Saturday, November 01, 2003

Grutter and Gates Gender-Genied

Glenn Reynolds cited to a recent speech by Bill Gates which gender-genied as follows:

Words: 5015 Female Score: 5332 Male Score: 7438 - 58%

- there is that same balanced blend found among the inaugural addresses of the US Presidents.

You just have to be easy-going, relaxed and a nice guy to be popular.

How would U.S. Supreme Court Decisions fare under the Gender Genie?

Are judicial decisions male or female? Let us look at the recent Grutter case as an example.

The US Supreme Court decision in Grutter v. Bollinger

Grutter v. Bollinger No. 02-241. Argued April 1, 2003--Decided June 23, 2003

The final paper which I assigned to my students in last year's FFA law and legal research class at the University of Trier Law School was to decide the Grutter case - i.e. before the case was actually decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in June, 2003. The student papers were due in February, 2003. The result of this assignment was for me at that time surprisingly balanced, as the ca. 200 students were split in their decisions right down the middle. Even the arguments raised in the later actual opinions of the Justices were all well anticipated in advance in the student papers - there were thus no surprises.

Mild surprises do appear however when the Justices' opinions in Grutter are gender-genied, as follows:

Justice O'Connor wrote the majority opinion (the case was decided 5-4) gives this gender-genied result:

Words: 9096 Female Score: 6847 Male Score: 11657 - 63% male

Justice Ginsburg, with whom Justice Breyer joins, concurring, gender-genies as:

Words: 687 Female Score: 312 Male Score: 581 - 65% male

Chief Justice Rehnquist, with whom Justice Scalia, Justice Kennedy, and Justice Thomas join, dissenting, (tables omitted), results in:

Words: 2295 Female Score: 1668 Male Score: 3072 - 65% male

Justice Kennedy, dissenting, is similar in word distribution to most of the other justices

Words: 2448 Female Score: 2231 Male Score: 3460 - 61% male

Justice Scalia, with whom Justice Thomas joins, concurring in part and dissenting in part, surprises us

Words: 790 Female Score: 641 Male Score: 811 - 56% male


Justice Thomas, with whom Justice Scalia joins as to Parts I-VII, concurring in part and dissenting in part.

(long Frederick Douglass quote removed), has written the opinion with the most "male" words.

Words: 7701 Female Score: 5076 Male Score: 10238 - 67% male.


Certainly a spread of 56 % to 67% in male opinion-wording among all these Justices gives no conclusive result. The fact is, they are all pretty similar from this point of view. Or - asked differently - is it normal that they are similar?

In other words, Gender Genie still needs a lot of work before it is "market ready". The basic idea of this kind of "text test" is of course most certainly correct, i.e. that maleness and femaleness is manifested in our choice of words.

However, this choice of words is greatly affected by the subject matter in question and the purpose of our writing. We can presume that more forceful writing will be more male (i.e. more aggressive) and more conciliatory writing will be more female (i.e. less aggressive), even if the two writings are made by the same person, whether male OR female.

See the various divergent results for LawPundit as posted at Punditmania.

Words have to be weighed.

Law Pundit - Gender Genie says we are better than 4:1 Male

Via InstaPundit, the LawPundit site is now Gender Genied via the bookblog where I ran LawPundit posts through the gauntlet. The full results are posted to Punditmania. Included are also Presidential Inaugural Addresses, the Declaration of Independence, and the original U.S. Constitution.

Is LawPundit the male champion of blogging? Is that good?

The above analysis of the Presidents indicates that a good balance is better - at least for "social success", which the unisex (metrosex) world of fashion, deodorants and so on, only confirms. Even the rugged Abe Lincoln had his unruly photos "touched up" for public consumption. Civilization has the drawback that men are domesticated and pacified. Perhaps this is the main difference between Western Civilization and the savages we are battling worldwide: it is civilized discipline versus the uncivilized barbarians of the rest of the world.

Gender Genie Score of this posting: Words: 137 Female Score: 42 Male Score: 303. Q.E.D.

The Eolas Case - W3C Intervenes in Internet Patent Battle

Everyone should look at this development in the EOLAS patent case.

As most everyone now knows, Eolas won a patent infringement claim against Microsoft recently. The prevailing result of this claim - if it is allowed to stand - threatens to torpedo basic internet technology, since it essentially claims sole ownership of the invention of "embedding", which is a standard internet software procedure long established.

It is in fact remarkable that such an "idea" could ever have been allowed to be patented. Here is - again - a case of (alleged) research conducted at the university level at TAXPAYER cost, from which private individuals are now attempting to stuff their personal pockets at the expense of us all. Legal or not, it is an abomination.

Tim Berners-Lee, Director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and widely regarded as the father of the World Wide Web, is now going after Eolas, claiming that their patent is invalid due to prior art.

In an October 28, 2003 letter to James E. Rogan, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director, United States Patent and Trademark Office - see US Patent Office '906 Letter - Berners-Lee alleges that the Eolas patent should be revoked based on "new evidence uncovered by the W3C HTML Patent Advisory Group (PAG)," showing that the Eolas patent was in fact based on prior art which was freely availabe for more than a year prior to the Eolas filing.

See SitePoint for a nice article about these developments.

Let us all hope that Berners-Lee and the W3C prevail in this patent issue and that Eolas and the people who have a financial interest in this company get the ignominious fate which they all deserve. And if that occurs, as we should all wish and hope that it does, let us hope that this case sets an example for all future imitators, that this kind of thing will not be tolerated by the internet world.

The Eolas case thus far brings out some of the worst fears about the absolutely foolish and unnecessary legal application of many copyright and patent laws to the World Wide Web - fears voiced by Larry Lessig in his book Code. The copyright and patent laws were not intended for the internet - at least not in the same form as they were intended for mechanical inventions and books, and thus should not be applied to the internet in the same manner. Rather, Congress should make correspondingly divergent laws to keep the internet from being ruined by a few greedy copyright-claimants and patent-seekers. In fact, the copyright system as well as the entire patent filing system is drastically in need of legislative modernization.

As usual, a basic problem here is the US Congress, which has done next to nothing about these issues. As noted here,

"Many of these issues are so arcane that getting Congress' attention to them is a challenge," said [Todd] Dickinson, now a partner at law firm Howrey Simon Arnold & White in Washington.

The word "arcane" by the way means "known or understood by only few". Is our Congress up to the job at hand?

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