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Judge Posner's Second Life

Judge_posner Judge Richard A. Posner is doing just fine in his first life, thank you. There's that gig on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, that lecturer post at the University of Chicago Law School, that blog he co-authors and even his own fan site. Yet few were surprised and many were impressed when Judge Posner took on a second life, in the form of an appearance by avatar in the virtual world known as Second Life.

He showed up there Thursday, where he spoke about his new book, Not a Suicide Pact: The Constitution in a Time of National Emergency, and took questions from Second Life denizens such as copyright lawyer William Patry. For those of us too busy with our own first lives to attend, Second Life blogger Wagner James Au has posted the transcript of Posner's talk. Observes Au:

"If you want to gain a deeper sense of an influential thinker, bring him into an alien environment where he's beset on all sides by humanoid animals, supermodels, and intermittent fireballs, and see how he engages the unpredictable world around him."

Judging by the transcript, Posner's second life stood up as well as his first, even if his appearance was punctuated by moments such as this, when Posner noted an unusual avatar in the audience:

JRP: Is that a raccoon?
Kear Nevzerov: I'm a "furry". Not sure how I got this way.
JRP: I think it's Al Qaeda.
KN: I'm really an IP lawyer from DC. Honest.
JRP: I like your tail.

As for Posner's own take on the event, he told Fortune writer Roger Parloff that he thought he "looked kind of weird."

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on December 12, 2006 at 05:28 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)


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