Laws governing software can seem a bit remote unless you can find a humorous angle such as "MS: Dancing as fast as it can to try to get away from GPLv3". Courtroom interactions are always potentially amusing. Simon McGarr gave an engaging talk on Digital Rights Ireland at BarCampIreland1 has an amusing post remembering the late George Melly and how he defended the idea of some language being "bad" was absurd in court.
His post links to a post on the most entertaining trial ever. This exchange is worthy of the best of Yes Minister!. Commenting on that trial Fergal Crehan regrets in his Shut up, Witness post that "Oddly, I was never given a handout of this transcript by my advocacy lecturer". Perhaps a transcript of this should be given to every defendant :)
It isn’t, strictly, a question, and it is not graceful English but you must pretend that it is a question and then answer it, otherwise we will be here for ever.
Wow. It's useful to have it spelled out by a judge.
Where you and I would say, “Where were you on Tuesday?”, they are more likely to say, “Perhaps you could now inform the court of your precise whereabouts on the day after that Monday?”.
I was first introduced to Socrates when in school. The Apology of Socrates is really radical material for a teenager trying to figure out a suitable role in society. Socrates give us a practical method to show the shallowness of real knowledge in any profession:
... having fallen into conversation with him, this man appeared to be wise in the opinion of most other men, and especially in his own opinion, though in fact he was not so. I thereupon endeavored to show him that he fancied himself to be wise, but really was not. Hence I became odious, both to him and to many others who were present. When I left him, I reasoned thus with myself: I am wiser than this man, for neither of us appears to know anything great and good; but he fancies he knows something, although he knows nothing; whereas I, as I do not know anything, so I do not fancy I do. In this trifling particular, then, I appear to be wiser than he, because I do not fancy I know what I do not know. After that I went to another who was thought to be wiser than the former, and formed the very same opinion. Hence I became odious to him and to many others.This method proved infectious with students to the point that society got a lot less comfortable for the establishment
In addition to this, young men, who have much leisure and belong to the wealthiest families, following me of their own accord, take great delight in hearing men put to the test, and often imitate me, and themselves attempt to put others to the test; and then, I think, they find a great abundance of men who fancy they know something, although they know little or nothing. Hence those who are put to the test by them are angry with me, and not with them, and say that "there is one Socrates, a most pestilent fellow, who corrupts the youth."Amusement is probably the most underrated democratic weapon in healthy society. It gets people to think more creatively about the issue. People can connect with stories and if you find an amusing story things change. However serious the technical point to make an impact "people must be 'amuthed'".