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Thursday, January 05, 2012

Paul Campos is Right

I’m going to let you in on a secret.  Those of us who guest blog here measure our success by one criterion alone:  whether we get the mainstays of the Prawfs family to comment on our posts.  Only when we see the likes of Dan Markel, the two Ricks, Howard Wasserman, and all of the other folks listed to the immediate right, in the comments do we know that we’ve truly arrived.  And let’s not forget Orin Kerr.  I won’t hide the satisfaction I felt upon seeing that my first post on Prawfs drew a response from Orin himself.  A day late, sure, but that only adds to the power and mystique.  The comment was succinct and witty – pure Orin Kerr. 

And Dan’s presence was felt, too.  Not in that pedestrian way of, well, commenting.  No, Dan’s acknowledgement came by deleting the first comment that appeared on my post.  Was I little hurt that Dan thought the note, “Good post.  Really interesting!” was spam?  Yes, fine, I’ll admit it.  But that feeling was eclipsed by the joy in knowing that Dan had read my post closely enough to surmise that there really wasn’t anything interesting about it.  I can do better, Dan, I promise!

What does any of this have to do with Paul Campos?  Nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  But I’ve followed this blog long enough to know that there’s no way that Paul Horowitz is going to abstain from commenting on a post that says Campos is right.  Heck, I bet Paul didn’t even get past the title before composing an erudite, polite, and somewhat self-deprecating response.  Go ahead, Paul.  Hit “post.” 

I’ve already begun plotting how to bring Howard into the mix.  The Ricks are practically in the bag.  But man, this Orly person’s going to be tough.  Thank goodness I’ve got Google and 26 more blogging days to come up with something.

Hope to meet you all at the Prawfs happy hour tonight!

Posted by Michael Teter on January 5, 2012 at 07:20 AM | Permalink


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Are you the same Walter Sobchak who posted on TaxProfBlog -- on Friday night?!? Dude, I thought you were shomer shabbos!

Posted by: Paul Horwitz | Jan 9, 2012 10:21:06 PM

Ah, Aaron, you spoiled a perfectly good joke on me. Thanks :-)

Posted by: Dan Markel | Jan 9, 2012 8:06:23 PM

So you have no frame of reference here, Aaron. You're like a child who wanders into the middle of a movie and wants to know the plotline.

Posted by: Walter Sobchak | Jan 9, 2012 7:24:15 PM

Dan - I can't quite tell whether you are playing along perfectly with Walter or missing the point entirely.

See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dky_V_3izXI

Posted by: Aaron Perzanowski | Jan 9, 2012 5:57:34 PM

Professor Markel, I am a Vietnam vet. I did not watch my buddies die face down in the muck only to see comments deleted indiscriminately. Am I the only one around here who gives a crap about the rules?

DM: Walter, no, you're not the only one. (And thanks for your service). The rules for this privately run blog are that comments should be signed, substantive and civil. If they're not, they run the risk of being deleted.

Posted by: Walter Sobchak | Jan 9, 2012 1:33:44 PM

On the topic, I should note that I'm meeting with a tech guru soon and I'm thinking we might create a special passport to commenting on posts, if that's technically feasible. The idea would be only pre-cleared commenters would be able to comment, sort of similar to the way facebook allows you to comment on things without intermediation, but only b/c the poster knows who's commenting. Anyway, we'll see, discuss and explore. Stay tuned.

Oh please, dear? For your information, the Supreme Court has roundly rejected prior restraint!

DM: Walter, I'm afraid to disabuse you, but prior restraint affects government actors, not private ones. Cheers.

Posted by: Walter Sobchak | Jan 9, 2012 12:53:45 PM

Orly is indeed tough! you have 23 more days to try and wow me.

Posted by: orly lobel | Jan 9, 2012 8:34:42 AM

facebook - You might want to read up on your namesake's history of tracking its users, starting with Beacon and continuing through this: http://zdnet.com/blog/facebook/senate-to-hold-hearing-on-facebook-tracking-cookies/5436. I'm afraid it's not as simple as limiting the details you include in your profile.

Posted by: Aaron Perzanowski | Jan 6, 2012 8:24:05 PM

If you're afraid of facebook's privacy practices, then you don't understand facebook. Facebook can only share the private information you give it. You could simply sign up for a facebook account and not provide any personal information about yourself, beyond the basics, like your name.

Posted by: facebook | Jan 6, 2012 3:31:19 PM

Sorry if this is taking us off-topic, but I'm with Jessica- I don't have a facebook account and don't want one. If that were the only way to comment, I'd stop. Most of the "sign in" systems I've seen have other options (tied to a gmail account, for example), so it might not be a big problem, but it does seem that such systems do greatly limit the number of comments, even good ones. Whether that's a price to pay to avoid the low-values ones I can't say.

Posted by: Matt | Jan 6, 2012 11:28:48 AM

Very wise, insightful post, Michael. Or, if I'm going to be true to what Paul says is my blogging-practice, I should say, "Insightful Post?" =-)

Posted by: Rick Garnett | Jan 6, 2012 11:24:56 AM

Some of us don't have Facebook identities. I would mind not being able to post comments on Prawfs, but I wouldn't mind it enough to join Facebook. (It's a privacy policy thing. I'm no more clueless about technology than the typical aging law professor, but Facebook's privacy practices creep me out.)

Posted by: Jessica Litman | Jan 6, 2012 10:08:06 AM


Just make people login with a Facebook identity before commenting. A lot of news organizations have taken that step, and people using their real name (or at least, an account linked to their friends) are far less likely to post nasty trolling comments.

Posted by: Nate | Jan 6, 2012 9:31:38 AM

Sarah Palin is right.

Posted by: Jd | Jan 5, 2012 6:25:07 PM

I'd like to comment to mention that trolling for comments doesn't seem nearly as fun as posts about what to wear when teaching.

Posted by: dave hoffman | Jan 5, 2012 6:08:15 PM

On the topic, I should note that I'm meeting with a tech guru soon and I'm thinking we might create a special passport to commenting on posts, if that's technically feasible. The idea would be only pre-cleared commenters would be able to comment, sort of similar to the way facebook allows you to comment on things without intermediation, but only b/c the poster knows who's commenting. Anyway, we'll see, discuss and explore. Stay tuned.

Posted by: Dan Markel | Jan 5, 2012 6:04:13 PM

See, the biggest issue I see with the comment deletion policy is that the rest of us don't get to read it. I feel like I missed something amusing! Darn it. Gotta get in here before the deletions come around.

Posted by: Andrew MacKie-Mason | Jan 5, 2012 3:04:20 PM

Yes, I've deleted that boring, critical, and anonymous first comment. Yes, I will continue to "nuke" comments that I think cross a line I'm uncomfortable with. I will do so even if some of the comment is interesting but other parts are inappropriate. (It's a big internet, go find some other space to ventilate if you like.) Yes, that's a new year's resolution: to be resolute in maintaining this space as a forum for grown up conversation where you own your words, especially when they are critical of others.

(Btw, Michael, v. funny post!)

Posted by: Dan Markel | Jan 5, 2012 1:38:47 PM

FWIW I've never had a comment deleted and some have been in quite sharp disagreement with the blogger.

Comments that are either: spam (the type where the name is a hyperlink seems increasingly common on this platform*), contentless, or unnecessarily and blatantly rude seem to be the only ones that get nuked.

Posted by: Brad | Jan 5, 2012 12:14:14 PM

Horwitz or Horowitz?

Posted by: Nate | Jan 5, 2012 11:14:30 AM

Good post. Really interesting!

Posted by: Michael J.Z. Mannheimer | Jan 5, 2012 10:41:11 AM

OK, Michael, you got me, because this strikes me as absurd.

Not every single, solitary post from every single, solitary law professor has to include analysis, self-flagellation, and rending of garments over the state of legal education and the position in which recent grads find themselves. Maybe Michael (or someone else) will write all the posts you suggest. But *this time* he just wanted to make a joke (Jim seems to have liked it). You can evaluate the joke on its own merits. But to criticize Michael (and everyone else who doesn't cry in agony over this issue in every post) as demonstrating everything that sucks about law schools and law profs seems over-the-top.

Michael, ordinarily I would have stayed out of this. But I don't know what else you'll be writing about this month, so I wanted to make sure I got in at least one comment.

Posted by: Howard Wasserman | Jan 5, 2012 10:26:45 AM

FWIW I found this post clever and entertaining.

Posted by: Jim | Jan 5, 2012 9:25:29 AM


Posted by: All Law School Professors | Jan 5, 2012 9:13:28 AM

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