Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Academic Battle over the Dead Sea Scrolls : A Harvard Ph.D. and NYU Law Grad Stands Criminally Accused : Did he Commit a Crime?

Climategate is no exception.
Academia can be a cesspool of vanities and distortion.
We knew this long ago.
Some of the rest of the world is now just finding that out.

In
About New York - Raphael Golb’s Aliases Enlivened Debate Over Dead Sea Scrolls - NYTimes.com

Jim Dwyer reports on a unique "cyberbrawl" over the Dead Sea Scrolls which highlights all of the advantages and disadvantages of "dialogue" about controversial academic topics on the Internet (and elsewhere).

As Dwyer writes, the accused is Raphael Haim Golb, a Ph.D. graduate of Harvard and of New York University Law School, who allegedly tried to discredit one or more academics taking a different position on the Dead Sea Scrolls than his own father, a professor, who is apparently not implicated himself in the matter:
"Mr. Golb’s father is Norman Golb, a professor at the University of Chicago and a critic of claims that the Dead Sea Scrolls were the work of a sect called the Essenes, thought to have lived near the Qumran caves where the scrolls were found. Professor Golb has suggested that the scrolls were actually the product of several libraries in Jerusalem and were taken to the caves around the time the city fell to the Romans in the year 70. This is not a dispute for the fainthearted. Golb the Son has taken up his father’s cause with all the vigor permitted by multiple Gmail accounts.

Mr. Golb is 49 years old and had 50 e-mail aliases. He used pseudonyms to post on blogs. Under the name of a professor he was trying to undermine, prosecutors charged, Mr. Golb wrote a quasi confession to plagiarism and circulated it among students and officials at New York University. ....

In court papers filed last week, Mr. Golb’s lawyers argued that prosecutors were trying to criminalize the commonplace. Both sides in the Dead Sea Scrolls debate, they said, use “sock puppets” — fake identities — on the Internet to make it seem as if scores of people are arguing a point."
Read Dwyer's highly elucidating article in full here.

We had always suspected that conspiracies of academics and "academic schools of thought" are rampant on the Internet and in the "peer review good old boy networks", and we hope as this case unravels, that these odious practices come more and more to the surface.

There are a few of us out here - true academics in the scholarly sense - actually trying to find out what really happened in man's history. But believe me - we are a handfull - a handfull only.

These Law Firms Are Diverse. Here’s How They Got That Way. - Law Blog - WSJ

Ashby Jones examines diversity in BigLaw at

These Law Firms Are Diverse. Here’s How They Got That Way. - Law Blog - WSJ

Legal Professions That Don't Require a Law Degree

Legal Professions That Don't Require a Law Degree

This following guest article was written by Richard Hemby who regularly writes about online law degree programs and college related topics for Online College Guru, an online college degree guide.

While the best known legal profession is that of attorney, many other career paths are available to those who do not hold a law degree. Legal professionals work in a wide range of law enforcement jobs and in a variety of environments, from traditional courtrooms to crime scenes and even educational settings. Here are four of the most popular legal careers that do not require an advanced degree.

Court Reporter

Careers in court reporting require a meticulous attention to detail and a thorough knowledge of legal procedures. Court reporters are responsible for recording every aspect of courtroom procedure, including all words spoken within the courtroom during a legal proceeding. Typically, court reporters use one of two methods of transcription. Machine transcription is a form of shorthand that allows the reporter to take down the words as they are said, while voice writing requires the reporter to repeat those words exactly for later transcription.

Criminal Investigators

One of the most dramatic legal professions, criminal investigators work side by side with police to collect evidence and solve cases. This career is perhaps best known through numerous television depictions, but the reality is that most criminal investigators simply store and catalog evidence from various cases in order to prepare reports that will be presented as evidence in court. Many criminal investigators serve as expert witnesses, reporting on their findings in person and answering questions about their results. In most cases, a bachelor’s degree in chemistry or another related field is required in order to perform the complex analysis required for these high-tech jobs.

Corrections Officer

Jobs in corrections include careers as prison guards and parole officers. These high-pressure jobs put corrections officers in direct contact with convicted criminals; as a result, these jobs require constant vigilance and caution. Most corrections officers are responsible for maintaining the safety and security of the public by monitoring and controlling conditions within prisons and other detention facilities. This can sometimes put them in situations where they face direct confrontation by inmates and parolees; for this reason, corrections officers are typically in good physical shape to allow them to more easily handle these situations when they arise.

Legal Secretaries

The administrative assistants of the legal profession, legal secretaries typically serve as clerks and managers for large legal firms. They type, file, and prepare cases for trial, freeing up the time of attorneys and using advanced computer technology to ensure that cases are tracked and schedules are kept current. Legal secretaries require no special legal training, but must be familiar with legal terminology and the formats of common types of legal documents.

These are only a few of the numerous jobs available within the legal profession that do not require a degree in law. While some jobs require only a high school diploma, most require at least some specialized training in order to ensure success. Training courses for these and other professions in the legal field are typically available through vocational-technical centers and community colleges.

The Pick suggests that the Solution to the World's Problems is to Think French (exquisite humor : plus a video - harmless - The French Art of Loving)

Think French

Those who know us know that we love France but are reserved about the French, but there are some wonderful fashionable exceptions, such as this one.

This is an exquisite intellectual piece for non-intellectuals.

Take a look and keep reading in spite of the rather horrid beginning.

Think French

For those inclined to censorship: the closing video is less salacious than it appears at first glance.

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