Monthly Archive for May, 2008

Internet Freedom Foundation


Robert Darnton on Rhetorical Poker and the future of research library

The Library in the New Age – The New York Review of Books
“I want to argue that every age was an age of information, each in its own way, and that information has always been unstable.”
(tags: internet information tech books digital culture library history)

I used to be a newspaper reporter myself. I got my basic training as a college kid covering police headquarters in Newark in 1959. Although I had worked on school newspapers, I did not know what news was—that is, what events would make a story and what combination of words would make it into print after passing muster with the night city editor. When events reached headquarters, they normally took the form of “squeal sheets” or typed reports of calls received at the central switchboard. Squeal sheets concerned everything from stray dogs to murders, and they accumulated at a rate of a dozen every half hour. My job was to collect them from a lieutenant on the second floor, go through them for anything that might be news, and announce the potential news to the veteran reporters from a dozen papers playing poker in the press room on the ground floor. The poker game acted as a filter for the news. One of the reporters would say if something I selected would be worth checking out. I did the checking, usually by phone calls to key offices like the homicide squad. If the information was good enough, I would tell the poker game, whose members would phone it in to their city desks. But it had to be really good—that is, what ordinary people would consider bad—to warrant interrupting the never-ending game. Poker was everyone’s main interest—everyone but me: I could not afford to play (cards cost a dollar ante, a lot of money in those days), and I needed to develop a nose for news.


the Electronic Enlightenment, a project sponsored by the Voltaire Foundation of Oxford. By digitizing the correspondence of Voltaire, Rousseau, Franklin, and Jefferson—about two hundred volumes in superb, scholarly editions —it will, in effect, recreate the transatlantic republic of letters from the eighteenth century. The letters of many other philosophers, from Locke and Bayle to Bentham and Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, will be integrated into this database, so that scholars will be able to trace references to individuals, books, and ideas throughout the entire network of correspondence that undergirded the Enlightenment.

what of the enlightenment of the internet.
what should a great research library archive?


early morning, yesterday the ladies of fort augusta, the men of tower street, anders jones for 30 rebuilt cpu’s and we are ready.

kevin led at tower street by putting forth the ideal of group integrity on starting on time. he led the members of his SET to, no, i’m not going to describe it because it would become a silly form, yet to me illustrates the idea that a master of technique has no technique, it is the informing principle that moves him, and even when it’s not articulate with him the direction of it is clear to see in context. tic tac toe at tower street.

at fort augusta we made a wish list, simple things, like construction paper and ink and better machines and an fm transmitter

kevin is expanding unchained from one to two hours. gpsts is signing on as a sponsor.

berkman center is sponsoring an audio book SSET reading group for officers and inmates on FREE FM.

i’d like a spiffy ad for gpsts to air on jamaica radio in the first instance
in second instance in second life in video form

i’d like a spiffy ad not for internet and society, global voices

here are camella & kevin doing radio

This is an open letter to the prime minister:
I have a suggestion in response to the Observer’s May 30 front-page story, “Do something!” Express the true identity of Jamaica by undertaking a cyber campaign to legalise marijuana in Jamaica.

Here is my suggested cyberstrategy:
(1) Recognise that Jamaica is legally obligated under its devolution from England to honour England’s treaty obligations.

(2) Recognise that England formed a treaty obligation to the Maroons to allow them their lives and their freedom in the mountains in exchange for their commitment to become the slave police.

(3) Recognise that freedom in the mountains includes liberty to grow and use the herbs of the earth, including ganja.

Legally speaking, this means that Jamaica as a sovereign nation, and you as its prime minister, are obliged to respect the liberty of the Maroons to grow and use ganja.

But “legally speaking” fails to take into account the reality of political opposition. Were you simply to recognise this legal treaty right of the Maroons, you would meet opposition from prohibitionists in Jamaica and incur the wrath of the United States of America. A further strategy is needed to raise public consciousness in a manner calculated to win popular support of both the Jamaican and American people.

(4) Recognise that we are all Maroons. Seek a legal declaration of rights and obligations under the treaty of the Maroons from the Privy Council. Bring the issue to the attention of Jamaica and the rest of the world.

(5) Conduct a digital referendum of the people of Jamaica and America and the world on the issue: “Should the United States of America use its power to prevent Jamaica from recognising the freedom of its people to grow and use marijuana?”

(6) Exercise your executive authority to stop all active enforcement of ganja laws in Jamaica pending a decision from the Privy Council. Explain this action and campaign to enhance Jamaica’s place in the world and lessen crime at home.

Charles Nesson
 nesson at



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

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

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

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

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