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11:29am on Sunday, 7th March, 2010:

Discussion Papers


Each week this term in my final-year undergraduate course, EE314, we have a two-hour class discussing a paper that I gave out earlier. So far we've done:

I didn't link to the two books up there, because I had to photocopy the relevant pieces to hand out. UK IP law allows me to do this for legitimate academic purposes, so long as I don't reproduce more than 10% of the content of the book as a whole.

We don't always have a paper (last week we created a plot on-the-fly to match the Hero's Journey), but I try to have something that is either at undergraduate level or that will give them something to talk about. We haven't discussed Galbi's paper yet (it's this week), and I'm not sure how it will go; I suspect the programmers won't be all that fussed by it but the designers might see what it's getting at.

Anyway, because of some clash with "project presentation day" I only have one more paper to give out, which I'll do this week. The lectures are about to cover Law and Virtual Worlds, so I want a nice paper in that area. Unfortunately, all the nicest papers are inordinately long even if you do ignore the 50% that is comprised of footnotes1. Those that are shorter tend to be single-topic only.

I did find a paper that did the job: CmdrSlack's So You Want to be an Armchair Lawyer, published in Grimwell Online, 2005. Unfortunately, I can't link to it because the web site currently says "Yup, the website is still under construction." and has done for some time. Fortunately, my early decision to keep physical copies of every academic paper I read meant I had a printout of it. It's this I shall be handing out to my students this Thursday.

I'm building up quite a collection of papers now, some of which I personally regard as important or significant but have been off the Internet for over a decade. I wonder what will happen to them once I die?

Actually, I don't. If I die while still working at Essex University, they will be dumped in a small skip and taken for recycling; if I die when retired, my wife will take them for recycling. If I outlive her, well I guess my children might find them a home, but it's not as if anyone is going to read them except maybe someone doing a PhD in history 150 years later.

Oh well, I don't keep them for other people, I keep them for me, so tra la la.

1The Lastowka and Hunter paper I linked to has exactly 400 footnotes.

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Copyright © 2010 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).