Kristopher Nelson

Kristopher Nelson


22 comments posted · 4 followers · following 1

12 years ago @ in propria persona - Is it OK to Share my W... · 0 replies · +1 points

Well, I can't offer you legal advice, but the current Comcast AUP (as of Nov 2, 2011), reads like this:
You agree that the Services and the Comcast Equipment will be used only for personal, residential, non-commercial purposes, unless otherwise specifically authorized by us in writing. You will not use the Comcast Equipment at any time at an address other than the Premises without our prior written authorization. You agree and represent that you will not resell or permit another to resell the Services in whole or in part.

There is no mention of whether the person you are sharing with can or cannot get Comcast service.
And then says this:
c. Suspension and Termination by Comcast. Under the conditions listed below, Comcast reserves the right, subject to applicable law, to act immediately and without notice to terminate or suspend the Services and/or to remove from the Services any information transmitted by or to any authorized users (e.g., email or voicemail). Comcast may take these actions if it: (1) determines that your use of the Service does not conform with the requirements set forth in this Agreement ...

So, in my (not offering legal advice, no serving as your attorney) reading of the current AUP, Comcast could suspend or terminate your service if you share it with others. They make an especially strong point about reserving the right to "terminate or suspend the Services" if you are "reselling" (which is what you propose to do as part of offsetting your costs). I would make your decision in that light.

13 years ago @ in propria persona - You do not get an “A... · 0 replies · +1 points

Inasmuch as any property right derives from the effort of creation, then yes, effort is necessary.

But "progress" (interpreted by the courts as "creativity") is what the Constitution and American IP law focuses on, not effort. It simply doesn't matter how hard you work, it only matters how creative you are. Thus, putting huge energies into compiling phone book entries does not make that work copyrightable, because it isn't creative. On the flip side, two minutes of typing on a blog could easily generate copyrightable content, even though the amount of effort was negligible. Effort does not distinguish the copyrightable from the non-copyrightable, but creativity does.

Minimal effort is indeed a requirement (it takes effort even to breathe, after all), but it is a minimal requirement as compared to the creativity necessarily required for copyright.

13 years ago @ in propria persona - The archive and the state · 0 replies · +1 points

Yeah, true. I've never really bought into the objectivity argument anyway--sure, we're not 100% objective, but that doesn't really mean we can't say anything. Same with this--it does add to the complexity of being sure about the truth, but that doesn't mean we as historians (or people) shouldn't talk about what we've learned and think despite this.

But certainly thinking of the archive--not just the historian, and not just the sources--as adding complexities of subjectivity as well does make things more complicated! But also more interesting, I think.

13 years ago @ in propria persona - Measuring the impact o... · 0 replies · +1 points

Oops, typo! That should be 1895, not 1875. Fixed above. Thanks!

13 years ago @ in propria persona - Modern Islam and scien... · 1 reply · +1 points

You're right: there is a distinct lack of concreteness. I believe he thinks that infusing Islamic ethics and values into the scientific process will inevitably lead to differences--even if he's not entirely sure what those differences will be. Respect for the environment? No nuclear bombs? He mentions these things--but is that really different science, or just a different way to apply knowledge?

14 years ago @ AnAtheist.Net - The Straw Man that End... · 1 reply · +1 points

It endures because it's effective, I suppose. It also does a nice job of turning liberal democratic ideals ("How do you bring together people from all backgrounds around equal dignity and mutual loyalty?") into tools for conservative, fundamentalist religion. What monster wouldn't want to "bring together people from all backgrounds," after all? It invokes a feelings-based reaction, while any response involves reasoning and logic, which are much more complex to use and understand.

It's an approach that's been used very effectively by Republicans and the "Right" for years. It's often worked for them against pretty much everyone they oppose, so I guess it makes sense to deploy it against atheists, too.

14 years ago @ in propria persona - Court Says You Can Cop... · 0 replies · +1 points

Good points, Bill. I think I can say that I agree with your logic on this one!

14 years ago @ in propria persona - Historians need to sto... · 0 replies · +1 points

Ah, great question. The lawyer in me (of course) says he's both a model and a warning. Certainly he was engaged in social issues, and certainly he made history matter to people outside the academy. I would encourage all humanities scholars to look to him for a model in this sense.

On the other hand, his engagement was normative in a way that I think historians especially ought to be careful of. It became easy for some to simply dismiss him and his work as biased, and therefore untrustworthy, due to his explicit "left-wing" views.

While I have issues with the potential existence of a true neutrality or objective perspective, and prefer people explain up front where they are coming from, I do think that explicitly advancing an agenda through one's work as an historian is potentially problematic, although making judgments about history based on historical evidence is indeed what historians ought to do.

When I speak of "engagement" with contemporary society, I don't particularly mean in a normative or prescriptive fashion. Rather, I was thinking of connecting history and historical events with modern issues, to help illuminate how we got where we are, how others have dealt with similar situations in the past, and so on, with the goal of giving people more tools to make better decisions about contemporary problems.

14 years ago @ in propria persona - Professionalization an... · 0 replies · +1 points

Good points, Peter.

In law school, perhaps in contrast to other professional schools, there was a strong resistance to "too much" theory, and a bias for instructors who had practiced professionally for at least some amount of time. Strangely, though, this did not translate into a focus on practical and professional training -- teaching still stayed in the "theoretical" realm (i.e., mostly discussions of appellate court decisions, which is not where most lawyers are going to be spending their practical time) and very little on client issues, for example, or preparing motions, or drafting contracts, or similar pursuits.

In the humanities, in contrast, there is no pretense of connection to "practical" concerns. Or, rather, practical concerns are theoretical concerns, since being good at academic issues is what gets you hired! I'd love to see more connection between humanities education and business or other professional pursuits, but there isn't so much of that as yet, as far as I can tell.

14 years ago @ in propria persona - Truth vs. relativism i... · 0 replies · +1 points

Good point. The dispute is hardly new (either to me or the world), but it certainly generates a good deal of controversy nonetheless. So I appreciate it when participants in the debate take a different approach and get outside of the old debate a bit!