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David Anthony Colarusso - Sadly not Havoc Dinosaur
Intermittent musings on the law, science, education, technology, design, and life. Also, I build things: furniture, software, reasoned arguments... To learn more about that, click a persona below for my eponymous website.

Archive for August, 2009

My “Secret” Summer Project in Open Source Crowdsourcing

by David Colarusso - August 4th, 2009

In addition to serving as Professor Farnsworth’s research assistant, interning with Navy JAG’s Appellate Defense Division, and a few paying development jobs, I’ve been working on something else in my “spare time.” I’ve been playing this one pretty close to the vest because experience has taught me that this type of project doesn’t always reach maturity. That being said, time to share. It’s a rather heady collaboration between the non-profit eCitizen Foundation, the Berkman Center, and some folks over at the Media Lab. We’re attempt to do one thing well, open-source-distributed-human-evaluation of web content. Here’s a rough scope I put together that we’re discussing with a developer later today. I’d love your feedback, esp. if you think you might be a user.

The Case Hunt

by David Colarusso - August 3rd, 2009

Professor Farnsworth
Professor Farnsworth

This has been an amazing summer. In fact, the last year has been pretty darn cool. I left teaching to attend Boston University Law School last fall, and to say that I’ve been busy would be an understatement. CommunityCOUNTS did it’s part in the election, and I’d like to think that its Ask The President forum helped nudge the administration into launching its first online town hall. My work even got a nod in the ABA’s Student Lawyer.

Overall, law school has been quite enjoyable. I participated in the ABA’s client counseling and negotiation competitions, and I’ve made many good friends. I developed a code-based study routine I call the LawBot. Basically, I codify black-letter law into if-then statements. I figured, that since you never learn anything as well as when you teach it, I should teach a computer how to take my tests. My notes may have looked like computer code, but they were darn useful.

My favorite part of law school, however, has been the summer. I’ve gotten the opportunity to work with my favorite professor (Ward Farnsworth) on a new text, and I’ve had the chance to get my hands dirty interning with the Navy’s Criminal Defense Appellate Division in DC. For those Futurama fans out there, no, this Professor Farnsworth does not own an intergalactic shipping company. He is the author of The Legal Analyst: A Toolkit for Thinking about the Law and a really great guy. In fact, The Legal Analyst was recommended to me before I even decided where I was going to law school. It’s a great read, and I wish more of my classes were like those taught by Professor Farnsworth.

Anywho, I’m back in Boston and working for Farnswoth finding cases for a criminal law text he’s writing, and in a moment of down-time, I thought I’d remedy my long silence. I’m such a bad blogger. I blame twitter.



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