Sunday, December 04, 2016

Lessons from being hacked.

  1. Criminals are smarter than I am.
  2. Criminals are more dedicated to their jobs than I am--and I'm pretty darn dedicated.
  3. Computers can be used for E-VIL as well as for good.
  4. I have very smart, computer-savvy friends.
  5. People who have been hacked temporarily lose their senses of humor.
  6. People who have been hacked stay stressed for quite a while.

Monday, November 28, 2016

I love the First Amendment (and I can still deplore hateful speech).

Of course I'm angered and saddened about the increase in hateful speech across campuses (see today's latest story here).  I don't respect the people who say such awful things.  But I respect their right to say them.  Such speech reveals their darkest instincts, and acts as an early warning sign for me ("don't get too close to this person").

Someone asked me last week if I was going to interfere with hate speech.  I don't think it's appropriate to do so.  We could act on hateful actions that threaten other people's safety.  (Don't forget, though, that some actions are protected speech.)  We can act on actions that are against the law.  But sunlight is still the best disinfectant to reveal those people whose internal thought processes demonize others in an apparent, and probably unsuccessful, attempt to improve their own self-image issues.  And I refuse to demonize those whose political views are different from mine.

I'm getting a bit tired of being told that I have no idea what it's like to be yelled at, cursed, spit on, etc.  I actually do know quite a lot about what that's like.  I grew up in deep East Texas as a Jew.  I got hit, shoved, spit on, yelled at, cursed....  So I know that such actions are horrible to experience and very, very frightening.  But I love the First Amendment (and the rest of the Bill of Rights) so much that I don't want to see it curtailed.  I am a card-carrying member of the ACLU.  I can recite parts of this speech almost from memory.  And I believe that we can provide succor to those who are hurt and frightened without sacrificing our Constitutional rights--especially the right to say stupid things.


Friday, November 11, 2016

Why I am frustrated with B of A.

In October, a B of A ATM ate a check that I was depositing.  I called Customer Service, and B of A  gave me a credit for the check while it was investigating what had happened.  (That was the last good part of this story.)  The representative explained that the bank would crack open the ATM, retrieve my check, and take care of the deposit.

That was in late October.

It is now November 11.  The claim is still "pending."  B of A's social media people have left me two messages.  I've left them two messages.  They won't email me because it's "not allowed."  They won't send me an email on B of A's own website because, well, they don't have a good explanation for that.

B of A, do you not service your ATMs regularly?  Do you not service them after a customer says that your ATM ate her check?  Do you not want to fix this problem?

Is it time for me to complain beyond B of A itself?

Friday, November 04, 2016

About closing more law schools....

Yesterday, TaxProf Blog posted a story about the closing of Indiana Tech and raised the question of whether other law schools might close as well.  I think more will, and I said so in 2012, in Changing the Modal Law School: RethinkingU.S. Legal Education in (Most) Schools, 116 Penn St. L. Rev. 1119 (2012):

The world doesn’t need as many ABA-accredited law schools as it has already, just as the world has figured out that it doesn’t need as many U.S.-based BigLaw firms as it once did, and I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if some law schools closed over the next decade or so.

Id. at 1150.  For more about what in legal education needs to change, see, e.g., Rethinking U.S. Legal Education: No More .“Same Old, Same Old,” 45 Conn. L. Rev. 1409 (2013).

Monday, September 19, 2016

Lucy Kellaway is correct.

In today's Financial Times piece:

If one employee offends against a bank’s vision and values, it is [his or her] fault. If 5,300 do, it is the bank’s. Wells Fargo has proved that its culture is a hopeless safeguard to anything. The people who have really transgressed are not the rank and file, but the top managers who set up the wrong incentives and who looked the other way as customers were stitched up.
It really IS about the incentives.