Saturday, April 26, 2014

Weekend blogging -- string pragmatists and legal meta-information, two more reasons I wish I could embed CBS clips

I understand their reasons (one of these days I need to do something on the mismanagement of Hulu by way of comparison), but this post would work a lot better if I could include these clips instead of sending you to

The first is from the very sharp NSA arc of the Good Wife. Keep in mind, I come in with a strong prejudice against these stories. Compared with issues like mass incarceration and stop-and-frisk, the NSA hardly even registers on my list of civil liberty concerns. I've found most of the airtime spent on the topic sanctimonious and annoying, but show runners Robert and Michelle King downplayed the outrage and instead dug into the narrative possibilities.

The Good Wife has always been a show about information, meta-information and game theory -- what I know, what you know and what I know you know -- so massive wiretapping of law firms and politicians fits in perfectly. As always, one of the pleasures of the show is watching characters immediately shift tactics and strategies as each new piece of information breaks. For example, check out how the governor of Illinois (as you would expect, currently under investigation), reacts to learning that he's in the middle of a three-hop warrant.

The other clip I wish I could embed is the opening sequence of the Big Bang Theory. The subject matter is completely different (not like you were expecting a smooth segue anyway), but I suspect anyone out there involved with academic research will enjoy hearing the definition of 'string pragmatist.'

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