Archive for April, 2009

Where the elite meet to tweet

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

So I created a Twitter account not long ago. I wasn’t exactly jumping on the bandwagon, more like walking alongside for a bit to see what it was all about.

And I don’t get it. It just never occurs to me to let people know what I’m up to every minute, probably because I can’t imagine they’re interested. On the other hand, I do have four “followers” who apparently must be very lonely shut-ins.

As an aside, “follower” sounds so nice and benign, much friendlier than the old term “cyber-stalker.” I’d be careful using the new terminology before the wider world catches up:

“But Your Honor, I was just following her Twitter…”
“Don’t use that foul language in my courtroom!”

Anyway, I don’t get the whole thing. I’m not sure about the norms and conventions, I don’t “think in tweets” the way I “think in blog” sometimes when I’m working on a longer blog post, I’m just not sure what to do with it or what I should be getting out of it. And of course, like I said, I don’t even care what I’m up to most of the time. I guess I’m still curious/skeptical about whole phenomenon.

I’m not criticizing it as a medium; clearly, a lot of people get a lot out of it, and I’d welcome input from any enthusiasts. I think I just tend to be late-adopting or not-at-all-adopting about these kinds of things. I don’t do Facebook, for example, much to the chagrin of several college friends of mine (including new Facebook devotee Sebastian). So I won’t feel bad if you don’t sign right up to follow my Twitter updates, if you promise not to feel bad if I never post any.

…he said

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

I’ve been listening to a couple of audio books lately. Does anyone else, after listening to one for a while, find yourself thinking in audio book? Narrating one’s own life? Kind of like this:

I’m so awesome it’s pretty hard for me to annoy myself, but this eventually does it.

Legislating Prosecutorial Discretion

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

Prof. Berman links to a story about a legislative initiative in Vermont that would exclude teens who send explicit pictures of themselves over their cell phones (“sexting”) from the child porn laws. Interestingly, prosecutors support the measure. But why is that necessary? If prosecutors don’t think a teenager should be charged for this kind of thing…don’t charge her! There’s no law forcing the prosecutors to bring charges, after all.

I think the real reason prosecutors are on board with this bill is that, while it removes their charging discretion in some instances, it also removes the pressure. They don’t get vilified in the press for witch-hunting some freshman onto the sex offender list. But they seem eager to abdicate the mantle of their offices in exchange for avoiding a few messy cases.

My prediction is that if the bill passes, it won’t be long before some odd case — like sexting-for-cash or coerced sexting — creates a groundswell of fury to sweep teens back within the ambit of the law. Regardless of the wisdom of either course, it would be a lot simpler all the way around if prosecutors were willing to exercise a little judgment.

Under new management

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

Hola, the three readers Milbarge and I have in common. To everyone else, aloha.

As you may have noticed, there’s been a precipitous drop in postage here at BTQ. I’m not really sure where everyone else went (Fitz-Hume, the Ace Tomato dude, Nataliya…probably some other people too), so I figured I would pick up the pace. At first, I offered to do the occasional law-related post and leave my own blog for cat blogging, but Milbarge offered me BTQ outright. !!! My very own BTQ?! Holy guano!

I hemmed and hawed over it for a while. I felt kind of bad riding BTQ’s coattails (I assume their readership is like, 5,000 times more than mine), but Milbarge, ever the gentleman, told me to run with it. He even said he’d keep paying for the domain name. Sweet! Pretty much my only restriction is not to turn this into a total cat blog. Can do.

He’s still welcome to put in the occasional post (in other words, as much as he’s been doing lately) but from this point forward, I’m going to be McCharles in Charge.

Expect big things.

UPDATE from Milbarge: For more information, go here. Thanks, McPan!