Why do Law Professors Write?

by Kieran Healy on May 29, 2005

Especially the ones with tenure. I mean, why bother? A variety of answers from “Paul Horwitz”:http://prawfsblawg.blogs.com/prawfsblawg/2005/05/why_i_write_no_.html, “Eric Muller”:http://www.isthatlegal.org/archive/2005/05/why_i_write.html, “Orin Kerr”:http://volokh.com/archives/archive_2005_05_22-2005_05_28.shtml#1116957530, “Michael Froomkin”:http://www.discourse.net/archives/2005/05/why_i_write_legal_scholarship.html and “Michael Madison”:http://madisonian.net/archives/2005/05/18/why-write/. I feel the question is missing a few words at the end. It should of course read “Why do Law Professors write 50,000 word articles?”

Non (provisoire)

by Chris Bertram on May 29, 2005

The exit polls say “that the French electorate have rejected the European Constitution”:http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4592243.stm , with 55% voting “no”.

The moth-eaten security blanket of nationalism

by Chris Bertram on May 29, 2005

As the French prepare to vote “non”, my friend Glyn Morgan has “a piece in the Independent about the constitution”:http://comment.independent.co.uk/commentators/story.jsp?story=642292 , the conservative nationalism of its opponents on both left and right, and the importance of enlargement. Unfortunately, he argues, faced with problems of demographic transition, immigration, international competition from India and China, and the unilateralism of the only global superpower, much of the left would prefer not to face facts:

bq. Befuddled by these challenges, many Europeans, particularly in France, have slipped their moorings from reality. Both the Eurosceptic left and the Eurosceptic right have reached for the security blanket – moth-holed and threadbare, though it is – of nationalism. The Eurosceptic left’s embrace of nationalism is particularly insidious, because it hides behind the language of social justice. Time was when the European left was outward-looking, internationalist, and concerned with the least well-off, no matter where they lived. In Europe today, the least well-off are to be found primarily in central and eastern Europe. European enlargement, one of the greatest achievements of post-war Europe, offers these victims of history a life-line into the modern democratic world. That’s the reason for admitting Turkey.

Regexps Rule

by Kieran Healy on May 29, 2005

Regular readers will “know”:https://crookedtimber.org/2005/04/27/fetishizing-the-text/ that my list of “indispensable applications”:https://crookedtimber.org/2004/12/11/indispensible-applications/ includes the “Emacs”:http://www.google.com/url?sa=U&start=1&q=http://www.gnu.org/software/emacs/emacs.html&e=9707 text editor, the “TeX/LaTeX”:http://latex.yauh.de/index_en.html typesetting system,and a whole “array”:http://www.google.com/url?sa=U&start=1&q=http://www.gnu.org/software/auctex/&e=9707 of “ancillary”:http://www.google.com/url?sa=U&start=1&q=http://www.astro.uva.nl/~dominik/Tools/reftex/&e=9707 “utilities”:http://www.berger-on.net/jurabib/ that make the two play nice together. The goal is to produce “beautiful”:http://www.google.com/url?sa=U&start=1&q=http://www.tug.org/texshowcase/&e=9707 and “maintainable”:http://ricardo.ecn.wfu.edu/~cottrell/wp.html documents. Also it gives Dan further opportunity to defend “Microsoft Office”:https://crookedtimber.org/2004/12/11/indispensible-applications/#comment-53902. I am happy to admit that a love of getting the text to come out just so can lead to long-run irrationalities. The more complex the underlying document gets, the harder it is to convert it to some other format. And we all know “which format”:http://www.google.com/url?sa=U&start=1&q=http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/default.aspx&e=9707 we mean.

Well, yesterday morning the long run arrived: I finished the revisions to my book manuscript and it was now ready to send to the publisher for copyediting. Except for one thing. The University of Chicago Press is not interested in parsing complex LaTeX files. They are “quite clear”:http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/emsguide.html about what they want, and it isn’t unreasonable. I had a horrible vision of spending weeks manually futzing with a book’s worth of formatted text. But thanks largely to the awesome power of “regular expressions”:http://sitescooper.org/tao_regexps.html, or regexps, and the availability of free tools that implement them, the whole thing was pretty painless.
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