him, it’s lies-all-lies I tell you!, he’s a most noble and put-upon hero, yessirree.

I suppose it’s possible the self-aggrandizing fraud even believes all that bullshit about himself.

Breaking the Primacy of Print

From a post by Karen Hellekson at Organization for Transformative Works:

…lots of academics who might otherwise submit to TWC find that they ought not, because their university has rules that online-only publications do not count for promotion and tenure.

What’s up with that? Does your institution have such an idiotic rule?

All IP iz mine! sayeth the Big Monopolist

Nina Paley is the creator of Mimi & Eunice and is unleashing them on the world under a copyleft license.

The first casualty

The increasing intention of western and non-western governments to censor the internet is usually put in terms of “child protection”, although it is very unlikely to be affected by censorship, merely by using uncensorable techniques like Torrents. But one has to wonder if the real reason is more to do with preventing this sort of thing. It turns out that we have been lied to about civilian casualties and targeted assassinations in Afghanistan, two things that any civilised society should repudiate.

Read the rest here.

Communication is an Intersection

“Communication Is a Two-Way Street” is a trite metaphor that, although useful at times, is an incomplete description of the reality of the process of communications.  Yes, there are senders and receivers in communications.  The senders can only control how they present messages.  They can’t control how messages are received. Only receivers can control their reception.

In intro psychology courses, many of us spent weeks trying to get a solid grasp of the subtle differences between sensation and perception.  Just as two people can experience (perceive) a temperature of 55° F as either warm or cool depending on their preconceptions and other environmental factors, two people can also hear or read my message and either decide that I am “right on” or that I am “not helping.”

Continued at Quiche Moraine..

Say you’re wrong

Let me start by sharing just how much of an opinionated bastard I am. I was conceived out of wedlock, so I am truly a bastard. I treasure that fact on a weekly basis. But other than that, I am not really much of a bastard. I’m a nice enough guy, and if you think not being a scoundrel disqualifies me, pass along. As for opinionated, I was once called that because once no one could decide where to go for lunch, and that quickly drove me nuts and I plainly said where I felt like going.

[I’m a slow learner, apparently. Now go read the rest at Pleiotropy.]

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