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Comment: Re:Liberal Arts Teach Rhetoric not Critical Thinki (Score 2) 391

by AthanasiusKircher (#47920969) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Any Place For Liberal Arts Degrees In Tech?

Most liberal arts courses are driven by writing essays where you defend a thesis. The actual validity of your thesis didn't matter so long as you are able to find several points to defend it.

Then you had poor teachers, unless you were taking only courses in the art of persuasive writing (or, as you call it, rhetoric). If your other professors let you get away with this, then shame on them.

As someone who has taught university courses (and who has discussed pedagogy and writing with a lot of faculty in both sciences and humanities), I do see the value in constructing a thesis with supporting evidence as a first step to writing an expository essay. But at some level you do need to question the validity of the argument and the significance of the evidence -- if your professors never required this level of rigor, they did you a disservice.

On the other hand, as someone who has read thousands of student essays over the years, let me also say that faculty are often overwhelmed with simply trying to get students to put together some semblance of a logical chain of an argument in the first place, let alone requiring the rigor you're talking about. That's not to excuse what you describe, but a significant percentage of university-level students have such poor writing skills now that they can get nowhere near the standard you suggest. And professors are often just happy to have a kid submit something that "sounds like an argument," even if it isn't fully rigorous, because it's better than much of the crap that has to be read and graded.

What I commonly saw was students starting with a conclusion and working backwards to find evidence which best fit the chosen thesis. [snip] In a science course this would be called cherry picking the data, in liberal arts, it's called another day.

Well, it's also called "confirmation bias," which is problem both in scientific experimental design and in humanities arguments. Part of the problem is that humanities issues are often not quantifiable in the same way that science ones are, and even if you try to quantify them, you end up with so many interacting variables that statistical analysis can be pretty meaningless. So, in some ways it's related to the fundamental nature of the content of the field -- which still doesn't excuse poor reasoning.

My science course work on the other hand is where critical thinking was encouraged.

Okay, let's see what that entailed....

I was taught how to write logical proofs, I was taught how to represent both everyday situations, and also computational operations in the form of atomic sentences.

That sounds like a course in "formal logic," which is often taught in philosophy departments, not science courses. And as for "represent... everyday situations," I have met many, many science undergraduates who have very little perspective on applying their methods to "real-world problems," unfortunately.

I was taught the dangers of conflating correlation with causation, I was taught the dangers of Type I and Type II errors.

This is basic statistics, which should be a required course for everyone, no matter what major. (Frankly, I think it should be required to graduate high school.)

I was taught about common logical fallacies.

This is traditionally the purview of a rhetoric course in English or the logic courses in the philosophy department, though given your background in Cognitive Systems, I assume you might learn about this in the course of various cognitive biases.

I was taught how to evaluate information critically, I was taught the importance of internal consistency, I was taught how critically examine evidence.

Now we're finally getting to "critical thinking," and this should be important in any rigorous college course, regardless of discipline.

The problem is that those last skills you mention are often much more difficult to apply to real-world scenarios than the earlier "critical thinking" skills you discuss. Formal logic, statistics, etc. are great tools, but the real world is pretty messy. I've met a lot of science majors who simply would have no idea how to approach a vague problem that couldn't be quantified or expressed symbolically -- like "humanistic" problems of ethics or abstract value, etc. Those issues come up in the real world, and the critical thinking required to deal rigorously with them is hard to pull out of raw stats or formal logic.

I'm NOT saying that humanities are the only approach, and I recognize that many humanities courses are badly taught -- resulting in ignorant humanities grads today with bad critical thinking skills. But the problem is not the disciplines themselves, but the rigor we require in those courses. It sounds like your humanities courses did not require that sort of effort, which is unfortunate... but it doesn't mean the whole set of liberal arts disciplines are fundamentally flawed.

Comment: Re:Ya, but... (Score 2) 391

by AthanasiusKircher (#47920617) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Any Place For Liberal Arts Degrees In Tech?

If an English Lit grad has decent programming skills, I would be very confused why the person would get the degree in English Lit in the first place???

Why does anyone get an English Lit degree? (I know some other people here might ask that question seriously.) Other than those who go on to grad school and then become professors of English literature, or maybe high school teachers, why would anyone major in English Lit? (And even if you wanted to become a high school teacher, do you really need a full-blown degree in English Lit? It's not like you're going to be debating the complex structure of Joyce's Ulysses or doing a radical post-structuralist reading of the colonialist implications of Melville's obscure poetic works with your average high-school class. You're going to be teaching them to write in complete sentences and maybe reading a novel or two if you're lucky.)

So why DO people major in English Lit? Maybe because some of them still believe in the classical idea of "liberal arts" as a gateway to the "critical thinking" skills you call a "buzzword." Sorry, but "critical thinking" is NOT a buzzword if you look at older -- often more rigorous -- liberal arts curricula. Those were the kind of systems where you worked your way through the original geometric proofs of Euclid, various scientific essays up to at least the 19th century, as well as reading novels and interpreting poems. The point was that you were exposed to a LOT of different areas of thinking, and by trying to understand, confront, and analyze these disparate ideas, you'd develop "critical thinking" skills that could be broadly applied to many areas.

Until the past few decades, it was quite common for English Lit., History majors, etc. to make up a large part of the business workforce, partly because of exposure to a lot of disparate ideas in college. Now, everybody just gets generic "business degrees," and many English Lit. departments have partly transitioned into pop culture sociology departments (though certainly not all).

Or even the person can do programming, I would not want to maintain the code the person wrote because the code may not be well formed.

That's why I'd never hire somebody unless I could look at examples of what they'd actually done. A degree tells me next to nothing, by itself. But I see no inherent reason why an intelligent, motivated, and organized English Lit. major who worked as a programmer for a number of years couldn't pick up quite a bit of high-level coding skills, whereas some code monkey with a CS degree from nowhere might just be at the "top of his game" when he graduates and never go further from there.

Context is everything. People make various life choices. I see no reason to care why a person made the choice of an English Lit. degree unless that person is relatively fresh out of college. After a couple years, I care about what they've been doing lately, and how good is their work now. Have they shown significant growth and adaptability? I've also met way too many people with a degree in X who took advanced courses in X, but basically forgot everything from those courses within a few years because they never really had to use that material. Hiring them 10 years after degree expecting them to be able to do high-level work based on 10-year-old coursework is insane.

Comment: Re:Let's see your portfolio. (Score 2) 391

by AthanasiusKircher (#47920315) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Any Place For Liberal Arts Degrees In Tech?

While I'd tend toward Computer Science (since that is what my degree is in) I'd FIRST want to see what they've done already.

Exactly. I've met plenty of people with degrees in X who have little practical experience when they're fresh out of school. They may have some sort of vague theoretical sense of the field, but even that can be very nebulous, since real understanding without doing is rather difficult.

It's not that you cannot get a programming job with a Lit degree. It is that the other candidates will probably have more DEMONSTRATED skills in the programming field.

THIS. Especially if you're more than 5 years out of school, I'd barely give a crap what your major was unless you've actually been working in that area.

That's one of a number of things I'd add to the college major:

(1) How long since degree?
(2) What experience since degree?
(3) Is degree from a known school with unusual demographics?
(4) How did student perform in degree?

For an extreme case, I'd be much more likely to hire a guy with a English Lit. degree from MIT (yes, they do have them) who had a perfect GPA and has done serious high-level work in programming since graduation, than a guy fresh out of school with a C-average in CS from Upper Bucksnort State Teachers College of Nowhere.

And, by the way, I'm NOT saying one should automatically look for MIT or Ivy League or whatever degrees over others, but those schools do have a targeted demographic for admissions that tends to consist of very talented people to begin with. If they did well there, regardless of major, it's something to perhaps pay attention to. (On the other hand, if I'm looking at someone with an A average from Duke vs. C average from an Ivy, probably go with the Duke guy.) Also, tech-heavy schools tend to have more rigorous math/science requirements for all students, so even a person with a Lit or History degree from such schools may have a stronger tech background than a tech major, say, from a much lower-ranked liberal arts school or something.

To me, a college degree is mostly a certificate saying, "I can follow instructions and am responsible enough to pass courses." Beyond that, the details matter a lot more than the major. A smart, motivated person can figure out how to do things on the job. A guy with a CS degree who barely scaped by at a crappy school may have already hit his cognitive limit and may be a terrible hire.

This is one of the reasons why applicant screening should never be based on some stupid credential that isn't equal everywhere. With experienced hires who both have real work experience but one has a degree in another field, I'm often actually more intrigued -- all other things being equal -- by the guy with the weird degree who switched into the field and was successful, because that guy has shown competence in multiple areas and adaptability. Not saying I'd hire on this basis, but if I wanted someone who could actually think and be useful in a variety of ways in a job, I might give that resume a second look.

Comment: Re:A solution in search of a problem... (Score 1) 326

Incorrect. (3) is 100% unaffected by speed, as many already know.

False.

It is a factor of shitty drivers braking for no reason, causing motorists behind them to brake for no reason in a chain reaction. I only apply my brakes on the highway if I actually need to decelerate; 99% of the time someone in front of me is braking, I can just let off the accelerator and decelerate to their speed (because I never follow very closely)

The last clause of your sentence there is critical. Notice in my post I mentioned for the SAME TRAFFIC DENSITY. People in general follow too closely. Therefore, if they are all going at 65 mph and someone has to brake, a chain reaction will follow.

But, in the same traffic density (i.e., the same spacing of cars), the same cars driving 45 mph might have adequate time to maneuver without heavy braking.

You're correct that the problem is following distance, and if we could get everyone to maintain that, you could all drive at 90 mph. But that's simply not feasible at rush hour in many places, because too many cars keep joining the traffic, and people don't adequately expand the following distance to compensate.

So, if there's going to be a high traffic density no matter what, the only efficient way to solve the problem is to lower the average travelling speed. That's something that could at least be enforceable. Trying to enforce adequate following distance (except for really egregious behavior) would be nearly impossible.

Comment: Re:Lucky them (Score 1) 156

by AthanasiusKircher (#47917025) Attached to: Court Rules the "Google" Trademark Isn't Generic

Actually, when people say googling, they really do mean "look it up using Google." They don't mean "look it up using DuckDuckGo"

No, they mean "look it up using an internet search engine." I've seen plenty of more clueless folks who just happen to have Yahoo or Bing or whatever as their default search page that opens in their browser, and they still use the word "google," rather than a cumbersome phrase like "use an internet search engine to find..."

or "look it up using Yelp" or "look it up using Ask.com" or "look it up using Wolfram Alpha."

You're right, they don't mean those things, because those are specialized search, not a generic web search, which is what "googling" means.

When Google no longer dominates generic web search (as opposed to specialized internet search like Yelp) and there are other comparable players, only then would there be a case for genericization.

There are other "comparable players," at least ones that work well enough for many people, like Bing and Yahoo. Look up the stats -- Google may have the majority of searches, but it's only something like 2/3 of general internet searches. The other 1/3 is done on other search engines.

So, 1/3 of people are somehow managing to do general internet searching without Google. And many of them still use the word "googling" rather than "perform a general internet search" for what they are doing.

Comment: Re:Footnote mania (Score 1) 155

by AthanasiusKircher (#47916971) Attached to: Court: Car Dealers Can't Stop Tesla From Selling In Massachusetts

19 footnotes for a 24 page opinion, including one so long that spills over from one page onto the next.

You obviously haven't read many legal opinions. Such footnote practice is commonplace.

Ouch! Detracts from what is otherwise a great read

Uh, you do realize that footnotes are optional to read, right? That's why they are footnotes, as opposed to part of the main body of text.

I've never understood people who complain about excessive footnotes -- either they're so ADD that they get distracted by the numbers and the text so they can't stay focused, or they're so OCD that they can't resist reading words at the bottom of the page, even if they are tangential to the argument.

Don't get me wrong: footnotes in legal arguments are often important. But they're not generally essential to the main argument. That's the point. If you just want to read the core argument, read the text, and don't read the footnotes. (If the text is not understandable without the footnotes, that's a different writing problem, which should be criticized.)

Complaining about footnotes from distracted readers who can't focus on the text is what leads to monstrosities like endnotes -- which basically makes the notes unusable. (Or even worse, the current publishing trend where endnotes don't even have numerical references on the page -- so you have to match up the endnote with some phrase of text to find out there even is supposed to be a note there.)

If you don't want to read footnotes, just don't. I certainly don't if I'm just reading the main argument. But there's often a reason why they can be helpful to SOME readers, and forcing writers to either turn them into invisible endnotes or incorporate them into the text just makes things worse.

Comment: Re:Asian-only team? (Score 2) 90

by AthanasiusKircher (#47916815) Attached to: MIT's Cheetah Robot Runs Untethered

European researchers work at MIT and nobody beats an eye,
Asian researchers work at MIT and everybody looses their mind.

Uh, who is "everybody"? Certainly not MIT itself. Stats on their international students show that about 50% of all international students and scholars come from Asia, much more than Europe.

MIT cares about "diversity" numbers, sure, but they already can claim that they are a "minority majority" campus with over 51% of undergraduates from minorities. So, they'd really have no reason to further inflate the Asian numbers... unless, well, the Asian students were actually more qualified.

Which means Asian researchers are probably working at MIT because MIT actually is looking for highly qualified people -- and thus, MIT hired/admitted them.

The only people "losing their mind" are racists, who clearly aren't "everybody." (If they were, MIT wouldn't have such high numbers of minorities in the first place.)

And why are we discussing this anyway? TFA has a photo of the lab team, which is certainly not all Asian in composition.

Comment: Re:A solution in search of a problem... (Score 3, Insightful) 326

Speeding = higher risk of crash.

Meh, that propaganda has been around for awhile...

How is this modded "Informative" when this thread (GP's and GGP's posts) is about speeding in a school zone (not the Autobahn)?

The main reason for slower speeds in school zones is often to avoid pedestrian injuries and deaths -- since little kids sometimes do unexpected things and run into roads without thinking.

To an extent, speeding can perhaps make a crash worse, but that isn't really why we have speeding laws.

I think if you hit a kid going 25 mph (a typical school zone speed limit), you are already going to seriously injure and maybe kill him/her. But at least at a lower speed you might have a better chance of avoiding the kid by braking, swerving, etc. If you're going 45 mph or whatever the normal speed limit is on that road, the kid is probably dead. Sorry -- but speeding in a school zone BOTH (1) results in a higher risk of "crash" AND (2) will likely result in greater injury.

We have them to generate income for the government, specifically local and state government, to the tune of $6.2 billion last year.

Yeah, we'd never enact speeding laws to protect pedestrians in high-traffic areas, or anything silly like that!

The German Autobaun is safer per mile driven than US highways. Many reasons for it:

While you make some reasonable points, this has little to do with the present discussion of a school zone. But even outside of schools, there are all sorts of reasons for speed limits that are not politically motivated, like:

(1) Residential areas or business districts with higher pedestrian traffic

(2) General density of environment -- e.g., curves or other obstacles that decrease visibility of road ahead, how easy it is to see cars pulling out from side streets/driveways, how many random "manuevers" you're likely to see because cars need to change lanes to make turns, park, etc.

(3) Traffic flow on busy roads and congested highways: traffic has transition thresholds, sort of like laminar vs. turbulent flow in fluids. If everyone is driving at 65 mph in a highly congested area, and someone just brakes at the wrong time or cuts someone off, it can set up a traffic wave that propagates backwards and might result in stop-and-go traffic for 20 minutes. If, instead, people drive at 45 mph on average in the same traffic density, they have more time to react, and it can actually increase traffic throughput by making stop-and-go traffic less likely. That's one of the reasons many cities have introduced variable speed limits on highways that get lowered near rush hour: they're not trying to generate more revenue (usually) -- they're actually trying to help you get home faster. If you refuse to obey them and end up braking hard because of something unexpected which you would not have been a problem at a lower speed, you're likely contributing to traffic jams.

SUMMARY: Your argument is about maximum speed limits on straight highways. This thread is about the vast majority of roads which exist in less optimal conditions with less visibility, more obstacles, pedestrians, etc. In those cases, perhaps unlike the Autobahn, speed limits definitely make sense. And Germans agree, since they have speed limits under these scenarios.

And if you're that jerk you keeps weaving through traffic and passing me on the right in mornings when I'm going through school zones on a busy 4-lane road, STOP IT. You're endangering people, mainly pedestrians (one of whom I actually saw hit during my commute). THAT'S why we sometimes need speed limits.

Comment: Re:if only (Score 1) 166

by AthanasiusKircher (#47899979) Attached to: Justice Sotomayor Warns Against Tech-Enabled "Orwellian" World

But only as far as the cases that come before it, whether or not they accept them.

That's true both in the strict sense, and the broader sense. The Supreme Court can not initiate any action.

Well, as of last year, it seems it can (in a way), as long as someone involved in a lawsuit elsewhere asks nicely. The Court has now created ex nihilo a new veto power for itself. The precedent is United States v. Windsor. As Justice Scalia wrote in dissent:

The Court is eager--hungry--to tell everyone its view of the legal question at the heart of this case. Standing in the way is an obstacle, a technicality of little interest to anyone but the people of We the People, who created it as a barrier against judges' intrusion into their lives. They gave judges, in Article III, only the "judicial Power," a power to decide not abstract questions but real, concrete "Cases" and "Controversies." Yet the plaintiff and the Government agree entirely on what should happen in this lawsuit. They agree that the court below got it right; and they agreed in the court below that the court below that one got it right as well. What, then, are we doing here?

[snip]

Windsor's injury was cured by the judgment in her favor. [...] What the petitioner United States asks us to do in the case before us is exactly what the respondent Windsor asks us to do: not to provide relief from the judgment below but to say that that judgment was correct. And the same was true in the Court of Appeals: Neither party sought to undo the judgment for Windsor, and so that court should have dismissed the appeal (just as we should dismiss) for lack of jurisdiction.

In other words, there was no dispute before the court to adjudicate, and thus no case (in a legal sense). Yet the Supreme Court nevertheless chose to offer its opinion on gay rights and overturn a federal law, despite a lack of any standing, any dispute, or any case.

It's probably the most important element of the Supreme Court's jurisprudence to come out of the recent gay marriage decisions -- much more critical legally than the gay rights issues themselves. The Supreme Court has basically come up with a justification to offer its opinion on a matter where no legal dispute exists. This is really unprecedented, but it's a newfound power of the Court. Look for this to pop up again in some unexpected way in coming years. Scalia called the idea "jaw-dropping," "an assertion of judicial supremacy over the people's Representatives in Congress and the Executive. It envisions a Supreme Court standing (or rather enthroned) at the apex of government, empowered to decide all constitutional questions, always and everywhere "primary" in its role." :

We have never before agreed to speak--to "say what the law is"--where there is no controversy before us. In the more than two centuries that this Court has existed as an institution, we have never suggested that we have the power to decide a question when every party agrees with both its nominal opponent and the court below on that question's answer.

So, technically someone still has to suggest the idea of an action to the Court, I suppose, but I don't know after Windsor whether we can really say that an actual "case" is required for the Supreme Court to offer an opinion and change laws.

(Note that I'm not arguing against the outcome of Windsor -- only that no parties in the lawsuit were actually arguing for the Supreme Court to take any actual normal legal remedy within its jurisdiction; the correct action would have been for Obama to appoint a third-party to defend DOMA and argue for the law, if he felt the Justice Department shouldn't do it. Without doing so, there was no legal justification for SCOTUS to take any action.)

Comment: Re:So did Orwell (Score 1) 166

by AthanasiusKircher (#47899783) Attached to: Justice Sotomayor Warns Against Tech-Enabled "Orwellian" World

Weak. You start blaming the guy currently in charge, currently causing the issues and then backtrack to "But Bush" because you are afraid of Obama supporters. Its people who fear being called names by idiots that let idiots like Obama get a free pass no matter what he does.

Another poster already defended me, but let me be very clear about why I made the second comment: some of the actual cases listed in the article I linked were actually originally brought against the Bush administration. Some of these recent rulings took years to get to the Supreme Court, and the Obama Justice Department was put in the position of defending actions that were originally brought against the Bush administration. This is a common legal situation.

My point is that some people might have viewed my first post as sound like "yeah, the Supremes hate Obama so much they overruled him unanimously 13 times," when actually it could be argued that a number of those actions were really cases which originally involved the Bush administration.

So, I added a clarification that I think BOTH of the administrations are culpable for ONGOING bad actions. I'm NOT "backtracking" or giving Obama a "free pass" AT ALL, since I absolutely think that he has continued some of the worst policies of his predecessor and in many ways has made things significantly worse.

But regardless, the point is the violation of fundamental rights -- no matter what adminstration or who is doing it.

Comment: Re:Silicon Valley Rebrands Correspondence Courses (Score 1) 182

by AthanasiusKircher (#47898471) Attached to: The MOOC Revolution That Wasn't

For the record, correspondence courses have been around since 1892.

Huh? From your own link:

The earliest distance education courses may date back to the early 18th century in Europe. One of the earliest examples was from a 1728 advertisement... [snip] The first distance education course in the modern sense was provided by Sir Isaac Pitman in the 1840s,

And schools were even offering entire degrees through distance education by the 1850s:

The University of London was the first university to offer distance learning degrees, establishing its External Programme in 1858.

I am by no means downplaying the significance of the Chicago model in the history of education. But why did you omit mention of decades and perhaps centuries of preceding distance-learning courses in your claim?

Comment: Re:if only (Score 4, Insightful) 166

by AthanasiusKircher (#47898351) Attached to: Justice Sotomayor Warns Against Tech-Enabled "Orwellian" World

Do you understand how the Supreme Court works? They can only adjudicate cases brought before them.

While true in a strict sense, in a broader sense the Supreme Court has the ability to shape jurisprudence around bigger issues. Take, for example, the recent plethora of federal court rulings overturning gay marriage bans in a number of states. The Supreme Court did NOT rule on this issue directly. In fact, the majority rulings last year explicitly avoiding tackling that issue. But, as Scalia noted in dissent at the time, the type of argumentation used in the majority opinion strongly implied that no legal logic would support a gay marriage ban.

So, in the process of adjudicating a case before them, the Supreme Court laid the groundwork for other rulings that were strictly unrelated, but followed from the legal arguments employed.

In this way, Supreme Court justices can shape jurisprudence on cases far beyond their docket. If they begin to make strongly worded objections to Fourth Amendment violations and present new legal justifications for stopping those violations, chances are those sorts of legal arguments will be upheld by lower courts.

And even then, she's one vote out of nine. [snip] If you want something "done", you've got to talk to your congressbum.

True, but 1 out of 9 is somewhat better odds than 1 out 435 in terms of hoping to "get something done," particularly when a number of privacy-related cases have been coming before the Court in recent years.

Comment: Re:So did Orwell (Score 1) 166

by AthanasiusKircher (#47898291) Attached to: Justice Sotomayor Warns Against Tech-Enabled "Orwellian" World

Until a case is before her, Sotomayor can do absolutely jack shit.

Duh.

Where does the notion come from, that so many people here seem to have, that a Supreme Court justice has any "direct" power to initiate some kind of policy change?

Who said anything about "initiating" anything?

I said she was one of the few who "potentially have the direct power to constrain" the government's overreach, since the other two branches have obviously gone along with various Fourth Amendment violations in recent years. Obviously, implicit in that "potentially" is that it would require a case to come before the Court. Given that numerous people have been filing court cases against the government in recent years about privacy violations, it's reasonable to say that Sotomayor WILL have a number of opportunities to try to rein in government overreach.

This is why they should never have stopped teaching civics in school.

I took Civics in school. There I learned about something called checks and balances, including the Supreme Court's ability to overrule laws and executive actions that are Constitutional violations.

Perhaps, given your overreaction to something I didn't say, the larger criticism should be about how our schools are failing at teaching reading comprehension.

Comment: Re:So did Orwell (Score 2) 166

by AthanasiusKircher (#47898215) Attached to: Justice Sotomayor Warns Against Tech-Enabled "Orwellian" World
(By the way, before anyone accuses me of bias against Obama or whatever because many of these cases involved actions taken under Bush as well -- note that my argument was about Executive power in general. Obama has generally continued Bush's abuses of that power, and this problem is not one that falls along party lines.)

Comment: Re:So did Orwell (Score 5, Insightful) 166

by AthanasiusKircher (#47898157) Attached to: Justice Sotomayor Warns Against Tech-Enabled "Orwellian" World

I fail to understand why Sotomayor's opinions are news when they are not fundamentally different from high school book reports written all over the US.

Maybe because she's one of only NINE people in the United States who potentially have the direct power to constrain a surveillance state, since it's clear that our Executive and Legislative branches have "sold out" and have effectively rendered many clauses of the Fourth Amendment meaningless.

Note that the Supreme Court has UNANIMOUSLY overruled the Obama administration's stance at least 13 times in the past two years, in a number of those cases protecting privacy and related freedoms.

So, yeah, this person is one of the few who are close to our only hope in stopping the continuous march toward government surveillance, intrusions into privacy, and complete dismissal of Fourth Amendment protections.

THAT'S why her opinion is news.

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