just woke up and amanda from berkman center sent me to scotus, and this is the news. i've set up an interview with prof. fisher, who co-authored the brief from harvard. damn. this is gonna be a long day for him.
well, i just got off the plane from iLaw and found that william mitchell (update: according to liz gannes, this is the actual name of the blogger: Alex Soojung-Kim Pang) has been sacked as red herring's blogging "experiment" --- and, since mitch ratcliffe left a little bit ago -- blogging is dead at red herring. below is the title of mitchell's last entry in the red herring "blog." so long and thanks for all the fish
"I'm surprised the experiment has been allowed to run as long as it has.... But
all editors and publishers are trying to figure out how blogging can
fit into a more traditional structure borrowed from the print world. No
one has it quite right yet, and Red Herring can't be faulted for wanting to experiment with something else."
my own last day working at red herring was march 5 and one of the reasons this blog is called heresmybyline is because i -- nor any other reporter -- never had a byline at red herring.
the reasoning that alex vieux, the publisher, gave is that he wanted to recreate red herring as a sober publication based on the model of the economist. vieux also claimed he did not want to create a "star system" -- where the reporters grew big egos as they landed stories on the cover of the magazine. hmm. interesting. at most places, this is called INCENTIVE.
i have a classmate from columbia jschool who is british and who works at the economist and says things like "old chap" to HIS classmates from oxford and i assure you, working at the economist is about as far away from working at red herring as gifelte fish is from sushi. and, boy, do they have a star system. it's pretty much a galaxy.
neither mitchell nor i were surprised to see the "blog" go - the blog and the PERSONALITY of the blogger are synonymous -- you cannot have a nameless blog, hidden behind the anonymity of some kind of somber wanna-be economist-style magazine. i dont think blogging and the new sober red herring go together. thank goodness it was only a "blogging experiment."
one of the classes is based on lego robotics and called lego yuh mind -- taught by marvin hall (who is friends with boston jerk)
nesson and jamaican kevin wallen plan to teach a course on "what would you do" -- a course on situational ethics. nesson said he participated in fred friendly seminars and is using them as a basis for the course.
a question from the audience made the point that "regular people" would be resentful that prisoners are getting this kind of attention and education and "regular folk" are not.
nesson: we went to the ministry of education and we couldn't even get an appointment. forget it. we went to individual schools, and though there were teachers interested, the computer labs were so tighly regimented, it was impossible.
after the prison, our next goal is the police department. that is where there is so much more corruption. and then into the schools.
"i've been much more impressed with the capacity of people than the incapacity of people," nesson said when asked whether he thinks he's been lucky to have run into particularly cooperative folks in jamaica.
nesson extended a heartfelt invitation to those iLaw attendees not rushing off to the airport to walk a few blocks to his house for a close of conference celebration.
“copyleft” – 95 years and as windows 95 is so conveniently
named tho it came out in 1997 – that means that just around 2097 minus five
years – we’ll be able to change and
enliven windows 95 to the latter half of the 21st software.
Proprietary – you get to eat the cake, put down the fork,
and step away from the cake!
Because open-source software has gained so much respect and
credibitlity, proprietary companies have started “shared-source” where if
you show them your driver’s license and talk to them, you can look at the recipe and make sure there’s no nutmeg in it, but you can’t add or take out any
GNU’s not UNIX
The point of gnu is to get all the benefits of unix without all the hullabahoo
What’s wired into ppl at MIT to do---- look at this! Let’s
send it out!
Not “Eureka, where’s the lawyer!”
is GNU a copy? no, because it's like unix and it hasn't been COPIED from unix.....
this happens all the time -- you get programmers who fell off the turnip truck, make sure they are fresh and clean. you put pizza in one end and you get GNU coming out the end.
----copyleft: "the general public license" if you release the cake, you must release the recipe
---if you bake a new kind of cake ... and if YOU make a BETTER recipe, you have to send your NEW recipe along as well.
zittrain: red hat will charge you $50 --- for what?
jesse stone (?) [harvard it guy]: they charge us for patches and security updates.....
z: we don't need no stinkin' patches!!!!!!!!!! (that's from the "treasure of sierra monte." oh, it's too early.) we don't need them. we only NEED them because our IT guys are afraid to stray past the Patch Zone.
[at this time, a discussion ensues between lessig, fisher and zittrain about GPL and derivative works which is way too complicated to blog --- prof. fisher: if i make a piggy bank made to look like uncle sam and sell it, and zittrain makes a copy of my piggy bank. do i have a case against him? before i can, i have to establish that my piggy bank is copywritten because it's a derivative work from the image of uncle sam in the public domain instead of just a copy. so what is derivative and what is a copy? .....]
much open source stuff is like an amish barn raising! proprietary software is like having your barn built by a professional company. if there's a problem with the barn, there's an 800 number you can call and they tell you they're sorry, and as you to wait until the next version of the barn comes out.
the barn raising wouldn't be as fun if we all had
a bunch of releases to sign and exchange before we could all jump into
the work, even tho if this it's clear that a barn where kids are gonna
play and it makes sense to put some safety checks into it.
as iLaw continued with a facsinating and dense afternoon -- the best part for me was the discussion about the tower of babel, fragmenting and polarizing -- yale professor yochai benkler was discussing "the internet and political values," a pop-up appeared on the projected screen behind him. an old-school phone ring accompanied the pop-up and projected in stereo accross the lecture room.
benkler: it's my mother!
attendees: answer it! answer it! [laughs and good will all around]
benkler: ok. good demonstration. 'it's your mother calling!'
tries to answer phone.
benkler: ima [mother in hebrew].... oh, she hung up. you scared her.
palfrey: that's the true meaning of skype!
suddenly, another yellow pop-up illuminates the huge screen, everyone is hushed in hopes it is benklers mother, but we see it is zittrain's name on the caller id.
benkler: this is not a good time.
zittrain: oh, we never talk!
the audience calms down and gets back into benklers topic, listening.
rrrrrringgggggg. the audience laughs. the pop-up states "coffee break" and benkler smiles as his face turns red, though not very red. (the culprit behind this call is lawrence lessig).
roger schank just started talking during our iLaw lunch lecture and he's the bomb-diggity lecturer on education and the internet. (schank on board of editors for encyclopedia britannica, designed courses for trump university, etc.) [i love oz, and use" shank"]
check out some of the stuff he's saying............
he asked a roomfull of us (people who fly all over the world) about the information in the safety video shown on a 757:
not a single person knew how many emergency exits on a 757. nor now many inflatable rafts. nor now to inflate a slide.....
schank: what would the airlines do if they actually wanted to teach you something? they'd put you through a simulated crash.
why don't they do that? because it's expensive and it's scary.
the same reasons that a school doesnt actually teach you anything.
you'd have to create an experience!
professors don't actually care about education. students aren't really learning and professors aren't really teaching, but the job is so cushy, no professor is interested in changing it.
when i was head of a phych department, i outlawed mulitple choice tests!
the profs under me: what do you mean? what are we gonna do?
me: i don't know, something else
profs: like what? read essays? that's a lot of work!
i had to retire before i could talk about this stuff.
charles eliot was the president of harvard 1869-1909 is the most evil man in the history of harvard -- he set up the high school curriculum that is still in place TODAY.
if you ever wondered why you took algebra in high school, is because the guy in princeton was selling a textbook on algebra, so he put algebra on high school curriculum!
i'm a math major and a computer science prof, and algebra has never come up in my life, maybe it has in yours.
[sorry, missed stuff here -- dead battery and no outlet]
here's a dragon story i made up--
imagine the best university in the land -- could be harvard could be not -- they want to teach a class about slaying dragons -- so they have a class on the theory of dragon slaying, and the language dept teaches dragonese, and the physics department designs weapons to slay dragons..... and when the students go out to slay dragons, they all die because no one was teaching dragon slaying! no model dragons that students could practice slaying!
ok, again -- lessig's lecture is well documented elsewhere, so here you get the other stuff:
discussing the regulatory nature of "the norms" of society, lessig said that "what you can wear at berkman center is a norm-- for example, wearing black jeans...... now we're going back to wearing khakis, it's wild at berkman." (zittrain made fun of lessig, saying, "i see you're representing the 90s here, wearing black jeans." and lessig shot back that "z" was channeling the 80's by wearing his khakis).
part of his lecture discusses that laws, societal norms, architecture and the market regulate behavior......
so he said these things are NOT the only things --- bringing up his 21-month-old son willem saying you can't say to the toddler "the rule is you CANNOT jump off the stairs to your death"
nor can you stigmatize your child into not jumping off the stairs to his death. (as he explains, he likes to do with smokers, shaming them into not smoking -- "go smoke in arizona")
"my house has been ruined with child-proof architechture...."
at one point, lessig's slide was apparently incomplete and he said "you can tell i'm not a geek!"
lessig: "if someone sends you spam offering viagra..." when there was no response from the audience "am i the only one who gets this viagra spam?"
zittrain: "i don't know, did you opt in?"
lessig: such-and-such program that alleges to help protect children against pornography online "tries to tell the difference between miss september and miss piggy"
never mind what he's saying (which is funny and poignant and is being instantaneously blogged here) -- the best part about the lecture is the ribbing of zittrain by palfrey, who controls the browser screen projected on either side of zittrain's lecture slides....
at one point, zittrain mentioned the insane success of wikipedia and palfrey put up zittrain's page on wikipedia. next, when zittrain mentioned his book, Internet Law, palfrey put up the amazon page of said book, which then prompted zittrain to go after lawrence lessig, saying something to the effect of, "i'd like to get the next book out, by some of my colleagues, ahem, haven't gotten their chapters in on time...." as he walked over to where lessig was sitting.
and again, zittrain -- talking about viruses -- meanders to lessig as he says, "even smug mac users are vulnerable to virus attacks" and lessig -- who lovingly refers to zittrain as "z" and his lecture as "zTheory" -- shrugged his shoulders and holds his hands palms up.
palfrey also put up his own blog on the screens, and as zittrain looked behind him he said, "my god, is this being blogged already?"
the first iLaw lecture is hilarious, and of course, super smart.
zittrain got revenge on on palfrey by making him search for mcgruff the crime dog
and "dogged" him for not being able to find an obscure reference he made to "the jerk" (which i will now attempt to find)
something like "the yellow pages are here..."
update:movie quote is, "The new
phone book's here! The new phone book's here! This is the kind of spontaneous
publicity I need! My name in print! That really makes somebody! Things are going
to start happening to me now."
now i have to ask zittrain why he
brought that up....i was too busy laughing to pay attention. i bet you
never thought that could happen at a harvard law school conference
update: according to zittrain "it's a great metaphor for the the blogosphere -- no longer waiting for the phone book to recognize us, we're recognizing ourselves!"
I would like to. I really would. I like it and I like you.
But we're now well past the point where we can keep up with all the blogs worth reading from the people worth keeping up with.
I just can't do it any more.
I've been faking it for a while. Months. Maybe a year. If we've met and I look confused about
something you told me, and if you said, "I blogged it," as if that should be explanation enough, I've made some excuse as if I read every one of your posts except that one.
The truth is, I probably haven't read your blog in weeks. Months maybe.
And I don't expect you to have read mine.
I don't want to lie any more. I don't want to feel guilty any more. So let me tell you flat out: There are too many blogs I like and too many people I like to making "keeping up" a reasonable expectation, any more than you should expect me to keep up with Pokemon characters or Bollywood movies. You shouldn't expect me to and I'm not going to feel guilty any longer about my failure.
I will read your blog on occasion, either because I've been thinking of you or because something reminded me of you. Maybe it'll be because you sent me an email pointing a post you think I'll enjoy. Go ahead! I'd love to hear from you.
But I hereby release you from thinking I expect you to keep up with my blog, and I preemptively release myself from your expectations.
Otherwise reading each other's blogs will become a joyless duty. And we're too good friends to do that to each other.