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Still More Ends and Odds

Among the things I cherish about print as a communication medium, irrevocability ranks very high indeed. I love that, because it keeps me honest. The habits I acquired as a writer publishing in print media have carried over to my writing online. So I want to assure my readers that whatever they read with my byline on it, in any medium, going all the way back to 1964 — I wrote and published that. That was me, at least at that time. I own it, warts and all. [...]

Dog Day Afternoons: Bits & Pieces (6)

Why shouldn’t the concept of authorship extend beyond the anthropocentric? Why can’t a monkey own the rights to his own selfie? Does the distinction between human and non-human production apply only to the animal kingdom, or does it extend to any method of generating images that does not involve direct human agency? What about images made by devices endowed with artificial intelligence? [...]

Cabin Fever 2014: Bits & Pieces (1)

For years I’ve told people that those of my cohort don’t have memory problems or “senior moments” ― our models just come with smaller hard drives and less RAM. Seems some new evidence supports that proposition. [...]

Lt. John Pike Goes Viral (13)

We know that the police used MK-9 ― because the citizen-journalism stills and videos of the events of November 18, 2011 at UC Davis document it. But how did these cops get their hands on military-grade pepper spray that they were not authorized to carry or trained to use, and that their department had no authority to purchase or supply to its officers? [...]

Lt. John Pike Goes Viral (12)

Were it not for all that still and video documentation, in the late afternoon of November 18, 2011 we’d have found ourselves in a protesters’-word-vs.-police-officers’-word situation, with the cops’ version most likely prevailing in the absence of hard evidence to the contrary. And, since the protesters would probably not have the ability to differentiate between MK-4 and MK-9, Pike and his “troops,” as he liked to militarize them semantically, would only have had to rustle up a few cans of authorized MK-4 while hiding the MK-9 in order to appear to have followed the rules. I doubt that it would have lasted more than two news cycles. [...]