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i want to thank everybody for coming here today and especially the people who were here from the beginning

eric wiseman
tom smuts
dave marglin
jon zittrain
john perry barlow
larry lessig
alex and wendy
myles berkman
fern and eric saltzman

we are here to talk about the future of the net.

my vision of the future of the net is the same as the vision i enunciated ten years ago.

cyberspace is an integrated media realm of stories told and shared by digitally connected and enabled hearts and minds.
WE are the Future of the Internet. We have good stories to live and to tell.
let us make our stories represent our values of
open code
open access
open talk
open education
let’s bridge the digital divide
let’s build the commons of the net

HILLIARY — Queen of Hearts


OK OBAMA – Now You Have a GAME!

Presidential POKER



re: lunch with speaker dimasi – tell me this isn’t an internet movie script

Forwarded conversation
Subject: Lunch with Speaker DiMasi

From: Quinn, Katie (HOU)
Date: Tue, Feb 26, 2008 at 6:10 PM
To:  nesson at
Cc:  mharding at

Good Afternoon Professor Nesson,
When we last spoke I had promised to send you dates that work for a luncheon with Speaker DiMasi. I apologize for the delay in my response. I do have an opening ion Friday, March 14 at 1pm. Please advise if that time works for you.

Katie Quinn
Special Assistant to the Speaker
Office of Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi
Massachusetts House of Representatives
Room 356, State House
Boston, MA 02133
(617) 722-2500

From: Charles Nesson
Date: Wed, Feb 27, 2008 at 1:30 PM
To: “Quinn, Katie (HOU)”

yes, thank you. shall i appear at his office at that time.

when appropriate (in my judgment) to an open project and not sensitive (in my judgment) in terms of privacy, i may post email to my blog. all privacy requests respected. ———-
From: Charles Nesson
Date: Wed, Feb 27, 2008 at 1:35 PM
To: Jonathan Cohen

From: Quinn, Katie (HOU)
Date: Wed, Feb 27, 2008 at 1:40 PM
To: Charles Nesson

I will be in touch with you the week before with a location.

From: Charles Nesson []
Sent: Wednesday, February 27, 2008 12:31 PM
To: Quinn, Katie (HOU)
Subject: Re: Lunch with Speaker DiMasi

From: Charles Nesson
Date: Thu, Mar 13, 2008 at 11:30 AM
To: “Quinn, Katie (HOU)”

may i confirm
From: Quinn, Katie (HOU)
Date: Thu, Mar 13, 2008 at 11:54 AM
To: Charles Nesson

Professor Nesson, I was just going to e-mail you shortly. I have to reschedule lunch tomorrow. I am looking at Friday, March 28th or Friday April 11th for lunch. Please advise if either of these days work for you. Thank you in advance.
Katie Q
Sent: Thursday, March 13, 2008 11:31 AM

From: Charles Nesson
Date: Thu, Mar 13, 2008 at 12:01 PM
To: “Quinn, Katie (HOU)”

too bad
i had wanted to talk with the speaker about the oped i’m expecting the globe to publish tomorrow (attached) and to brief him on the March 18 Don’t Criminalize Online Poker Rally, which i expect will bring out a lot of young people in “how crazy is that?” t-shirts. that was to be for openers.
march 28
From: Charles Nesson
Date: Thu, Mar 13, 2008 at 12:02 PM
To: Joe Finder


From: Charles Nesson
Date: Thu, Mar 13, 2008 at 12:04 PM
To: “Quinn, Katie (HOU)”

with attachment
Date: Thu, Mar 13, 2008 at 12:08 PM
To: Charles Nesson

Professor Nesson, I will put this article in front of the Speaker today and deliver the additional portion of your message. I will be in touch,

Sent: Thursday, March 13, 2008 12:05 PM
To: Quinn, Katie (HOU)
Subject: Lunch with Speaker DiMasi

From: Charles Nesson
Date: Thu, Mar 13, 2008 at 12:16 PM
To: “Quinn, Katie (HOU)”

thank you
Date: Thu, Mar 27, 2008 at 6:02 AM
To: “Quinn, Katie (HOU)”

i am hoping not to be disappointed again in confirming a lunch date with speaker dimasi

i hope he will be amused and intrigued by this video


patrick opened with the his casino bill
dimasi calls him on his numbers for dollars and jobs
full of bullshit made of near thin air

patrick leads out again going over dimasi’s head direct to his membership with letters to each rep
challenging dimasi to present a better alternative

dimasi calls and raises
threatening to kill the bill outright in committee
patrick calls
begging to let the bill go to the floor
dimasi can kill it in committee
dimasi can kill it on the floor
he does both
let there be no doubt

nice hand
nice pot
next hand

action to dimasi
does he come with an alternative

thank you popcha, thank you trevor and ken

tune in march 28

Deval Backs Off Criminalizing Online Poker: Throws the Ball to Coakley

my audioblog of the casino hearing

here’s audio of an exchange with deval just before he testified at the statehouse hearing in which he identifies the attorney general as the immediate force behind the criminalization of online poker in his bill — and says he does not stand behind it and would welcome an amendment taking that provision out!

here’s audio leading up to the exchange with deval

Hi. i’m Charlie Nesson, law professor at Harvard. founder of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society. We are a leading center of thought on the highest and best uses of internet technology. i am also founder and president of the Global Poker Strategic Thinking Society,

Buried in Governor Patrick’s resort casino bill is a provision making criminals of those who play poker online, threatening two years in prison and $25,000 fine. To some it may seem trivial in light of the jobs and money issues at stake here to be concerned about making thousands of Massachusetts residents criminals.

i ask you to take just a few minutes here to focus on it. A larger issue of good government is at stake. i have been trying unsuccessfully for months to determine who put this criminalization provision into the bill. As of this morning i now finally have it from the Governor himself that this criminalization provision was inserted in the bill at the behest of the Attorney General, Martha Coakley, and – this is news! — the Governor will not now stand behind it.

Is Martha Coakley behind this criminalization provision? Will she come forward and discuss the wanton damage her provision would impose?

i believe education will prove to be the internet’s highest and best use. i speak for the potential use in online education of learning and teaching through mastery of strategic games, from tic tac toe through checkers and chess to poker with lessons along the way about logic and life. Instead of criminalizing online poker, i ask the legislature to recognize poker as among the most sophisticated of strategic games, and to acknowledge its potential power as a teaching tool, and to open to the possibility of embracing online poker with facilitating regulation. This could bring to Massachusetts a multi-billion dollar industry and significant revenue for the state.

The Governor’s bill as it stands is fatally defective, any way you look at it, whether from the standpoint of poker players, or from a good government perspective, or from the viewpoint of those of us who would like to see Massachusetts become a leader in online education and a home for internet communities.


Forwarded conversation
Subject: criminalizing poker

From: Charles Nesson
Date: Tue, Mar 25, 2008 at 2:10 PM
To:  office at

dear martha coakley

i understand from governor patrick that the provision criminalizing online wagering that was in the governor’s casino bill was put in the bill at your behest. if this is the case, may i come and speak with you about this. i see this same provision now included in the track bill recently submitted.

criminalizing online wagering is a bad idea for many reasons, but my personal and primary objection to this blunderbuss criminalization approach is that it sweeps in online poker. This makes the online education program and environment i am developing as the major objective of my work criminal and impossible.

I am the founder of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard. open access open education is its mission. I lead a research initiative i call cyberone to find means and method for using the internet for education in a manner that is open, free, rigorous, scalable, and fun. I am founder and president of the Global Poker Strategic Thinking Society, its mission is to find a positive business plan to support open education in an open net. I am excited, as are significant others, about the prospect of developing and offering an open online curriculum grounded in the teaching of strategic games, starting with tic tac toe. games progress from simple to complex. tic tac toe, lines-and-dots, connect 4, checkers, chess, poker.

The blunderbuss approach of criminalizing online wagering fails to distinguish between wagering on lotteries (games of chance played against the house at pre-set losing odds) and wagering on games of skill (like poker, played against other players and requiring assessment of risk and strategic management of resources).

I have been concerned about this from the time the governor first introduced his resort casino bill with the criminalization provision buried in it, and have been attempting ever since to track down its backer so that I might make my case and get it changed. My efforts included inquiries to the govenor’s staff (stan mcgee), Las Vegas Sands (Sheldon Adelson), Harrah’s (Gary Loveman), a lobbyist for Suffolk Downs, all of whom denied knowledge of how it got in there and who was backing it. Only when I spoke with the governor himself at the recent hearing did I learn that the impetus for “clarifying the law” with this provision had come from you.

Would you be willing to meet and talk with me about this.


charles nesson

when appropriate (in my judgment) to an open project and not sensitive (in my judgment) in terms of privacy, i may post email to my blog. all privacy requests respected. ———-

Open Letter to Governor Deval Patrick – Poker is not a CRIME!

To the Honorable Deval Patrick
Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Dear Deval:

Who Wrote Your Casino Bill?

Your Casino Bill tries to make playing poker online a CRIME! You threaten people like me with two years imprisonment and $25,000 fine. A disgraceful federal law passed without democratic process as a rider to a port security bill already criminalizes payment companies for processing bets. But even that misguided law stops short of criminalizing online poker players.

Since November 2007 when you offered up your casino bill I have been trying to determine who or what the force is behind the criminalization provision. I spoke with your spokesperson on the casino bill. He surprised me by being completely unaware of the criminalization provision. Obviously to him this was not something high on your agenda.

Word in the poker community was that lawyers for Sands Casinos in Las Vegas had contributed to the crafting of the casino bill. And indeed I had seen Sheldon Adelson, the powerful chairman of Sands, present and in the flesh at the State Legislature’s December 18 hearing on the bill. So I wrote him a letter and asked him directly: do you support the criminalization provision? Did you help write it? To my delighted surprise, on March 6th he replied to my letter disavowing any involvement in or support of the provision. He offered to help “encourage its separation from the bill.” So it seems not to be the casino interests who stand behind the criminalization provision.

With Mr. Adelson’s letter, I have gained an ally. But I have not solved the puzzle. In the meantime, Kyle Sullivan, your press secretary, accused me in public print of being “ill informed” about the bill. So I wrote him and said, “As one who is well informed, would you please clarify who wrote the bill and how the criminalization provision got in there?” There’s been no reply as yet.

I keep sending letters – to Daniel O’Connell in the Office of Economic Development, to John Hall the president of Suffolk Downs, which is the State’s largest race track, to George Carney, who owns the dog track in Raynham. I will keep writing letters and pressing the issue until I get an answer.

Who wrote the bill’s provision trying to make playing online poker a crime? Do you stand behind it now?


PATRICK ONLINE GAMBLING BAN ILL-FATED – NESSON “outrageous and ill-informed”

By Jim O’Sullivan

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, FEB. 26, 2008…. While his casino bill’s overall prospects remain far from clear, Gov. Deval Patrick’s bid to criminalize online betting appears especially imperiled, with the administration treating that provision as incidental.

Close observers of the upcoming gambling debate say the move to outlaw Internet gambling, with prison sentences of up to two years, could be a casualty. Administration officials concede that the ban is not central to the three-casino plan, which Patrick estimates could generate up to $450 million in annual state tax revenues.

Senate President Pro Tempore Stanley Rosenberg, designated by Senate President Therese Murray as her top adviser on gambling, called the ban “very, very difficult” to enforce. …

With considerable opposition in the House from Speaker Salvatore DiMasi, the bill’s path to passage is challenging. The state Republican Party said Tuesday it had not received a response to Monday’s letter requesting the State Ethics Commission investigate DiMasi’s golfing trips with potential casino developers.

Current federal law prohibits online gambling, but targets the institutions that handle the money and not the bettors themselves. Patrick’s bill does not explicitly provide for enforcement mechanisms.

A Harvard Law School professor who studies Internet gambling said that, in talks with administration and industry officials, he’s been unable to determine how the clause found its way into the bill.

“I’ve been talking to just about everybody I can talk to, and it is really interesting to get to the bottom of how this provision actually got into the bill,” said Charles Nesson, William Weld professor of law at Harvard Law. “You start out thinking that it’s the casino interests, because they’re really the guys that wrote the bill, and then it turns out that the principal guys that were at the hearing didn’t even know it was there.”

Patrick’s press secretary, Kyle Sullivan, called Nesson’s charge that lobbyists wrote the bill “outrageous and ill-informed.”

The criminalization effort also directly contradicts US Rep. Barney Frank’s effort to sanction online gambling. Frank, a Patrick political ally, has criticized the clause.

Industry experts say the Internet ban would sweeten the market for casino operators by eliminating one of the in-state gambling options that could drain the customer base of its potential. It was unclear how the provision’s removal would affect the proposal’s capability to bring revenue to state coffers.

Patrick’s chief of staff, Doug Rubin, said, “It’s something that we thought was useful, but we’re willing to talk about all that stuff.”

The administration last week hired a New Jersey gambling industry consulting firm to inspect the bill’s estimates. The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce has a separate study due within weeks.

Patrick’s point man on gambling, assistant secretary for policy and planning, is on unpaid leave, after being arrested for sexual battery in Florida.

Patrick’s legislation, which lawmakers expect to come up before the Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies next month, creates an authority to regulate the gambling industry. But the bill holds no specific language for how to enforce the online wagering ban.

Rosenberg said, “That’s a very difficult provision to implement, because how do you control Internet services that can come from anywhere in the world?” …

Legislative officials said concern over the online betting measure was premature until after the House-controlled committee began the formal deliberative process by holding a hearing. A DiMasi spokesman said Friday that the committee was working to set a date and that the speaker remained “skeptical.”

The state’s current, legalized system of gambling does not permit Internet transactions. Lottery spokesman Dan Rosenfeld said Lottery officials’ analysis found that current law would allow for online wagering if the agency could ensure that all players were in Massachusetts. The Lottery Commission has no plans to establish an Internet betting system, he said, adding, “We’re keeping our options open.”

But online poker advocates, including Nesson and the Poker Players Alliance, are actively resisting the effort to criminalize what they say is a pastime and personal freedom that should be preserved.

“Right now because nobody wants to take credit for putting it in, there doesn’t seem to be anyone who would be significantly opposed to taking it out,” said Vin Narayanan, managing editor of Casino City, the industry publication.

After talking with casino developers Sheldon Adelson and Gary Loveman, Narayanan said, he’d concluded the provision’s origin was “a mystery to everyone.”

He said, “The thing is, it’s harder to undo things than to do things. Because it’s harder to undo things, it’s a fifty-fifty proposition. If this had been pre-mark-up, and word had gotten out that it had been in the bill, it would’ve been really easy to take it out.”

— END —

Serving the working press since 1910

Internet & Society – NEXA – STANFORD – HARVARD


Feb 18
From CyberOne Wiki

colvin is right, and brilliant, schools train the kids to beat the cops to get out of an authority structure that makes them feel bored and stupid.

i want presbelewski and colvin to be teachers in my school.

i want kids to watch the wire with me and then come back and go over and say where the mistake was made and what was the other choice.

i want to convey how much i want to teach

google hypothetical: future of university
mission of university
position of the assn of internet university service providers
bye bye to copyright on transactional base
open the university with a presidential poker game, all proceeds for running the open school

strategic thinking expressed in action
make your play according to assessment of position and strength of other players in your game

for an inmate in prison there are two laws, authority law and inmate law, authority imposed from the force outside that makes the prison, authority from the force within that rules the force of resistance. the stronger the compression the deeper the evil. how to teach and how to learn how to lighten up.

in baltimore two laws. colvin and prez offer strategy to change the valence of the game

think in media terms. hollywood, listen up. let me use your product in open education. me and prez teach math. a new kind of school. embrace parents and love their children. follow colvin down the path of enlightenment to the point of hope in kids. catch the light and keep it burning.

i want to show the wire in kingston prison, and talk about it. i want to show it in juvenile.

==feb 24==
ready for a rush
larry gives me great idea and contact with lauren
palfrey for berkman and perhaps for harvard law
juan carlos for nexa
larry and lauren for stanford

internet & society
can we have your support

first question at google gathering
identity of avatars
behind each a student expressing truth

criminalizing online poker — how crazy is that?


Crimson Poker
click here







remix poetry
= (another mix)


Chippy the Poker Chip



future of university

hear it now






slideshow of open university opening up

GPSTSBusiness – 16 Feb 2008
subject Fwd: bracken on obama on the

i want license to use the wire in my online school. is this within the realm of fair use. i want colvin and pryzbylewski in my classrooms. i want to take it with me in a box to kingston prison and run my class for real in our prison lab. omar, as obama says, is a man of character playing by his code. the lessons of the wire are profound

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: wayne marshall
Date: 2008/1/15
Subject: bracken on obama on the wire!
To: Charles Nesson