Monthly Archive for June, 2007

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hello mary weld – congratulations

fern just called to tell me what i missed by being on my back convelescing
missing your graduation with family proud around
i am proud of you as well
part of your family

congratulations to you and to susu and bill
you are my model of elena’s words

hello eve – copy attached

think of our rhetorical space as 0.0 space
best idea wins
every time there is a fight
with judges drawn from the those who hear

the article in the new york times excites
democracy as a business plan compelled by an open environment
hello eve born again from adam

let the same offer be made by internet poker
run clean out in the open
including what you or what runs the code
what u make and where it goes
clean game from bottom up
let us see constitution

my email for today

andrew, i love your thought. i am forwarding this on to terry fisher and john palfrey. we have been thinking ourselves that we are coming up to the tenth anniversary of the founding of the berkman center, and feel the possibility of synergy here.

On 6/7/07, Decker, Andrew (Exchange) wrote:

I have been reading Jack Goldsmith ‘s and Tim Wu ‘s book ” Who Controls the Internet ” and noted that the tenth anniversary of ACLU v. Reno is coming up at the end of the month (June 26th ). Goldsmith and W u observed about this decision: “With Reno, the idea of an unregulated and post-territorial Internet seemed to many to have migrated from kooky obscurity to the law of the United States as announced by America ‘s highest court. ”

I also note an article in today ‘s edition of the New York Times titled “In a V irtual Universe, The Politics Turn Real ” (page E1 of the NY metro edition; copy attached in case you have not seen it).

I mentioned these to my son Benjamin Decker (who I think you know) and suggested that the 10 th anniversary of Reno might mark an appropriate moment to consider various issues relating to the developing of synthetic worlds in some sort of virtual forum. Although the time is short to organize something, perhaps there might be some benefit to hosting something online that could provide material for an upcoming piece in the Harvard Interactive Media Review. Some topics that might be worth addressing include :

1. Do terrestrial governments — those “weary giants of flesh and steel ” (Goldsmith and Wu) — have jurisdiction in cyberspace/virtual worlds, and/or should they?

2. Can and should virtual worlds be governed by independent, potentially more-democratic organizational forms of organically grown “govern ment” ? Would such governance be in lieu of RL governmental procedures or would the re be overlapping jurisdiction? If overlapping, how does Reno shape or define at least the boundaries i n the US?

3. As my son observes, assuming the need for an independent, novel form of governance, what kind…Engineer-Kings ; the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF ) ; a panel of luminaries such as Larry Roberts, Robert Kahn, Vint Cerf, Jon Postel, Dave Clark ; Distributed-Cognition Anarchy? Should a government be open, minimalist, and neutral serving mainly as an arbiter of disputes and enforcer of rules or should it pursue some agenda based on some consensus developed in some manner within the community ?

4. How would such a “government ” derive and maintain its legitimacy? What are the means by which it exercises powers of governance to enforce its authority/decisions?

5. H ow would a synthetic government fit within the tapestry of local, national and international governmental authorities? How would the ” laws” of a “government ” in one synthetic world correlate to those of another (perhaps a synthetic UN or League of Nations)?

I know it is very short notice but the topic seems ripe for attention.


H. Andrew Decker
Senior Managing Director
Chairman, Global Telecom Group

what is the puzzle you are trying to solve

knowledge beyond power

Information Technologies and government transparency—the role of (U.S.) law

the Project Statement
One of the most respected U.S. Supreme Court Justices, Louis Brandeis, wrote in 1914: “publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants”. It holds particularly true for publicity of government actions. Transparency makes government more accountable and therefore propels its modernization. For the last 20 years more than 50 nations (including the Polish one) have established the right to access public information. Apparently, therefore, government transparency gains importance.

i am reading darek adamski’s fulbright proposalm, hoping he will be able to join us at Berkman Center next year.

i want public access to the government action of prosecuting internet poker.

i care about this because poker is a powerful and entertaining way to learn skills of self-evident value in life.
i am a teacher wanting to express teaching power to address the problems of humanity and the planet. i love poker as form and thinking. i see poker’s reach on the net stiffled by an arbitrary act of government propounded in congressional form in a midnight act, compounded by the reach of prosecutorial discretion directed against the founders of internet gaming. i feel freedom curtailed, my freedom, internet freedom. i feel my citizenship impugned.


Suppose avatars come to me, eon, d of c, lawyer and teacher, in my Second Life office on Berkman Island – the founders of cyber poker, under threat of prosecution by agents of U.S. Govt.

i can quote for you the bunch of bullshit the prosecutor will give us about how the wire act and the midnight bill they snuck past without a single moment of committee deliberation gives them the right to prosecute poker. cyber poker. poker as a beautiful idea recreated in a game that’s not a game projecting out to a global citizenry through integrated media, multi media reintegrated by net.

prosecutor’ll try to tell you that they can indict you on what they’ve got, give you the choice of going to trial against rico counts in a federal court of the united states of america or you can plead guilty to one felony count under the wire act and we’ll let you go, no jail time. think RICO, Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act, think prison time, think twenty years.

let’s go down the road of rico prosecution in the court of public opinion, like a version of fred friendly seminars on the cybernet. playing poker in the game of negotiating guilty pleas. help from alan dershowitz waiting in the wings.

eon to the founders of internet poker channelling billion dollar charlie
you are at the point in the legal process of being threatened but not yet indicted, being told you have two choices, plead guilty and take the no-jail time deal we offer, or duke it out in court against RICO with long prison time based on how a federal court jury decides with a federal judge presiding and determining your sentence. they are playing poker with you.

could an american jury be brought to see the importance to democracy of honoring rather than prosecuting the founders of internet poker.
could an american jury be brought to see the value of poker to american society and the value of its expression in cyberspace.
could an american jury be brought to see poker as a quintessential american game beloved and played by presidents and business leaders, generals and soldiers, judges and lawyers, teachers and students.
could an american jury be brought to see internet poker as a training school and means of global outreach for this wonderful american game.

what will be the make-up of the jury asked to pass unanimous judgment condemning the founders of global internet poker as criminals. how will jury selection go. will the prosecution succeed in striking all jurors who love and play the game. in the rhetorical space of a real american courtroom before a real american jury will prosecution be arguments ranting children and terror be backed by convincing evidence.

whom will we call as our witnesses. who speaks for the money losers in the game; have they gained enough in the experience to feel their monetary loss offset. who speaks for the mothers who have seen their sons invest in learning the game. who speaks for children. what data will we show. what questions will we have opportunity to rebut.

let us play it out in Second Life, Law in the Court of Public Opinion, even as we play it out for real.

i’ve been working on another case, dred scott — who is citizen of the united states of america. is a black man citizen of the united states of america. can a black man be citizen of the united states of america. or is the core of WE the PEOPLE of the United States of America white supremacy. yes, i am talking to you.

charles ogletree and i think of creating of creating a new kind of teaching instrument for our cyber environment. credit gene koo and co for bringing our dred scott video statement of the issue together, credit to bernhard drax, a cyber friend, for recording and editing and original music, credit to for voice and framing. we have a production team. we are evolving our format. we hope to carry on to ever more interesting and useful cyber production. this is new casebook, early edition. reed elsivier meet

this fall i am offering Trials in Second Life as an educational offering with entertainment value. Dred Scott v. White Supremacy will be trial#1, RICO v. Internet Poker will be trial #2. as related activity i will teach poker in the form of one card war, and lead an internet class in tournament poker, with tables set on full tilt to play tournaments of one-card war. howard lederer, professor, will lay out the basics the game, i&i the meta game, chips, ante , button, blind, fold, bet, raise, call, with help from sister annie, like my ivy, annie duke, and annie’s friends, and mine.
RIAA v. the PEOPLE, will be cybertrial #3

i would like our cyber trials in Second Life to speak to and appeal to every constituency out in every language, which, with internet tools and people we can do.


at this moment i am speaking with you as my complement, all who attended is2k7 thank you as audience and agent, medium and message, all to whom this message comes and goes. we are in rhetorical space mediated by an open net but up to us to keep it open with truth flowing. the net allows goodness in human beings to aggregate. together we create amazing things of inestimable value, we give open access to our art and common knowledge. have faith that in open access to the rhetoric of the past and to our collective intelligence in the present, truth and justice is trump and still the game we play, even as we play games of deception.


juan carlos and irene coming over to wish me well before flying to torino. we are teachers wanting to teach the world who see that we have means both to do it and to organize the doing of it. nicolas negroponte super hero, elegant in vision and making it happen.

they come to the door, pour wine for themselves in the kitchen, then come up here to the den where i feel most comfortable.

juan carlos starts with paen to anne margulies. she epitomizes what it means not to cheat. she has done the job of bringing university open crossing every legal T. She has the confidence of facts and of accomplishment.

poker islam

when i googled “poker islam” first time, up came hasan habib.

i would like to represent hasan habib is the muslim court of public opinion against the thought that a good muslim does not play poker.

was mohammed a man who saw truth for himself and preached that others should live like he lived?

poker teaches skill seeing truth for yourself.

why would it be a positive move against terror to engage the muslim world in consideration whether internet poker is a mode of learning muhammed would have loved or shunned?

first, because the question is a good one. it probes an ambiguity in the meaning of the qua’ran and leads back to what muhammed would really have thought if he were to be again a leader in the internet environment of our present day.

the question is of particular appeal to men between teenager and mid life, the power demographic who man the gangs and fight the wars and wield the bombs of terror. these are men who will not only be fascinated by the test and quest for the skill of deception at the heart of poker but will see the wisdom of sun tzu in its mastery.

the question reaches out to young men on all sides with a teaching of intelligence far more likely to reach and calm hearts and minds than are the guns and bombs of terror.

the question speaks to the imams at an academic level of challenge they should respect.

the question speaks to any man or woman who sees that skill at judging what is true is a form of intelligence, more so to those who would agree that our current approach to resolution of dispute lacks intelligence and promotes results good muslims and good americans abhor.

the question reaches out from america to the muslim world with a combination of great american accomplishments, the invention of the game of poker and internet. poker is a great and constructive american social sport.

the question turns on a revelation to muhammed from which has come the muslim stance on gambling. in one meaning the word he used is gambling, in another games of chance.
games of chance meaning lottery, the casting of lots, which muhummed and all enlightened leaders should abhor as a form of cheat upon the people selling them hope at losing odds, the very opposite of which is poker. poker skill predominates over chance. that is the point. poker trains a human ability to predominate is some small measure over the world of chance in which we live our lives. poker teaches how to handle chance, how to think about chance in relation to money. poker trains a person’s confidence to see truth for him or herself, thus better to enable intelligent productive participation in teams. poker trains better citizens for democracy.

the argument for internet democracy epitomized by the values and skills projected by poker has potential to reach every intelligent man and woman on the planet. internet democracy is an argument for peace.

knowledge beyond authority

a story of the internet

Forwarded Conversation
Subject: dance master

From: SchalickJ
To: nesson
Date: Mon, Jun 4, 2007 at 11:17 AM

Charlie, having watched you dance since 1998,… being totally hip-switched in my old age….I really missed you at Ames because your youthful mind keeps us all on our toes one way or the other.

We all did miss you. Spoke to Ogletree and we all know dancers win.

What struck me was the universal awareness that you ‘dance’ mentally in a way we all make best efforts to follow. Wishing you well in life’s dance. In your honor….as dance master….I talked first to a BBC World pal online (Humphrey Hawksley) then to Zittrain at Oxford. Berkman deserves … a keener awareness than is inside the Beltway or WhiteHall.

Cheers, and mend well.

Judith A. Schalick, LLC
Communications Strategies
“Putting People and Ideas Together”
Email: schalickj@

See what’s free at

From: Charles Nesson
To: “SchalickJ”
Date: Mon, Jun 4, 2007 at 12:03 PM

what a nice note. thanks so much.

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.


lying back again now monday after is2k7 i realize what a lovely correspondence i have to carry on. i show my class john belushi dancing on his colleagues graves in the winter snow.

Forwarded Conversation

From: Williams, Jeremy
To: nesson
Date: Wed, May 30, 2007 at 11:31 PM


Terribly sorry that you cannot attend the conference you worked so hard to create, but of course hope reason isn’t serious and passes quickly. All the best.

From: Charles Nesson
To: “Williams, Jeremy”
Date: Sat, Jun 2, 2007 at 11:43 PM

Jeremy, I am finally out from under percocet. No doubt you’ve long since returned to L.A. I am so sorry I could not hang out with you some while you were here. I would dearly love to get your reactions to the conference and your thoughts on next steps. It’s amazing to me that I have so little idea about what actually happened.
Fond regards,
[Quoted text hidden]

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: Williams, Jeremy
To: Charles Nesson
Date: Sun, Jun 3, 2007 at 12:12 PM

A great relief to hear from you. I hope the recovery speeds along.

I found the conference very stimulating and informative; it was a high just to be a part of it. I talked a fair amount the first day, but spent the second saying very little but absorbing a lot, especially in the two working groups I attended (libraries and RIAA).

I am sorting out my thoughts about it all and hope to write something this week to send to you and to share with my studio colleagues. The key topic of that will naturally be, given my perch, what divides different constituencies and what does not regarding the copyright-related issues. My one-line summary: there was more agreement than I expected about the desirability of protecting copyright (Terry noted a decline in resistance to it, I think, amoung students, to take an important example), but the gulfs in methodology remain significant and may prove more difficult to bridge than we’d like to think. That was evident in the RIAA session, probably one of the more “lively” ones!

Of course, the issues discussed at the conference went far beyond copyright and even beyond intellectual property. In that sense the conference succeeded in heightening my awareness, and I assume that of all the participants, of the nature and profound effects of the digital context in which IP issues are being debated and, more fundamentally, in which the function of University is being examined.. I believe it succeeded in achieving your basic goals in that regard.

Your presence was felt and spoken of constantly.
[Quoted text hidden]

From: Charles Nesson
To: “Williams, Jeremy”
Date: Sun, Jun 3, 2007 at 5:56 PM

Thank you Jeremy. It is wonderful to hear from you. i very much look forward to working with you.
[Quoted text hidden]


hello y.s.
i am so sorry that i did not get to spend time with you while you were here. what comes below from where i do not know yet it is the conversation medium and message.

As Laurence Kirschbaum, a longtime publishing executive who recently became a literary agent, told me at the conference, “Google is now the gatekeeper. They are reaching an audience that we as publishers and authors are not reaching. It makes perfect sense to use the specificity of a search engine as a tool for selling books.”

Google thought so, too, and designed the books project accordingly. In addition to forming partnerships with libraries, the company has signed contracts with nearly every major American publisher. When one of these publishers’ books is called up in response to search queries, Google displays a portion of the total work and shows links to the publisher’s Web site and online shops like Amazon, where users can buy the book. “We are helping the publishers reach consumers that otherwise might not have known about their books and helping them market their books by giving limited but relevant previews of the books,” Jim Gerber, Google’s director of content partnerships, told me. “The Internet and search are custom made for marketing books. When there are a hundred and seventy-five thousand new books each year, you can’t market each one of those books in mass market. When someone goes into a search engine to learn more about a topic, that is a perfect time to make them aware that a given book exists. Publishers know that ‘browse leads to buy.’ ” (Google says that it does not take a cut of sales made through its books site.)

pirates know distribution

pornographers know monetization

dean jansen’s come by to cook me pasta. he had earlier read my blog.

we talk radio and internet
it was dean and tim and christina and the free culture kids who organized a low power fm radio dance from harvard square to park street on the red line, tons of kids with headphones and radios all tuned to a transmitter in a backpack, dancing through the subway stations to music only they could hear. dynomite idea! they are going to do another in new york. dean says the signal from the transmitter snug in a backpack carries very well underground, shielded in the subway tunnel from the cacophony of radio signals in the air above.

he attended the is2k7 RIAA workshop and was disappointed at dug in contention
do you believe in kids breaking the law, and if not, why won’t you help us?
do you distinguish
between downloaders and uploaders?
what is university’s interest in protecting uploaders of complete verbatim copyrighted work?
what if technology could filter out such uploading?
would rights holders pay university costs?
would a noank system serve desire for open access and monetary return?

i want to organize a fred friendly panel in Second Life on RIAA v. University, each avatar around the table representing an interested constituency. We have Stanford going one way, Wisconscin going the other, and Ohio yet a third. i would like to embrace the contention and move it.

tawfiq – Spontaneous Right Action

(parts I, II, and III are here)


I knocked on the senator’s door.
“Come in,” she said, in her familiar, commanding voice.
“It is three o’clock, Senator.”
“Yes, my lunch meeting was cancelled so I’ve been in the office for a while now. Have a seat. I thought I would take some time to actually read the rest of what you wrote on this website. I find it quite interesting to say the least. Much of it is over the top, and—don’t cry—a little unsophisticated. But it is interesting. Are you ready to talk about it?”
She left no pause to let me answer her question.
“Let’s start with you telling me about ‘spontaneous right action,’” she said. I realized she already had some very specific topics she wanted to discuss, and that she was more than happy to direct the conversation, at least for the moment. “I see you referred to the concept a couple times in your posts. It sounds a little mystical to me, and you didn’t do a very good job of explaining it. So help me understand it.”
“Well, I hate to admit it, but I probably didn’t explain it well because I don’t think I really understand it well.”
“That’s fine, just tell me what it is.” That familiar tone of impatience was sounding again in her voice.
I was not an expert in Eastern philosophy, but I had dabbled in it somewhat. I told the senator that I understood spontaneous right action to be a concept in certain schools of thought within Eastern traditions such as Vedanta, Taoism, and Buddhism. Spontaneous right action described the consequence of certain waking and meditative states in which a practitioner would only act in ways that are ideal for the welfare of all beings. According to some descriptions, the practitioner exercises spontaneous right action when his or her consciousness aligns with the entire universe, aligns with godhead, or, in Taoism, aligns with the Way. In any case, in such a state, the practitioner is no longer simply his or her narrow self, limited to his or her own body and individual psyche. Instead, he or she is connected to a source that will inform and motivate only action that results in the greatest good.

ironies abound

For Pornographers, Internet’s Virtues Turn to Vices

my bet is that the porn industry shows the rest of the entertainment industry how to relate to the disruption of the open net. they are not an industry hung up on entitlements. they will figure out new ways to serve and profit.


i cheated in mr. hatch’s latin class. i used a trot. had i to chose a point in my life where i lost it that was it. instead of doing the job myself i copped someone else’s work. that’s when i stopped learning latin.

on my fiftieth birthday i drove back to exeter to pay george&co for the pair of grey flannel pants i stole. this cheat with hatch is even deeper back. i could forgive myself i suppose. it was latin got me in with high honors on the admissions test but i didn’t love it. around the harkness table translating latin, hatch roamed in back of you with a yard stick he would at times crack on the table. Yet even if i forgive myself, still, i learned to cheat. i explored its path. i have ever since felt the weakness it built into me. i retreated from expressing myself to a slightly scared being who lost the opportunity to build his confidence with the knowledge that he could do it for real. i have been in quest of a personal truth ever since that i let slip away from me. i feel more focused on the quest than if i’d been a natural.

is it better never to learn how to cheat or to learn how and then learn knot to?


All warfare is based on deception.

synonyms DECEPTION, FRAUD, DOUBLE-DEALING, SUBTERFUGE, TRICKERY mean the acts or practices of one who deliberately deceives. DECEPTION may or may not imply blameworthiness, since it may suggest cheating or merely tactical resource . FRAUD always implies guilt and often criminality in act or practice . DOUBLE-DEALING suggests treachery or at least action contrary to a professed attitude . SUBTERFUGE suggests the adoption of a stratagem or the telling of a lie in order to escape guilt or to gain an end . TRICKERY implies ingenious acts intended to dupe or cheat .

On Wednesday, with the Yankees leading, 7-5, in the top of the ninth inning, Jorge Posada hit a two-out high pop that third baseman Howie Clark settled under. But as Rodriguez casually ran behind him toward third, he shouted something — “Ha!” according to Rodriguez; “Mine!” according to Clark.
Clark scooted away. The ball dropped.
It was ruled a hit for Posada, not an error on Clark. Hideki Matsui scored and Rodriguez was safe at third. Jason Giambi singled to drive in Rodriguez and Posada, and the Yankees went on to win, 10-5.

i like poker because it offers opportunity for deep study of deception. i want sun tzu to be my general. i want a president of my country who is a good poker player. i want my leader to have an instinct for sizing up a game.

i cheated john dimitri negroponte at bridge in the butt-room of wentworth hall, me and my partner, lee lescaze, when we were sixteen.

in poker as in baseball deception within rules and norms of play is accepted and respected. mastering deception means not only mastering skill at its accomplishment but also mastering wisdom in using it. now i’m sixty-eight.

tawfiq, are you a poker player? which translation of the koran do you prefer? what do you take its meaning to be?

    Yusuf Ali

They ask thee concerning wine and gambling. Say: “In them is great sin, and some profit, for men; but the sin is greater than the profit.”


They question thee about strong drink and games of chance. Say: In both is great sin, and (some) utility for men; but the sin of them is greater than their usefulness.

i am curious about “gambling” in the first and “games of chance” in the second, thinking that poker is certainly a form of gambling but is surely to be distinguished from the casting of lots. i know neither mohammed nor jesus would cast lots with me, but would Mohammed play poker with me? would Jesus play poker with me?