Google Music on the Jurisprudence of Justice Breyer

A while back, I downloaded an audio version of Justice Breyer’s lecture at Yale Law School entitled Future: Will the People Follow the Court?. You can watch the whole thing here:

Anyway, I listened to the lecture, referenced it once or twice in class, and then promptly filed it away in my mental archives. In other words, I forgot about it.

But Google didn’t. Apparently, when I downloaded the audio file onto my phone, the Google Music app pulled the file into its orbit. And because I played the file a lot (it’s long, so I stopped and restarted a few times) Google apparently thought that I really liked the file. And, perhaps most surprisingly, because the file was an .mp3 saved to my phone, Google assumed that this hour-and-a-half lecture by a Supreme Court Justice was a song.

So what did Google do when it thought I really liked this song? It created a recommended playlist with other songs that I might like, based on my interest in Justice Breyer’s lecture. I have no idea how Google came up with these particular recommendations. (The feature is called an “Instant Mix.”) But I do know that, according to Google, if you’re into Justice Breyer, then you’ll also love these songs: Continue reading

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TPM’s Halbig/PPACA “BOOM” Goes Boom

Okay, so I am partially ignoring my own advice regarding the Halbig/PPACA debate. Yes, I said that we should not get distracted by side-show arguments like what some guy said on video two years ago. But I also said that if we’re going to get the better of this argument, we actually need to engage with the claims the other side is making.

Enter this morning’s article on Talking Points Memo: “BOOM: The Historic Proof Obamacare Foes Are Dead Wrong on Subsidies.” Perhaps this CBO-based argument is a bit of a side-show, or perhaps not. But either way, it’s a great example of a supposed counterargument that wholly misses the point of the conservatives’ legal claims and is therefore wholly ineffective at actually advancing the liberal case. Continue reading