Legal Fictions: The End of Lawyers?

legal padIn a recent podcast of the Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy,  Karl Schroeder opines that technology will replace lawyers.

Not only will this happen in the far future world he envisions in his novel Lockstep, but “we’re headed there in about six months in terms of contract law,” Schroeder says. He bases this in part on the platform and programming language ethereum , which is similar to the programming that underlies bitcoin.

According to Schroeder, contracts created under this technology will be “smart contracts.” They will live in the Internet and not be controlled by any central authority. The contract will follow the rules to the letter, making it impossible to cheat.

It’s a lovely idea, but I don’t think it’s going to work.

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The Moon and the Sun on French TV1

Bust of Louis XIV contemplating technologyFrench TV1 reported on the movie production of BVC founding member Vonda N. McIntyre’s The Moon and the Sun. Pierce Brosnan speaks about his role as Louis XIV, the Sun King. Kaya Scodelario (Marie-Josèphe) is entranced by working at Versailles, where the production received unprecedented access to the chateau. The production filmed scenes in the gardens, in the Hall of Mirrors, and in the Chapel.

To see the French TV1 segment, click here.

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WWW Wednesday 4-16-2014

WWW Wednesday. This meme is from shouldbereading.

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

• What are you currently reading?

I just finished rereading Bunker Bean and plan to reread Ruggles of Red Gap, both by Harry Leon Wilson, and I’m reading Tish by Mary Roberts Rhinehart. To my shock I have realized that these books are literally one hundred years old. My copies are first editions.

This forces me to recognize that I am, in spite of a certain raunchy rowdiness when the moon is full, one of those old farts who read hundred year old novels and relish their grace, their command of English, and their depiction of a slower and more mannered time than our own.

Old fart.  Holy crap, Jennifer. Continue reading

Posted in Books and Reading, Humor, Writing life | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Ozzie and Harriet: the dark side

ballNchain1No one sufficiently considers the barriers to love between ordinary married persons. I came to this conclusion after watching several romantic movies in a row. The truism we use to foist parenthood on young and unprepared millions claims that they owe it to themselves to possess another human being, and this is the only way to acquire one. It has as its corollary a blind trust in love. Love, the universal solvent, makes a jelly out of all things. Bah.

I don’t care for the problems of young lovers. Half of it’s a fever anyway. And they sleep through so much, wedded more properly speaking to their opinions than to a person. To hell with the young.

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New Story: “Codename: Delphi”

Lightspeed #47 April 2014My newest story is now available to read online at Lightspeed Magazine.

“Codename: Delphi” is near-future science fiction. It’s set in the story world of my Nebula-nominated novel, The Red: First Light — although it takes a look at things from a different perspective — that of a soldier’s handler, instead of the soldier in the field.

As a novelist who is constantly battling to keep word counts reasonable, this story is a triumph for me because it really is a SHORT story — it’s only 4,100 words — even though there is a lot going on.

“Codename Delphi” is illustrated by Hugo-award winning artist Galen Dara. And for those of you who enjoy podcasts, there is also an audio version.

I hope you’ll check it out. And if you want more from this story world, please take a look at The Red: First Light, available from Book View Café.

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Catching Hell, or: Knowing I’d Arrived

I’ve written earlier about how I came to love baseball (after coming to love my husband, who loves baseball.)  Despite learning the rules of the game and following the win-loss records of various teams, though, I wasn’t a true baseball fan until I had a favorite player.

My first favorite player (and yes, there are many — these guys retire, after all, and a trufan should always have a favorite active player) was Jason Varitek.  He played for the Boston Red Sox (the team most often watched in our house, in those pre-Washington-Nationals days…)  He was a strong switch-hitter, able to bat from either side of the plate, depending on whether the pitcher he faced was left- or right-handed.  He was captain of his team, a leader of men.  And he was a catcher.

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Bad Attention


When you’re a kid, and later, if and when you’re a parent, you sometimes hear the term “bad attention.” As in, “We know you like attention, Lochinvar, but setting Mary Lou’s braids on fire will only get you bad attention.

Bad attention: the sort of attention that goes down in your permanent record, that possibly keeps you out of a job or the college of your choice, the sort of attention that maybe comes with media attention and perhaps a lengthy jail sentence. Continue reading

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Calculated (and Uncalculated) Risk

mecamilla_bvcOne of the stronger recent shocks to the horse community came when what had been viewed as a nuisance case in Connecticut was judged, not just once but again on appeal, against the horse owner and in favor of the plaintiff who wanted horses declared “inherently vicious.”

From the horse world’s perspective, here was a small child provoking a horse into biting it, and getting what he deserved (and the view on the parents is about what you would expect, as well). But from the outside, and from the law’s perspective, here is a large, dangerous animal that can and will harm a human if not properly restrained. Continue reading

Posted in Animals, Culture, horses | Tagged , | 15 Comments

Where Do You Get Your Ideas?

We have often discussed on this blog where writers get their ideas. I am reviving the old thread, because this dynamite resource is becoming available!  Have a look at this!!

In which, as a result of the need for computerized medical records, they’re about doubling the number of codes in the ICD-10, better known as the Tenth Edition of the International Classification of Diseases. You now have a numerical designation for all kinds of things: squirrel injuries! Being bitten by an orca! Falling out of a stationary wheelchair! And there are subcodes for whether it’s a first visit to treat the problem, or a secondary visit. Also whether it was on the left or the right side!

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Report from the set of THE MOON AND THE SUN

The Moon and the Sun by Vonda N. McIntyreKeely Brosnan has posted her photos from the set of The Moon and the Sun at Pierce Brosnan’s Instagram page. The movie is filming in Melbourne, Australia, and at Versailles, France, at the chateau de Versailles.

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