Thursday, May 07, 2020

Zoom Va Va Voom

I have not posted much lately because I normally need an inane and provocative topic. We have lived among such  doom and gloom that it is hard to find humor these days.  While I may have tendencies towards tastelessness,  it doesn’t necessarily mean that I have bad taste.  Ah, but I noticed something recently about the new practice of law that has the potential to be quite humorous.

Yesterday, I participated in Zoom hearings where I noticed a new trend; the use of avatars instead of personal depictions. As I entered into a Zoom hearing there were the usual scenarios; professional lawyers Zooming in from their offices…or goofs like me Zooming from casual areas in the house.  As we can all now relate to,  the computer screen looked like the title sequence from The Brady Bunch. To my surprise, in the middle of my monitor screen, was the judge but, she was not positioned in front of a camera.  Instead, she had a glamour shot as the alternative. Her 1970’s style, Farrah flip-curls were shiny and bouncy in all their glory. That picture, akin to a 1979 high school yearbook picture, talked and issued rulings.  The picture had a pleasant smile yet it was emitting some mean words and phrases (like denied, I've heard enough and call the next case) .  I pondered that maybe this was merely an anomaly, the judge was having a bad hair day and needed a... stand-in.  

Then came my next Zoom hearing. This time, in that middle picture, was an extremely glamorous, glamour shot (the judge must have paid for extra adornments because this photo looked like it was taken  by Annie Leibowitz ).  Her honor looked ravishing... perhaps the  reason she used that photograph?

So, if Zoom is the future of the practice of law, then the avatar may become a natural extension of the trend.  Now there may be the consideration, “What shall my avatar be”? For me, my choice for my avatar may be the album cover from the Rolling Stones’ “Sticky Fingers”,  Superman (arms akimbo) or Brad Pitt. Or maybe (as my detractors may allege), a bottom-dwelling reef fish.

Can Zoom hearings be hacked with an assignment of avatars upon others? Such ingenuity may be right around the bend. Can a dollar sign, collapsed spine, or monkeys flinging their own feces be imposed upon certain judges?  Will the Zoom avatar become like a ring tone or a hairstyle,  an assertion of individualism? 

Be safe out there. 


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

O.K. I have criticized your humor in the past, but this things is so funny that it amkes up for almost all of your left-leaning, progressive, Democratic, hyperbolic "rightspeak." It is really, really funny. I hope that the judge is either a very good friend or is one of the few people on the planet who does not know who you are. But, damn it. It was still worth it.

Anonymous said...

stupid and sexist post

Anonymous said...

Rump: Im the commentator from a few posts back, the one whose critique of your "wait until July 1 to open" position left you with nothing but ad hominems. ("Turn off Fox News, Turn off Alex Jones," etc.)

First off, I havent watched cable TV news in probably ten years. Im not a baby-boomer. Second, you said I was wrong about immunity and vaccines. Please, do explain.

Do you know how vaccines work? It's not complicated. They rely on the body, in response to a tiny injection of virus, to produce antibodies, conferring immunity. If the antibodies produced by an actual covid infection do not confer immunity, there will be no "vaccine". This is simple stuff.

And we have never seen a corona-type virus, in the history of viruses, whose antibodies do not confer immunity. Is it possible covid-19 is unique in this regard, and that people can be re-infected? Sure, it's possible. It would be devastating and would mean we will only ever be left with treatment and palliatives. The good news, again, is that historically this would be lottery-level rare... and given that people have been infected since at least November, there would likely be definitive, inarguable cases of second-infections well documented by now. There aren't.

But again, we are left with a question you cannot answer: what magic happens July 1 that makes it a better reopen date than June 1? Or May 15? The virus will still exist, without a vaccine, without proven treatment. (You might argue for a lockdown until these things exist, but notably you are not.) Any date apart from a vaccine-date is arbitrary.

The language bandied about online now is to buy time for "testing and tracing". Let's presume you believe we will be able to do this by July. That is, what, weekly tests for all 330M Americans? How many billion tests is that? What kind of infrastructure to achieve compliance? And what to do with positives? "Trace"? Presume we start to reach NYC level numbers, so 20-30% of 330M Americans test positive.... You imagine contact tracing for the dozens of people that each of 70M americans had contact with?

This would be a governmental undertaking that would dwarf our WWII efforts. It is, frankly, a pipe dream... and to accomplish what? The identification of a hundred million people 90% of whom are asymptomatic and 0.3% of whom will need medical attention? Those who need that attention are already well aware -- and they are seeking treatment. So we tested and traced in order to identify people who self-identify on a daily basis.

There's just no logic to your position. This would be ripe for an academic debate if those enforcing your position were not ravishing the economy, putting tens of millions out of work, disrupting our food supply chain, interrupting cancer diagnoses, exposing children to food scarcity, separating special needs students from their support, kneecapping small businesses, running hospitals out of business....

The scale of this tragedy is unthinkable, and that is perhaps why you are not thinking about it.

Anonymous said...


This article pretty well sums the Zoom avatar world gone wrong. Imagine that happening in hearings before 7/5/20.

Anonymous said...

Go into Zoom settings and simply pick a nice head shot to use.

1. Hit settings.
2 Click on your name at the top.
3. Put in a profile picture that will show up on all other screens when you shut off video. That way they know you are their but, turned off video so they don't see you picking your nose while waiting for your turn.
4. Display your name as Joe Biden, Esq. or Randy Smith, APD or Leo Jones, ASA. That way everyone sees who the hell you are and how you represent.
5. Under personal note, say that you are Private Defense Counsel.

Now, that will make it easier on all and stop touching your face.


Anonymous said...

I am so upset and disgusted by the JQC.

Judge Carroll Kelly is an exemplary Jurist. For the JQC to find that she violated ethical rules and could perhaps lose her position is insane.

The JQC can cause a Judge to lose their job just because of an INQUIRY as the resultant news articles convict the judge by the media.

God bless this incredibly dedicated Judge. There are many others that should be removed. Drop this case JQC. Right Runpole?

Anonymous said...

Here's a Miami judge quite concerned with how she appears on screen.


Anonymous said...

12:32pm post?

Most brilliant analysis that I have heard yet. I don’t know who you are, but clearly you are really smart. Thank you.

I’ll be interested to see what Runpole says in response. Hey 12:32pm, what’s your recommendation on the stock market and us investors out here who are confused by the decoupling of equity price increased to the crumbling economy?

Rumpole said...

OK smarty pants- (one writer- 11:52 is same as 12:32) I do not have a lot of time for fools but very quickly there are several types of vaccines that do not require the simplistic type of immuno-response you think is needed. Moving past the issue of monoclonal antibodies because I do not have the time to walk you through it consider this:

Recombinant vaccines can create a bar to the surface of the virus and the cell it seeks to invade. Thus while someone infected with the virus will not produce the bar or barrier to the virus reinefecting them, a Recombinant DNA Vaccine (RDV) can. RDVs are made using bacterial or yeast cells to manufacture the vaccine. A small piece of DNA is taken from the virus or bacterium against which we want to protect by blocking the cell receptor. This is inserted into other cells to make them produce large quantities of active ingredient for the vaccine (usually just a single protein or sugar). For example, to make the hepatitis B vaccine, part of the DNA from the hepatitis B virus is inserted into the DNA of yeast cells. These yeast cells are then able to produce one of the surface proteins from the hepatitis B virus, and this is purified and used as the active ingredient in the vaccine. The surface protein can be manipulated to stop the host cell from accepting the virus cell by blocking the receptor.

You need to understand cellular biology and the science of cell receptors to understand why in virto we can block a cell receptor that the body, even after being infected, cannot.

So now please turn off Newsmax, stop reading about Alex Jones and colloidal silver toothpaste, and go disinfect your brain before it is too late.

Anonymous said...


Before you do what Carol Kelley did, ask the JQC first. They will gladly answer your question. For me, Carol is one of the best judges ever and I feel sorry that her well meaning actions came to this.

So, why has not the JQC gone after Jeri Beth Cohen for all her well meaning actions that were illegal and unethical like making family members do drug tests even though she has absolutely no jurisdiction over them.

Anonymous said...

Rump is focusing on the minutiae of cellular biology and calling people names because he is wrong on the bigger picture in his debate with 12:32.

We are sitting on almost 15% unemployment, and that number is almost certain to get worse before it gets better. The economy is in free fall. The relief offered by congress, while needed, is also going to set off inflation (a problem that has long been under counted in our economy by economists applying 1950s economic factors to a 21st century world). Seniors, who know life is short, are being deprived of the remaining quality of life available to them, namely, meaningful visitation with family. Life is being negatively impacted in enumerable ways (although there have certainly been some bright spots).

Life is not without risk. Those looking to continue the efforts of the last two months are not evil or stupid, they're just wrong and scared. We cannot eliminate risk. And life must go on.

Its not time to ignore the coronavirus and pretend that nothing is going on. But it is NOW time to acknowledge that there is a new normal, that the new normal is still better than life throughout almost all of human history, and to get on with it.

Anonymous said...

I would think you see the IP addresses to know that I, 11:52, am not the same as 12:32. But perhaps it feels good to imagine no one agrees with me.

In any regard, you have not answered what magic happens on your re-open date. The proverbial curve has been flattened. Unless corona mutates into a brand new virus with a brand new hospitalization rate, our hospital capacity is not threatened. Sheltering-at-home was a conservative position in mid-March and few can fault the decision-makers with taking the conservative position. It had a cost, of course, but that cost is compounding interest right now, long after its goal -- curve flattening -- has become irrelevant.

So again, feel free to enlighten me, any time after youre done hyperventilating about Alex Jones or whoever your latest bogeyman is. Why should we shelter-at-home until the magic date of July 1? Why that date?

And to each person whose cancer would have been diagnosed between now and July 1, to each family for whom the next seven weeks will prove the final straw between economic self-sufficiency and food give-aways, to each woman unable to escape domestic violence, to each suffering soul turning to opioids without a job or a social network, to each business owner crossing the line into bankruptcy, to each landlord now facing eviction or mortgage failure, you can explain to them that these seven weeks were really important because Alex Jones (or whoever) is a bad, bad person... a virus denier!