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Monthly Archive for April, 2006

to our guests

tonight michael kinsley comes to dinner, guests to include stuart shieber, wayne, john deighton, marty peretz, margo howard, alex keyssar, john carroll. should be fun.

i want to speak to you through this medium. site meter at the bottom of the page. ed tv on the screen in front of us, you and me. here is the url.
check it out. connect

rebecca fern charlie wayne


so here, the morning after. what struck me. alex keyssar observing that with the way the primaries in the united states are now strucured there’s no way they will come to stalemate so no way a draft al gore campaign could succeed on that assumption. keyssar says he has to run. he’s won once – he can win again. is there any doubt we would have been better off. margo howard ask – had enough? becca says al blew them away at google. he’s grown in eight years. he’s our science teacher, not the smoothest politician but solid, honest, talking with passion. his film is coming. he understands make media make change. maybe i could be lit in marty’s eyes. so the mission – make the wiki come alive. connect and contribute.

the kids who cooked were great, the renegade sous chef ben miller and his sous chef partner dewey cyr. food savory, kitchen friendly, everyone in an out. here are pics. but i’m thinking i should be typing in the wiki, not here on this much more static page. how can we combine the stucture of a blog with the openness of a wiki.

meeting with michael at 9am. more to come.

[from mike]
Hail Berkmanites!

I had a terrific time and enjoyed the conversation. And I think by the
end of it, thanks especially to John Palfrey, we had a fairly specific
plan. I will try to make it very specific, from my point of view, and be
back in touch in a few days.

Thanks again.


law professor blogging

i’ve just succeeded in getting up a video clip of a point in zittrain’s inaugural. here, take a look at the cutting edge. i’d like to put up clips of his most interesting thoughts, and a bit of response. in this clip z shows us an example of differential pricing on the net (different prices depending on what the pricing algorithm knows about you) and wonders whether it will become a reality, and whether it’s good or bad.

for better or worse our environment calls forth all that can survive and thrive either as story or business plan, consonant with development by chance and the inventive mind of man.

with law bloggers last night and today, ann althouse , solum, berman, orin , conglomerate, dan solove- Concurring Opinions, paul. paul’s given me a few moments to close the program at the end of the afternoon, now maybe 30 minutes away. im’ing away with z in oxford with the webcst.

peter lattman from wsj recognizes that the audience is ready to get the hell out of here. nice.

I can translate Bush-speak into plainer English for the purpose of fending off those Bush haters and Bush lovers who are reading more than they need to into his words.

He’s said that people who want to be citizens should learn English, and to say that is not to say that they shouldn’t also speak Spanish, just that wanting to be a part of the country should include wanting to be able to interact with the people here who do speak English. And he’s saying that people who want to be citizens should want to learn to sing the anthem along with the rest of us, as we’ve sung it since it was written, in English. That doesn’t mean you can’t also sing it in Spanish.

right on alhouse. how about english speaking people wanting to be able to interact with the people here who speak spanish. i love listening to this anthem, hearing anew what i’ve heard only in english all my life. i’d like to hear it in all the languages of america from all the people to whom the banner belongs.

ann and i agree, blogging is art.

dan solove (concurring opinions) describes my concluding remarks:

Charles Nesson: Ok, get the hell out of here and crawl back into your caves. . . “

pretty good!


zittrain’s inaugural offers a new way to think about privacy.

think of privacy as your space, but instead of worrying so much about defending it, think about expanding it.

z paints the powers of complimentary personal space. he envisions technology enabling us to expand our space by allowing us to be more aware of who and what is in it. in his vision we will move in cyberspace with a set of connections that express our identity.

i want to assign z’s inaugural lecture to my students. i’d like to break it up into pieces digestible on the web, each a focal point for thought.

i’d like to see the university world focus on the challenge z puts to universities to recognize and realize their capacity for generating, vetting, preserving and distributing knowledge – open access.


zittrain ^ zuckerman = buZZZZZZZZ

i didn”t make it to oxford to give z his cube and attend his inaugural lecture. but zuckerman covered it like a rock concert. reading zuckerman now on a companion screen. zuckerman is an amazing character, both on paper and in person, a prolix motherfucker (as wayne proudly says of himself, and as i check his site i see he’s got just the video set-up i’ve been wanting!), a geek connection mainline to the developing world. so i see z there, in the hall with z and palfrey. he let’s my mind go there now as i read his account.

Referencing Google’s amazing ability to optimize search results based on clickstream analysis – tapping into people’s judgements – JZ suggests that there are ways to combat surveillance through collective action.

hello jingcha – we are friendly and strong

peace and respect

we know you are watching us
you know we are watching you

If users were able to alert a central clearinghouse if they weren’t able to access a website… if other users could retrieve pages you can’t retrieve from your computer… if the software were smart enough to tell you whether you’re blocked by your parents, your ISP, your government… or because you unplugged the Ethernet cable… The resulting system, would be a “collection of gauges, more accurate the more of us who use them”, mapping the accessibility of the net in real time.

that’s dynomite

law and its compliment
authority of the people
we lead in a downhill battle
buzz and power in the complimentary space

– Keep it simple
– Keep it open
– Not democracy
– Technical meritocracy
– Run by rough consensus of the whole
– Assume people are reasonable
– Assume people are nice
– Fool me once
– Fool me twice

The future of universities on the Internet has to be more than digitizing libraries and putting them online. It needs to involve creating new knowledge using the tools the Internet gives us.


a hell of a talk by zittrain says zuckerman. thanks for the buZZZZZZZZ.

angels working

Kevin Wallen says:
charley says:
Kevin Wallen says:
how goes it
charley says:
very well
charley says:
how about you
Kevin Wallen says:
charley says:
how so
Kevin Wallen says:
but moving right along
charley says:
Kevin Wallen says:
had a meeting with fairweather
Kevin Wallen says:
this morning 
charley says:
tell me
Kevin Wallen says:
tough meeting
Kevin Wallen says:
dcs has no idea what set is
Kevin Wallen says:
and that is the problem
Kevin Wallen says:
and i am not sure how much interest they  have 
charley says:
shall i call
Kevin Wallen says:
give me 3mins
Kevin Wallen says:
i really need to talk some stuff true with you
Kevin Wallen says:

email to kevin

hi kevin, good to talk with you.

i asked jackie harlow to offer suggestions. here's what she came back with. use any bits and pieces you like, but only if you like. if it's not helpful, forget it.

To: Charles Nesson 
From: Jacqueline Harlow 
Subject: another version of kevin's letter...
Date: Mon, 24 Apr 2006 14:37:47 -0400

this is another version of kevin's letter, a little shorter, and more  
sympathetic to DCS - much less accusatory.


Students Expressing Truth and the Department of Corrections share the  
same mission ­ rehabilitation.  We approach this goal from different  
perspectives, however, as we are seated in different corners of the  
same room.  DCS knows better than any other organization the  
challenge of governing the prisons, and the importance of public  
perception to meeting that challenge.  SET, on the other hand, knows  
the plight faced by those inside the prisons, their needs and  
ambitions, and what it takes to motivate and rehabilitate them.  If  
we are to succeed in our joint mission of rehabilitation, then we  
must hear and acknowledge each other.  We must regroup and learn to  
use our different perspectives to create, not destroy.

I became involved in the prisons, in SET, to make a difference.  SET  
is founded on a promise I made to the men and women behind bars ­ a  
promise to give them a voice for expressing truth, and to support  
them unconditionally.  I must live up to my word if SET is to  
continue to thrive and rehabilitate its students.  I cannot ask SET  
members to remain silent about their experiences.  Nor can I maintain  
their respect if I deny what I know or speak with two tongues,  
supporting them privately, and speaking against them publicly.  What  
I can do is facilitate dialogue.  I can use my position to ensure  
that that DCS is heard, and that the dialogue about the prisons is a  
respectful one.

Mandating silence about the conditions in our prisons is more  
damaging than any criticism that could be spoken.  Change cannot  
occur until we uncover and admit the truth about the present.  That  
requires openness on both sides - from DCS and from inmates.   
Together, we can create that openness.  The Department does not lose  
face when inmates and ex-inmates share their experiences with the  
public.  Instead, it gains from encouraging an open dialogue and  
responding to the concerns inmates and ex-inmates raise.  If  
mistruths, half-truths, or misconceptions are conveyed, the  
Department has the power to correct them.  I have the power to help  
the Department correct them.  I will only have that power so long as  
I am credible in the eyes of SET members.  Ultimately, the Department  
can best control its public image through responsiveness to, not  
oppression of its critics.

Our prisons face numerous challenges.  DCS and SET must work together  
to address those challenges.  It is true that most inmates are  
dissatisfied with the system.  They are interested in working to  
change the system for the better, however.  Many want to change, to  
rehabilitate themselves, but feel as though they are not given the  
opportunity to do so.  Right now, they feel that the system does not  
acknowledge their predicament.  They feel abandoned by officials,  
some of whom create the appearance that the inmates are the only  
problem.  Together, we can bring both sides together and overcome  
these perceptions to create a better environment inside our  

More interaction between high-ranking officials and inmates would  
help to alleviate tension.  Inmates feel isolated from DCS  
officials.  They question how officials can speak of rehabilitation  
and what it means to them, without visiting rehabilitative programs  
in the prisons and seeing how those programs work.  I invite the  
director of rehabilitation to join me at a SET meeting, to find out  
what the group is really about, get to know the men and women who are  
a part of the group, and offer them words of encouragement.

I cannot single-handedly reform our prisons.  When men and women are  
released from prison and speak of their situations and what they  
experienced, officials should seize the opportunity to engage these  
ex-inmates and learn from them.  Rather that view such comments as  
criticism, the Department should use the information they glean from  
inmates and ex-inmates to make improvements.  Such dialogue would  
create a spirit of cooperation between the Department and inmates to  
improve rehabilitation that would enhance the Department's pubic  
image more than any official sound bite.

If we are to make progress and improve rehabilitation in our prisons,  
DCS and SET must change course and unite.  Today, I reach out to DCS  
and offer myself as an ambassador between the administration and  
inmates.  If the Department will work together with SET, then we will  
accomplish great things.  As the saying goes, if you keep on doing  
what you have been doing, you will keep on getting what you have  
always gotten.  Nothing will change.  That is not what any of us ­ at  
DCS or SET ­ signed up for.  Let us come together and speak openly,  
truthfully, about where the prisons are today, and where we will take  
them for tomorrow.  Let us acknowledge our struggles and successes ­  
these truths will make us stronger and lead us toward our shared goal.

email with me may show up on my blog
unless privacy requested


Destiny says:
i loved jackie's letter
Destiny says:
i think it is perfect
charley says:
Destiny says:
i would ad a thing here and there but thats it
charley says:
feel it with your voice
Destiny says:
i will thats great
Destiny says:
it reads like a presentation that i can somehow give to the department
Destiny says:
maybe that is the approach i should take with it
Destiny says:
maybe i can call a meeting at dcs with its staff as well as some stakeholders and this could be my presentation
Destiny says:
to the group
Destiny says:
when richard comes back
charley says:
yes, the mou and our prior discussions with dcs suggest that you should brief dcs staff from top to bottom
Destiny says:
charley says:
this is the perfect case study to discuss
Destiny says:
Destiny says:
this is a great pllace to start
Destiny says:
and we can do that now
charley says:
Destiny says:

soon come

kevin needs help amplifying his message: dcs regroup

Here’s the code to display it:

angels, kevin needs our help. he is about to take his stand against the entrenched mindset of DCS. the credibility of SET and of our cyber school turns upon the outcome. please read his document hot off his keyboard still with need of cleanup punctuation. as backup for him we have the video of him speaking with the men at south camp. we have the journals of your visit. we have your testimony which needs to be given before the cameras of CCTV. our mission is to help kevin lead jamaica to gently but firmly regroup.

here is kevin’s message to me

Date: Fri, 21 Apr 2006 18:58:45 -0700 (PDT)
From: Kevin Wallen
Subject: more of my rambelings
To: Charles Nesson

hay charley i sat here thinking about the day i had and decided to write something and i wish to share it with you

another in the series of between you and I

I’ll be talking to you soon

Harvard Law School
Berkman Center for Internet & Society
Kevin D. Wallen
Fellow and Director of S=SET CyberSchool
Tel: 876 960 1715
cel: 876 371 4510

Be the change you wish to see in the world

dcs regroup

Today is one of those days I call a learning experience

I woke up this morning with the intention to attend a meeting at the department of corrections head office. The meeting was scheduled for 9am. At 8:48am I received a phone call from Miss Sharp who wanted to remind about the meeting. I told her I remembered and that I was on my way. By the time I arrived at the head office it was 8:55am. I was ushered to the conference room where the meeting was to be held. 20mins later I was told that they would be with me shortly, then 10mins I was told again that they would be there in a few minutes. At 9:39am someone else came in to let me know that they were going to be 20mins later. at this point I was upset because if I was the one who invited someone to my office for a meeting I would at some point make an appearance to ensure that the guest was ok. At 10am Mrs. Sharp walked into the room to inform me that Mr. Campbell had a medical situation and that was the reason for the delay, Mr. Campbell walked into the room shortly after and confirmed the story. 7mins later Mrs. Stephens walked into the room and the meeting officially got on the way at 10:17am.

We opened with a prayer and went from there. I thought the meeting was called as a result of some concerns that I had voiced, but as it turned out it was about an interview that I had done with the breakfast club over a month ago. On the interview some statements were made by an ex-inmate (SET Member) about the fact rehabilitation doesn’t exist within the prison and also the fact that the prison is being run like a business. Some other things were said to which the department took offence and that was the basis of the meeting being called. The meeting was to inform me that there is a media policy, which had to be adhered to. What this means is that I am not supposed to conduct any interviews without first informing the department. I am also not allowed to speak the truth about what I see in the institutions or at least I must make It look better than it really is. They want me to contradict the men and women who come out of the system and speak of their experiences in a negative way.

Now in looking at this I see several tings one, how can I tell someone who have spent years in the prison and have seen and experience things not to talk about what they have seen or felt. And if they do talk about it they should do so from a level of good. well if I did that then I would not be students expressing truth would I?. If the department does not like the things the men are saying then maybe what they should do is set the record straight. Prove that what they are saying is wrong. If you have a location which is capable of doing something and you are not utilizing it you can’t talk about it as though something is really going on. That would be a lie. The fact is there is a lot more that the department should be doing rather than thinking about their image in the public’s eye. How about their integrity, perhaps that should be the main point.

Most inmates are dissatisfied with the system; many want to change but feel as though they are not given the opportunity to change. The people that are put in place to make the system work are not doing their job, because they are too busy thinking about their image. How can you fix problem when you refuse even acknowledge that there is one? Some of the people in the system seem to think that the only problem is the inmates and as a result see nothing else, and that is a major issue.

It is common knowledge that most of the contraband that is found in the prison is there as a result of people who work for the system and yet the bulk of the attention is still being placed on the inmate population. The public is not made aware of the fact that officers are a major part of the problem.

Some officers have a tendency to think that if something is being offered to the inmate population that it should be offered to the officers as well. The fact that you are an officer means that you have a job, you are required to do your job. The question is why are we trying to please the officers by putting in place programs for them because we are putting programs in place for the inmates. We are trying to rehabilitate the inmates; we are trying to do for someone who can’t do for him or herself. And each time we do something like this all it does is open to door to more of the kinds of thing that make this country as corrupt as it is.

The system needs to be sorted out, when you have an officer who refuses to perform his duty, a duty which he is being paid to perform because he wants to know what is in it for him, then we have a problem. What is in it for him is his paycheck that is what he signed up for. Listening to high-ranking officials speaks about rehabilitation and what it means to them makes me really worried. They have no idea. SET is one of the programs that is doing really well in the institution yet most persons at the head office really do not know how the program works. For the most part they think that it is a computer program. The director of rehabilitation sees no reason why he should come to a meeting with the SET group, a group which is doing as well as it is doing, and find out what the group is really about, get to know the men and women who are a part of the group and give them words of encouragement. They don’t do that because it is assumed that Kevin Wallen does that and therefore there is no need for them to do that. But when the men and women are released from the prison and speak of their situations and what they experienced they act like they have committed a crime. When in fact if the administration was more in touch with what was going on within the institution then they would not have been caught off guard.

Treat the people like human beings or else they are going to act like animals. If you don’t want them to act like animals then don’t treat them that way. If you want them to talk about all the wonderful programs that are being offered then you should make sure that they are being offered. The fact that there is a tailor shop that don’t mean that there is a tailor shop that is operational. That seems to be the major problem that the inmates are having, there is all this talk about all these activities which are happening in the institution. Though the facilities are there it is just not happening. Inmates are upset that the authority has never been in the room to take a look at what the inmates are doing yet they are in the media talking about all the things that are happening in those rooms. The inmates feel as though the authorities have no interest in rehabilitation and as a result they also feel that the authorities have no right to take credit for what the inmates have done.

I totally understand that we need to make sure that the image of the organization is in good standing.However we also need to make sure that we are Expressing Truth

SET is a good thing and many agree, yet there are many in the institution who are of the opinion that SET should be stopped and have gone to lengths to try and stop it. The people who have tried to stop it are not inmates but officers who for whatever reason don’t like to see the program strive. From its inception this group has always worked within the guidelines set forth by the institution. Yet we still continue to get a fight. There are officers who support the program but there are others who are adamant that this should be stopped. I am not here to make friends though I am also not here to make enemies, but if some one chooses to become either based on what I am doing then I welcome it. I have made no bones about it. I have complained to the relevant authorities what these people are doing to no avail. The individuals are still there and nothing has changed. Without perseverance we would have given up a long time ago.

I refuse to be a part of a lie. I became involved with this thing as a result of wanting to make a difference and made a promise to the men and women behind bars that I would be there with them to the end, and would love to be able to live up the expectation that they have.

It is obvious that there is a problem with the system and while others would take the stance that there is nothing that they can do about it we have decided to take a different stance, we have decided to stand up for that which is true. SET has challenged its students to express truth why would we not expect the same thing from the authorities.

If you keep on doing what you have been doing you will keep on getting what you have always gotten. Nothing will change, and, that my friends is not we signed up for.

email with me may show up on my blog
unless privacy requested


Continuing on the riddimic theme, the last of this dispatch’s recommendations is the wonderful Riddim Method mix available for download at Assembled by a team including Harvard musicologist Wayne Marshall, DJ Ripley, Kid Kameleon, DJ C, DJ Flack, and Pace, it could fit comfortably in any of Pitchfork’s specialist columns, needlestitching together an array of genres, from dubstep to Dirty South hip-hop, Egyptian shaabi to Baltimore club, reggae to techno. It’s an inspiring ride, cohesive yet omnivorous and proves there are no boundaries in music if you’ve got a little imagination and a whole lot of love for it. .

dave stelfox, pitchfork

that’s wayne, the dubble doubleyou, wayne&wax

the law lord’s view of proposed frcp 26(b)(5)(B)

Belated Assertion of Privilege: Proposed Rule 26(b)(5)(B)

(B) Privileged information produced. When a party produces information without intending to waive a claim of privilege it may, within a reasonable time, notify any party that received the information of its claim of privilege. After being notified, a party must promptly return, sequester, or destroy the specified information and any copies. The produc-ing party must comply with Rule 26(b)(5)(A) with regard to the information and preserve it pending a ruling by the court.

Lawyer’s privilege, what is it – ability to counsel our client’s in secret without the law intruding; what happens when a secret leaks out; how is the lawyer’s ability to counsel in secret affected by digital communication and judicial discovery?

hear my views

thanks to lexis-nexis

Fair Harvard – She Leads

Date: Sun, 16 Apr 2006
From: Charles Nesson
Subject: Re: Request for Advice

i advise you to choose elena kagan. she will cement a continuous strand of leadership and carry forward her own. she will work with derek smooth as silk. she is stong. she gives confidence and care. with her we will be fine and proud and open to our future.

charles nesson
weld professor of law
founder and faculty co-director of the berkman center

At 02:35 PM 4/13/2006, you wrote:
James R. Houghton, Chairman
Frances D. Fergusson, Susan L. Graham, Nannerl O. Keohane, Patricia A. King,
William F. Lee, Robert D. Reischauer, James F. Rothenberg, Robert E. Rubin

April 2006

Dear Members of the Harvard Community,

On behalf of Harvard’s governing boards, I write to invite your advice on the search for a new president of Harvard, in light of Larry Summers’ decision to conclude his tenure as our 27th president at the end of the 2005-06 academic year. We are grateful to President Summers for the vision and energy he has brought to the leadership of the University, and to Derek Bok for his willingness to serve as interim president from July 1 until a new president has taken office. As we embark on the search for a new leader for Harvard, we would value your observations on the major opportunities and challenges facing Harvard in the years ahead and the priorities that a new president should have most in mind in guiding the University. We would also appreciate having your views on the personal and professional qualities most important to seek in a new president, as well as your thoughts on any individuals you believe are deserving of serious consideration. We will, of course, be seeking a person of high intellectual distinction, with proven qualities of leadership, a devotion to excellence in education and research, a capacity to guide a complex institution through a time of significant change, and a dedication to the ideals and values central to a community of learning.

Through this time of transition, it is important that the University sustain momentum in advancing a range of continuing institutional priorities. We are renewing and enhancing the learning experience of our students, especially in the College and also across the schools. We are growing the faculty to build strength in fields of rising academic significance. We are forging new links among Harvard’s faculties – to foster innovation in the sciences, international studies, and other vital endeavors across the disciplines and professions. We are opening Harvard’s doors wider to outstanding students of limited financial means. We are planning carefully and imaginatively for the historic extension of Harvard’s campus into Allston. In these crucial efforts and others, the University’s continuing progress will depend on the energy, creativity, and goodwill of all of us who care about Harvard.

Under the University’s charter, it is the responsibility of the Harvard Corporation to elect a new president, with the counsel and consent of the Board of Overseers. Consistent with past practice, the search committee will comprise the six members of the Corporation other than the president, together with three Overseers. In addition, we are appointing faculty and student advisory groups to inform our deliberations, and planning a series of consultations with various alumni groups. Our intention is to reach out broadly to solicit both general advice and specific nominations.

Your responses to this letter will be a critical element of that process. We hope you will take the time to share your perspectives with us. Please e-mail your thoughts to, or address correspondence to the Harvard University Presidential Search Committee, Loeb House, 17 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA 02138. The committee will hold your replies in strict confidence.

We look forward to hearing from you. Many thanks, and all best wishes.

James R. Houghton
Senior Fellow, Harvard Corporation
Chair, Presidential Search Committee

email with me may show up on my blog
unless privacy requested

views of the necker cube – a pedagogic moment – kiwi

i’ve just read the book fern suggested i knot read, the people v. harvard law, dealing in part with the events of 2002 relating to my torts class. i feel i have been running away from that story, scolded and looked down upon for it. i had wanted to raise this story as part of the study of character in my evidence class this winter, but was strongly advised against it by my dean. dersh’s advice in the book is right on: i should not have backed away from the pedagogic moment.

the book is not without errors (i don’t recall that the author ever spoke with me). he has mixed up elizabeth warren with alvin warren, and has me helping daniel ellsberg with his dalliances – no. he has me “traipsing” and has put bags under my eyes, which makes me wince. but the basic story is there.

views of the necker cube – gay fine by me

Date: Sat, 08 Apr 2006 10:51:59 -0400
To: ivy
From: Charles Nesson
Subject: views of the necker cube

april 7 2006, sitting in my office, waiting to meet the author of an essay i admire, Motivations behind the Killing of Matthew Sheppard . Please read it as context for a thought poem:

i have a rock, i have an island, i have a firm place within me on which my outer self stands
i find it in moments of calm amidst life’s pressures, i walk upon its path moving in the wind of time
is it i that move in time or is it time blowing past
einstein’s elevator

if the universe is a quantum computer as seth lloyd says, and i can see he’s right, then wouldn’t the machine create life as clone of itself, tinkering by its evolutionary method, linking cell to synapse, to create a consciousness the computer understands. are we knot at the point of understanding ourselves as nature’s creatures and yet comprehending our universe as a whole

lloyd speaks of information as bits distinct from meaning yet the power of bits of information lies in telling stories of our present past and future. multiple realities, alternative histories, views of the necker cube.

email with me may show up on my blog
unless privacy requested