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Beyond Legal Talismans

Once we under­stand that legal tal­is­mans are pro­tec­tive invo­ca­tions, we have to be crit­i­cal of them. Even the ones we like. The short­hand is not com­pre­hen­si­ble to users. And the short­hand is not com­pre­hen­si­ble to peo­ple more generally. 

Protest Bots

I wrote a let­ter to my local rep­re­sen­ta­tive, and he wrote me back and it was this boil­er­plate of all this bull­shit. So I was read­ing it and just men­tal­ly cross­ing off line after line of bull­shit, so I decid­ed to make a bot that does that for me. What it does is it goes into an API that lists mem­bers of Congress and their Twitter accounts, picks one at ran­dom, picks their most recent tweet, and it retweets it but replaces a cer­tain per­cent­age of all the char­ac­ters of that tweet with black or gray rec­tan­gles so that the remain­ing amount of let­ters that you get to actu­al­ly read is equiv­a­lent to the cur­rent lev­el of Congress’ approval rat­ing, which I get from The Huffington Post’s API.

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