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Judicial Nominations In the Internet Age

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the accounting-for-your-every-tweet dept.

Government 114

Hugh Pickens writes "Chris Good writes in the Atlantic that nominees to the Supreme Court and other high-profile positions are required to provide the Judiciary Committee with everything they've ever written or said publicly, to the best of their abilities within reason. Thanks to the Internet, the last major judicial nominee reported out by the Senate Judiciary Committee, Ninth Circuit nominee Goodwin Liu, included links to YouTube videos of lectures and talks he gave, 573 pages of public writings, news articles about him, syllabi from courses he taught, and statements about legal issues. Even so, Liu was admonished for failing to fully disclose his writings and public speeches to senators, including appearances at such occasions as brown bag lunches and alumni gatherings. 'In preparing my original submission, I made a good-faith effort to track down all of my publications and speeches over the years,' wrote Liu. 'I checked my personal calendar, I performed a variety of electronic searches, and I searched my memory to produce the original list. But I have since realized that those efforts were not sufficient.' Not so long ago, entire news articles in local papers could go wholly unnoticed, by both the nominee and committee members and staff, but not so in the era of the Internet. 'Imagine what will happen when, decades from now, a president nominates someone to the Supreme Court who had access to Twitter, MySpace, and Facebook at the age of 15.'"

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114 comments

Most of my writings are long gone. (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#32227280)

I've been posting regularly on boards since I was 13.
Most of those posts are long gone to /dev/null, sometimes along with the message board they were on.

I think this is another case of technology not keeping up with technology.

Re:Most of my writings are long gone. (5, Informative)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 3 years ago | (#32227300)

Don't be so certain they are completely gone. Google, The Internet Archive [archive.org] , and other crawlers may or may not have saved that information in some form that is accessible. Now with Twitter being archived by the Library of Congress and the never-ending FB account, the age of discarded information is slowly disappearing.

Re:Most of my writings are long gone. (2, Insightful)

Lennie (16154) | more than 3 years ago | (#32227310)

I guess message board could also mean on a BBS, so they would not be available on 'the internet archive'. But judging by the low slashdot id, I doubt he/she is also talking about BBS.

Re:Most of my writings are long gone. (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#32227392)

I have posted on BBS's but not much.
the vast majority of my postings have been on dem new fangled message boards.

Re:Most of my writings are long gone. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32227534)

because obviously every person who ever used a BBS also signed up for a slashdot account years ago.
slashdotid != age or anything meaningful to anyone who's not a douche

Re:Most of my writings are long gone. (1)

WCguru42 (1268530) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228224)

because obviously every person who ever used a BBS also signed up for a slashdot account years ago.
slashdotid != age or anything meaningful to anyone who's not a douche

You're post brings up an interesting question, is anything meaningful to the douche?

Re:Most of my writings are long gone. (3, Informative)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#32227638)

I have posts from BBSes in 1988-91 that are now archived on google. How did they get there? Well the BBS was connected to a nationwide network, so the posts were distributed all across North America (and probably Europe too). While most of those copies disappeared when BBSes died out, some anal retentive BBS Sys-op kept all of his files. He sold or gave his ~10-year-collection of ancient 1980s/90s posts to Google. And now my posts are archived for everyone to see.

That taught me a valuable lesson - not everything disappears. So now I only post under fake names. I doubt I'll ever be a political appointee, but the future is always surprising. If I ever do have that kind of job where ALL my life's work becomes relevant, and people start digging through the web, I don't want some ancient Slashdot or Usenet posts to come back and haunt me.

Re:Most of my writings are long gone. (2, Interesting)

MikeURL (890801) | more than 3 years ago | (#32227914)

Usenet posts may be the worst because it all got archived before people really had any reasonable expectation that the drivel they posted on a drunken Friday night would be archived for the rest of their life.

Personally I'd like to see some legislation that requires deletion of posts, tweets and other public data if either the email used to post them or the account used to post them is inactive for 10 years or more. This notion of preserving every post from 20 fucking years ago is pretty silly and at least in the case of usenet it is impossible to get rid of because Google makes it nigh impossible to delete the entire posting history associated with an email address.

Re:Most of my writings are long gone. (1)

kmoser (1469707) | more than 3 years ago | (#32233254)

That taught me a valuable lesson - not everything disappears.

Let's see if I have this right: you posted to a nationwide network of computers, whose primary purpose is to store and disseminate information posted to it, and you think entropy will somehow cause it to disappear magically?

So now I only post under fake names. I doubt I'll ever be a political appointee, but the future is always surprising. If I ever do have that kind of job where ALL my life's work becomes relevant, and people start digging through the web, I don't want some ancient Slashdot or Usenet posts to come back and haunt me.

What if you're asked to provide the IP addresses from which you posted anything in the past? More likely, what if your ISP gives you up? I hope you're using a proxy.

Re:Most of my writings are long gone. (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#32227350)

I don't even know all my old usernames.
Some might have been behind registration walls, other posts out in the open.
much of it trivial crap.

I can't wait for the day when a nomination for the supreme court gets rejected because of his 13 year old rants about how "Xboxes are totally for fags and noobdy likes Xbxes but fanboys"

Re:Most of my writings are long gone. (4, Funny)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 3 years ago | (#32227472)

I can't wait for the day when a nomination for the supreme court gets rejected because of his 13 year old rants about how "Xboxes are totally for fags and noobdy likes Xbxes but fanboys"

Or because of 14 year old self's Xbox Live login name...

"I see here you used to go by the alias, 'p00nhunter.' Now, can you please tell this committee what exactly a p00n is? And why you were hunting them?"

Re:Most of my writings are long gone. (4, Funny)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#32227658)

"Yes Congressman, I was a horny 14 year old that wanted to score pussy. Your secretary tells me you are *still* like that."

Re:Most of my writings are long gone. (2, Funny)

WCguru42 (1268530) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228246)

"Yes Congressman, I was a horny 14 year old that wanted to score pussy. Your secretary tells me you are *still* like that."

One up that with, "Your secretary tells me you are still looking for 14 year old poon."

Re:Most of my writings are long gone. (0)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228338)

"I see here you used to go by the alias, 'p00nhunter.' Now, can you please tell this committee what exactly a p00n is? And why you were hunting them?"

Suck my Moby Dick.

Re:Most of my writings are long gone. (1)

Idarubicin (579475) | more than 3 years ago | (#32230990)

"I see here you used to go by the alias, 'p00nhunter.' Now, can you please tell this committee what exactly a p00n is? And why you were hunting them?"

That depends. If you're older than the Senator, then he probably has a similar history: "Well, Senator, if you want to know why I was called p00nhunter then you should probably ask yo' mamma."

If you're younger than the Senatory in question, you can play to his ignorance: "Well, Senator Stevens, they're small, scaly creatures which inhabit the darkest and dampest tubes of the Internet. Few fourteen-year-olds had the boldness to probe the depths in search of the wily p00n; I think I was precocious."

Not if they were on usenet (1)

NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) | more than 3 years ago | (#32227336)

I mean you can search the usenet archives on Google Groups. I know I have and have found stuff I wrote 20 years ago. (Man, hard to believe I've been on the net for 20 years.)

Re:Not if they were on usenet (1)

rpetre (818018) | more than 3 years ago | (#32227492)

Some of the stuff, yes. All of the stuff? Next to impossible.

I've been online "only" for about 13 years. Most of these years I posted on the mailing lists of a local Linux community. In time I ended up the administrator of the services and mailing lists, and I've tried for years to gather a complete archive of all the emails, a task that has so far proven impossible ( a couple of server crashes and upgrades, nobody with such an extensive personal email archive, so on). Bits and pieces are still there (one of the lists was archived on mail-archive.com for a while, other things have been cross-posted, so on).

So yeah, there are a lot of stupid (and some smart) things that I said out there, but I'm absolutely positive I can't gather everything, as much as I'd try.

Re:Most of my writings are long gone. (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#32227518)

Don't worry, if you're nominated for a judicial position I'll vote for you. I think we'd all benefit from some /. perspective coming down from the bench. ;-)

Re:Most of my writings are long gone. (1)

rossdee (243626) | more than 3 years ago | (#32227522)

Are you likely to be nominated for a federal judicial position? If not I wouldn't worry about it.

Looking back at my Internet history... (3, Insightful)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | more than 3 years ago | (#32227284)

...I'm just glad that I'll never be nominated for an appointment to any US government position.

Re:Looking back at my Internet history... (1)

S.O.B. (136083) | more than 3 years ago | (#32227476)

Don't be so sure. If The Tea Party and the Republicans are to believed then the U.S. is on the fast track to being a socialist state with everyone working for the government.

Better start sanitizing your internet footprints now.

Re:Looking back at my Internet history... (0, Troll)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#32227692)

Not really. You still need to have Jobless or underpaid Walmart "victims" to whom your redistribute your socialist wealth (and buy votes). So no, not "everyone" would be working for the government.

  Socialism:
- You work your ass off trying to earn money.
- I sit and watch TV or internet all day, and then I suck the cash out of your wallet to pay my bills (food stamps, housing, doctors' bills, welfare, and other free stuff).

Re:Looking back at my Internet history... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32227832)

Socialism:
- You work to earn your living and enjoying life.
- You lose your legs in a work accident.
- You dont become a human trash.

What good money is for if you cant help your neighbours? It is because of greedy peoples like you that corruption, waste and suffering still exist despite all our technologies. It is because of you that we can have nice things. You are a faild human been.

Re:Looking back at my Internet history... (4, Interesting)

kdemetter (965669) | more than 3 years ago | (#32229150)

Well , it's a combination of both :

- You work your ass off trying to earn money
- I sit and watch TV or internet all day, and then I suck the cash out of your wallet to pay my bills (food stamps, housing, doctors' bills, welfare, and other free stuff).
- You lose your legs in a work accident
- You get some money , but it doesn't cover your medical costs at all , it barely covers your loss of income .

Really : i pay quite a lot of taxes , which i would expect to go to those who need it , but those people barely get anything from it ( i have a grandmother who worked her whole live , while also raising 4 kinds on her own , and she barely gets enough from her pension to live by ).

Instead it goes to people who know how to game the system.

So , it's a good idea in theory , but the problem is it can easily be abused , which results in the taxpayer paying too much , and those in need getting too little.
Offcourse , I'm talking from my own country's perspective ( Belgium ) . In some other European countries , like Sweden , it's a lot better ( you pay a little more taxpayes , but the medical care is a whole lot better ) .

Re:Looking back at my Internet history... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32234208)

So , it's a good idea in theory , but the problem is it can easily be abused , which results in the taxpayer paying too much , and those in need getting too little.

Solution: Those in need, need to learn how to game the system.

Consider it like anything else in a Capatalist society- those with the ability and knowledge and desire will get ahead at the expense of others. ie. Success of the fitt-est. The US never had any kind of guarantee of safety, success, etc. just the opportunity to pursue those things.

So if you're that mad about people gaming the system, figure out how to game it yourself, and that way you can at least get your investment back. It's worked for the rich and powerful for decades; raise their taxes & they find more ways to "lose" income while maintaining their wealth. It can work for you, too.

Re:Looking back at my Internet history... (1, Interesting)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 3 years ago | (#32227812)

As an example, it's my impression that if Tea Bagger^H^H^H^H^H^HParty backed radical right wing Republicans are in power, it won't matter what the person said or did in the past (i.e. a reflection of the person), as long as they spout the uber republican mantras now. If a nominee says they think Roe versus Wade was wrong, they will vote for them. If they say "born again", they will vote for them to get in. In other words, I think the principle that people make their selections and then look for ways to justify them will hold true no matter how much information people have on the subject. The internet just allows like minded people to group together and reinforce their opinions. If you are democrat or republican, you will look at web sites that agree with your thinking. So the only way the internet has damaged democracy is by making it too easy to create schisms.

If anyone has read the Dorsai series, the internet acts the same way as the proposed diaspora of people from earth will look like. For those that haven't read this sci-fi series, all the ultra religious Christians will go to one world, the Muslims to another, the mystics to another, the agnostics to another, the various political (but moderate religious) leanings to each of their own. All so they can finally make a world the way they think it should be. (The Dorsai by the way were a group of individualists who managed to settle a planet that had no great wealth of natural resources, and so, had to hire themselves out as mercenaries in order to earn money to buy off world goods... eventually becoming the best soldiers anywhere... much like the Ghurkas [wikipedia.org] .) The internet is similar as people will not generally visit sites taking positions outside their own beliefs.

Re:Looking back at my Internet history... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32229320)

You make a good point but you completely discredit it with the name calling... If you want to be a standup comedian, that's fine, just don't expect anyone to take what you say seriously or to think you're particularly funny because you used a pejorative.

Re:Looking back at my Internet history... (1)

AigariusDebian (721386) | more than 3 years ago | (#32234066)

I've lived in Socialism - same guys were in power and approximately the same number of them. There are career politicians in all forms of government.

Re:Looking back at my Internet history... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32228210)

This is why you post as AC on everything.

By the way, the Miller test is BULLSHIT! Why is the "prurient interest" any less worthy than other interests? Why does the Court think that it can determine "artistic value" by applying contemporary community standards---van Gogh died in poverty! The Miller test is the unfortunate side effect of a prudish society that claims "free speech" while attempting to suppress it. FUCK THE MILLER TEST WITH AN ELEPHANT COCK!

(So when I get nominated to the Supreme Court in 2037, I'm going to talk about how great obscenity case law is. Or politely demur.)

It shouldn't matter what age we're in (2, Insightful)

fustakrakich (1673220) | more than 3 years ago | (#32227316)

Some things never change. Some things you never do, regardless of the methods available.

Re:It shouldn't matter what age we're in (1)

Thiez (1281866) | more than 3 years ago | (#32227750)

I fail to see what you are trying to say. What do you mean by 'some things'?

Re:It shouldn't matter what age we're in (1)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228538)

I think he's trying to say that you should never put in writing anything you wouldn't want on the front page of the New York Times.

Time to change the policy (4, Insightful)

Hizonner (38491) | more than 3 years ago | (#32227342)

It seems to me that what's going to have to happen is that people are going to have to get over the idea that they can actually review every statement a nominee has ever made, get over the idea that people should be automata who never say anything possibly embarrassing (and thus that it even makes sense to want to review everything they've ever written), and get over the idea that there's some absolute bright line between the public and private life.

While we're doing that for the Supreme Court, maybe we should also do it for other random jobs. It's idiotic to check every Facebook a job candidate has ever made to see if they've failed to toe the line at all times. Doing that favors worthless nonentities.

These pretenses are technologically obsolete, and people need to deal with that.

Re:Time to change the policy (2, Insightful)

MrHyd3 (19709) | more than 3 years ago | (#32227374)

When you enter the arena of public life, everything is on the table as it was one's choice to enter it.

Re:Time to change the policy (5, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#32227744)

I think you missed the point. He's saying that nobody can live up to the standard of perfection demanded by voters. Everybody has "skeletons" in their closets, and the internet makes that even more important because it grabs and archives everything, even embarrassing posts.

Look at Senator Specter in Pennsylvania. He said something he should not have said at a Town Meeting. Normally that would disappear into the ether and be forgotten, but now everyone has cameras on their cellphones. It spread from the cellphone to the youtube, and then the national consciousness. Now you might say "Well Specter is an ass and deserves to lose," which I agree with, but I also think EVERYONE is an ass.

We all have said things we regret later. So we're ALL disqualified for the job, if you hold to that standard.

Re:Time to change the policy (2, Informative)

couchslug (175151) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228056)

So fuck working for the general public. Anyone who might be nominated has other, lucrative options.

Most of the public are, let's be kind, drooling pieces of shit. No wonder people who can screw over such willfully ignorant and stupid people do so.
The victims don't deserve better. Sucks for us (I won't say "the rest of us"), but the few people with an IQ over room temperature do have the tools to thrive no matter who is master.

Re:Time to change the policy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32228466)

Suprisingly enough I think the same about the slashdot crowd. How does it feel?

Re:Time to change the policy (1)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 3 years ago | (#32229840)

We all have said things we regret later. So we're ALL disqualified for the job, if you hold to that standard.

And even if someone isn't an ass, everyone makes mistakes. Things as little as using the wrong name when talking about someone or something could come back to haunt you.

No, cheaters still meet the standard... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32230666)

> We all have said things we regret later. So we're ALL disqualified for the job, if you hold to that standard.

No we're not. You see, when the only way to meet the standard is to cheat, only cheaters will meet the standard.

And there usually is a good enough cheater to "meet" the standard. We just pay for it later.

If we're lucky, they cheat in ways that benefit us. But don't count on that.

Re:Time to change the policy (2, Insightful)

fustakrakich (1673220) | more than 3 years ago | (#32227490)

...other random jobs.

I don't know any ditch diggers that could free me from jail, or sentence me to life in prison. Do you? For random jobs, no. For the boss, especially a judge, politician, cop, etc, that's different. I don't want some perverted bully putting me anywhere.

Re:Time to change the policy (4, Insightful)

NervousWreck (1399445) | more than 3 years ago | (#32227558)

Doing that favors worthless nonentities. Exactly. There is no such thing as someone who toes the line all the time. The only possible result of continuing this practice is to bar from the positions that require it anyone but those personality-less nonentities who: a- have so little individuality that it is possible to destroy all traces of it from the internet, and b- have so little self respect that they are willing to.

Re:Time to change the policy (1)

yuhong (1378501) | more than 3 years ago | (#32232850)

Yep, it is not the legacy PR age that is based on a broadcasting a message perfectly anymore.

Re:Time to change the policy (4, Insightful)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 3 years ago | (#32227774)

There is no policy. This is politics, not policy, and it's a result of the overly divisive politics that we've seen in the US since the 1990s (if not before). For most nominees, the issue isn't whether the nominee is pristine. It's whether the politicians ostensibly charged with vetting them are able to derive some political benefit from tearing down the nominee. It's also a proxy battle against the nominator, and perfectly good nominees get thrown to the wolves in the process.

Re:Time to change the policy (1)

Hotawa Hawk-eye (976755) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228976)

While we're doing that for the Supreme Court, maybe we should also do it for other random jobs. It's idiotic to check every Facebook a job candidate has ever made to see if they've failed to toe the line at all times. Doing that favors worthless nonentities.

If someone posts something like "God, I hate everyone and wish they'd all die" once on their Facebook, you can chalk it up to them having a bad day.
If someone posts something like "God, I hate everyone and wish they'd all die" repeatedly over a long period of time on their Facebook, it bears further investigation.

Simple solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32227348)

Make it illegal for anyone to delete anything. Or even easier - make speech illegal. Burn books, shut down schools, and cut out tongues. If the government can't know everything, then the masses must know nothing.

Conversely... (0, Troll)

Ken_g6 (775014) | more than 3 years ago | (#32227422)

Whenever you post anything publicly online, assume Congress will see it 20 years from now.

That's my attitude anyway. (Except when I post as an Anonymous Coward.)

Re:Conversely... (1)

davidbrucehughes (451901) | more than 3 years ago | (#32227480)

That's right, and further assume that the FBI, CIA, NSA and likely your operating system vendor and the guy in Tashkent who hacked your router are seeing it right now!

Re:Conversely... (5, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#32227784)

I'm less worried about Congress and more worried about the voters. Congressmen can be reasoned with, because for the most part they have embarrassing events in their lives too and can understand slips of the tongue. But not the voters. Imagine if you will:

VOTER #1: "OMG! Did you see what Senator Joe Smith posted when he was in college! Quote: Hey roomie: I am going to score some pussy tonight. Can I have the dorm from 8 to 12? thx."
VOTER #2: "Woah. He treats women like sex objects!"
VOTER #3: "Horrible. Let's protest against this womanizer."
VOTER #4: "Yeah! Girl power! Death to chavenists!"

And it spreads from there. It doesn't matter if Senator Smith is now in his 60s and does an annual walk with his wife & daughters to raise money for a breast cancer cure..... the idiot voters will skewer him for a post he made ~40 years earlier.

Re:Conversely... (1)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 3 years ago | (#32229866)

That's absolutely correct.

And what's even more scary is, even if he never made such a comment, everyone talking about it will put thousands of links on our search engines. It'll come back to haunt him decade after decade, because nobody verifies things are facts before passing them on.

Re:Conversely... (2, Funny)

V50 (248015) | more than 3 years ago | (#32230238)

It's especially bad as it turns out Sen. Smith was actually a judge in a cat show, and was, in preparation for a contest, scoring some of his friends' cats at his apartment to familiarise himself with the scoring system.

Naturally, of course, all the context is thrown out of the window when people want to protest something.

Re:Conversely... (1)

fishexe (168879) | more than 3 years ago | (#32230242)

I'm less worried about Congress and more worried about the voters...the idiot voters will skewer him for a post he made ~40 years earlier.

Yeah, those same idiot voters who voted down Barack Obama 'cause he didn't wear his flag pin at all times and said something about "clinging to guns or religion" that was totally reasonable but a bad sound bite. Oh wait...he won? Maybe voters are smarter than that...

Re:Conversely... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32230746)

It doesn't matter if Senator Smith is now in his 60s and does an annual walk with his wife & daughters to raise money for a breast cancer cure..... the idiot voters will skewer him for a post he made ~40 years earlier.

It doesn't matter if Senator Smith is now in his 60s and does an annual walk with his wife & daughters to raise money for a breast cancer cure. Who's the idiot? Are you sure? Really,really sure? I would give people a little more credit and the press, a little less credit.

This is a good thing (0, Troll)

fustakrakich (1673220) | more than 3 years ago | (#32227440)

Whatever it takes to bring transparency to authority. It helps to assure that those who want it are better qualified. It can shame the authorities to be more just in judging the faults of others.

Re:This is a good thing (5, Insightful)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#32227536)

It helps to assure that those who want it are better qualified.

If by "better qualified" you mean being a silver tongued bastard who has an innate ability to always say what's politically expedient.

Please note that this is not the same as being either honest or competent.

Re:This is a good thing (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228860)

Their tongues become pretty tarnished when they don't think when the mic is open. Gotta watch 'em in their natural habitat. The sword of Damocles is my weapon of choice to keep authority in check. And we must be big brother, always watching them.

Re:This is a good thing (1, Troll)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#32229288)

If by "better qualified" you mean being a silver tongued bastard who has an innate ability to always say what's politically expedient.

Follow that strategy, and you'll get Jon Stewart playing videotapes of you saying one thing and then the other. I think the biggest problem of instant retrieval of everything is just the opposite - never being allowed to change without being called a flip-flopper. Of course, there will never be consensus on when principle and determination go too far and become self-denial and stubbornness.

Re:This is a good thing (1)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 3 years ago | (#32235218)

I think the biggest problem of instant retrieval of everything is just the opposite - never being allowed to change without being called a flip-flopper.

Have you ever noticed how the folks accused of flip-flopping never quite seem to remember the past? It's not like they come out and say "yes, I have changed my position on this issue and here is why". They conveniently forget their past position or even claim outright they never held that position and that's when Stewart nails them.

Oh well... (1)

aceofspades1217 (1267996) | more than 3 years ago | (#32227502)

Since I am going to go into the law profession, I better keep all my wall posts on record. Heaven's forbid if I keep a wall post from when I was 17 about how I am happy obama got elected or a forum debate when I was 15 about Bush.

Re:Oh well... (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | more than 3 years ago | (#32227552)

Gee.. in the midst of puberty, I can hardly say I had politics on my mind..

Re:Oh well... (1)

aceofspades1217 (1267996) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228672)

I also compulsively read through slashdot, gizmodo, arstechnica (damn can you kill some serious time with ars!), and torrentfreak instead of paying attention in class during the 11th grade.

Life before the internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32228784)

I was busy poking into three dimensional, animated carbon units..

One person, many personae (5, Insightful)

Simonetta (207550) | more than 3 years ago | (#32227528)

a president nominates someone to the Supreme Court who had access to Twitter, MySpace, and Facebook at the age of 15.

This is why it is important to realize that everyone has multiple lives: private, public, serious, fun, sexual, intimate, bigoted, religious, etc...

It is not enough to inquire about a person's character. People have many characters. The characters or personae overlap somewhat, but not greatly.

Consider the English judicial court. The lawyers and judges put on ceremonial robes and wigs to specifically separate their lives, personalities, and past histories outside of the courtroom from the current business inside the courtroom.

Consider the thousands of women who have posed for men's magazines. Millions of men use their images for sexual projection ('wanking' for all you insensitive UK sods). Thousands of men have found themselves in the situation where they are working with women that they masturbated to, and felt an intimate connection for a ten second window. Only a serious jerk would dig up the old magazines or internet erotic photos and flash them to the other co-workers. Porn is a separate realm: what is in the stroke rag or porn film stays there. The woman that you work with is not the same woman whose picture is in the magazine, even if it is the same person. One person; multiple personae. Simple Puritan brains can't handle this concept. But,hell, you mastered C language and Linux APIs, you can master real-world sophistication also.

We see this also in the peculiar American obsession for destroying people's careers over the presence of molecules of marijuana in their urine. What a weird obsession! 'You are the purity of your piss!'. When people are stoned they are not the same personae as when they are sober. Both conditions are valid. But have their place. The only valid reason to destroy a person's career over their intoxicational preference is if (and only if) they are uncontrollably intoxicated in a situation where they are supposed to be sober. Outside of that, different drugs make different personae. Only fascists refuse to accept this.

These politicians digging into the judge candidate's background and demanding every brain fart of the candidate's past are all assholes. They are transparent chickenshit party hacks of a corrupt and bankrupt political system. They have some minor importance now, but they won't in future. All they will have then is the eternal hatred and contempt of the people trying to live with the consequences of their stupidity.

But of course, it's all a fiction. (2, Insightful)

taxman_10m (41083) | more than 3 years ago | (#32227610)

We may think we have all these multiple lives, but in truth there isn't anything separating them except for our own ability to compartmentalize them. We have but one life.

Re:But of course, it's all a fiction. (3, Insightful)

selven (1556643) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228494)

You may not realize it, but you act very differently depending on whether you're with family, friends, another category of friends or complete strangers. You adopt different personalities for different situations without even consciously realizing it. You might think you have one life, but in truth there isn't anything linking them except for the fact that they share a single memory.

Re:But of course, it's all a fiction. (1)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 3 years ago | (#32235182)

You may not realize it, but you act very differently depending on whether you're with family, friends, another category of friends or complete strangers. You adopt different personalities for different situations without even consciously realizing it. You might think you have one life, but in truth there isn't anything linking them except for the fact that they share a single memory.

You know, I did exactly that for a long time, and then one day decided to say fuck it.

These days I am *me*, the early 30's slightly weird, relatively nice guy who likes to play computer games. At work, with the family, and elsewhere. I like *me*. Some other people do as well. Some others don't. Big deal.

Re:One person, many personae (1)

dcollins (135727) | more than 3 years ago | (#32227846)

"This is why it is important to realize that everyone has multiple lives: private, public, serious, fun, sexual, intimate, bigoted, religious, etc. It is not enough to inquire about a person's character. People have many characters. The characters or personae overlap somewhat, but not greatly."

Maybe, for a psychotic person. Myself, I've always found that line of thinking to be total bullshit.

There is "being diplomatic" and then there is "having multiple lives". The first is strategically useful; the second is, like your philosophical key interest, mental masturbation. In fact, it's the "multiple lives" theory that gives cover to the most corrupt of our politicians.

Re:One person, many personae (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32227912)

Simonetta for President! Too bad you probably had to either wait till the current generation in power is retired (or dead) or run as an independent candidate. A new party for the new generation perhaps?

Re:One person, many personae (1)

zill (1690130) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228612)

Politicians may have multiple characters, but all those characters share the same wallet.

Re:One person, many personae (1)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 3 years ago | (#32230210)

"These politicians digging into the judge candidate's background and demanding every brain fart of the candidate's past are all assholes. They are transparent chickenshit party hacks of a corrupt and bankrupt political system. They have some minor importance now, but they won't in future. All they will have then is the eternal hatred and contempt of the people trying to live with the consequences of their stupidity."

Your screed would be more persuasive if we didn't live in a democracy.

If we don't like them, why did we vote in the transparent chickenshit party hacks?

Re:One person, many personae (2, Insightful)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#32231444)

It's not about "the purity of your piss", its about observing respecting the law.

Like it or not, Marijuana isn't legal in most places to possess or use, and in the time frame Clinton, W and Obama used it it wasn't legal anywhere. The outrage or lack of outrage has to do with someone running for the highest offices in the US government and if they respected the law. If they were working for Intel or GM, no one would care unless they failed a piss test.

Clinton did what Clinton did best, skirted the answer with a non-answer. Bush and Obama admitted to using illegal drugs, if I was asked the question I'd answer truthfully "Hell yea I did when I was younger, oh and later I had a medical marijuana script but it didn't work for me so I stopped."

Re:One person, many personae (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32231944)

After all, it's not like pot smokers are twice as likely to develop a psychosis of some sort. That's never been confirmed in a peer-reviewed scientific study.

Oh noes.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32227592)

What if we knew what our priveleged ruling class actually believes?

Maybe the person who can't justify what their views on niggers and kykes that they posted on MySpace (when they were 18 or 48, both are adults) isn't someone we want on the bench?

The West Wing - 11 years ago (4, Insightful)

tmk (712144) | more than 3 years ago | (#32227602)

The West Wing, Season 1, Episode 9:

SAM: It's not about abortion. It's about the next 20 years. Twenties and thirties, it was the role of government. Fifties and sixties, it was civil rights. The next two decades, it's gonna be privacy. I'm talking about the Internet. I'm talking about cellphones. I'm talking about health records, and who's gay and who's not. And moreover, in a country born on a will to be free, what could be more fundamental than this?

The tragic merge of of private / professional life (4, Insightful)

TehZorroness (1104427) | more than 3 years ago | (#32227804)

I was actually having the same conversation with one of my coworkers last night. The subject: Facebook. There used to be a day and age in America where you lived a professional life, and a private life, and there was little overlap.

Really, as long as the work is being done, it does not matter at all what I do in my left-over UNSOLD time. However, thanks to facebook, your friends are not the only ones who can pry into your private life. These days, employers look into all of the details of your personal life to judge you, instead of judging you based on your ability to actually work.

In the end, it doesn't matter. I don't have a facebook, and no one is going to stop me from smoking joints in my spare (unsold) time.

Re:The tragic merge of of private / professional l (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228280)

Not in most of the world they don't.

And just how does your employer get at your facebook posts anyway? Did you 'friend' your boss?

Re:The tragic merge of of private / professional l (4, Interesting)

guyminuslife (1349809) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228316)

You're not really following good privacy practices right now.

It looks like you have a Google Code profile under a different username. That username is also your AIM name, which is listed under your Slashdot profile. It doesn't show up in a Google search as being associated with your Slashdot username...yet. I assume that if you ever finish somenewlang, and want to show it to a prospective employer, that you would need to delete your current account---and hope they don't check the Internet archives!---and create a new account under a different name, so that your Google Code account would not be associated with your Slashdot username.

In any case, once they have "TehZorroness" as a potential alias, they can find you with user accounts on torrent sites and over here admitting you smoke pot. Nothing I care about, but nothing you want an employer to see, either. And I haven't even gotten past the first page of results. So don't bang on us for using Facebook.

Re:The tragic merge of of private / professional l (1)

guyminuslife (1349809) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228342)

Fortunately, I don't have a name and a picture yet. I have a Facebook. Can you find mine?

Re:The tragic merge of of private / professional l (4, Informative)

guyminuslife (1349809) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228438)

Oh, shit. You can.

Fucking Live Journal. I thought I deleted that when I was 17.

Re:The tragic merge of of private / professional l (3, Insightful)

fishexe (168879) | more than 3 years ago | (#32230442)

Oh, shit. You can.

Fucking Live Journal. I thought I deleted that when I was 17.

I think you've just made the point of this thread.

Re:The tragic merge of of private / professional l (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32235790)

Smoking pot and being active on piratebay is the least of it Albert, it's all the stuff directly listed on your domain ;-o

I wonder if a potential employer would be interested in apparent connections to civil disobedience groups (http://towel.nukelol.com/cd/), opinions on the Westwood police force (http://towel.nukelol.com/pigs/) or maybe just your thoughts towards Amanda? (http://towel.nukelol.com/stuff/amanda_pics/amanda)

At least the Internet Archive haven't stored all this yet, Mr Brown. Although there are some dubious writings from 2007 there.

Imagine ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32227816)

a president nominates someone to the Supreme Court who had access to Twitter, MySpace, and Facebook at the age of 15

Imagine the decisions

Judge: Lk srsly Ur nt mi frnd. Eym in ur hws crappin in ur shews.

Age of Consent. (1)

bezenek (958723) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228356)

In the United States, you have to be 18 years old to decide whether or not to possibly damage your future life by smoking. Additionally, except for some serious cases, we have a juvenile court record which is sealed for life, because at one time people recognized a young person might make mistakes which should not affect them when they are adults.

But, as Chris Good points out, Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, Youtube, Web sites, etc. might end up following people for the rest of their lives.

Is it reasonable for a judge being confirmed in 2050 to have this denied via public opinion because he/she had a Facebook video of themselves with a group of friends doing something stupid when they were 15? Or 12?

What about pictures taken via a Web-cam attached to a laptop which was lent to them by their public school?

What about archived video from one of the thousands of cameras placed in public places in most larger US cities?

-Todd

Re:Age of Consent. (1)

WNight (23683) | more than 3 years ago | (#32230106)

What did they say at 15? Something lame and juvenile, or something disgusting and racist?

What about pictures taken via a Web-cam attached to a laptop which was lent to them by their public school?

If it shows them doing something truly horrible, you'd ignore it?

We don't need a statute of limitations on crazy postings, we just need to pay attention to the right things. I don't care if the incoming justice smoked pot at 17, or three days ago. I do care if they've ever expressed racist views, excused someone in authority (police officer, etc) without proper investigation, etc.

Re:Age of Consent. (1)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 3 years ago | (#32235204)

Is it reasonable for a judge being confirmed in 2050 to have this denied via public opinion because he/she had a Facebook video of themselves with a group of friends doing something stupid when they were 15? Or 12?

Considering that at that point there will be entire generations that have an internet legacy...because you guys will have become a little less uptight about it?

Then again, by that time the US might be a full-blown theocorporacracy and it doesn't matter what the candidate did in the past so long as he believes in Jesus(tm), as brought to you by GM.

A Lot Of Reading (1)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228482)

So who can take the time to examine the 60,000 pages of materials that a person might have created from the age of 15 onwards?
      Then right after reading each creation one would need to study the context in which it was made.
      Panels will never have enough hours to do even a crude examination of such compilations. Worse yet how could the mind contain such an inquiry and then compare it to others who have applied for the same positions.

Re: A Lot Of Reading (1)

Hotawa Hawk-eye (976755) | more than 3 years ago | (#32229034)

So who can take the time to examine the 60,000 pages of materials that a person might have created from the age of 15 onwards?

No one. That's why they'll skim them, just like Cardinal Richelieu supposedly did:
If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him. [wikiquote.org]

By the way, if I posted this using the "Post Anonymously" option and then was nominated for federal office (HIGHLY unlikely) would I be expected to call this out as part of the approval process?

Re: A Lot Of Reading (1)

izomiac (815208) | more than 3 years ago | (#32229686)

Exactly. A few years ago I used to post regularly on a discussion board. Not a great deal, only a few hundred posts, but I'm apparently long-winded since I later determined they contained a couple hundred thousand words. Now, if I'd been a more prolific poster I could have easily posted ten times that amount, and continued for many years.

It probably takes around 1/10th of the time to read something as to write it, so to read a lifetime of work it would take a very long time. What'll happen is that nothing will be read closely, nor in context. The examiners will just scan for distasteful phases. Heck, it wouldn't surprise me if they just scanned for keywords to look at your position on various controversial topics.

I'm reminded of a quote by Confucius, "Look at the means which a man employs, consider his motives, observe his pleasures. A man simply cannot conceal himself!" If you read nearly everything a person has written, then you'd know about all there is to know about most scholarly people. At that point, are you really appointing a respectable person with excellent insight and judgment, or are they the person that happened to best fit the checklist? A person might change their beliefs, so I suppose that's why most judicial appointments are of older folk who have likely solidified their beliefs.

Re: A Lot Of Reading (1)

smart_ass (322852) | more than 3 years ago | (#32233430)

Here's my suggestion.

Write a program to randomly post total garbage to your Twitter / Facebook etc ridiculously frequently for a few weeks.
If 60 000 pages is a problem, imagine inundating them with 6 000 000 pages.

My other thought ... specifically with regards to Tweets / Facebook ... who archives this?

If someone offered my $1 000 000 for all my Facebook status messages I would give up in about 30 seconds. I doubt that it all exists in a reasonably indexable location if at all.

Re: A Lot Of Reading (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32234280)

So who can take the time to examine the 60,000 pages of materials that a person might have created from the age of 15 onwards?

Staffers. Paid for by our tax dollars.

Then right after reading each creation one would need to study the context

HAHAHAHAHAHA oh wait you were serious. hint: this is politics, context means jack shit.

Panels will never have enough hours to do even a crude examination of such compilations.

That's why staffers compile summary reports for them with just the juicy bits.

Worse yet how could the mind contain such an inquiry

We figured out this thing called "Writing" which allows us to store more information more permanently than memories allow.

and then compare it to others who have applied for the same positions.

Why would we compare it to others? Or do you really think that all "applicants" are going to be treated equally on level footing? This is government work, there are no racial hiring quotas, and nobody can sue if they don't like how many of the positions are held by white men, and nobody gets to sue for compensation or damages because they were "discriminated" against. It's straight up old-fashioned dog-eat-dog politics.

get real (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32228830)

you'd figure some of these public sector douchebags need to finish an entire jug of spoiled milk before pronouncing it unfit for consumption.

"imagine what will happen" (2, Insightful)

SlappyBastard (961143) | more than 3 years ago | (#32229134)

When the Facebook era of justices come along, we'll have to face reality and accept that our authority figures are not and cannot be 100% chaste pillars of virtue. That, or we'll just leave the jobs open indefinitely. Considering where the far-right's going with their ideology, I don't feel comfortable ruling out permanent vacancies as the answer.

Just say no! (0)

anwyn (266338) | more than 3 years ago | (#32229238)

The qualifications for the U.S. courts are written in the constitution. Congress and the Senate do not have the power to rewrite these qualifications, short of a constitutional amendment.

Nominees should ignore unreasonable requirements.

Disqualified (1)

Riddler Sensei (979333) | more than 3 years ago | (#32229244)

Every single one of my friends and I have resigned ourselves to the fact that we can NEVER run for public office thanks to our many AIM, vent, and forum conversations.

Saw this coming (0, Troll)

V50 (248015) | more than 3 years ago | (#32230114)

I've been very interested in politics since I was 15 or 16 or so (23 now). Around the same point, I realised that, while not likely, it was still entirely possible that I might end up in a position where something I wrote on the internet will bite me in the arse 10+ years later. Since that realisation, I've been generally trying to keep myself from writing anything too embarrassing, or political on the internet. Still, I find it amusing, in the theoretically incredibly unlikely event I end up as Prime Minister or something important, people combing over posts I made on a Pokemon message board when I was 12. Or protesting that I supported something silly when I was 14. (OMG, look at this, the PM posted some weird pro-British Empire stuff when he was 14, he must be a closet racist!)

So yeah, for the past 6 or 7 years, most of the stuff I've posted has been gaming related, or generally politically neutral. There are a few wild things from when I was 12-15, and I'm sure I've slipped up and posted something stupid since then.

Could work in your favor... (2, Funny)

pyrote (151588) | more than 3 years ago | (#32232102)

" 'Imagine what will happen when, decades from now, a president nominates someone to the Supreme Court who had access to Twitter, MySpace, and Facebook at the age of 15."

This could work in alot of people's favor...
When applying as the Head of the Agriculture Department...

"As you can plainly see, I had several successful Farmville farms at age 15."

Naked on the Net (1)

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) | more than 3 years ago | (#32232166)

I have tried to keep track of what I have written since grade (not grad) school. That said, I am CERTAIN that I could not come up with everything even if I could spend $100,000 and my life depended upon it. It would be like trying to figure out every time I made a pass at a woman. Most of the time, she might not have even noticed, and other times I might not have thought I made one.
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