Lessig (was Re: [none])

t byfield tbyfield at panix.com
Sun Jan 23 11:50:17 PST 2000

> Date: Sat, 22 Jan 2000 23:34:33 -0500
> From: "Nathan Newman" <nathan.newman at yale.edu>

> Just a note on Lessig. A large point he makes is the way commercialization
> of the Net and markets undermine freedom and increase regulation on
> individual liberty.

i've been reading his book; allowing for the fact that he's dealing with some very complicated material (technical, legal) in a book he wrote for a pop audience, i think it's quite good overall. although, considering that it's largely the governance of the net, his failure to mention ICANN is, uh, 'interesting.'

the book's a bit depressing, though: it's addressed (primarily) to crazed free-market libertarians (at one point he instructs his read- ers, 'Put your Ayn Rand away' [131]). as a result, he spends a hell of a lot of time tiptoeing around in his winklepickers lest he in- flame his audience with his thesis: by opposing the gubmint, liber- tarians suckered themselves into a trap--because the real threat to freedom comes from bizness. well, duh.

it's got lots of other nonsense in it too--about 'power moving west,' 'east coast code' and 'west coast code,' etc.--but basically it's a pretty damned good book. well, if you can ignore the fact that it oc- cludes the marxist conception of class.

cheers, t

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