Friday, February 17, 2006

Lunch Meetings

I rarely go to lunch meetings at school any more. Sure, I can get free pizza two or three times a week if I did, but really there is only so much pizza you can eat before 1) Getting sick of it (this is particularly true of Papa John's, the seemingly-Official Pizza of Student Organizations at the University of Minnesota Law School); and 2) Getting cheese clogged in your aorta. So, I don't go to that many (pretty much just the Student IP group... and that is as much because I'm an officer).

But, on Wednesday there were actually two meetings I wanted to go to... at the same time!
1) The Future of Blogging (or something like that) - Understandably, I had an interest in this topic
2) The Crackpot Economist Arguing that Intellectual Property Should Be Abolished (This was the official title... er, it should have been) - Again, understandably I had some interest in this as well

I decided that the IP talk probably made more sense as it dealt with my future career, not my current hobby. So I got to hear some crack pot - who clearly knew very little about how patents work, and next to nothing about patent law - tell me why, according to "Economics" that we shouldn't have patents. For the most part, he just tried to show why some of the current justifications for IP proctection are not right. He didn't really do very well (in my completely biased opinion), and moreover, he didn't really even try to argue why "abolishing" intellectual property was a good idea (except for "social efficiency"). My honest guess is he got a grant and has been milking it with this BS for several years.

Anyway, long boring story later, my question is, did anyone else at Minnesota go to the Blogging presentation? Especially Bitter Stephanie, Nate (Certain Point of View), Shaheen (Fade to Black), Nick (Generic Heretic), Ivan at Joint Strike Weasel, or the guys at Done as a Society or anyone else at the U who went. How was it? What was the talk about? Anything interesting at all? How was the pizza?


At 1:26 PM, Anonymous shaheen said...

i too missed the meeting for another that i thought was more inline with my career interest. poor choice on my part as well. totally useless.

At 2:05 PM, Anonymous Nick said...

The future of blogging featured Power Line cofounder Scott Johnson who blathered endlessly about forged documents and Dan Rather. Very boring. Pizza arrived late. I left halfway through.

At 2:19 PM, Blogger Unreasonable Man said...

It's nice to hear the Blogging meeting was bad too... it definitely wasn't what I thought it was.

The only plus side for the "Death to IP" meeting was the pizza was awesome. They got deep dish davani's pizza instead of crappy Papa John's. Excellent grub.

At 11:09 PM, Blogger Now with 110% more bitter! said...

Nah - didn't go. I was paranoid that they'd have people that blogged at the U stand up and be recognized... kidding. Still didn't go, anyways.

At 9:34 AM, Blogger Prof. Schwarzenegger said...

Nope. I went to a CLE instead.

Really, I say big deal. So people blog. We're happy for them. Before that people wrote crappy articles that nobody read. Now they can put up more crap with less effort and ensure that even fewere people read it.

People who think this is a major thing need to take a deep breath. It's not new or major.

Take 3L Epiphany for example. The "epiphany" is that blogging can be used to talk about law. Where's he been for the last few years? Des Moines? (South Park joke)

People will blog. 99% of them will be ignored 99% of the time (mine included). Before that it was e-mail forwards. In the future it will be iLectures (for your iPod's). Then it will be this or that.

Big deal. That's what happens. Technology comes and people take advantage of it, realize that it doesn't bring fame and fortune, and then get bored with it.

Mark my words, in a few years, we'll all be talking about the newest thing to come out. Nobody will care about blogs. Instead we'll all be talking about posts that are sent directly to iPods or something.

At 10:28 PM, Blogger Ivan Ludmer said...

Nick had it right. Neither speaker was interesting--they mostly spoke past each other. Sounds like Johnson's just living in the past, still glorying in the revelation of the Rather memo. Which makes sense, since Powerline hasn't really done much since then, though Johnson made a few noises about other Bush administration scandals, which he dismissed without discussion. There wasn't any discussion of the value or method of blogging, just a lot of backpatting.

The pizza was all right, but there wasn't enough. Go figure.

At 9:08 AM, Blogger Unreasonable Man said...

Yeah, I was more optimistic that this meeting would be about law relating to blogs (i.e. what about blogs who solely insult people and make stuff up being liable for libel, etc.), but it sounds like that wasn't the case.

At 6:21 PM, Anonymous ashley said...

hey there...i'm leaving you my very first comment, and it's basically to brag that i did go to the blogging meeting and i made johnson look like a bit of a fool. all he did was brag about rathergate (or as he kept referring to it, "the 61st minute," which was the title of their initial post on it) rather than actually discuss the future of the media and the blogosphere. this is especially important to me given it's what i wrote my law review note on (and Prof. S is welcome to read it if he wants to as it completely disproves his "theory") and involves an organization i work for.

anyway, i got so bored listening to him rehash their one victory that i went to to see they had caught powerline in any lies. they had, and when it *finally* came time for questions (after the strib guy droned on and on forever but was at least on topic), i immediately raised my hand and asked him about it (you can see the scandal i referenced here:

He used the tried and true political defense mechanism of telling me I was wrong, and saying that I had said something I didn't say, then he admitted they were wrong, but tried to save face by saying they had written an in depth article about it for some conservative magazine or newspaper. Whatever, I was happy enough to get him to stop the backpatting, as Ivan described and admit he was wrong.


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