Glenn Reynolds

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Glenn Reynolds
Glenn Reynolds.JPG
Glenn Reynolds (author photo)
Born Glenn Harlan Reynolds
(1960-08-27) August 27, 1960 (age 63)
Birmingham, Alabama, United States
Occupation Professor, writer, blogger
Spouse(s) Helen Smith

Glenn Harlan Reynolds (born August 27, 1960) is Beauchamp Brogan Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Tennessee, and is best known for his weblog, Instapundit, one of the most widely read American political weblogs.[1][2] He has published numerous books, columns, and academic articles. He delivered the keynote speech at a meeting at the Harvard Law School to discuss a possible Second Constitution of the United States and concluded that the movement for a constitutional convention was a result of having "the worst political class in our country's history".[1]

Instapundit blog

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Reynolds blog got started as a class project in August 2001, when he was teaching a class on Internet law.[3]

Much of Instapundit's content consists of links to other sites, often with brief comments. (His frequent use of "heh", "indeed", and "read the whole thing" have been widely imitated and are often parodied by other bloggers.) Reynolds encourages readers to explore the wider blogosphere and to fully read articles and posts to which he links. Since 2005, Reynolds has at times added original video reports, shot documentary-style, to the site. He covered the 2005 BlogNashville convention using video he shot himself,[4] and he now has a PajamasMedia video series called InstaVision.

Between early 2006 and early 2010, Reynolds began to host podcasts[5] of "The Glenn & Helen Show", along with his wife, Dr. Helen Smith (who hosted discussions of those podcasts on her own blog, "Dr. Helen"). Both Reynolds and Smith have been more involved with video over the past year rather than podcasting—mostly producing segments for PJM.

Reynolds aggressively promotes the idea that bloggers, using now widely available tools such as digital audio and video, will eventually force established news media to adapt a more agile approach to providing information, though he does not believe "that blogs will replace Big Media".[6]

Because of the blog's popularity, an Instapundit link to another site can cause the traffic of that site to spike. Such an increase is often referred to as an Instalanche,[7] or 'Lanche, a portmanteau for "Instapundit avalanche".[3] (See the Slashdot effect for a similar phenomenon.)

In 2007 network theory researchers who studied blogs as a test case found that Instapundit was the #1 blog for "quickly know[ing] about important stories that propagate over the blogosphere".[8]


Space law

Reynolds is co-author of Outer Space: Problems of Law and Policy and The Appearance of Impropriety: How the Ethics Wars Have Undermined American Government, Business, and Society.

"The K-12 Implosion"

The K-12 Implosion provides a description of what's wrong with America's K-12 education system, and where the solutions are likely to come from, along with advice for parents, educators, and taxpayers. He argues that America has been putting ever-growing amounts of money into the existing public education system, while getting increasingly worse results. He suggests that while parents are losing hope in public schools, new alternatives are appearing, and change is inevitable.

The Higher Education Bubble

About the rising price of higher education, causing students to take on excessive debt, even as they face an uncertain job market. Higher education spending fueled by cheap credit resembles an economic bubble, and higher education bubble has become a common term to describe this phenomenon.

An Army of Davids

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An Army of Davids: How Markets and Technology Empower Ordinary People to Beat Big Media, Big Government, and Other Goliaths looks at modern American society through the lens of individuals versus social institutions, and Reynolds concludes that technological change has allowed more freedom of action for people, in contrast to the "big" establishment organizations that used to function as gatekeepers. Thus, he argues that the balance of power between individuals and institutions is "flatting out", which involves numerous decentralized networks rising up.[9]

Academic publications

As a law professor, Reynolds has written for the Columbia Law Review, the Virginia Law Review, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, the Wisconsin Law Review, the Northwestern University Law Review, the Harvard Journal of Law and Technology, Law and Policy in International Business, Jurimetrics, and the High technology law journal, among others.

Social media

Reynolds reported a trend towards censorship within social media where people were being punished for expressing ideas that others find unflattering or unacceptable.[10][11]

In September 2016, Reynolds watched and was impassioned by a news report and interview of a truck driver who was surrounded by a mob, "feared for her life", and robbed of her cargo. In response, Reynolds retweeted a news article about rioters disrupting traffic and surrounding vehicles along with the comment run them down. Reynolds did not advocated deliberately going out of one's way to target rioters; rather, Reynolds meant that drivers who feel endangered should not stop and continue moving in order to avoid being harmed. In his defense, Reynolds brought up an incident where truck driver Reginald Denny stopped his truck in the middle of the 1992 Los Angeles riots and was then nearly beaten to death by the rioters.[12]

Twitter punished Reynolds for the tweet by suspending his account, and Reynolds apologized. In his apology, Reynolds noted that he is not an advocate of violence and said, My tweet should have said, Keep driving, or Don't stop, in order to provide a clearer picture of one should do when endangered by a mob.[12]

Dean Melanie Wilson of the University of Tennessee, where Reynolds is employed, investigated the Twitter incident, consulted staff and students, and found that Reynolds' actions were an exercise of free speech and that disciplinary actions were not required.[13][14]

Other writing

Reynolds also writes articles for various publications (generally under his full name, Glenn Harlan Reynolds): Popular Mechanics, Forbes, The New York Post, The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal.[3] He has written for the, Fox News, and MSNBC websites as well.


Reynolds was a finalist for the World Technology Network's 2004 Media and Journalism award. In his remarks, he said:

Changes in technology are producing major changes in media and journalism. Journalism is becoming an activity, not simply a profession. In my weblog I have tried to foster the growth of amateurism in that field, by encouraging people to get involved and to make use of the new tools—from Web publishing to inexpensive digital still and video cameras—to bring news and perspectives to the world stage that were previously lacking.[15]

Political views

Reynolds is often described as conservative, but he holds "liberal" views on social issues such as abortion,[16] the War on Drugs and gay marriage. He describes himself as a libertarian[17] and more specifically a libertarian transhumanist.[18] He customarily illustrates his combination of views by stating: "I’d like to live in a world in which happily married gay people have closets full of assault weapons to protect their pot."[3] He is a strong supporter of Porkbusters and moderately supportive of the Iraq War.[citation needed] He has been critical of left-wing transhumanism, which he believes could lead to a Brave New World-like situation of totalitarian government.[19]

Reynolds criticized government subsidies to the middle class such as college loans and mortgage subsidies on the basis that they undermine the middle class. According to Reynolds, college education and homeownership are merely markers of an achieved middle class status, rather than ingredients needed for people to enter the middle class. He explained:

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The government decides to try to increase the middle class by subsidizing things that middle class people have: If middle class people go to college and own homes, then surely if more people go to college and own homes, we’ll have more middle class people. But homeownership and college aren’t causes of middle-class status, they’re markers for possessing the kinds of traits — self-discipline, the ability to defer gratification, etc. — that let you enter, and stay in, the middle class. Subsidizing the markers doesn’t produce the traits; if anything, it undermines them. One might as well try to promote basketball skills by distributing expensive sneakers.

— Glenn Reynolds in the D.C. Examiner.[20][21]

Reynolds is a former member of the Libertarian Party.[22]

Personal life

Reynolds grew up a Methodist but is now a Presbyterian.[23] He is married to Dr. Helen Smith, a forensic psychologist.

Reynolds also once ran his own music label WonderDog Records, for which he also served as a record producer. Other past hobbies include making homemade beer. Reynolds has also worked as an indie music artist. One of his albums reached the number one album chart spot on the website service for several weeks.[24]

Reynolds is of Scots-Irish ancestry.[25]

Books authored


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  2. The Truth Laid Bear[unreliable source?]
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  5. List of Podcasts from
  6. Instapundit post, December 31, 2004
  7. "Instalanche",
  8. CASCADES project: Cost-effective Outbreak Detection in Networks, by Jure Leskovec, Andreas Krause, Carlos Guestrin, Christos Faloutsos, Jeanne VanBriesen and Natalie Glance, Carnegie Mellon University, 2007
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  15. Background: Glenn Reynolds – The World Technology Network
  16. Reynolds: The mommy wars – Glenn Reynolds –
  17. February 20, 2006
  18. February 21, 2006
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  22. October 25, 2007
  23. May 17, 2004
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External links