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Monthly Archive for December, 2006

google question

zuckerman’s rant

from ethan:

Allow me to introduce my new, informal and completely underground media project: “Great Moments in Ranting”. Our first episode features an exchange between Charlie Nesson and myself at the December 12th lunch talk Professor Nesson delivered. I consider this a wonderful example of why stressed-out, flu-ridden fellows should stay home, rather than attempting to engage in intellecual discourse.

You’ve heard the rumors – now hear the rant:


video here!

orlando patterson

asks what freedom is
alas WE cannot link it
charles fried asks what liberty is
each of us to testify
WE ask what democracy is
if not us
WE the PEOPLE of the year
says TIME
david weinberger accepts the award on our behalf
but are WE free
how do WE express our liberty?

morning thoughts

christina and chris and tim, a free culture team, came over to my house yesterday to talk with me about releasing my audio archive. i gave them my day’s journal on a cd as a sample, then joined in conversation with them together with rebecca, wayne and wayne’s friend dave about connecting music-makers in jamaica with music-makers here.

On 12/18/06, Ke Xu wrote:

This morning was really lovely. Such an engaging and yet peaceful
gathering at the beginning of the day really makes everything better
afterwards, so thank you thank you thank you.

I am very excited about the Jamaica project. It has such potential, and
even though it is in some ways completely different from what we are doing
at Antenna Alliance, in other ways it is very much fundamentally the same
mission–helping the creators and consumers of music connect and
facilitating the cycle of music reuse.

I was wondering: there is a scholarship for undergraduates that funds
interesting internships abroad. Do you think it would be helpful for me to
go down to Jamaica for some part of the summer and assist in any and
every way I can? If I can get it, the scholarship would pay for all of my
expenses, but I would have to get moving on an extended budget, proposal,
and all of that before February. I believe Tim and Christopher are also
uncommitted for the summer so far, and would be willing to go down if we
can get something done.

Happy holidays, happy New Years!

cyberone feedback – thanks alan – thanks beth

Alan Sobel
to rnesson, nesson

4:12 pm (7 minutes ago)
CyberOne Feedback Memo

[What I Did: By way of context, as an at-large student, here is what I
did for the class. I watched all the class videos. I got really
intrigued with the Benkler book and read all of it. I attended several
Second Life sessions. I put notes for a project up on the class wiki
(“MetroBeat TV”).]

Big Thoughts

– Empathy, and its use in everyday life

– Open access to learning

– Introduction to the Berkman community


I would have liked to have seen more interaction between students in
the 3 segments of the course. One way to address this might be to have
an email list for the class as a whole; a simple way for anyone from
the 3 segments to address a thought or query to others in the course.
This may provide a relatively low tech, community plaza kind of space
(with easier access characteristics than some of our other software)
which might be used to catalyze interactions in other spaces.

Talk Directly to Us

I took the notion of ’empathy’ to be the central idea of the course.

I was reminded of a teacher I had in an eighth grade social studies
class. His name was Emil Bates. The class was nominally about cities,
and how they could be designed to promote civic virtues and positive
interactions among the residents. We each had to do a final project
for the class, a physical model of what we thought of as an ideal city,
which we all brought in and lined up on the window ledges toward the
end of the course. But what the class was really about was what Mr.
Bates called ‘affinity.’ He would talk to us every class period about
affinity between people and how that was really the foundation of
harmonious human interaction.

CyberOne seemed to me a reincarnation of that course. I’d like to
think that if Mr. Bates (now, I’m sure, long since gone) could talk
with Prof. Nesson, they would probably agree that they were talking
about substantially similar ideas.

A question was brought up in one of the SL office hours about the
nature of empathic argument, and whether this was a logical concept or
something different. I took the notion of ’empathic argument’ to be
one manifestation of a broader notion of ’empathic sensibility.’ This
seems like a powerful and important idea to me, and leads to the
question of how empathic sensibility is developed and maintained.

I wanted to thank you both for the passion and effort you put into this
course, and for making available the opportunity to participate in it.

I thought the experience was extraordinary. I eagerly looked forward
to the class videos becoming available.

Best wishes for a joyous holiday season and peace in the new year.

Alan Sobel

thank you alan,
and a five-star review of cyberone by Beth Ritter-Guth. thank you bet.

zittrain & zuckerman

zittrain spoke directly to me this morning. i have my problem with authority. i am prone to see the reflection of what i want to see in the bubble that surrounds me; z shows me the understory; a room full of people who have berkman reasons for being there, whose issues are not necessarily mine. can i engage each one and make it all go somewhere; i cannot expect anyone to pick up the ball and do it for me; nothing will happen by magic.

i pray to the divinity in the net: help me solve my problem. the issues i espouse are fine but my manner at times conveys an attitude which few want for long to share. i’ve had this problem for a long time. it’s what beats me every time i’m beat. kevin now sees the mistake we have been making in jamaica. can he teach me. can i learn from you.

zuckerman leads me to clay shirkey who neatly describes the experience of the look one time virus. i can see i am subject to that. my first visit to second life would have been one time, if that, without my daughter to lead me and hold me in. whenever i’ve left berkman island to go forth and look around i’ve found the environment elaborately constructed but humanly forbidding. yet i am excited at the prospect of holding court in this virtual immersive domain. second life is a crappy way to do some things, maybe a fine way to do others.

my sense is that second life is an ideal environment for mock trials. compared to live mock trials which tend to be a rush of words in which evidentiary objections are difficult to focus, the pace of exchange in the text environment of second life is slower and more deliberate; a record is naturally generated; evidentiary objects are easily represented.

we’ve built a courtroom on berkman island that gives an immersive sense of a legal dispute-resolving environment. we will select a jury from those in second life who would like to participate as citizens of the space in which they live. we will have witnesses and student-lawyers speak in text under disciplines of civility and rules of evidence, subject to objection by opponents and ruling by the judge, who will be me.

i’m thinking we should try a hypothetical version of the case of the man who got his property taken for hacking the second life code. i could ask my students to frame a cause of action at common law as if no user agreement with linden labs had ever been signed, for trial before a common law jury.

i expect the experience of the mock trial in second life to be better in many ways than cognate live face-to-face events. i am going to see, and to see if the experience can scale. i’m looking forward to teaching students who are able to gather and practice in a virtual environment which immerses them in the reality of the questions of liberty, identity and governance presented by our investment of energy and assets in a virtual world owned by a for-profit corporation.

kevin back in ja

This is empathic argument. Kevin writes:

it is 9pm and i am sitting here talking to you, and as i do that i realize that i just got home from a trip and i must get home to latoya so need less to say this will not be a long one. but i feel the need to let you know the kind of trip i had. at first it seemed that nothing could go right and then it happened i realized that this trip was not about what i was looking at in the first place, i realized that this trip was the trip for me to take time out and really think if i want to continue on this journey or switch gears. and it was at that moment that my speaking engagements got better because i stopped worring about weather or not i would get the check at the end or weather or not i would have to wait. to be in financial need is not the place where i want to be however i must say it keeps me humble but the one thing that it does that is most amazing to me is that my eagerness to help others seem to remain strong even in the worst of times.

and then the answer came, it came to me like a left hook followed by a bouble right cross. its like this when i started doing this it was not the money that made it work it was the love and the drive, that thing, that wanting to see other people succeed. but i also thought that though it was not the money, i did not have to wonder where it was going to come from then either, but then again, the primary reason it worked is the fact that it was based on truth.

every thing about this is true, the reasons, the approach, the results, the intentions, all of it is true without a dowt. we went to the people and asked them how we could help them and then we helped them in exactly that manner, nothing was forced upon anyone. we mede mistakes along the way but not deliberately it was done out of a desire to do good.

here are the mistakes i think we made, i think we admitted to weakness when there was none. we told the administration that this was an inmate driven program without first showing them how and where they had and could maintain their control without leaving our path. we know what they are and the culture that they are a part of and just like we went to the inmates we should have gone to them and gave them exactly what they asked us for (which we can still do) put them in a position where they can take credit without taking anything from the inmates. we are smart enough to be able to do that.

this retreat we are talking about is most important, and this is the perfect oppertunity to announce a partnership. we should go to them with a doccument that outlines our partnership, a doccument that says we are going to make you superstars a doccument that says the now functioning body of DCS had done for jamaica and its crime problem what no one else in history has been able to do. this document should show that they have gone within their own walls and not only found the solution but that they have put it into practice. this doccument should speak of restorative justice, forgiveness, redemption, empathy, it should show DCS reaching out to communities which represents every single client in its care.

you asked me what was first on my list of things to do and this is it. first lets say that this retreat will happen. lets put a date to it. and a dollar amount. and find the funds to make it happen. then lets get working on this docment, as this document will be yours and my main presentation at this retreat.

this is just a touch of what came out of my trip. i can’t wait to talk to you. i am so ready …….lets do this. i’ll be in the office by 9am talk to you then

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

blog it

please. each of you who attended our i*s berkman session, face to face or web. what happened. what question peaked your interest. use our means to light consideration of these issues. please blog our lexis nexis evening. please, everyone.

community is like a ship at sea. whose hero is gibson. link together what is happening here into a human net of global voices. everyman to take the helm in a chorus of voices rising from the universities of the world in concert with overmundo.

kevin back in jamaica, cyberone coming to a close in second life, ethan ready to put us together with croquet to see if we can get the ball rolling toward a vibrant open source metaverse.

Zuckerman History of the Net in Five