Tuesday, August 31, 2004

in New Haven

Well, I'm here, my stuff is here and mostly in place, my internet connection is working, and I've met a bunch of my classmates. My roommate's nice enough, I don't anticipate any problems there. My apartment is acceptable - it's spacious, but a lot of the little details are not well done. The closet doors are all metal and some are dented; there are parquet floors in most of the apartment that are heavily damaged and scratched in several places; the cabinets are a little shoddy, but some shelf liner made them okay. I like it overall, it's just hasn't been the most well-kept apartment in town.

I'm still unpacking. I'm mopping the floors in my bedroom now, a task made more difficult by moving all my stuff in there first. But I've done most of it. I still have to put all my clothes away. And my roommate's moving all his stuff in between 3 and 5 today, and once that's here we'll have a lot of work to do putting different people's stuff in place.

Anyway, I'm going back to work. Just wanted to put in a brief update. Registration is Thursday and orientation is Friday; I'll post about those over the weekend, I expect.

Friday, August 27, 2004

another life thread posting

Well, I'm in Baltimore for the last evening. Mooching a neighbor's wireless; the signal's good enough today for that to be quite effective (it usually isn't). My rent-a-truck is filled and parked across the street; tomorrow we go to my sister's. Dad's driving the truck and I'm driving my car.

I'm amazed at how much stuff I had. Especially my kitchen. I'm a horrible cook, but I have everything a good cook needs in my kitchen (thanks to my mother), and I'm moving all of it in case I feel inspired to learn to cook better. I'm also amazed at how many books I have. Those 'small' boxes from U-Haul? They seem larger when you fill them with books and they weigh 40 pounds each. I filled 8 of them with regular books, including textbooks and fiction. I also filled a separate box with just cartoon books (Calvin & Hobbs, Fox Trot, Dilbert, Far Side, etc). I also filled a box with piano music books. So we're talking multiple hundred pounds of books. Egad.

Moving is stressful for me. I'm the obsessive control freak type, so I plan out everything and try hard not to overly manage my helpers, and worry about details that I haven't figured out to my satisfaction. We get things done well often, and we usually get them done on time and efficiently, but it's hard on us and on the people around us. Fortunately I had fairly easy going moving help and I didn't try to control them too much.

Anyway, more once there's something to say other than packing and truck loading details.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

random life thread posting

I'm reading too many blogs from law students, so I'm currently enamored with the idea of following them and keeping a running log as I start law school. Knowing me, I'll lose interest as I stop thinking anyone cares what my life is like or what I have to say. But while I have the momentum I might as well go with it.

Today is Sunday. On Friday I load up the rented UHaul (a 17' truck - it has yet to be determined whether or not it will actually contain all of my belongings, but I expect it will be fine). On Saturday we (my dad is helping me move) drive from Baltimore up to my sister's in New Jersey. Then Sunday morning we get up early and drive around NYC to get to New Haven. The GOP convention is next week in New York, and we have to drive around the city the day before it starts, so traffic may be a pain. But we only have 150 miles or so to go, and we only need to get there by 1 pm, so it shouldn't be a problem.

Thursday of next week is registration and Friday is orientation, or vice-versa. Can't keep track of details like that from one minute to the next. And September 7th, two weeks from Tuesday, classes start. It seems so late compared to other schools - I've read posts of other people who have already gone through a week of classes. I'm happy to have the extended summer, though I expect when I'm studying for finals all through Christmas and New Years I'll wish the semester had started a little sooner.

I'm excited about the classes. It's so different from everything I've done in the last several years. I'm excited about the intellectual process of reading through long documents and digesting them into their relevant portions (the issue, rule, analysis, and conclusion). I think it's a little weird that I find this exciting, but, eh, I've always been weird. I'm also excited about the people. It will be really nice for me to be in a real group of people - I've felt isolated the last few years, despite having a reasonably active social life, just because I was always working on something that I couldn't discuss with anyone but my advisor, because they wouldn't understand or just wouldn't care. I am a little concerned about all the reading, because I'm not known for having a tremendous attention span, but I don't think it will be too bad.

Anyway, I've rambled enough. I'll post again in a week or so once I'm moved and my internet is on, to rant and/or rave about my apartment and the city.

Oh, and, props to the Ninth Circuit for the Grokster decision. Bravo. I wonder if the Supreme Court will hear the case. I think some of the statements by the Appeals court could be questioned (though I agree with their decision). But I won't say any more about it - go read Ernest Miller, who has summaries and links to about a billion other coverages.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

low posting for a while

I haven't posted much lately. I'm packing my belongings in preparation for my upcoming move to New Haven. Beyond that, though, I'm primarily a responsive blogger, and there hasn't been a tremendous amount to respond to.

I also am developing existential issues with my blogging, mostly concern that my contributions to the blogosphere are redundant; I deal with these things in every area of my life, and I'll get over them at some point, when I feel somewhat more experienced with and knowledgeable about my target area.

Until then, enjoy.

-- Chris

Monday, August 02, 2004

My response to Seth Finkelstein

Seth Finkelstein over at Infothought has written a post questioning the worth of Joe Schmoe blogger in the publishing world. First of all, it seems strange that a blogger would come out so strongly against blogging. He says that bloggers are not cyber-revolutionaries, but are a freak show. I agree that there are way too many people blogging in the world, but I think his comments are out of line. I left a comment on his site which I am repeating below. It's slightly disconnected, but it makes all the points I wanted to make, and to connect it properly would make it far too long.

I agree that there is no credible reason to read any individual blogger who's not affiliated with a large well-known organization. Having said that, there are individual bloggers who I read because I think they're worth reading. They have no wealth or influence; they have no position or power in society; they may not even have any intellectual merit. But a friend of mine reads them, or a separate blog post I was reading linked to them, so I decided to check out their site. Once in, I read what they wrote, found it (some nonempty subset of) entertaining, interesting, and enlightening, and decided it was worth further reading.

This is the ideal of publishing, I believe. Bloggers who have something to say, who can regularly come up with original, interesting material to post, will be followed, and their following will grow, regardless of their credentials or social connections. Sure, they may be spreading lies... but let's face it, for all we know so is Fox News. Sure they may be dumb... (repeat previous comment). But if we like reading their blog we will keep doing it and we will tell our friends.

Yes, there are far too many people blogging in the world. I'm one of them, even though I'm not any good at it. I think that someday I will be, so I am practicing for that eventual day. For the many, many other people who write meaningless blogs, they will eventually stop when they realize that nobody cares, or they won't, they'll keep writing, and it won't make a bit of difference. I don't have to read it, so I don't care how much of their life they pour into it.

I think they can be cyber-revolutionaries, because they post what they feel like posting, and they have no corporate agenda or filter to follow. The power of the social network to spread their message is still limited - but it's stronger than many people think, and it's still increasing. The world of mass publishing will never be the same now that blogging has entered the picture.

Update: I want to modify and apologize... Seth didn't come out "against blogging" as I originally said. A better description would be that he was dismissive of the power of bloggers. I stand by my response, I just wanted to correct the preamble to it posted here.