The People Who Owned the Bible – a story

Then Jimmy Joe Jenkins’s DNA proved he was the primary descendent of the translators of the King James Version of the Bible. At first, Jimmy was satisfied with ten percent of the price of every KJV sold and 10 percent of every collection plate passed by any church that used the KJV. But when some churches switched to newer translations, Jimmy sicced his lawyers on all translations based on the…


Textbooks: Spring 2005

Textbooks: Spring 2005 (Jerz’s Literacy Weblog) Classes start the week after next. I’m teaching the regular full teaching load — four courses — plus an overload. Students are starting to ask what books they should buy. I won’t be able to get the syllabi up online until next week, but I thought I’d post the reading list here so I can send the URLs to students who e-mail me with questions.…


Who owns your e-mails?

“He was keeping a journal of sorts to put together for future history,” John Ellsworth told BBC News. “He wanted to make sure that his generation, as well as following generations, have actual words from somebody who was there.” But Mr Ellsworth Snr was shocked when Yahoo! turned down a request to release his dead son’s e-mails, on the basis of privacy. Recognising the emotions involved, Yahoo! says it must…

Ethics for the Robot Age

Most people’s expectations of robots are driven by fantasy. These marvelous machines, optimists hope, will follow Moore’s law, doubling in quality every 18 months, and lead to a Jetsonian utopia. Or, as pessimists fear, humanoid bots will reproduce, increase their intelligence, and wipe out humanity. Both visions are wrong. —By Jordan Pollack —Ethics for the Robot Age  (Wired)