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Liveblogging: JZ on The Future of the Internet


7:21 – BSG shout out, now we just need a Firefly shout out and we can all call this thing a success.

What is the hardest question so far about this? The Market’s Question. What, if anything, is the role of the government? Can market’s solve these problems and if so how.

7:11 – Questions:

What about things like Android?
JZ – Depends what the security model looks like? If it is like a PC I don’t know if we want that. But what is a different security model that doesn’t give Google the same (dangerous) power that FB and Apple have.

People are talking about wireless spectrum stuff. On this I know nothing and thus can’t be clever. =(

7:03 – Four corner map:

Hierarchy Polyarchy and Top-Down Bottom-Up

6:59 – Open APIs… the wave of the future, but a good one?

Try to get the generative benefits without the costs, but is this possible?

So what about P2P… if you could have nipped it in the bud you might not have had the chance for it develop into new things that are useful.

Lawyers are writing ToS that protect the client from future contingencies, but is this the best thing for everyone?

6:38 – You can build generative technologies on many different layers (the content, the social, etc.).

But then we get a push back from the generative to the sterile.

The generative infrastructure has become so powerful that it is worth subverting.

The problem with the internet is that the same channels that carry what we want also carry all of the bad things. So what do we do about this?

We substitute information appliances for PCs, they can be updated but are still tethered back to their owners.

6:36 – Wikipedia on Chinese menus. Now that is a funny story I haven’t heard before.

6:29 – The history of the net.

Compuserve was a sterile system. Needed to know exactly how long everyone was on the internet.

But the net isn’t like that, the hourglass architecture. You can have internet of carrier pigeons if you want to. You also can do anything that you want with it.

The internet has no main network, no CEO, no business model, nothing. Just a protocol.

The PC has the same architecture, windows, linux, are the secret sauce in the middle. You can but whatever you want on the top or the bottom.

6:19 – The history of technology from sterile to generative.

Sterile is useful and clean but it doesn’t surprise you (census counting machines… becomes IBM!). Rented machines out and was total controller. IBM was responsible from soups to nuts. Brother Typewriter works the same way.

But then… the West Coast Computer Fair. Apple IIe and Bill Gates.

That machine hasn’t changed up until today. But the net has…

6:16 – JZ takes the stage.

Most people want to be really scared or really utopian, but we live in a world of reality…


6:08 – Hal Abelson from MIT is doing the ‘real’ intro and is getting introduced by JP now.

How has the vision of the internet changed over time? We were worried in 1997, we are still worried today.

JZ’s first paper was about the untopian decline of the net. Where are we now, 10 years later?

Live question tool is up at:

6:06 – JZ is here, getting ready for the talk to start. Great turnout! Looks like JP may be giving the introduction

I think my ears just died on the sound check!

Where am I?


The answer is still doing most of my blogging over at The Web Difference (when I’m not adding to the noise on Twitter).

Still, I’m not dead yet and with the semester wrapping up I need to start moving content onto here!

Hello world!


You know I was going to delete this at first. But then I figured if Lessig can keep Hello world! jokes in his Change Congress presentation then why shouldn’t I keep it here on this blog?

Introductions and actual content to come in the next few days as I get this thing up and going.

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