Regarding laws allowing mentally ill patients to buy guns:
This is about shifting the burden of proof from the state to the individual. Under such a regime, one who has voluntarily availed him or herself of mental health services is automatically flagged as dangerous, and put in the position of proving that he is not.
It gets worse, passing over the delay and expense, which would be considerable, we should recall that the mental-health professionals do not deal in simple, black-and-white certainties. They cannot be expected to guaranty that a patient cannot do the wrong thing at some point in the future.
Regarding an art exhibit created with the help of a virtual assistant:
I keep wishing mankind would collectively say, “Damn, this computer shit was a big mistake.” I always dirty my fingers with the ink version of Roberta Fallon’s column before going online. Reading screens makes reading words on paper physically difficult. An old friend and linguist now makes serious money working for Microsoft but reports that thanks to her Kindle she is now unable to read words on paper. For a while I used a magnifying glass or thick glasses to read paper. Who knows how we’ll live in 10 years?