Saturday, August 31, 2013

Not what you want to read in an order from a Judge

With an order entered denying Defendants' Motion to Seal:

Motion denied. This conclusory memorandum is utterly bereft of specificity as to what exactly is a trade secret here or why disclosure of this dated material in any way impairs [Defendant]'s legitimate interests.

Today's Lesson: legal writing skills matter! At a minimum, they may save you from embarrassment. At a maximum, they may save much, much more.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Currently Reading: _The Origin of Satan_ by Elaine Pagels

Oh, this is a fascinating book, laying out the evolution over time in the course of multiple gospels (each written later and later from the events they described) of the rhetoric used in deflecting blame for the Crucifixion from Rome to Jews in a region suffering from a Jewish rebellion against Rome, where there were political reasons for wanting such deflection, and the concurrent development of the idea of 'satan', of Hebrew origin, from an angel placed by God as an obstacle to someone, to an adversary of God's.

Genuinely fascinating.  I really like Elaine Pagels' writing, I felt the same way about her book _The Gnostic Gospels_, which I read a few years ago.

Now, I'm not a scholar of Christianity, so I don't know how much about the timeline of writing the gospels is taught to the typical Christian, but I had always assumed that the gospels were stories of people with first-person experience, so I tend to be astounded over the fact that that isn't true.

I'm not done yet, but I just had to stop and write about it anyway.