More Humanities Works Going Open Access

The National Endowment for the Humanities announced in January that, through a grant to university publishers, out-of-print, but valuable humanities monographs will be made available to the public on an open-access platform. This is being done in conjunction with the organization’s Common Good initiative. The subtitle on the Common Good “about” page features a quote from the National Foundation of the Arts and Humanities Act of 1965: “The humanities belong to all the people of the United States.” NEH and Mellon are jointly committing $1 million to this effort.

“Most humanities books are not best sellers…Let’s see if we can come up with creative ways of getting that material spread as widely as possible,” said Brett Bobley, NEH chief information officer.

Burwell Argument Exchange on Exchanges: Acceptable to Modify Clear Statutory Provisions to Conform to Constitution?

Read the Burwell oral argument transcript from March 4. There is an interesting segment from (roughly) pages 14 to 18 involving Breyer, Kennedy, Scalia, Sotomayor, and attorney Michael A. Carvin, on the consequences of holding the federal exchange invalid upon certain federalist principles. The elimination of subsidies to the non-participating states’ citizens would presumably have a coercive effect upon the states. I’ll post something more on all of this later. The decision is expected in June.

Language Generator Mimics Fifty Shades’ Dummy Prose: Is There a Lesson Here for Legal Publishing?

Powering this software “generator” appears to require more human effort and input than People’s headline lets on though it is nonetheless amusing. The text result reads something like remedial freshman poetry (perhaps the inexact nature of the program’s vocabulary inadvertently mimics the abstractions and allusions of amateurish verse).

I do wonder what the corporate publishing world is making of this. If the executives indeed believe that words are cheaper and less meaningful than pennies, the answer may be painfully obvious.