Archive for the 'trust' Category

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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.

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!

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
 kdw at

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.

Trial of the Socratic Method

A seminar of law students talks about law school and Socrates. Thanks to Clay Ward.

The Iliad – An Odyssey of Emotion from god to Man

The second session of the reading group Fern and i are leading talked about the Iliad. An earlier posted video segment addresses the rage that arises when the authority figure in your life insults you by lording it over you. In this segments Fern and our students talk a bit about the nature of rage, empathy and humanity.

Art and Jordan Talk Pro Bono

Art and Jordan are students in CyberOne seeking to strengthen their friendship by talking through a difference that separated and threatened to alienate them from each other. They differ on whether Jordan is justified in feeling resentful of Harvard Law Schools requirement that each student do forty hours of “pro bono” work as a condition of graduation. This video begins their quest for mutual empathy. Their relationship and their conversation is a work in progress. The video is rough, but it’s a start.


wayne not back yet from talking dembow. bec here for breakfast then getting her toes painted with fern. palfreys blog about learning to code and to understand what code is from the bottom up and keep on learning, scratch now an element of our course. we want a grant from our provost’s fund to ask marvin and his lego robots to start us off, mitch resnick for an interview. my thoughts recorded all mixed in with chayes trash in ways that seem mysterious even to me.

am i proud yes is am
here’s email from wayne:

Date: Fri, 5 May 2006 09:15:15 -0400 
From: "wayne marshall"  
To: "Charles Nesson" , 
        "Fern Nesson"  
Subject: Fwd: so many snares 
X-Virus-Scanned: amavisd-new at 

considering, Fern, that you bought me a copy of this collection last year, I thought you would both be quite tickled by this good news...


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: May 4, 2006 5:00 PM
Subject: so many snares
To:  wayneandwax at

Hi Wayne,

Geeta gave me your contact info. I wanted to say congrats because your
blog post "We use so many snares" has been chosen for the Da Capo Best
Music Writing 2006 anthology. I have a reprint permission letter to 
send you once you respond and will also need a 40-80 word bio.

A few things: the guest editor, Mary, and I wanted to look over the
text to make sure that it reads well as a printed text (w/o links),
perhaps editing very very slightly where the links/demos occur. I 
would of course be in dialogue with you about the edits and you would
have final approval of any changes.

Also, Mary wanted to run a selection of the comments (it would have to
be the authored comments for permissions I think). Perhaps you could 
look through the post and suggest to me which you think contribute to
the main body of the post?

Thanks for all your tireless and great writing!


from the desk of:

Daphne Carr 
Da Capo Best Music Writing Series Editor

kevin needs help amplifying his message: dcs regroup

Here’s the code to display it:

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

here is kevin’s message to me

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

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

another in the series of between you and I

I’ll be talking to you soon

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

Be the change you wish to see in the world

dcs regroup

Today is one of those days I call a learning experience

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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