Bloggers Gain Libel Protection: “The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last Tuesday that Web loggers (sic), website operators and e-mail list editors can’t be held responsible for libel for information they republish, extending crucial First Amendment protections to do-it-yourself online publishers.
Online free speech advocates praised the decision as a victory. The ruling effectively differentiates conventional news media, which can be sued relatively easily for libel, from certain forms of online communication such as moderated e-mail lists.” Wired News
So I should take care that all my scurrilous comments appear inside quotation marks. Most readers get it, although once in awhile since I’ve enabled comments someone has gone off on me for an opinion I was merely excerpting from someone else. So I shouldn’t libel anyone likely to be clueless, reading FmH, that it was only a quote? It reminds me, loosely, of the neurolinguistic programming (NLP) technique called “speaking in quotes.” NLP is a body of subliminal — some would say manipulative — techniques for effecting behavior change, largely derivative of Milton Erickson’s hypnotic procedures. I cannot find a web reference to the technique but I recall reading about it in one of the books by NLP originators Bandler and Grinder, which were largely transcriptions of workshops they did. One of them got up and described how you can get away with expressing — and disowning — just about any outrageous opinion if you only ‘say it in quotes.’ For instance, if I wanted to insult someone I might say to them, “Now someone might say (staring deeply into the eyes of my interlocutor) ‘You’re a stupid fool!‘. Of course I wouldn’t say that, but someone might…” The message gets through, even though it is disownable…
the rise of the trophy professor: “Universities will do almost anything to land a star professor who can bring prestige, attract donors, and, yes, even do some teaching.” Boston Globe Magazine
bestow two-lightyear-long obscene gesture upon watching world. Astronomy Picture of the Day
A series of sad stories about the declining stature or quality of the arts and/or our relationship to them follows.
First, what’s happening to the caliber of ‘art films’? Sydney Morning Herald
Europe dignifies trashy American celebs: “American rock star Iggy Pop is known as ‘The Rock Iguana’ and ‘Grandfather of Punk.’ But as of last Saturday, to the French the 56-year-old is Officer of Arts and Letters. Officer Iggy was decorated over the weekend by the French Ministry of Culture, which formerly decorated such cultural notables as rocker Lou Reed, who wrote a hymn to ‘Heroin,’ Sylvester Stallone and Jackie Chan. As for Jerry Lewis, he outranks all of the above, of course, having been named a Commander of Arts and Letters by Socialist Culture Minister Jack Lang back in 1984.” WSJ Opinionjournal