Tonight, philosopher Dr. Diana Hsieh will interview me about "Gay Marriage and Spousal Privilege" on her live internet radio show, Philosophy in Action. This is the subject on which I wrote an unpublished Law Review comment many moons ago. It wasn't a particularly relevant topic back then, but a recent Supreme Court decision striking down §3 of the Defense of Marriage Act makes it vastly more likely that theread more
Our first production assignment in film school was to film and edit together a silent short, then give it a soundtrack that completely altered the emotional response of the viewer. It was a demonstration of the equally-matched emotional power of picture and sound. It was a challenging exercise.
Today, I present you with two videos, both of which use nearly the same soundtrack, but with different pictures. This inverts the exercise. Watch them both, thenread more
I talk about gay marriage a lot because I believe that it has interesting features and consequences beyond those commonly subject to discussion. For example, in my Law Review article, "Same-Sex Marriage and the Federal Spousal Privileges," I argue that variations in state laws dealing with gay marriage create a situation where federal courts may be faced with a novel choice-of-law question: To which state's laws should a federal criminal court look to determine theread more
Gus Van Horn mentions the difficulty of arguing against the government's use of behavior-modifying techniques in mixed-government contexts:
Unfortunately, everyone is so used to the government owning the roads ... that few so much as bat an eye when they hear of the government looking for ways to psychologically manipulate people into doing its bidding. Indeed, in this limited context, it is hard to argue productively against the government taking advantage of such knowledge about humanread more
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In the course of going about living his life, a man notices that he has a disproportionate preference for redheads as romantic interests. Not being a lazy man, he engages in some lengthy introspection and arrives at the following accurate conclusions:
- His preference for redheads makes him more likely to investigate the possibility of romance with redheads than with non-redheads.
- Red hair is not a factor bearing any weight on his
Flibbert blogs about the possibility of people in the future marrying robots. I had some thoughts on the topic that were far too long to post in his comments. Here they are.
I agree that only things with rights can enter contracts. Marriage, being a constellation of legal relationships akin to a contract, is only properly available to things with rights. One could not marry one's toaster. One's toaster is not a conditional, volitional consciousness.read more
I was going to comment on a recent editorial (Kay S. Hymowitz, Freedom Fetishists, Comment. Sept. 2007, at 50, available at http://www.commentarymagazine.com/cm/main/viewArticle.html ?id=10925) that paints Ayn Rand and her philosophy of Objectivism in an unpleasant color and with a crude brush. I spent several hours mulling over what I wanted to say about it. But in the end, I decided I really had very little to sayread more
It occurs to me that the last post was really long. Sorry. Here's some more on the consequences of Positivism.
Constitution. From constituere, to fix or establish. The U.S. Constitution was written as an establishing document. It "fixed" the powers of government. If you read the main body, it presents a list of what the government, be it the Executive, Congress, or the Judiciary, may do. In those places where it prohibits the governmentread more
As you already know, having thoroughly read and understood the About and Policies pages, I am a law student. I attend a public law school in a key Midwestern swing state. This information is specific enough to narrow the field to a handful of schools, but not so specific that my professors or fellow students might discover my identity. Such a discovery would likely result in an unpleasant situation, as I fully intend to engageread more