NY Court of Appeals Upholds 19 Convictions Against Raphael Golb in Dead Sea Scrolls Case

Raphael Golb had multiple convictions upheld by the NY Court of Appeals. He had appealed the 29 counts on which he was convicted and which the Appellate Division had upheld.

Raphael Golb had multiple convictions upheld by the NY Court of Appeals. He had appealed the 29 counts on which he was initially convicted and which the NY Appellate Division had upheld. The NY Court of Appeals upheld 19 convictions.

The NY Court of Appeals today affirmed and upheld a total of 19 convictions of Raphael Golb, son of Dr. Norman Golb, Ludwig Rosenberger Professor in Jewish History and Civilization at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, in a bizarre internet cybercrime case stemming from crimes committed beginning in 2007.

The NY Court of Appeals upheld 9 convictions of criminal impersonation and all 10 forgery convictions in the case of the People of NY v. Raphael Golb, in which the defendant created an army of pseudonymous online sock puppets to criticize, harass, and ultimately impersonate various scholars who disagreed with the academic findings of his father, Dr. Norman Golb, concerning the Dead Sea Scrolls.

The court vacated the top charge of identity theft (felony), 5 criminal impersonation convictions, all aggravated harassment convictions, as well as the conviction on the count of unauthorized use of a computer.

For the reasons that follow, we affirm the convictions for nine counts of criminal impersonation in the second degree and all of the convictions for forgery. We vacate the conviction for identity theft in the second degree; five of the convictions for criminal impersonation in the second degree; all of the convictions for aggravated harassment in the second degree, and the conviction for unauthorized use of a computer.

(For more, visit the NY Court of Appeals “Decisions” page.)

The vacating of the lone felony charge may mean reduced or no jail time for Dr. Golb, but that will be for the NY Supreme Court to decide, as the case has been remitted to them for resentencing:

Accordingly, the order of the Appellate Division should be modified by vacating the convictions for Counts 2, 3, 5, 23, 29, 40, 42, 44, 48, and 51, dismissing those counts of the indictment, and remitting to Supreme Court for resentencing, and, as so modified, affirmed. [emphasis mine]

Keep in mind, however, that while the now vacated felony count carried a sentence of six months and 5 years probation, the misdemeanor counts also carried three month prison sentences and three years probation of their own. So there is a chance that Dr. Golb’s prison sentence may be reduced, but as 19 misdemeanor counts were affirmed, he could still serve time.

(For a list of convictions that were earlier upheld by the Appellate Division, see my earlier post from Jan. 29, 2013 here.)

Reaction

I offered an initial response when Dr. Golb was initially sentenced. I’ll add only the following:

For all those involved, this has been a grueling time. At the end of the day, Dr. Golb has been found guilty on 19 counts in a truly groundbreaking cybercrime case, which I’m sure many future cases will reference.

Raphael Golb is not only an internet troll, but he’s also a criminal and now a convict. A jury of his peers, the NY Appellate Division, and now the NY Court of Appeals have all said so.

And while one might argue that sending pseudonymous letters to multiple supervisors containing speech that is intended to harass and “destroy the career prospects of a really nice guy” is not criminal harassment, it is difficult to argue that forgery and criminal impersonation are “protected” speech. That is where Dr. Golb’s actions became criminal, and that is what the court has upheld.

Throughout this ordeal, we also learned that Raphael Golb’s father, Dr. Norman Golb, not only knew about some of the activities of his son, but participated in informing them.

This is simply a sad case of academic pride run amok, and an example of the lengths to which some scholars will go to defame and injure those scholars who happen to disagree with their theories, including knowledgeably working with one’s children, who have created an army of internet sockpuppets to commit crimes against others.

While I don’t feel any better now that the NY Court of Appeals has determined that I wasn’t harassed (at least not “criminally”), I am satisfied that Dr. Golb was found guilty on multiple counts, and that both the Appellate Division and the NY Court of Appeals have affirmed these convictions.

I should like to think that this will be the end of this mess, but I’m certain that this saga will continue. Dr. Golb has already vowed further appeals all the way to the US Supreme Court if allowed. For now, I take satisfaction in knowing that the wheels of justice, however slow, have once again arrived at a correct decision, and will continue to do so.

DEVELOPING…

Great digital modeling work being done on Karnak at UCLA by Dr. Elaine Sullivan

The UCLA Visualization Portal displays a 3D virtual reconstruction of Karnak.

The UCLA Visualization Portal displays a 3D virtual reconstruction of Karnak.

Congratulations to Dr. Elaine Sullivan at UCLA, who was recently featured in the Harvard Gazette regarding her research on a 3D virtual reconstruction of “The Temple of Amun-Ra at Karnak: 2000 Years of Rituals and Renovations in 3-D.”

The Karnak model depicts the temple from its earliest hypothesized form in the Middle Kingdom, about 1950 B.C., through the Ptolemaic and Roman periods. It allows the viewer to trace the changes of the temple over time, considering how each new stage of construction was a response to the existing landscape, Sullivan said.

And Harvard’s Philip J. King Professor of Egyptology, Dr. Peter Der Manuelian, understands the power of virtual modeling ancient archaeological sites:

The 3-D models are “terrific tools for teaching and also terrific research tools, because you begin to ask questions that were not possible before.”

Kudos to Dr. Sullivan on her years of work on Digital Karnak, which can be viewed in detail at UCLA’s Digital Karnak website.

steve kolowich at inside higher ed: on evaluating the digital humanities

Steve Kolowich has published an excellent piece entitled, “The Promotion That Matters,” on evaluating the Digital Humanities in Inside Higher Ed.

In it, he discusses the growing problem of evaluating scholarship within the Digital Humanities. The article is worth a read. Here are my initial comments:

The humanities have finally caught up to business, law, science, and medicine and have discovered methods both to digitize classical works in the Humanities, as well as employ the latest technologies and methodologies to generate new knowledge within the Humanities.

Of course, two persistent problems remain for new disciplines (and methods within disciplines):

  1. There are those who do not appreciate (or understand) the new technology and/or discipline. People always fear (or are at least skeptical of) that which they do not understand. This goes especially for established scholars who used traditional methods (read: typewriters and bound dictionaries) to generate their research. While these scholars are always looking for new and better ways to do their research, they are not often the first adopters of new technologies, and are therefore wary of them at the beginning. Until established scholars have had enough time to review research generated by new digital methods and deem it credible, they will rightly be skeptical of what the young digital humanists are doing.
  2. There is no accepted way to evaluate the research generated by scholars in the Digital Humanities. Since you cannot manage what you cannot measure, and since you cannot promote what you cannot manage, it is essential that those scholars who do understand the Digital Humanities make themselves available to serve on the rank, tenure, and promotion committees for scholars at neighboring institutions. In fact, there may be a small cottage opportunity for those willing to establish a Digital Humanities evaluation group within the academy.

One other thing: even if “Digital Humanities” fades as an independent discipline (which I believe it will), those humanists hired into established departments need peers with knowledge of the new technologies and methodologies to evaluate their research. As a digital humanist hired into a traditional department within the Humanities (Classics and Religious Studies), it is understandably difficult to find a classical philologist or medieval religious historian who understands virtual reality and 3D digital reconstruction of archaeological remains. For this reason, many universities like UCLA (Center for Digital Humanities) and Iowa (Digital Studio for Public Humanities) have established centers for the Digital Humanities where scholars trained in both traditional Humanities disciplines and new digital approaches to the Humanities research can assist scholars with Digital Humanities research.

Give the article a read.

eBook ‘Archaeology 2.0: New Approaches to Communication & Collaboration’ now available

Archaeology 2.0: New Approaches to Communication & Collaboration, ed. by Eric C. Kansa, Sarah Whitcher Kansa, and Ethan Watrall

Archaeology 2.0: New Approaches to Communication & Collaboration, ed. by Eric C. Kansa, Sarah Whitcher Kansa, and Ethan Watrall

There is a new digitally-published (like!) book available at the University of California’s eScholarship repository entitled, Archaeology 2.0: New Approaches to Communication and Collaboration. The book is edited by Cal Berkeley’s Eric C. Kansa, the Alexandria Archive Institute’s Sarah Whitcher Kansa, and Michigan State’s Ethan Watrall.

The volume explores the social use and context of the Web within the discipline of archaeology, and it is the first book in the UCLA Cotsen Institute’s new Digital Archaeology Series. A printed version of the book will be available shortly (hopefully in time to be on display at the ASOR conference!).

You can read more about the book at the Heritage Bytes Open Context blog.

Go ye therefore and read for free!

(And congratulations to the editors on the new volume!)

Sad News: The Passing of Dr. Hossein Ziai

Dr. Hossein Ziai, Professor of Islamic and Iranian Studies, Inaugural holder of the Jahangir and Eleanor Amuzegar Chair in Iranian Studies, and Director of Iranian Studies at UCLA

Dr. Hossein Ziai, Professor of Islamic and Iranian Studies, Inaugural holder of the Jahangir and Eleanor Amuzegar Chair in Iranian Studies, and Director of Iranian Studies at UCLA

Sad news from the UCLA Iranian Student Group:

We regret to inform the friends, family, students and colleagues of Dr. Hossein Ziai of his passing on August 24, 2011.

Dr. Ziai was professor of Islamic and Iranian Studies, Inaugural holder of the Jahangir and Eleanor Amuzegar Chair in Iranian Studies and the director of Iranian Studies at UCLA, where he had taught since 1988.

He received his Ph.D. in Islamic Philosophy from Harvard University in 1976.

Prior to his position at UCLA, Dr. Ziai taught at Tehran University, Sharif University, Harvard University, Brown University, and Oberlin College.

Dr. Ziai’s numerous publications cover Islamic philosophy, the Iranian Illuminationist School of philosophy and “Persian Poetic Wisdom” defined in relation to the epistemology of knowledge by presence.

Dr. Ziai is survived by his wife Mahasti, his son Dadali, his daughter-in-law Stephanie and his grand-daughters Malia and Acacia.

An important member of the Iranian community has passed away, and ISG extends our condolences to anyone who has been touched by him and his wisdom.

ISG

UCLA Iranian Student Group

You can read more about Professor Ziai at his website.

You will be missed, Professor Ziai.

congrats to dr. peter lanfer and sarah drew

UCLA's Dr. Peter Lanfer and Sarah Drew Lanfer, who plays Dr. April Kepner on ABC's Grey's Anatomy

UCLA's Dr. Peter Lanfer and Sarah Drew Lanfer, who plays Dr. April Kepner on ABC's Grey's Anatomy

(It’s about time someone reported this story ‘exclusively’ so we can publicly congratulate you!! ;-)

Congratulations are in order to my colleague, UCLA prof (and frequently visiting Dartmouth prof) Dr. Peter Lanfer, and his wife, Grey’s Anatomy star Sarah Drew Lanfer, on the announcement of their coming child. Peter is a scholar specializing in Second Temple Judaism at UCLA, and Sarah plays Dr. April Kepner on the hit ABC show.  (I’d love to see how that virginity theme is going to play out now…)

The People article reveals:

The actress, 30, is due in January, her rep tells PEOPLE exclusively. This will be the first child for Drew and husband Peter Lanfer.

Allow me to add my personal congratulations on your getting knocked up. You two are shining examples of class, professionalism, kindness, humility, and downright hilarity. Roslyn and I enjoy the time we spend with you, and you will make excellent parents. I pray that your growing family is always filled with laughter and happiness. And we look forward to seeing your round belly at SBL. (That goes for you too, Sarah. ;-)

יברכך יהוה וישמרך

יאר יהוה פניו אליך ויחנך

ישא יהוה פניו אליך וישם לך שלום

Congratulations again!

job available at ucla: librarian for advanced research and engagement

UCLAPosition: Librarian for Advanced Research & Engagement
Institution:
UCLA
Posted:
April 21, 2011
Location:
California (UCLA Campus in Westwood Village, Los Angeles)
Employment Level:
Non tenure track
Website:
http://www.ucla.edu
Application Deadline: Open until filled
Category: Librarians/ library administration
Employment Status: Full-time
Rank and Salary: $56,496 to $88,488 USD
Salary and appointment level based on experience and qualifications.
Associate Librarian IV – VII ($56,496 – $68,892)
Librarian Rank I – IV ($68,892 – $88,488)
Department:
Collections, Research & Instructional Services (CRIS)
Position Availability: Immediately

Based in UCLA’s Charles E. Young Research Library, the CRIS department is composed of area and subject specialists who are responsible for building, managing, and providing access to the research collections in all formats in support of humanities and social sciences research and teaching. CRIS librarians serve the faculty and students in these disciplines by providing high-level reference and research services in person, via telephone, and electronically (i.e., e-mail and chat). The department is responsible for staffing the Research Library reference desk. CRIS librarians actively participate in UCLA’s Information Literacy Program, taking the lead in the design and delivery of specialized instruction sessions for upper division and graduate level courses. Subject specialist librarians in CRIS work closely together and in cooperation with librarians from other UCLA Library units to meet faculty and student needs. They serve as liaisons to academic departments and research units in their areas of responsibility.

Position Duties


Reporting to the Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) Team Leader in CRIS, the Librarian for Advanced Research & Engagement (LARE) serves as an ambassador for the Library, promoting library spaces, expertise, and services to advanced scholars in the social sciences and humanities. Using the recent renovation of the Research Library as an opportunity to rethink the role of the library on campus, this individual will create programming, staffing, and services to foster an intellectually stimulating environment that nurtures and invigorates the research life cycle. Broadly speaking, the LARE conceptualizes, implements, and promotes projects, programs, and events with faculty and students; develops and coordinates associated library services; and provides strategic leadership in the area of research and consultation services.

More specifically, the LARE plays a central role in developing research services and scholarly programming both for the newly renovated Research Library spaces particularly in the Research Commons and Reading Rooms and throughout the UCLA Library enterprise-wide. The Librarian also plays a central role in highlighting the collections of the UCLA Library and launches programming such as physical and virtual exhibitions, films, seminars, workshops, lectures, and discussion groups to highlight and promote use of existing print and digital collections as well as scholarly tools at UCLA. The LARE works closely with social sciences and humanities faculty and students to address their research and teaching needs, and develop new research projects. In collaboration with subject specialist librarians, the LARE acts as a key Library liaison to the numerous Organized Research Units (ORU) on campus, including the Ethnic Studies research centers, the Center for the Study of Women, the International Institute, and others, working with them on research projects, programming, and exhibitions. The LARE leads outreach efforts to other campus groups that work with graduate students and faculty — such as the Graduate Writing Center, Academic Technology Services, the Center for Digital Humanities, and the dozens of research centers on North Campus — to coordinate their services with those of the Research Library. The incumbent will also be responsible for keeping abreast of new modes of research in the humanities and social sciences, and consequently develop ad hoc methods of engagement that highlight the Library’s role in promoting and furthering this research.

The LARE works with the Head of CRIS and with the SSH Team Leader, as well as with the AUL for Academic Services, the AUL for Collection Management and Scholarly Communication, and the AUL for Digital Initiatives and Information Technology on long-range strategic planning for new initiatives, projects, programming, exhibitions, events, and grants. The incumbent also works closely with the Librarian for Digital Research and Scholarship, the Director of Teaching and Learning Services and Head of the College Library, the Director of Library Communications, the Director of Library Development, the Director of Access Services, the Director of Library Special Collections, and others as needed, to provide ways for scholars to engage with library resources and promote resources, services and programming. The LARE develops capacity and expertise among the librarians and staff within CRIS and other Library departments and units to support work in advanced scholarship through instruction, training, demonstrations, lectures, and workshops. The LARE partners with other campus stakeholders to position the Library as a bridge between researchers in different fields, facilitating interdisciplinary scholarship. The LARE will also develop a for-credit course on advanced research to be taught in the Department of Information Studies or as an undergraduate seminar class and design a research program that will bring social sciences and humanities scholars into the UCLA Library to maximize use of the campus’s research collections.

In the LARE’s capacity as Research and Engagement coordinator, the incumbent will provide vision and strategic leadership as well as coordination of services for the Research Library’s scholarly services. Duties also include developing and implementing, in collaboration with the CRIS Department Leadership Team, a research support service model that will maximize subject specialists’ expertise. The incumbent identifies and implements suitable assessment tools to capture the full breadth of qualitative and quantitative data related to scholarly services; works with other departments within the UCLA Library organization to provide assistance to scholars across a broad range of expertise, in a variety of library settings; and partners with other coordinators within the UCLA Library to develop, manage, and deliver a unified scholarly services profile. As Research and Engagement Coordinator, he or she will oversee activities, services, and staffing in the Research Commons and Reading Room, according to the model established. These duties may include hiring, training, and supervising student Reference Desk Assistants to provide research services. The incumbent may also oversee a training program for research service providers, including librarians and staff.

The incumbent is responsible for the following duties:

  • Leadership of Enterprise-Wide Scholarly Outreach and Collaboration
  • Plays a central role in creating research services and scholarly programming for the newly renovated Research Library spaces–particularly in the Research Commons and Reading Room–and throughout the UCLA Library enterprise-wide.
  • Launches programming– such as physical and virtual exhibitions, films, seminars, workshops, lectures and discussion groups–to highlight and promote use of existing print and digital collections as well as scholarly tools at UCLA. Publicizes research output on campus.
  • Works closely with Social Sciences and Humanities faculty and students to identify and address their research needs, and to develop new research projects. In collaboration with subject specialist librarians, acts as a key Library liaison to the numerous Organized Research Units (ORU) on campus, including the Ethnic Studies research centers, the Center for the Study of Women, and the International Institute. Works with ORUs on research projects, programming, and exhibitions.
  • Leads outreach efforts to other campus groups that work with graduate students and faculty — such as the Graduate Writing Center, Academic Technology Services, the Center for Digital Humanities, and the dozens of research centers on North Campus — to coordinate their services with those of the Research Library.
  • Keeps abreast of new modes of research in the Humanities and Social Sciences and develops ad hoc methods of engagement that highlight the Library’s role in promoting and furthering this research, including demonstrations of emerging scholarly resources and technologies to interested faculty, students, staff, librarians, the research community, and library supporters.
  • Works with the Head of CRIS, the SSH Team Leader, the AUL for Academic Services, the AUL for Collections Management and Scholarly Communication, and the AUL for Digital Initiatives and Information Technology on long-range strategic planning for new initiatives, projects, exhibits, events, and grants.
  • Within the Research Library, works closely with the Librarian for Digital Research and Scholarship, the Director of Teaching and Learning Services and Head of the College Library, the Director of Library Communications, the Director of Library Development, the Director of Access Services, the Director of Library Special Collections, and others as needed, in providing ways for scholars to engage with Library resources and in promoting Library resources, services and programming.
  • Develops additional capacity and expertise among the CRIS librarians and staff and librarians and staff in other Library departments and units to support advanced scholarship through instruction, training, demonstrations, lectures, and workshops
  • Partners with other campus stakeholders to position the Library as a bridge between researchers in different fields to facilitate interdisciplinary scholarship.
  • Develops and teaches a for-credit course on advanced research, in collaboration with the Department of Information Studies or the Fiat Lux undergraduate seminar program.
  • Designs and launches a research program that will bring Social Sciences and Humanities scholars into the UCLA Library to maximize use of the campus’s research collections.

Research Library Academic Research and Engagement Coordination

  • Provides vision and strategic leadership as well as coordination of the Research Library’s scholarly services.
  • In collaboration with the CRIS Department Leadership Team, develops and implements a research support service model that will maximize subject specialists’ expertise.
  • Identifies and implements suitable assessment tools to capture the full breadth of qualitative and quantitative data related to scholarly services.
  • Works with other departments and coordinators within the UCLA Library organization to provide assistance to scholars across a broad range of expertise, in a variety of library settings, and to develop, manage, and deliver a unified scholarly services profile.
  • Hires, trains, and supervises student Reference Desk Assistants to provide research services in the Research Commons and Reading Room.
  • Oversees training program for research service providers including librarians and staff.

Candidates applying by May 31, 2011 will be given first consideration.

For the complete job posting, please visit: http://www2.library.ucla.edu/about/employment.cfm.

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