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by
Glenn Reynolds

Bio

July 19, 2011 - 4:57 am

In the Wall Street Journal, Adam Savage reviews William Gurstelle’s The Practical Pyromaniac. Gurstelle is also the author of Backyard Ballistics.

Key bit:

“I took my boys camping last summer. We drove a hair-raising set of muddy cliffside roads to a secluded campground in the middle of nowhere. We lit a fire and ate mediocre food and slept in a soggy tent and woke up in a puddle. What do they remember from that trip? The fire. Only the fire. All the sticks they burned in it. Watching it change as the evening wore on. Getting close and burning new things. Their fascination with our firepit is the foundation of all scientific discovery. This is, I believe, Mr. Gurstelle’s point, and he has explored it admirably.”

I think that fire — and fireworks — also are important because they give young people an experience of dealing with something dangerous at close hand, which in modern life isn’t common enough. Injuries are (usually) minor, but lessons are lifelong.

WHO IS GLENN REYNOLDS? I’m a law professor at the University of Tennessee. I write various law review articles, opeds, and other stuff. I’m a Contributing Editor at Popular Mechanics. I’m a columnist at The Washington Examiner. My most recent book is An Army of Davids : How Markets and Technology Empower Ordinary People to Beat Big Media, Big Government, and Other Goliaths. My next most recent book is The Appearance of Impropriety: How the Ethics Wars Have Undermined American Government, Business and Society, (The Free Press, 1997) coauthored with Peter W. Morgan. For something completely different, see Environmental Regulation of Nanotechnology: Some Preliminary Observations, from the April, 2001 Environmental Law Reporter. Some of my other law review writings can be found in PDF form here. I’ve also written for The Atlantic Monthly, URB, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, The New York Times, and numerous other publications. I’m interested in everything, but my chief interest is in the intersection between advanced technologies and individual liberty. The vast majority of my writing touches on this in one way or another.
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