Law in Contemporary Society

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StartingRemote 1 - 13 Jan 2022 - Main.EbenMoglen
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Starting With One Week of Not Meeting

A class which does not meet for the first week, and then is supposed to meet "normally" in the midst of the pandemic is being born in chance, like a twelve-note row, then to be played out by system.

We begin in chance because no one really knows what they mean by "the Omicron wave," or its effects on the semi-substance that is pandemic legal education. Until the last possible moment, and certainly not until the tuition is nonrefundable, would we come to conclude that we will need more than one week of Zoomschool.

May we all be fortunate. But there should simply never be Zoomschool. I explained at the outset of the epidemic that more than seven years of research and experimentation with law school VirtualInstruction had convinced me WhyNotVideoConferencing.

This course is a conversation. Ordinarily we perform it together in a theater, being what three dozen people are under such circumstances: a small assembly, capable of deliberating together, using drama to hold themselves together rather than to push one another apart. I don't make or permit recordings there: we are live, off the record, and by definition any form of quoting is out of context. That's the anti-thesis of Zoomschool.

The epidemic has taught people more about video conferencing than they ever wanted to know. Why law school classes cannot be well taught that way, given among other things their size, has become clear, though not to the law teachers. If we are prevented from meeting after the first week, we will shift to my pre-existing model of VirtualInstruction, not to Zoomification. On the premise that this will be necessary only for one week, we will use it to become personally acquainted, through the less awful medium of small-group video conferencing.

Half a dozen people can have an unmoderated conversation, whether on a telephone conference call or video chat, which will help them to "get acquainted," and thereby "sense" one another in subsequent conversations. Lawyers are people who need to be good at this.

So we will begin at the beginning. I ask you to write, now, a very brief PersonalIntro, less than 100 words. The goal is to tell us all something that will make us better acquainted coming into our first conversation. You can read EbenMoglenIntro to see what I think might help you to know me.

We will then meet next week in eight small groups, roughly me and five others, for half an hour each. We'll use the class times allotted and some other slots, morning and evening, so everybody should have good choices. We will use my free software, private video-conferencing server, which doesn't track, record, or remember anything that happens on it. Call it "Less awful video-conferencing: Not the same as being there, but also not the same as being overseen somewhere else." Technology one man runs all by himself, mostly on hardware he built from loose parts with his own hands and all free software he installed and maintains (in rare cases, wrote). That too might be something that would help you be acquainted with me.

Please sign up for a place in GettingToKnowUs. The Committee of the Whole can then plan to begin meeting in week two, as (the Friends say) the way opens.

-- EbenMoglen - 13 Jan 2022


Revision 1r1 - 13 Jan 2022 - 17:13:41 - EbenMoglen
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