Law in Contemporary Society

Law in Contemporary Society

Professor Eben Moglen
Columbia Law School, Spring 2024

Last actual office hours of the year will be held just before the lockout, on Friday 24 May from 12n to 5pm. Please feel free to drop by.

All your writing has received at least one round of comments. Please complete your revisions by end of day Wednesday 29 May. If you require more time, you can receive an extension by emailing me.

My office hours Spring 2024 are now over. From Friday 24 May I am locked out of my office in Jerome Greene Hall as we begin the most intense stage of library destruction at the law school. I am happy to arrange conversation by phone or video-conference as time allows. Please email me for an appointment.

On the Radar

Ankush Khardori. A Supreme Court Justice Sounds a Warning, Politico, March 26, 2024

Jonathan Haidt, The Terrible Costs of a Phone-Based Childhood, The Atlantic, March 13, 2024 (alternate source).

Jane Mayer, The Scandal of Clarence Thomas's New Clerk, New Yorker, February 29, 2024 (alternate copy).

Aditya Chakrabortty, If we fight racism in silos, we just cant win, The Guardian, April 27, 2023

Transcript: Ezra Klein Interviews Matthew Desmond, New York Times, April 21, 2023

Tech guru Jaron Lanier: The danger isn't that AI destroys us. It's that it drives us insane, The Guardian, March 23, 2023

Noam Chomsky, Ian Roberts and Jeffrey Watumull, The False Promise of ChatGPT, New York Times, March 8, 2023

David Thomas, Washington lawyer Tom Goldstein leaves Supreme Court practice, law firm, Reuters, March 1, 2023

Corey Doctorow How Google Ran Out of Ideas, The Nation, February 16, 2023 (alternate location)

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, The Meaning of African-American Studies, The New Yorker, February 3, 2023 (alt loc)

James Somers, Whispers of A.I.s Modular Future, New Yorker, February 1, 2023 (alt loc)

David D. Kirkpatrick, The Police Folklore That Helped Kill Tyre Nichols, The New Yorker, January 28, 2023 (alt loc)

Noam Cohen, The Culture Wars Look Different on Wikipedia, The Atlantic, January 22, 2023 (alt loc)

A Word on Technology Old and New About the Word

This course is centered in the experience of classroom dialogue. Everything we read and write will be intended to help us understand better what we learn from listening to one another. I say "listening," because in a conversation with so many voices, we're all going to be listening much more than we are talking. So this is an extended exercise in active listening.

It turns out that wiki is a very good medium for active listeners. Below you will find an introduction to this particular wiki, or TWiki, where you can learn as much or as little about how this technology works as you want.

For now, the most important thing is just that any page of the wiki has an edit button, and your work in the course consists of writings that we will collaboratively produce here. You can make new pages, edit existing pages, attach files to any page, add links, leave comments in the comment boxes--whatever in your opinion adds to a richer dialog. During the semester I will assign writing exercises, which will also be posted here. All of everyone's work contributes to a larger and more informative whole, which is what our conversation is informed by, and helps us to understand. This is a law school course, so one cannot prevent altogether the stupidity of grades.

Please begin by registering. I look forward to seeing you at our first meeting.

Introduction to the LawContempSoc Web

The LawContempSoc site is a collaborative class space built on Twiki [], a free software wiki system. If this is your first time using a wiki for a long term project, or first time using a wiki at all, you might want to take a minute and look around this site. Every page has a history: all the versions it has accumulated through each person's edits. Use the "History" button at the top of each page to explore that history. When we edit a page, using the "Edit" button, the old version is still part of the history, so editing is additive, not destructive. If you see something on the page that you don't know how to create in a wiki, take a look at the text that produced it using the "Raw" button at the top of each page, and feel free to try anything out in the Sandbox.

All of the Twiki documentation is also right at hand. Follow the TWiki link in the sidebar. There are a number of good tutorials and helpful FAQs there explaining the basics of what a wiki does, how to use Twiki, and how to format text.

From TWiki's point of view, this course, Law in Contemporary Society, is one "web." There are other webs here: the sandbox for trying wiki experiments, for example, and my other courses, etc. You're welcome to look around in those webs too, of course. Below are some useful tools for dealing with this particular web of ours. You can see the list of recent changes, and you can arrange to be notified of changes, either by email or by RSS feed. I would strongly recommend that you sign up for one or another form of notification; if not, it is your responsibility to keep abreast of the changes yourself.

LawContempSoc Web Utilities


Webs Webs

r449 - 22 May 2024 - 23:40:27 - EbenMoglen
This site is powered by the TWiki collaboration platform.
All material on this collaboration platform is the property of the contributing authors.
All material marked as authored by Eben Moglen is available under the license terms CC-BY-SA version 4.
Syndicate this site RSSATOM