Monday, March 12, 2007

Braman on Rosen on Law and Neuroscience

As I was sitting in the airport yesterday in Atlanta, having wrapped up the crossword puzzle in the 11cover3951 New York Times Sunday Magazine, I read Jeffrey Rosen's article on the law and neuroscience rage.  I was tempted to write some comments, but then got engrossed in what I thought was far more interesting:  the article on George Smoot, Saul Perlmutter, cosmology, and "dark energy."  (Somebody from Harvard or MIT:  isn't George Smoot, besides being a Nobel Laureate, the guy in whose size the Harvard Bridge across the Charles River near MIT is or was measured?  This may date me but I recall that there was a sign saying the bridge was so many "smoots" long.)

But I digress.  The point here was to provide a link to Donald Braman's apropos comments on the neuroscience article.

UPDATE (only minutes later):  One forgets the power of the search engine.  I typed "smoots harvard bridge" into Google and came up with this from George Smoot himself setting straight precisely how many smoots (plus an ear) it took.

ANOTHER UPDATE (only seconds later):  As is known, I am taking a position at Suffolk, and my wife and I are moving to Cambridge (an undisclosed location near Porter Square).  My wife is a Harvard alumna, and I have to admit, despite having gone to two institutions that claim that Harvard is in each case the "X" of the East (my son now has such a tee shirt), and recognizing the implicit inferiority/superiority complexes inherent in all of that, I have nevertheless all these years had a soft spot for the two Cambridge universities sandwiching Central Square, first, on account of the "smoots" and, second, on account of the spring raft races on the Charles, particularly the rafts equipped with their own "funnelators."

[Jeff Lipshaw]

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