A second blogger in the Kopf family

RackMultipart20141107-9095-hmza8rOur son, Keller, and I have discussed writing over the years. As an academic biologist in Australia, Keller has written extensively about marine and freshwater fish for scientific journals. This year Keller ventured into the blogosphere and a discussion of policy matters. More on that in a moment.

The Conversation, Academic rigor, journalistic flair is a public blog that promotes informed discussion on important subjects of public interest. It has sites in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States. It is a blog–really a journal–that features exchanges between experts in particular fields and informed lay people. The Conversation is funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Alfred P Sloan Foundation and William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The global publishing platform is funded by Commonwealth Bank of Australia. The Conversation is well worth reading on a frequent basis.

Now, back to Boyo.  As the first author, Keller, together with Nicole McCasker and Paul Humphries, wrote Why are there no true freshwater protected areas in Australia? In the article, Keller and his coauthors promote the idea of protecting Australia’s abundant and pristine freshwater ecosystems, primarily in the north of Australia, much as the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness on the US-Canada border is protected.

Photo credit: Carole Mackinney pursuant to a Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. Australia’s north is home to many pristine rivers, but most national parks are focused on land-based conservation. The McArthur River at Borraloola, in the Northern Territories, is pictured.

Photo credit: Carole Mackinney pursuant to a Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. Australia’s north is home to many pristine rivers, but most national parks are focused on land-based conservation. The McArthur River at Borraloola, in the Northern Territories, is pictured.

The article received national attention in Australia and prompted interviews of Keller from radio stations across Australia. I think Keller was amazed that a small blog post could do what dense academic journal articles failed to do. That is, promote real change talk about scientific matters that Keller feels strongly about.

So, as the New Year approaches, I am pleased to say that we now have two bloggers in the family. But, I should not stretch that comparison too far. After all, Keller knows what he is talking about, while I might more properly be called a dilettante. Anyway, I hope Keller continues to devote some of his writing to public policy matters having to do with his area of expertise. If I do say so myself, he is good at it.

RGK

 

“Sharing” my thoughts

For many purposes, and for most of us, the digital world has become the same as the physical world. Even though I “write” it, this blog exists because of the internet and technology and not pen and paper. You don’t call or send me a letter in response, you send me a digital “comment.” I “own” the domain in my own name, but I can’t produce this blog without help from third parties.

I contract with WordPress.com to provide the platform. Before I complete this post, I will have written drafts of it. Those drafts “revisions” can be accessed by me. They are stored on WordPress servers–I think the servers belong to WordPress.com but I am not really sure. Since I also “write” using my Google Chromebook, I have taken to savings things (like media I use on the blog) to the Google Cloud. By the way, I trust Google more than I trust the government.

Now, let’s assume that some government official wants to know what my drafts looked like on my earlier controversial post about what women wear to court. On some posts, I go through 30 to 40 drafts. Do I have an expectation of privacy in my drafts even though I have “shared” them with third parties?

Scott Greenfield gets at this important “sharing” issue today. Scott H. Greenfield, The Simpleton’s Guide To The Third Party Doctrine, Simple Justice (May 5, 2014). I urge you to go over there and read what he has written.

RGK

PS SHG is a great writer and a no bullshit realist. He would make a super federal trial judge because of those attributes and, as important, because of his real life trial experiences. Mostly, I would love to read what he writes as a judge just to see how his mind would evolve when he was forced to pull the “it is so ordered” trigger.

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