On the Chanda Prescod-Weinstein watch:
Almost 200 scientists from around the world have joined the #ParticlesForPalestine call for a #CeasefireNOW, academic freedom for all, and support for Palestinian scientists! If you haven’t joined us, now is the time! Statement and link for signing here:https://t.co/2m9yKNHIse— Chanda Prescod-Weinstein (@IBJIYONGI) November 17, 2023
There is nothing really new in the "Particles for Palestine" litany, but at least it makes its sympathies obvious. And it is yet another example of … well, I keep coming back to this paragraph from a (paywalled) Kevin D. Williamson article I quoted a month ago:
History moves on, and, if you get left behind—it may not be your fault, but it is still your problem. The Israeli forces should be the least of the mortal worries afflicting those Hamas killers—if the Palestinians had any self-respect, it would be them taking the lead in putting an end to the power of these monsters, who are homicidal maniacs when it comes to the Jews but who haven’t done the Palestinians a lick of good, either. But, unhappily, the one almost universally shared assumption of modern diplomatic discourse is that the Palestinian Arabs are something less than whole and complete human beings, that they are not advanced enough to be true moral actors because they do not have the strength of national character to bear the moral weight that falls exclusively upon the shoulders of the Israelis and the peoples of the other liberal democratic states. The Palestinians, according to this line of thought, just bounce around like windup toys, and only the Israelis, the Americans, and the Europeans can be expected to behave like responsible adults. Nobody ever puts it exactly that way, of course, but that’s the upshot. The Palestinians are treated by their so-called advocates and benefactors as though they were a nation of people who have no agency and, hence, no responsibility.
And that "modern diplomatic discourse" is what you will find aplenty at the "Particles for Palestine" site. As if they were following the script KDW wrote last month, their main "ceasefire" demand "falls exclusively upon the shoulders of the Israelis". Demands (or even suggestions) they make of Hamas? Palestinians? Zero. Does the word "hostages" appear in their petition? Nope.
The PfP manifesto claims (without evidence) that Israel's response to October 7 is "ostensibly in retaliation for violence perpetrated by a small number of people." The obvious question is: why don't the (implied) large number of people demand that those small number of people surrender, put down their weaponry, and release whatever hostages they hold?
I think that question answers itself.
Also of note:
Let your AI read, OK? TechDirt's Mike Masnick looks at the state of legal challenges to training Large Language Models on copyrighted material: Sarah Silverman’s AI Case Isn’t Going Very Well Either.
Just a few weeks ago Judge William Orrick massively trimmed back the first big lawsuit that was filed against generative AI companies for training their works on copyright-covered materials. Most of the case was dismissed, and what bits remained may not last much longer. And now, it appears that Judge Vince Chhabria (who has been very good on past copyright cases) seems poised to do the same.
This is the high profile case brought by Sarah Silverman and some other authors, because some of the training materials used by OpenAI and Meta included their works. As we noted at the time, that doesn’t make it copyright infringing, and it appears the judge recognizes the large hill Silverman and the other authors have to climb here:
U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria said at a hearing that he would grant Meta’s motion to dismiss the authors’ allegations that text generated by Llama infringes their copyrights. Chhabria also indicated that he would give the authors permission to amend most of their claims.
Meta has not yet challenged the authors’ central claim in the case that it violated their rights by using their books as part of the data used to train Llama.
“I understand your core theory,” Chhabria told attorneys for the authors. “Your remaining theories of liability I don’t understand even a little bit.”
In case you missed it, Pun Salad had a bit of fun fisking a Facebook post from author Joyce Maynard on this topic last month.
More good legal news. And it's noted by Mitchell Scacchi of the Josiah Bartlett Center: Court dismisses lawsuit challenging legality of Education Freedom Accounts.
The Merrimack County Superior Court this week dismissed a lawsuit brought by Deb Howes, president of the American Federation of Teachers-New Hampshire (AFT-NH), challenging the constitutionality of New Hampshire’s Education Freedom Account (EFA) program, the state’s largest school choice program.
Scacchi runs some numbers refuting the union's president's claims that EFA drained needed funds from government schools.
In the 2021–22 academic year, total spending (state, local, and federal) on New Hampshire public schools exceeded $3.5 billion. Total expenditures per pupil exceeded $23,000.
The EFA program is tiny in comparison. The court pointed out that, from the $1.145 billion Education Trust Fund, a mere $9 million was transferred to the EFA program in the 2022 fiscal year. The state’s estimated cost in the 2024 fiscal year is just $22 million, a tiny fraction of the more than $3.5 billion spent on public schools. EFA expenditures per pupil average just $5,255 versus more than $23,000 for public schools.
More numbers and facts at the link.