Epiphany

Today (6 Jan.) is the Feast Day of Epiphany or “Three Kings Day.” To commemorate this wonderful occasion, we are posting below “The Adoration of the Magi” by Fra Angelico (Guido di Pietro), an Italian painter of the Early Renaissance era.
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New year, new syllabus (Business Law)

Here it is, via WordPress or Google Docs. Once again, I will be using the rise of Facebook–as depicted in the award-winning movie The Social Network–to teach my survey course in business law. (The cover page of my new syllabus is pictured below.)

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Happy Three Kings Day!

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Targeted Killings: Law and Morality in an Asymmetrical World

That is the title of this 2012 book edited by Claire Finkelstein, Jens David Ohlin, and Andrew Altman. This tome (pictured below) contains 18 essays by a wide variety of scholars. Jeremy Waldron, for example, explores the morality associated with targeted killings and argues against the use of this tactic, while Fernando Teson, by contrast, argues that targeted killings are justified against terrorists because they use tactics specifically designed to kill civilians. If you don’t feel like reading an entire book, here is a good primer on the legality of the U.S. military’s existing targeted killing program (via Lawfare). For my part, although I do not address the tactic of targeted killing, here is my 2012 contribution on the “logic of terrorism.”

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Cooperate or defect (w.c. edition)?

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These beetles do not exist

Check out this pithy report by Rob Beschizza describing an amazing AI program called Confusing Coleopterists. In brief, this program was trained on illustrations of extant beetles from existing zoological textbooks. In the words of Mr Beschizza: “The extreme formality of this art genre, and its placement within the public domain, makes it uniquely apt to the medium of generative adversarial networks ….” (Hat tip: Cliff Pickover.) Note: Imagine unleashing a “positivist AI” on the entire U.S. Code or the Supreme Court reporter. What new laws or SCOTUS decisions would it generate?

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A year of ideas

To start off the new year on the right track, I have assembled below, for your reading pleasure and intellectual stimulation, my favorite “best of” end-of-year reflections and collection of ideas from 2019. Enjoy!

1. Larry Solum: Downloads of the year 2019 (via Legal Theory Blog).

2. Rex Storgatz: best list of lists (via Twitter).

3. Alex Tabarrok: Most popular posts of 2019 (via Marginal Revolution).

4. Dan Wang: 2019 letter (via Dan Wang’s website).

5. Tom Whitwell: 52 things I learned in 2019 (via Medium).

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