Sunday, August 29, 2010
I've been worried for some time about computers taking over; here's more evidence of it....
Shawn Bayern of Florida State University has a web program that is a "conveyance interpreter" that diagrams grants of estates ("To A for life, but if he becomes a lawyer, then to B for 21 years" and so on). The program uses a "context-free grammar" to understand the language of the conveyance, and then it generates an image that maps out the resulting property interests. Shawn borrowed the style of the images from diagrams that Andrea Peterson, his Property professor at Berkeley, used in class. In fact, Shawn wrote it when he was a property student.
I've been playing with it some this morning --- and I have to report that it's pretty darn cool. Just in time for the start of the new year. This could be the new teaching tool of the season! Hours and hours of fun just waiting you and your students.
For instance, at right is the diagram Shawn's program drew for the grant "to A for life, then to B and her heirs if B survives A." The "conveyance interpreter" is available here.
The fact that we're one step closer to our jobs being taken over by computers is a story for another time.
Now, Shawn, where's the program to evaluate the rule against perpetuities?