AI and Legal Personhood

Blake Plante (PO ‘18) In March 2016, an artificial intelligence named Sophia—now a citizen of Saudi Arabia—was jokingly asked “do you want to destroy humans?” She responded, “Ok. I will destroy humans.” This does not mean that Sophia has an agenda to exterminate humanity; rather, it is indicative that Sophia is not aware of what…

The Future of the Salton Sea: Interview with Malissa McKeith and Phillip Johnson, Part 1

Interview by Blake Plante (PO ‘18), Blog Writer Transcribed by Jessie Levin (PO ‘18), Staff Writer, and Blake Plante (PO ’18), Blog Writer Malissa McKeith is a veteran environmental attorney and a partner and chair emerita of the Los Angeles-based legal firm, Lewis Brisbois. She is co-founder and president of Citizens United for Resources and…

Kafka and America’s Prison Industrial Complex

By Blake Plante (PO ’19) “Thus do I counsel you, my friends: Mistrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful.” —Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra Nietzsche writes that infliction of punishment unleashes a “festival of cruelty” which reaches its most jubilant form when organized by the state; that the pleasure in punishing must…

California Debates Healthcare

By Blake Plante (PO ’19) On Sunday October 22, the four Democratic candidates for the California gubernatorial race met in front of the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) for a substantive debate that explored single-payer/universal health care plans, the opioid crisis, mental health policy, right to work laws, sanctuary cities, how to gain bipartisan…

The Ends of Sanctions on North Korea

By Blake Plante (PO ’19) When reactionary sanctions are the international community’s only major response to North Korea’s dash for nuclearized ICBMs, it becomes essential to evaluate the possible results of sanctions on North Korea: is it likely that sanctions will prevent Pyongyang from developing nuclear warheads? What comes next if sanctions fail? How should…