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Gordon Hull
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Knee pain is common and debilitating, and it’s often caused by osteoarthritis in the knee. Treatment options range from analgesics (including opioids) to knee-replacement surgery. If you go to the doctor with arthritic knee pain, you can get an x-ray which can then be interpreted using standard rubrics like the... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull I’ve written about the importance of Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) before (see also here). Briefly, BIPA is the most important and powerful of the (relatively few) state laws designed to protect biometric privacy. The statute establishes a notice-and-consent regime (sigh. better than nothing, though N&C... Continue reading
To review the issue: The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine uses a modified adenovirus, as do several other vaccines in development, most notably the Russian Gamaleya Institute one. Early, puzzling results suggested that the Oxford vaccine was about 70% effective overall, but that the overall number obscured a disparity between two groups: a... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull In an important recent article, Robin Kar and Margaret Radin propose a way to interpret the volumes of boilerplate that accompany pretty much any electronically-mediated consumer transaction. Rather, they propose a way to interpret the phenomenon of the deluge of such boilerplate. We all know the scenario:... Continue reading
At least not from the appearance of things. Google summarily fired Timnit Gebru, one of its lead AI Ethics researchers and one of the few Black women in a leadership position at the company. Her sin? Producing academic research critical of biases in AI: “The email and the firing were... Continue reading
UPDATE 12/6: For more on the mess in Rhode Island, see here. This week’s SCOTUS opinion overturning New York’s restrictions on religious gatherings is disappointing in many ways. Most obviously, it hamstrings the ability of governors to respond with science to Covid and is part of a conservative backlash to... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull As one knows, online privacy policies (and access to the Internet in general) are generally conditioned on a user’s acceptance of some sort of boilerplate terms of service. Lots of people (myself included) have complained about this state of affairs as attempting to get users to consent... Continue reading
Given the role of qualified immunity in absolving police officers of murdering unarmed black men (and doing all sorts of other nefarious things), it’s encouraging to see that the Supreme Court said in a per curiam opinion today that there is an outer limit to how far that doctrine can... Continue reading
If you’re like me, you spend too much time – way too much time – these days looking at polling data. I ran across some interesting remarks by Foucault on opinion yesterday, which I’ll share here as a technique of distraction. He makes them in the context of a 1976... Continue reading
Among the indefinitely many evil things the Trump administration has done that will take years and years to fix (and in this case has undoubtedly cost many lives already). Propublica has the story. Continue reading
By Gordon Hull I’m going to be teaching Harold Demsetz’s “Toward a Theory of Property Rights” (1967) tomorrow, and noticed a couple of things that I hadn’t before. I suspect they’re related, and say something about the moment the article appeared. At least, that’s what I want to propose here.... Continue reading
UPDATE: Dahlia Lithwick has some helpful context, including litigation from the 1970s involving forced sterilizations of poor Latina women in California. Lithwick also recounts some of the more familiar history about the early 20c legal history of forced sterilization (endorsed by SCOTUS in Buck v. Bell and Justice Holmes' declaration... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull I want here to tie together the preceding several posts (one, two, three, four, five) and finish the case for a Deleuzian undercurrent (perhaps better to say, Deleuzian and Althusserian undercurrents) to Foucault’s 1969 “What is an Author” seminar. Recall the specific point of interest: in a... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull Early on in the Covid-19 pandemic, I dedicated a post (and a short follow-up) to the idea that our knowledge of Covid-19 is mediated by the indicators we have to represent it, and that those indicators are themselves epistemically tricky. In particular, there’s a difficulty in understanding... Continue reading
UPDATE (8/26): This should surprise exactly no one, but apparently upper levels of the Mafia Donald regime pushed for the change. This is after all the same regime that scuttled an earlier testing plan in order to score political points against blue states. The CDC now recommends against testing asymptomatic... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull The last couple of times (first, second), I have been setting up Althusser’s Marx as the background to Focuault’s invocation of Marx as an “instaurateur” in his “What is an Author.” Today, I want to finish that project by noting three additional moments in Althusser’s reading that... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull Last time, I set up the context for reading Foucault’s remarks on Marx in “Author” in the context of Althusser, as well as some of the basic contours of the Althusserian anti-humanist Marx. Here, I want to pursue that line further. Althusser writes against the growing popularity... Continue reading
An important part of the human cost of the Covid-19 pandemic is the loss of life and health not due directly to Covid cases, but to the disruptions it causes. American hospitals have long worried about the decline in ER visits from cardiac patients, and drops in cancer diagnoses. Presumably,... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull Back in Before Times, I wrote a couple of posts beginning to make the case for a Deleuzian influence behind Foucault’s “What is an Author” (part 1, part 2). This post resumes that series… Recall that Foucault’s narrative in “Author” distinguishes between those who found a science,... Continue reading
UPDATE: With a note on the Roberts concurrence at the end Justice Roberts sided with the Court's liberals today in a (somewhat surprising, and really important) 5-4 decision by Justice Breyer striking down a Texas abortion law nearly identical to one the Court struck down in 2016. Justice Roberts is... Continue reading
UPDATE: First, I'm being loose with terminology here - "originalism" specifically refers to a theory of Constitutional interpretation; what Gorsuch et al are advocating is "textualism" (for statutory construction). The distinction between public meaning and expected application is important in the originalism debate - but I think it's clearly at... Continue reading
Black men have to decide whether the risk of being harassed and profiled by police for wearing a mask is greater than the risk of contracting Covid for not wearing one. Continue reading
Research into the spread of Covid-19 continues, with an important new preprint by Michael Woroby et al up today (tl;dr see the writeup in Stat News). The standard narrative about the arrival of Covid-19 in the U.S. is that a patient arrived in Seattle, WA from Wuhan on January 15th.... Continue reading
As most folks know by now, there's two kinds of Covid tests. One of them tests for whether you have the disease now. The other tests for the presence of antibodies in your blood, indicating that you have had the disease at some point. You might think that an outfit... Continue reading
One of the widely-discussed metrics for understanding Covid-19 transmission is its R0 number - the average number of infections that a given person causes. An R0 of 3, for example, means that each person infects an average of 3 others. In order to stop the disease from eventually spiraling out... Continue reading