I teach a series of courses about technology law at UC Berkeley Law. As a Washington attorney, I got to see a lot of denialism in action and thus wrote the Denialists' Deck of Cards. The Deck illustrates how industry groups follow a standard game plan when arguing against consumer protection and other reform.

The Privacy Competition Myth

In his non-book-review of Garret Keizer’s new book, Privacy, “Reason” Magazine correspondent includes this ill-informed quip on privacy: With regard to modern commerce, Mr. Keizer grumps: “We would do well to ask if the capitalist economy and its obsessions with smart marketing and technological innovation cannot become as intrusive as any authoritarian state.” Actually, no.…

Hark! A New Trade Group is Born

BNA reports on the formation of the Internet Association, a new trade group that will represent Google, Facebook, eBay, and Amazon. The group introduces itself as, “the unified voice of the Internet economy, representing the interests of America’s leading Internet companies and their global community of users. The Internet Association is dedicated to advancing public…

When one spouts disinformation about disinformation, does it make it information? No, it’s L. Gordon Crovitz’s “Information Age,” the weekly poorly informed and poorly reasoned blather about information policy in the Wall Street Journal. Recall that Crovitz recently wrote about the invention of the Internet and online privacy. I wrote about these last two columns,…

Imagine a newspaper oped with half a dozen fallacies. Such a thing could appear in any newspaper in the US. But now imagine that the author is a Rhodes Scholar and you’re left with the Wall Street Journal’s L. Gordon Crovitz. For years I’ve followed the bizarre arguments of L. Gordon Crovitz, who has a…

As an educator, I realize that much of education is…well…a scam. And some scams are much bigger than others. We’ve all read about the graduates with six-figure debt loads from obscure colleges. But the for-profit college world operates on another level. Gawker has had excellent commentary on the issue, and has pointed out that the…

Rest in Peace, Thomas Kinkade

Thomas Kinkade, painter of pablum and our nation’s most collected living artist, died on Good Friday. Hmmmm.

In a matter of weeks, activists have been able to assassinate a popular product through a confluence of events: an official labeled it derogatorily as “pink slime,” social media buzz (or anti-buzz), and media attention against the background of Americans’ greater concern about processed foods. Could this happen to other products? Does it relate to…

Ron Paul & Clicktivism

The point raised by yesterday’s Times article on Ron Paul was that while Paul attracts big crowds, these crowds do not translate into voter turnout. Perhaps the problem is that Paul has appeal within his fervent base, but that base is unable to influence people outside the circle. If Paul can attract thousands to a…

Writing in today’s Times, Richard A. Oppel asks, “Whatever happened to Ron Paul?” Ron Paul has fans, in the traditional sense of the word–fanatics. They foam over this small and strange man, whose career in Congress has largely been ineffectual. Thousands go to his rallies, but as Oppel observes, “A Feb. 27 event at Michigan…

How’s this for a tinfoil hat conspiracy, brought to you by the American Life League– Planned Parenthood’s strategy in this great world is to: Phase one: Get kids addicted to sex. Phase two: profit! Through selling birth control, STD testing, and abortion.