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Irregular Update #11
still on hiatus
Hello Friends in the Computer,
I’m still on technically on hiatus, by which I mean I’m not putting any pressure on myself to do anything in my public facing things. Theoretically I am working on some things I have cooking in the background but in practice have been just gardening and apparently doing this.
<extreme Stephen Smith voice> BUT!
I just got back from vacation and wanted to
clear out some saved things share some cool stuff.
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I Can Write Like a
Boring Professional Adult Sometimes
An article I wrote for Legal Business World was circulated recently. I thought it was already published but maybe not? It’s about the stuff I always write about and it’s hilarious to me that, when asked to contribute, I somehow thought I WASN’T going to write about open tools and content? All of those years of therapy and I still don’t know myself.
Some people liked this quote:
Aside from the fact that open content and technology allows for more creative solutions to existing problems and can assist in access to justice, the legal world needs to stop ceding control of the tools it needs to perform to commercial entities.
As an aside, I started a my public facing professional/thought leader career as a consumer advocate, by which I mean talking a lot of shit online about WEXIS. I still consider myself one, but now I try to work with both sides - vendors and consumers - and open lines of communication so that expectations are managed better. (I always like to steal Greg Lambert’s line “most problems are communication problems.”) Anyway, I think it’s funny how things have changed yet…not.
On my drive back to Indiana yesterday, I was thinking a lot about this issue that I allude to here:
That is terrible for legal innovation, Access to Justice, and all the practitioners who don’t think they need to worry about those first two.
I don’t know why legal professionals think they don’t have to care about Access to Justice. Especially those that are members of a bar. When I took my oath, I swore before God, universe, my parents, and the Ohio Supreme Court to uphold and defend the constitution. I’m just a simple country lawyer, but to me that means ensuring that everyone has equal protection of the law.
Unfortunately, almost everything in the way the legal system operates ensures the opposite of that. So do what you need to do in your daily life to pay the bills, but if you’re gonna be in legal, you better also do something to help fix this messed up system. If you just wanted to make money and help rich people get richer, you should have gotten an MBA and not a JD. I said what I said.
I don’t know why I made this….
…but it’s been in my head for years. It cracks me up, but also I live in Indiana.
If I ever replace the picture of the bookstore in the Blitz that is the header on all of my internet properties, I’m gonna replace it with this.
Speaking of Art…
I discovered this artist on Instagram - Andrea Nelson - and she is a delight. If you have kids that you are trying to peel away from passive entertainment choices this summer, or are an adult that likes to have creative outlets, she has a series of fun projects to try.
This is the original post that made me subscribe. So good.
Improve Your Air Quality
I was horrified to see the pictures of NYC filled with wildfire smoke last week. (Northwest Indiana isn’t yellow today, but still super hazy.) Between air-borne diseases, climate change fueled disasters, and god knows what else will happen tomorrow, air quality is at the top of my mind. Fortunately, making a decent indoor air filter is not terribly hard.
If I had to work in an office or school again, I’d have one of these in my vicinity whenever possible. Building these for older or infirm neighbors would be a great service project for an organization too.
The Founders of Search
Sometimes I feel like another of my main professional purposes (aside from being a massive pain in the ass about access to justice and open tools and content) is reminding people in my legal professional spheres that (a) librarians exist and (b) they can probably help solve the problem you have, and not in the way you’d expect, especially if you think librarians are custodians of book warehouses and nothing more.
(Those are archivists - KIDDING!)
Anyway, check out this article about how librarians designed computer search tools.
I love love LOVE the heavily outlined styled of art that is common among indigenous artists in the northern part of North America. I also love mashups and incongruous pairings, so this image made me happy.
As someone who grew up in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, I thought this was pretty cool. And…it explained some things. A lot of weird shit goes down there, is what I’m trying to say.
Okay, I think that cleared out a backlog. Back to ignoring my to-do list.
p.s. Happy Anniversary, Casetext! The past ten years have been…a lot…so ten years seems both impossibly short and yet forever ago. They’re such a cool company and I’ve been a fan for a long time - they’ve mostly been a “speak softly and carry a big stick” sort of company so it’s been fun to see them get so much attention and be recognized as the leaders they are lately.
(I sound like a LegalTech hipster gatekeeping fandoms - “if you’re such a fan of Casetext, name their first three product launches!”)