Monthly Archive for April, 2007

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facing cary

i must turn to you and write
not enough to speak to myself and feel i’m done
i must speak to you

who am i talking to?
to whom am i speaking?
i&i speak to u&u

i speak to riaa

to u

you make the best argument you can for your client
i speak down to you
that will never do
i am u

i am your sons and daughters who have grown up on the wealth you have provided
fancy cars and ear phones all the way
i am u

make a connection
stop recording
hold sammy in your arms
give sammy to fern to whom he wants to go
two points together with love between
start listening
turn up volume
let flow

dear cary
come sit down in virtual space as avatar for riaa
speak with university

let’s play virtual let’s play real
let’s make a party
let’s make a deal

we consider anything reasonable which does not impede the accomplishment of our mission.

imagine that we play an interactive video game in which your avatar is controlled from your side and mine controlled from mine engaging in a structured negotiation

scared professoriat at one side all wired in against whatever hollywood has to offer


truth happens


time to move the questions off the front page
put up our agenda

university – knowledge over authority

an address to authority that speaks from university and says: this is what we want.

declare university
give it substance in the net

on thursday may 31, 2007
we ask an invited group to a meeting under chatham rules to discuss inputs and outputs and issues of connectedness.

on thursday evening, may 31, 2007
we party
food for thought dinners with a late night event

on friday june 1, 2007
we gather for a keynote and briefing by john palfrey
we honor sid verba
we break into groups and go to work

Conference Working Groups

Suits brought against members of University by the RIAA bring up issues revolving around the role and identity of University and copyright. Universities are being asked to absorb financial and non-monetary costs of the record companies’ enforcement, in a way that distorts their educational mission. In the name of “intellectual property,” the academy is asked to compromise students’ privacy, limit their access to genuine educational resources, and restrict their opportunities for new creative expression. Should Universities be the Copyright Police?

The Expressed Identity of UNIVERSITY
With digital tools such as message boards, social networks, and search engines making University and its clients’ identities more public than ever, navigating the integrated media landscape for students and other members of University has become increasingly difficult. In a world where anonymous postings can have lasting effects on the professional and personal lives of students, and when University clients and their digital identities can be expressions of the University as a whole, this workshop will focus on how we begin to navigate this space and how we form the digital identity of University.

UNIVERSITY Agenda for Fair Use
The Center for Social Media at American University and documentary filmmakers wrote a report on Best Practices in Fair Use to help navigate the waters of copyrighted materials and to determine when material use can be considered Fair Use. Much like documentarians, members of University communities are often riddled with questions as they create and express their work. How can we create Best Practices in Fair Use document for Universities similar to the one created for documentary filmmakers?

Alternative UNIVERSITY Models for Scholarly Publications
The ways in which professors, academics and students and professionals release their work into the world are changing. The old models of scholarly publishing, in which most work is turned over to a publishing company just to be purchased back by the Universities from which it originated, are challenged as the printing press is replaced by digital distribution. How can Universities progress open access models of scholarly publications through repositories, modes of licensing and support of open access journals?

Open Access at UNIVERSITY – OpenCourseWare and Beyond
MIT’s OpenCourseWare, along with numerous other University-lead open access learning initiatives, has revealed the world’s thirst for open access knowledge and learning. What have we learned from previous efforts, and how and in what ways can Universities harness the potential of making their course material open access? How do we give knowledge, once put online, a sense of “life” – how do we make it “living” knowledge to be shared and developed with learners around the world?

Connecting UNIVERSITY and Localized Curricula
How can Universities contribute their specialized knowledge to teachers and educators across the world through technological tools and resources such as One Laptop Per Child, university Presidential Instructional Technology Fellowship (PITF) programs and Scratch? How can middle management structures connect University with children in developing nations, and provide materials that can be adapted and cultivated for local needs? How can we encourage local Universities to form PITF programs?

UNIVERSITY Relationship Building – Power, Funding and Transparency – Who’s the Authority, Anyway?
The relationships between University and business, philanthropy, government and other funding sources grow increasingly complex as all these entities enter into relationships that are meant to fund knowledge creation. As each party in University relationships has their own goals, what steps need to be taken to build more fruitful bonds? How do the relationships change as the mode of knowledge dissemination leans toward open access models? How is funding negotiated, and how can the integrity of the produced work be maintained?

UNIVERSITY as client. Progressing General Counsels on Intellectual Property Issues
How are General Counsels at Universities advancing academia into the digitized age and how, as lawyers for Universities, do they view intellectual property issues? In what ways do Universities and their General Counsels need to be on the cutting edge of shared resource and knowledge promotion? How does this counter the position to keep Universities from being sued?

Social and Cultural UNIVERSITY Communities Online and Off
How can University sponsored events leverage their reach, build communities and keep the conversations going after the conference ends?Using as a case study the Dred Scott conference held by the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice in April, we will discuss how history relates to the present and future, and also look at how the internet and new technologies can help universities as they work to convene social and cultural gatherings (as opposed to purely academic).

win or lose you pay your dues

civil rights conference here at harvard april 26. open knowledge conference at yale on the 27th. mobilization is the theme. pat will send our invitation out to those who atteneded the user generated content conference in dc. all invited to is2k7 to mobilize university to see and reach for its mission in cyberspace to educate the children of the world. teach them from the age of three to come to university. teach teachers how to offer threads to follow scratched in code they can unravel. points of departure for young minds to go that lead them to the land of open knowledge.

last night i sat with becca and dean to plan our open channel. amanda congdon email here dropped in later as flow rolls on to mitch, email dropped in here, flows on to the pee-da-HAN, the culture that everett writes about in contest with chomsky with input from pinker and tecumsah fitch. fern fascinated by it led me in to conversation with rebecca about recursion. is it the fundamental element of thought. is it the fundamental element of language. is it what enables our minds to be conscious.

makes sense to me.

what then in the culture of the peedaHAN makes their minds so strong that they can resist the delight of thinking past and future? everett says their focus is the present on it so strong they have no interest in anything back or beyond. one would think a trait so strong must be trained into a baby’s mind very young and very strong to so sharply curtail its natural curiosity and delight in learning. drop in email chomsky.

marc hauser, of hauser fitch chomsky 1994, will be at our poker meeting april 24. i’ve asked steve pinker to attend, have not heard back. noam turned me down. he hasn’t played poker in years. drop in email here. greg raymer, annie duke, andy bloch, howard lederer, and still hoping for chris jesus furguson, have you a model lurking in your minds of how recursion explains poker skill.

Recursion refers to a procedure that calls itself, or to a constituent that contains a constituent of the same kind, set within set. Recursion enables infinite complexity from finite input. the complexity we see. can we see simplicity.

e п i

Theoretical computer scientists often distinguish between tail recursion and true recursion. Roughly, in tail recursion, a procedure invokes another instance of itself as a final step (or, in the context of language, a constituent contains an identical kind of constituent at its periphery). In true recursion, a procedure invokes an instance of itself in mid-computation and then must resume the original procedure from where it left off (or a constituent contains an identical kind of constituent embedded inside it). True recursion requires a computational device with a stack of pointers (or an equivalent mechanism) to keep track of where to return after an embedded procedure has been executed. Tail recursion can be mimicked (at least in input-output behavior or “weak generative capacity”) by a computational device that implements simple iteration, where one instance of a procedure can be completed and forgotten by the time the next instance has begun. drop in mandelbrot . Tail recursion, however, cannot be mimicked by iteration when it comes to computations that require more than duplicating input-output behavior (“strong generative capacity”), such as inferences that depend on the grouping and labeling of constituents.

what is different about the peedaHAN

how are they not thinking like us

how are we knot thinking like they


Open WIFI on Elm Street – Greensboro

feel existense in your back
feel reverence for existence
breathe it in and out and in and out

how do i doubt myself. let me count the ways. i doubt myself when i lose a key. reach into a pocket expecting to find it there but don’t, search in all my pockets one after the next in terrored puzzelment that i have lost my grip on reality until i’ve searched them all then return again to the pocket in which i knew i left it and often find it there.

sanity. this connects to the doubt implicit in riddle of three hats. we infer our identity… therefore we doubt. yet in understanding this about my own reality i come ever closer to doubt overwhelming.

i am in green in Greensboro North Carolina at the pet-friendly Biltmore, across the street from Natty Green’s Brewhouse where Sebastian makes the beer and Simple Spreads where Leila makes the bread. Leila and Sebastian are daughter and son in law to me.

Fern and i now have roots in Greensboro. we would like create more connection. i met connections yesterday, met Bruce, met Mike, met Antoine, met Leary.

F.W.Woolworth in Greensboro is where the sit-ins began. there are two sides to Greensboro, white and black.

(written some months back)


Harvard law professor steps aside following racial flap

By THEO EMERY, Associated Press
BOSTON (April 22, 2002 11:52 p.m. EDT) – A Harvard Law School professor has agreed to temporarily stop teaching a class that has become the center of a controversy sparked by a racial slur that appeared on the Internet, a university official said Monday.

Professor Charles R. Nesson will continue to attend the class, but for the rest of the semester it will be taught by two colleagues, said Todd Rakoff, dean of the doctor of laws program.

The professor’s decision caps a tumultuous series of events sparked by the Internet posting, including a student walkout.

Notes from one of Nesson’s first-year tort law classes, posted last month by a student, contained the word “nig.” The word was in the student’s summary of a property case involving restrictive racial covenant.

Another student, Michelle Simpson, complained to the administration about the posting and on April 4 received an e-mail that read in part: “If you, as a race, want to prove that you do not deserve to be called by that word, work hard and you will be recognized.”

The e-mail was from one of Simpson’s classmates, who later apologized.

The e-mail sparked a classroom discussion during which Nesson offered to hold a mock trial and “represent” the classmate who made the comment.

The back-and-forth was then reprinted on an anonymous flier with a crudely drawn swastika on it. The flier was stuffed into about 80 student mailboxes.

The law school administration and university President Lawrence Summers have condemned the incidents. But protests have continued, including a walkout by about 400 students at the law school on April 15.

Nesson has agreed to step aside because he believed he “could do more for his students this way,” Rakoff said.

The professor declined to comment Monday.

Simpson said she hopes the administration will be more aggressive in preventing similar incidents. Rakoff said the school is setting up workshops on multiculturalism for professors, along with sessions for new students on negotiating “difficult conversations.”

Christmas morning, 2005. Got up and went for coffee, time to sit and think. Becca last night sat across from me at our kitchen table, Fern on my left, Wayne standing, back against the counter. She told me she thought i had gone crazy. Fern recalled how they tried to hold me back. I wish they would do a group blog with me. I guess I’m starting one. They want me to stop rushing, they, all the people who love me. I want a process to slow me down, generate my message in a structure that lets adjustments be made before it goes public. Public, meaning that it becomes fodder to feed tongues that wag and put down, ridicule, dismiss.

Reputation. It just occurred to me that I have left it out of my Evidence lecture line up. I wonder why. I could not remember Michelle Simpsons’s name, had to google to find it, and even then could not remember the name of grace, the story i have to tell. That was Becca’s challenge to me last night. She says i can’t do it, tell her story. I can’t do it because i am white and Grace is black, like different sides of the necker cube.

I take Alex Lee as my teacher. I’ve been reading her journal of her few days in Jamaica, totally admiring her remarkable ability just to let it flow. I’d love just to do the same here. Blog. Let it flow. She calls me poppa, gave me the name. I like it.

sitting in limbo – bless you kevin

just found this post in my unpublished draft, as far as i can tell it’s kevin in london with me at a conference some time back, just as it came off his fingertips first time.

As i sit here in London England as an international Blogers confrence i wonder what this really meas to jamaica. and as a result i have been haveing conversations with indivduals i have met oter the past few hours. the thing i am getting out of all this is that there is a great interest in jamaica however people really want to see Jamaica better represented on the internet. after having that conversation i started wondering to my self exactly what it is that the world is seeing of Jamaica on the web and the first thing that came to mind was “you are in tuned to the thinking man’s talk show, Perkings on line on power 106” and then when you tune in there is just this huge amoung of redoric and it is always the same . now i start to ask myself the question if that is what is up there and that is what the world is heartin and seening on a daily basis how can jamaicans get to where they want to do. so far we have done ok by having other peoople tell our story however i think it is time that we tell our own story. we need to find the positives and get them out there. with bloging through the Jamaica Express we are creating a different and unique kind of news paper, with pod casting we are creating radion

what if we could get agrop of Jamaicans who have the same ideas that we have, the idea of wanting to make a difference, by becoming the change they wish to see in the world thus creating the world that they would want to live in. so rether than haveing to listen to Perkings Online they could listen to something that made more sense. In the prison in Jamaica we have seen where the inmates have made a change, they have first change the way they view themselves then proceded to change the way they view they ones closest to them and now they are better equiped to make a meaningful contribution to Jamaica.

Jamaica’s story is being told, who is telling it and who do we want to tell it. there is also the thought that Jamaica’s story is worth something and that is the level of interest that others seem to have and nothing else, as a result we find ourself in a situation where people are taking from the land and planting nothing in return in some case they are destroying the earth so nothing else can be planted on it and as a result there is not much for the people to benifit from.. What would it mean if we put ourself in a position where we can recognize what is happening and some how position ourselves to better take advantage of the products that comes out of Jamaica without taking anything away from the people, sensoring or supressing the people.

sj will lead a working group at is2k7

a pixie of a man, guiding the steam of bits into xo and from there out to children in developing nations. what can we do to help? i visit him at one laptop per child. i sit in a room with a tree of xo’s strung along the ceiling like green and white flowers along a garden path. sj stands at a whiteboard describing a taxonomy of knowledge and a plan for rendering it in bits. open invitation to the derek bok center and to the charles hamilton institute for race and justice and to the pitf program– let us join together in this enterprise. here is the audio recording – sj’s workgroup is2k7.

i went last night to a free culture meeting at the offices of one laptop per child, olpc. dean jansen presented the democracy player. the democracy player is like tivo for the net. elizabeth stark led us in working on the wiki for how to make internet tv – how to be your own channel. i opened an xo, hit the button, started it up, just like a kid in a developing nation. i could find the camera. i could take a picture. i could make music. i could open a text environment and type. i could open a file and read. i could see the tree connecting xo’s in a mesh any link of which connecting to the net would connect them all to me. i am a teacher. i teach law. i teach evidence. i teach dispute resolution through civil discourse. i teach empathic argument. i teach programming from scratch. i teach poker. i teach teaching and thinking and feeling and doing and being a student of it all with reverence for life.

joho the blog

at berkman yesterday ran into david weinberger in the kitchen and happened to have my recorder still on. we talked about a range of subjects including the teaching of norms. he told me the story of kathy sierra and his being quoted in a story in the new york times about cyberbullying. i told him about a panel autoadmit/xoxohth.

we deny ourselves useful space because we cannot handle ourselves well enough in the space to preserve it. this is ethics of the net.

imagine yourself to be a young woman in a first-year harvard law school class. imagine that you have been named and pictured and ridiculed and projected as a sexual object on an open internet discussion board by multiple anonymous contributors. you know that the people who are doing this to you are among your classmates, and that all your classmates are aware of it, some sympathetic, some tittering, some who may themselves be your slanders offering you plastic smiles. you are embarrassed, mortified. your law school experience has become a torture. your present is ruined. your future is google stained. you will never get away.

get a thick skin is not an empathic response. instead it gives evidence of callousness in the person offering it. nor are crocodile tears.

i am a law teacher. both victim and victimizer are my students. i teach ethics. are we capable of governing ourselves. am i capable of doing my part to be a citizen of the net. am i able to teach to young users of the net the fragility of its open spaces. can i teach young boys respect who feel adolescent joy in would-be manly incivility?

ethics describes what guides you in the domain of behavior between what you know to be true and what can be proved against you, a domain in which you have no need to answer to anyone but yourself, a domain in which, for better or worse, you are free, a domain in which you express your true identity even if only you can see it and know it’s you. ethics is the bedrock of the essence of the privilege of the legal profession which our students have come to law school to learn and join.

i read the ugly autoadmit/xoxohth threads. i see locker room talk by adolescent boys seeking affirmation from others like them that they are male and strong. you are my students. i want to teach you that you are wrong. in being wrong you will spoil open internet anonymous discourse space and deny it to us all. yet i know that to talk down to you from a position of authority may well only drive you deeper into self-doubting wise-guy bravado. constraint imposed on your freedom to abuse will challenge you to get out from under the constraint to find and reform again in another unconstrained space in which you can be funny and laugh at the expense of others and leave yourselves the feeling of time well spent in a community of friends and peers, rebels all.

true ethics grounded in the sense of the individual about what is right is undermined when articulated by rule and enforced by sanction. true ethical behavior is not a calculated fear response.

we are challenged in cyberspace to guide our behavior with norms and code. within formed cyber communities rule and saction can be made to work. bad actors can be banned. but that will not stop, indeed it will stimulate the excluded bad actors to form again a freer space they think beyond the jurisdiction of the rule.

at the panel discussion i moderated addressing the issue of hurtful anonymous speech i called a suggestion by michael fertig, ceo of reputation defender inc., “stupid” that we solve the problem by adopting a rule against lawyers and law students behaving badly and have bar associations enforce it. stupid because it misunderstands the problem, converting it to one of authority, be it school or bar association or “law”, doing something, anything, even something stupid in response to the problem so as not to be faulted for not trying; stupid because it deflects from the real challenge of teaching and modeling genuine respect.

still, “stupid” is a harsh word for a moderator to speak to a panelist. i shouldn’t have used it. sorry michael. but then i’d been informed just moments before the panel bagan that fertig had objected to the guys who run autoadmit/xoxohth being on the panel, which had resulted in them being disinvited!. (michael contests this.) moderating an unbalanced panel was the problem i was talking with weinberger about at berkman. got that? so anyway, i had my recorder still running from an earlier session because i forgot i had the hold button on when i hit the stop button to turn the recorder off. the result is like a blog, just what happens to come out. who knows. maybe it’s a format. alas you cannot hear.

please, help me with this question

How are universities similar to and different from for-profit businesses and what are the implications for their rights as owners and users of intellectual property?

This question, asked to me by Jeremy Williams, S.V.P. and Deputy General Counsel Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Jeremy has agreed to host a gathering in Los Angeles to discuss this question with me when I visit May 4, 2007.

Somewhere at the heart of this question are the core identities of university and for-profit corporation. what is the core identity of university? what of for-profit corporation?

start from the premise perhaps contestable that profit is at the core of for-profit corporate identity. staft from the premise that at the core of university identity is knowledge creation and dissemination.

reasoning from these premises who can explain to me why university should bear the burden of proof of fair use? do you see implications from this bearing on the request of RIAA for university acquiescence and cooperation in enabling settlement of copyright infringement claims against our students?

please, help me with these questions, and if not me than Jeremy.



lewis hyde writes:

Dear Berkmanites,

Pat McKiernan sent a note around yesterday alerting us to a Chronicle of Higher
Education discussion to be held at noon tomorrow (Thursday). The announcement
for this is at:…

Here is the gist of it:

Last fall the Recording Industry Association of America sent letters to about
700 colleges, announcing that it would soon let students accused of music
piracy settle their claims out of court before it officially filed suit. In
February the trade group made good on its promise: It sent batches of
“pre-litigation notices” to 13 universities and asked those institutions to
pass the messages along to students identified only by their Internet-protocol
numbers. The notices direct recipients to a Web site and a telephone hotline to
which they can pay lump sums to record companies….

Cary H. Sherman, the association’s president, will answer your questions about
the recording industry’s new antipiracy endeavor….


There’s something bothersome in this; what exactly? Well, here is the question
I am sending in:


The recording industry regularly asks colleges to police their students in
regard to copyright infringement. My question has to do with the proper roles
of each institution: Why is it the task of colleges to do this police work,
rather than the police?

Sharing files over the internet is not illegal per se; that depends on what’s in
the file and on what it is being used for. An accusation of music piracy is not
a proof of music piracy: questions of evidence, and of fair use, and of
educational exceptions to infringement come into play.

If colleges “pass along messages” that direct students to “pay lump sums to
record companies,” colleges become an arm of the recording industry, bypassing
their educational role (teaching about fair use, for example) and bypassing due
process, if in fact there is a criminal charge to be made.

For these reasons I believe that colleges should decline this RIAA request. How
would Mr. Sherman respond to the background assumption here, that the industry,
the colleges, and law enforcement are distinct institutions, and that there is
good reason to keep their separate roles clear?


thank you lewis.

i spoke at the user-generated-content conference convening at american university law school in d.c. to the group that did the work with generating norms with documentarians that you, lewis, recommended to me. i am hoping they will join in the is2k7 effort to reify university as client. i spoke last night of the costs of university compliance with riaa, the slave labor aspect of copyright, with the example of nebraska sending riaa a bill.

In this issue you raise so well RIAA has given us high ground on which to stand and fight!!