#Amazed

Written By: Royze Adolfo

While there are many amazing key takeaways from my internship at the Berkman Center, the one I value the most is the power of a tweet. Before joining Berkman, I was very much interested in the infrastructure of information access but not quite as knowledgeable about networks people used to share information. Over several weeks of interacting with and learning about the Twittersphere from my fellow Berkterns, I have come to realize how innovative and revolutionary Twitter is as a communication tool, with hundreds of millions of users tweeting as a means to collaborate, share, inform, empower, and mobilize.

While there are many examples of how tweets have positively impacted causes and communication efforts, I reference only a select few in this post.

A few weeks ago, I attended a talk given by Andres Monroy Hernandez, a Berkman Center fellow, and Takis Metaxas, a Computer Science professor at Wellesley College, regarding the tweeting practices of citizens amidst the narcotics war in Mexico. I learned that with the the increase of drug cartel violence and threats to the safety, governments and newspapers could no longer fulfill their promise to keep citizens safe and informed. In response to this change in power, citizens began utilizing Twitter as a new platform to report unfiltered news and danger zones. Through tweets, anonymous sources built communities of trust, credibility, and civic networks. From this presentation, I learned that tweeting goes a long way in keeping people informed; and, in many instances, also keeps people safe.

Tweets have also made it easier to organize and publicize relief efforts wherever and whenever disaster strikes. A couple of days ago, while I was curating a set of stories for our weekly Berkman newsletter, I read about the disastrous rains and floods in the Philippines, where my family resides. Reports have detailed that tens of thousands of Filipinos have been displaced. However, through tweets and hashtags, Filipinos were able to call upon rescuers and share updates about the devastating ongoings. This event has truly showed the positive impact of online efforts in coordinating disaster relief responses. I can’t help but think of the possibilities of more effective and efficient ways to respond to other global crises.

Moreover, in interacting with interns from the Herdict and Opennet Initiative projects, I have learned about the team’s goal to report and collect information about global censorship efforts involving a host of websites and social media sites, including Twitter. I’ve definitely appreciated their efforts, because they have helped me understand and value, with even greater fervor, my ability to opine, report, share, and access information without fearing censorship.

Overall, my time at Berkman has opened my eyes to so many projects and efforts. I have met great scholars, writers, technologists, and smart people… but most importantly, I met passionate people, with real and laudable efforts to promote the positive possibilities of the Internet.

I’ve never quite felt as sad leaving any other space, for I’ve always know that better things were to come. This time around, I truly do hope to cross paths with the great people with whom I’ve shared kitchen space, many meals, and good conversations. Berkman has taken my impression of collaborative work to an entirely new level. I have found that, in any given space and in any given topic, a good group of people can always find a way to rework, re-envision, redesign, and re-imagine a concept.

As Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Berkman truly is a special place that breathes life into these words. Thanks, Berkman, for a truly amazing experience. I am leaving this place refreshed.

Capping it off!

By Hilda Barasa

Whoa! Time does fly when you are having fun! Today, August 10th officially marks the end of ten amazing weeks at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society. It’s been an incredible summer working with a fantastic group of young, passionate and uncommonly driven scholars from around the world. The Berktern experience cannot, in my view, be summarised in a blog post. You have to live it.

From the very beginning, I knew deep down that this was going to be a transformative summer – and I was right. Starting with a simple introductory thread in April, Berkterns from countries as far away as Japan and towns as close by as Andover, chimed into an email thread and virtually introduced themselves to each other. I remember sitting in my room writing my final undergraduate papers and thinking “Wow! What an impressive group they are.” I use the word ‘they’ because for a couple of days, I found myself stumped on how best to introduce myself on the thread .

Being a Berktern is akin to jumping onto a rollercoaster – you ride very fast! When you get off it, you find yourself caught up in the adrenaline rush with your heart racing really fast. You look back at the rollercoaster and for a few mins, it doesn’t sink in that you actually did it. That, funny enough, is summer at Berkman – an unbelievable ride that you don’t want to walk away from. When we asked our fellow Berkterns to share with us a summary of their summer in one word of phrase, the word ‘privilege’ came up. I want to reflect briefly on this “privilege” as I wrap up.

The Berkman Center is quite simply the people. When Becca asked us to introduce ourselves to the Berktern 2012 group over an email thread, I believe that this was an introduction to this particular Berkman culture. We all arrived here on the 4th of June having a sense of who our colleagues were – what they were passionate about and what, in their own words, defined them academically and socially. As we sat in the conference room on a rainy Monday morning, we were able to put faces to the stories we had read over the course of the previous month. Having these connections made working and collaborating with each other over the last ten weeks almost seamless.

The culture of collaboration did not just end with the Berktern circles. It was and is evident in how the Center engages the community through its weekly Luncheon Series. For ten weeks, we got to sit down with leading scholars from different academic fields whose works are defining the cyberspace discourse over lunch and have open conversations with them. How awesome is that? Personally, I walk away this summer with an intellectual curiosity that has only began to be satisfied. I find myself challenged to learn more, to research more and to engage myself more with technology when approaching societal quandaries.

And lastly, there is a diversity and passion within the center that will be hard for me to match elsewhere. From the PhD students to the high school students, this Berktern team has passion coded in their DNA. We have spent hours working around the kitchen table talking about our interests and there is always something new to learn. This passion has been transferred to our individual and shared projects and, truthfully, permeates from the top. From the fellows and directors, everyone gives 110% every day, and that’s inspiring!

So yes, being a Berktern is a privilege! For ten weeks this summer, I have had the privilege of waking up in the morning knowing that my contributions to the big picture count in this office and with my team. I have been surrounded by passionate people, with whom I have talked to, laughed with and had intellectually stimulating conversations with around the kitchen table or while walking to and from work. For ten weeks, I have called myself a Berktern and I will undoubtedly refer to myself as such for a long time to come.

Thank you Berkman for the best summer yet!

Kwaheri to all our readers!

Narcotweets: How citizens are using social media to report the Mexican drug cartel wars

Narcotweets Presentation at Harvard Law School

By Royze Adolfo

On Wednesday, Andres Monroy Hernandez and Takis Metaxas shared their ongoing research to a widely-attended luncheon on the growing trend of anonymous and social media based reporting practices of Mexican civilians amidst the Mexican drug cartel war.

As the team cited, the Mexican drug war has resulted in roughly 60,000 killings and 230,000 displacements to date. With journalists and government officials fearing for their own safety, they have halted their efforts to provide accurate reportings of cartel-related atrocities, resulting in what the Metaxas and Hernandez claimed to be a “near-complete news blackout.”

Newsless civilians have, therefore, been motivated to adopt the act of anonymous tweeting as a civic duty. Some have even claimed the title of “war correspondent” to describe their altruistic role in developing a sort of alert network within their communities.

Quotation mark

Citizens form alert networks that spread geographically. A few users act as curators, aggregating & broadcasting information. #narcotweets
—StephenSuen (@s2tephen)

Hernandez and Metaxas particularly focused on the positive correlation they noticed between tweeting practices and the spread of cartel-related activities. With special attention to four cities — Monterrey, Reynosa, Veracruz, and Saltillo — and the use of a media cloud, the team identified that most common words that were tweeted about included: places, shootings, the word “report,” and people.

The team explains the distribution of tweets and Twitter account holders.

Because safety is still of immense concern, reporters and curators on Twitter still preserve their anonymity. While Hernandez and Metaxas claimed that they found anonymity to be problematic, especially in cases where people’s lives depend on what is reported, they noticed the phenomenon of trust-building. They found that credibility within the Twittersphere, or los tuiteros, was built through increased frequency and magnitude of individuals’ interaction with others within their networks and the larger Twitter community the triangulation of tweets and retweets.

Essentially, with convergence of increased violence, weakened institutions, adoption of social media, and engagement in civic reporting, Mexicans have formed credible safety alert networks that provide current and safety news in realtime. With social media-based movements like this one, as well as the Arab Spring, and many more around the globe, it is evident that social media gives way for communities to be built and for news to be shared faster and without traditional filters. Moreover, given the fact that Twitter is just one entity within the larger information ecosystem, there are even more ways for everyday citizens to fulfill their civic duty and share news within their local and social media networks.

Metaxas and Hernandez at their Narcotweets presentation (Credit to Mariel Garcia)

Quotation mark

Increased violence + weakened institutions + adoption of social media –> civic engagement #narcotweets
—Natalie Nicol (@natnicol)

To learn more about the talk, check here.

MEET THE CYBERSECURITY POWER DUO

                                                                                                                        by Hilda Barasa

Almost at the halfway mark of what is proving to be an incredibly busy and fulfilling summer, we had the pleasure of sitting down with two dynamic Berkterns whose interests in cyber security not only seam together flawlessly, but it has also transformed them into a formidable team. In between coffee and pretzel breaks, Nick and Gili will be found hunkered down by their laptops in the kitchen or conference room building the cybersecurity wiki, creating cybersecurity modules to be included in the H2O online learning platform and drawing up strategies for winning that next trivia game with their fellow Berkterns. In a rather hilarious interview, Nick and Gili talk to us about their experience and work with the Cybersecurity team so far as Nick reveals to all his favorite software…..

Royze: What projects are you currently working on each of you?

Gili: We are both in the Cybersecurity Project which includes the cybersecurity wiki and developing cybersecurity modules for the H2O platform. I’m also working on a case study for the Information Quality Project.
Nick:
I’m currently concentrating on the cyber security project. 

Royze: How do you feel about Excel?
Nick: Is that a loaded question? You know I love Excel. Why would you ask me that?
Royze: Because I always see you on it all the time!
Nick: I love Excel! It’s probably the best software Microsoft will ever produce.
Gili: Does Excel have any limitations?
Nick: It has no limitations! Only the user is limited. Excel is a robust piece of software. I think that all of the models in the financial industry were probably done in Excel.

Royze: In the last intern’s hour, we had a talk with Jonathan Zittrain. What’s your take on his general idea on cyber governance?
Nick: Just one? The man’s brilliant.
Gili: Yeah, I thought he was a very effective speaker and really enjoyed his concept of hardware remaining generic.
Nick: I think it was pretty amazing how he was there at the ground level for the development of many key aspects of the internet.  It was pretty surprising when he showed us the picture that he took of Jon Postel.
Gili: It made a lot of sense in light of what we try to do i.e. make technical information accessible to the wider public so that people can have an understanding of what internet protocol means and  still understand the politics behind it and the economic incentive that made ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) what it is. That’s something that the cyber security project can try and implement

Royze: You mentioned that you have been working with the H2O team trying to bring what you are working on onto the platform. How is that going?
Gili: So we just met with Kendra and Dustin to get introduced to the platform as we don’t have much experience working with it. We are now at the point where we want to convert the readings we have been dealing with these past few weeks into a format that would make sense as a course.
Nick: One of the things most interesting about cyber security is how, depending on the lens you use to look at it, there are numerous different topics that are of potential interest. H2O, with its ability to remix playlists, lends itself well to teaching this (cybersecurity) material. Whatever lens the teacher, student, or self-starter uses, they’ll be able to simplify it to their needs. It should work great.
Gili: One of our assignments is to develop a fundamentals model for people who are not very familiar with cybersecurity. Some of our mutual discussions have led us to see this model differently because what is very fundamental in terms of technological concepts to someone with a computer science background is very different from someone who will approach it with an international law perspective or perhaps governance or politics. Even just talking about ICANN would entail talking about packets and routers and ISPs with someone looking into the computer science elements of it, while a political scientist will look at the politics and financial incentives and impact of the organization. This shifting lens is really determining the material we look to include and H2O is a great platform to account for all these users by remixing playlists.

Royze: Were you both around for Anya Kamenetz’s talk where she addressed online learning and how thousands of people have access to Kyocera and all the other learning sites? Supposing that was a platform for introducing cyber security classes, who do you feel would be your audience when you talk about cyber security? Who should be more concerned? Is there a place for the youth to learn on it?
Nick: Absolutely the youth can learn from it. Again, I want to say that it depends on how you approach it. Almost anyone on the internet has reason to be interested in cyber security issues and could learn from the material in the course. That said, a lot of the aspects of it are very technical, especially regarding the legal and computer protocol sides of it.
Gili: We always talk about cybersecurity and to what extent issues such as cyber war are concerns for the general public or whether military strategists, policy makers and international law advisers can hash it out. But there is always an element of the individual and his/her computer, their own privacy and security and that’s definitely something that should concern everyone.

Royze: Nick, if you can talk about it, to what extent did your time at the military influence how you look at cyber security or information management?
Nick:  My interest in cyber security is mostly personal. In my opinion, it is the one of the largest future challenges for the military, and they’re currently addressing their future role in the cyber-domain through the formation of USCYBERCOM, which handles many cyberspace issues for the DoD. So from a personal perspective, it is an interesting up and coming topic, but as for working with it directly in the military, I really did not.

Royze: Where does your background or interests come in, Gili?
Gili: I’m interested in the critical studies of technology, science and policy making and what qualifies experts to carve out domains to advise on when it comes to incredibly complex issues in these fields. I got wrapped into the cybersecurity discourse because I felt it became a very dominant issue in international relations. Coming from Israel, which is often a participating actor in a lot of discussions around Stuxnet where nobody can say for sure what their role is, there are a lot of unanswered questions that I find intriguing . I’d be very interested in how international relations and the conduct of war will shift as we move towards using more sophisticated and often invisible technologies.

Royze: Moving forward, where do you see yourself including issues of cyber security in your careers? Is it something you want to delve into more or teach others in your own ways?
Gili: So I am currently working on my senior thesis on _______________________ and at least a chapter of it will be dedicated to cybersecurity. I am looking at sovereignty in cyberspaces and a lot of it does come back to how you conduct war or protect cyber borders. Hopefully my work this summer will facilitate this project.
Nick: I’m going to law school and am interested in national security law.  This is a growing topic in the field, and I see myself in the future taking Jack’s class.  Hopefully down the line when I make my way to DC, I will be able to help formulate and implement some informed thoughts on the topic.

Royze: What do you like about working with each other? Do you play off of your strengths and common interests or not?
Nick: We only email. This is actually the second time we are seeing each other.
Gili: Yeah, we never see each other. We just had lunch where we sat down and IM’d each other.
Nick: On a more serious note…
Gili: Nick is very organized and on top of things. He writes very well and sends very formal emails that are very clear
Nick: Yes, formality is key to a good e-mail.
Gili: Formality is key with him. We can never be friends because he keeps this professional, stern distance.
Nick:…except during trivia……
……Gili is very knowledgeable on the topic and actually took a class with Jack which is very impressive. She therefore has a much broader understanding of cyber security and is a much better writer than me. I read her synopsis and immediately used it as a format for mine. I also appreciate the fact that she can really focus on cyber security even with her other projects. Sometimes it seems like she is doing twice the work that I do, and faster!

Royze: Tying in your experience here at Berkman, is there any other group you want to work more with or get to know more?
Gili: The lounge people are awesome.
Nick: Yeah! I wish we had more time interacting with the professors. I honestly feel we could have done 3-4 hrs with JZ. Perhaps intern’s hour should start at 2 and stretch till 6.

Royze: What are your favourite blogs?
Gili: Do we have to say Jack’s blog? [Jack Goldsmith leads the cybersecurity wiki project and blogs about national security and legal issues here]
Nick: Honestly, the Lawfare blog is pretty good
Gili: Other than Jack’s blog, I read XKCD which is more of a comic strip than a blog

Royze: If anyone wanted to learn more about cyber security, where should they go?
Gili: shameless plug – cyber.law.harvard.edu/cybersecurity

Any last words?

Gili & Nick: Free coffee! We love that – please communicate our sincere appreciation to the powers that be for that!

Natalie explores Washington’s SB 6251, Section 230 of the CDA, and the issue of free speech

By Royze Adolfo 

Fellow Berktern Natalie Nicol published her first post on the Citizen Media Law Project blog regarding the enactment of Washington State’s SB 6251, a law that could require online service providers to monitor third-party content if it survives a federal challenge to its constitutionality.

Natalie explains that SB 6251 is concerning because it might shift the burden of policing content to internet intermediaries – as opposed to law enforcement authorities – thereby posing a threat to free speech online. She contextualizes her analysis with a discussion of section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which grants online service providers broad immunity from liability for hosting third-party content.

In researching the piece, she relied on blogs such as TechDirt, the CMLP’s Legal Guide on Section 230, and other resources widely available to the public. She also discussed the post with Berkman Center colleagues, whose views helped broaden her own perspective on the challenging subject matter discussed therein.

Read Natalie’s blog post here.

Natalie is a graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, where her interest in First Amendment and media law issues were first sparked. As a student at UC Hastings College of the Law, she has further explored these subjects and more through internships at First Amendment Project and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Rosemarie Garland-Thompson speaks about accessible technologies at the Berkman Center

Rosemarie begins her talk at the Berkman Center. (Credit to Dino Sossi)

By Royze Adolfo 

This week, crowds filled the Berkman conference room to hear Prof. Rosemarie Garland-Thompson from Emory University share her expertise on critical disability theory and insights on accessible technologies that increase opportunities for inclusion for people with disabilities.

Crowds gather for Rosemarie’s talk (Credit to Dino Sossi)

Many of the Berkterns who attended today’s luncheon claimed to be fascinated by Rosemarie’s ideas, the transformation of disability discourse over the centuries, and countless modern day examples because they required us to look at life, people, history, art, and the notion of possibility through a different lens.

Rosemarie began her talk by sharing the history of stigmatized disabilities discourse. She drew from classical artistic examples including Pieter Brueghel’s painting The Cripples and pop culture examples including: Glee’s inclusion of characters with disabilities; Lady Gaga’s incorporation of disability drag in her Paparazzi music video; and actual examples of authors, athletes, photographers, dancers, models, and celebrities with disabilities making great strides. But art and media aren’t the only areas where the disability landscape has been transformed.

Buildings and alternative spaces are constantly transforming, too. Many architects, today, are solution-oriented designers who provide equitable, flexible, simple, and intuitive technologies and structures that increase quality of living for all. During her talk, Rosemarie illustrated the increasing thoughtfulness of architects in developing elegant “human-centered” and “barrier-free” designs of buildings, drinking fountains, ramps, door knobs, wheelchairs, sanitation stations, and transportation systems. Furthermore, more engineers are exploring and developing more innovative solutions and functional technologies (e.g. wheelchairs, crutches, touch screens, prosthetics, etc.) to build a more inclusive world.

Today, various technologies from crutches to ramps to “hipster hearing-aides” [hyperlink to example] make it more possible for people with disabilities to be included in  public spaces, to openly disclose their disabilities, and gives those without disabilities an opportunity to explore alternative forms of beauty as opposed to eliminating them. As we all pursue our own technology-related research Rosemarie’s talk injects some highly valuable insight on the importance of designing for all.

 

In the lounge with the Freedom of Expression Team

By Royze Adolfo 

As the summer moves forward, we hope to highlight each Berktern group’s work, team dynamic, and other exciting things about them. To kick it off, today, we are chatting in the lounge with Cale, Malavika, Marianna, and Melody from the Freedom of Expression (FOE) team.

From left to right: Malavika, Melody, Marianna, and Cale

When they’re not munching on pretzels or candies from the shared Berkman jar of treats, the team works hard to search for where censorship takes place around the globe. Day to day, the four are glued to their screens while blogging, tweeting, updating newsreels, scouring the web for censorship news related to their assigned countries, updating the ONI and Herdict Twitter websites, and researching chilling effects. Right now, Melody is reporting on Columbia and Guatemala; Malavika is focusing on Ethiopia and Kenya; Cale is looking closely at Tanzania and Nigeria; and, Marianna is narrowing in on Peru and Mexico.

Q&A

Royze: What do you enjoy most about working with the FOE team?

Cale: I work with a great group of co-interns and I also enjoy the fact that I am able to stay current with the news. I am much more abreast of events relating to internet censorship than I have ever been in my entire life.

Malavika: My co-interns, for sure. We are also working on stuff that’s current. When I was updating my country profile on Ethiopia, I was so surprised with all the news I was finding and all that I am able to contribute. If you’re really interested in censorship issues, it’s cool to do this work and have this connection.

Melody: Every single day there’s something new that happens. Everyday, there’s always something really impressive to find.

Marianna: Researching censorship regimes has kept me abreast of a broad range of social movements and civil liberties efforts around the world, issues I’d never have learned about otherwise.

Royze: What is the most challenging aspect about working with the FOE team?
Cale: Honing in writing style for blog posts.

Malavika: We’re all involved in a number of projects, so juggling it all is challenging. But as a small team, we work really well together. No one is really assigned any tasks which works because we have a generally nurturing collaborative environment.

Melody: I agree with what they both say. I’d say that synthesizing information for an informative blog post is a bit challenging, but we’re learning along the way.

Marianna: It’s only my second day, but already it seems that we move at a pretty fast pace, pulling together resources to not only summarize but also analyze and create content.

Royze: What do you love about working with your fellow interns?

Malavika: I think that in an event of a zombie attack, these are the people I would want by my side.

Cale: These are great people to see a movie with…no, really, it’s nice to be in a tight-knit group of people who share my love for pretzels.

Melody: It’s nice to be able to be comfortable with my team in such a short span of time. Within a week we were all really awesome. They’re also really fun people to eat out with.

Marianna: I love nothing about it… but only because I’m new and haven’t yet dived into working with the team! The FOE interns are lovely and welcoming, and I’d be hard pressed to think of other people with whom I’d like to spend all my waking hours this summer.

Royze: On a random note, what’s your favorite blog?

Cale: The Awl  http://www.theawl.com/)

Malavika: The only blogs I read are cooking blogs and Eat. Blog. Run (http://www.eatblogrun.com/)

Melody: Hyperbole and a Half (http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/)

Marianna: I enjoy socialjusticeleague.net. And if it counts as a blog, whatshouldwecallme (http://whatshouldwecallme.tumblr.com).

Melody and Marianna on a Tuesday afternoon

To learn more about this team’s work, read their contributions on the OpenNet Initiative and the Herdict blogs!

Mindsport Conference with the Grandmasters

By Royze Adolfo 

Last week, Professor Charles Nesson organized a conference with members of the International Mind Sports Association, members of Cambridge schools and parents, and representatives from the Cambridge Public Libraries in order to brainstorm ideas on to how to create an engaging interactive after-school curriculum for grade school children. In countries like the UK and Brazil, mind sports have been integrated into curriculum and now the movement seems to be making its way into the United States, or at least Professor Nesson hopes it can take firm root in Cambridge.

Along with his daughter Rebecca Nesson (Pubic Radio Exchange), Prof. Nesson invited a handful of grandmasters, including James McManus (Poker), Andy Okun (Go!), Maurice Ashley (Chess), Howard Weinstein (Bridge), and Alex Mogilyansky (10×10 Checkers) to share the value of learning about their specific mind sports. The grandmasters explained, in many interesting ways, how their mind sport helped  and transformed their lives and elaborated on the skills that kids might take away from learning how to play games. These skills include strategic thinking, discipline, etiquette, grace in defeat, collaboration, just to name a few.

Cambridge public school officials and parents weighed in on the particular student needs and shared possible ideas and approaches to integrating games into the school curriculum to help students foster good life skills. They also addressed important concerns including the possibility of developing addictions and other associated irresponsible playing practices. But the general consensus seems to be that the benefits of learning the game may outweigh the consequences which can be prevented by engineering healthy and productive playing environments.

In joining in on the conversation, Cambridge public library representatives agreed to collaborate with schools and parents in providing a venue for children to gather for after-school mind sports activities and competitions and to house literary resources that explain the games and their strategies.

Throughout the day-long conference, mind sport grandmasters expressed great enthusiasm about collaborating with schools, parents, and librarians. Many conversations regarding deployable strategies and creative teaching styles and tools during panel discussions and round table talks. Overall, it was a lively conference filled with passionate people, food for thought, and actionable goals and plans for developing a workable mind sports curriculum.

We’re looking forward to next steps!

Gathering with Yochai Benkler and Charles Nesson for Interns’ Hours

By Royze Adolfo 

Every Wednesday, Berkterns gather to meet with at least one influential member of the Berkman community. During that hour, interns learn about various projects, ask questions, share thoughts and ideas, and find ways to interact and get involved with other arenas.

Two Wednesdays ago, Prof. Yochai Benkler welcomed the Berkterns to their first intern hour and shared with all of us his most recent Internet and Democracy project plans. Prof. Benkler is particularly concerned about the networked public sphere and works with his team to utilize tools such us media clouds to trace how alternative news publications and blogs cover SOPA/PIPA-related issues. His research shows that traditional media do not play as integral a role in covering technology issues as do online technology publications, personal blogs, and alternative media, bringing about a new concentration of power.

Prof. Benkler sharing his Networked Public Sphere project to the Berkterns

Just last Wednesday, Prof. Charles Nesson spent some time with the Berkterns after hosting a full day conference with Mindsport grandmasters in the games of chess, checkers, Go!, bridge, and poker. Charlie, as the founder of the Berkman Center, gave a history of the Center, its goals and plans and continued the evening with fun games, poker lessons, and multiple mini-tournaments with the five grandmasters.

Prof. Nesson teaches the art of poker to a few interns

World Series Poker Player James McManus coaches Berkterns on how to play poker.

Two Berkterns battle it out on a chessboard

With quite a few more Berktern hours to go, the interns are sure to meet a ton more amazing and influential people within the Berkman circle!