IPcentral Weblog
  The DACA Blog

Monday, May 4, 2009

Cato Unbound Debate: Lessig's Code at Ten (Part 1: Declan's Lead Essay)
(previous | next)

CodeLawrence Lessig's Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace turns 10 this year and the folks over at Cato Unbound have put together an online debate about the book and its impact on cyberlaw, which I am honored to be taking part in. The discussion begins today with a lead essay from Declan McCullagh of CNet News and then continues throughout the week with responses from Harvard's Jonathan Zittrain, myself, and then Prof. Lessig himself.

Declan's lead essay, "What Larry Didn't Get," starts things off with a bang:

[Lessig] prefers what probably could be called technocratic philosopher kings, of the breed that Plato's The Republic said would be "best able to guard the laws and institutions of our State -- let them be our guardians." These technocrats would be entrusted with making wise decisions on our behalf, because, according to Lessig, "politics is that process by which we collectively decide how we should live."

Declan goes on to cite a litany of high-profile legislative and regulatory failures that have unfolded over the past decade, calling into question the wisdom of Prof. Lessig's approach. Declan continues:
One response might be that the right philosopher-kings have not yet been elevated to the right thrones. But assuming perfection on the part of political systems (especially when sketching plans to expand their influence) is less than compelling. The field of public choice theory has described many forms of government failure, and there's no obvious reason to exempt Internet regulation from its insights about rent-seeking and regulatory capture.

Sounds like it could be a heated discussion! Jonathan Zittrain is up next with an essay due to be posted on Wednesday and then my response will follow on Friday. Prof. Lessig's response will go up a week from today. I look forward to this exchange and the responses it generates. I encourage readers to head over to the Cato Unbound site and check out the essays as they appear. I'll post reminders here as the installments go live on the Cato site.

posted by Adam Thierer @ 2:57 PM | Books & Book Reviews , Capitalism , Commons , Generic Rant , Internet

Share |

Link to this Entry | Printer-Friendly

Post a Comment:

Blog Main
RSS Feed  
Recent Posts
  EFF-PFF Amicus Brief in Schwarzenegger v. EMA Supreme Court Videogame Violence Case
New OECD Study Finds That Improved IPR Protections Benefit Developing Countries
Hubris, Cowardice, File-sharing, and TechDirt
iPhones, DRM, and Doom-Mongers
"Rogue Archivist" Carl Malamud On How to Fix Gov2.0
Coping with Information Overload: Thoughts on Hamlet's BlackBerry by William Powers
How Many Times Has Michael "Dr. Doom" Copps Forecast an Internet Apocalypse?
Google / Verizon Proposal May Be Important Compromise, But Regulatory Trajectory Concerns Many
Two Schools of Internet Pessimism
GAO: Wireless Prices Plummeting; Public Knowledge: We Must Regulate!
Archives by Month
  September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
  - (see all)
Archives by Topic
  - A La Carte
- Add category
- Advertising & Marketing
- Antitrust & Competition Policy
- Appleplectics
- Books & Book Reviews
- Broadband
- Cable
- Campaign Finance Law
- Capitalism
- Capitol Hill
- China
- Commons
- Communications
- Copyright
- Cutting the Video Cord
- Cyber-Security
- Digital Americas
- Digital Europe
- Digital Europe 2006
- Digital TV
- E-commerce
- e-Government & Transparency
- Economics
- Education
- Electricity
- Energy
- Events
- Exaflood
- Free Speech
- Gambling
- General
- Generic Rant
- Global Innovation
- Googlephobia
- Googlephobia
- Human Capital
- Innovation
- Intermediary Deputization & Section 230
- Internet
- Internet Governance
- Internet TV
- Interoperability
- IP
- Local Franchising
- Mass Media
- Media Regulation
- Monetary Policy
- Municipal Ownership
- Net Neutrality
- Neutrality
- Non-PFF Podcasts
- Ongoing Series
- Online Safety & Parental Controls
- Open Source
- PFF Podcasts
- Philosophy / Cyber-Libertarianism
- Privacy
- Privacy Solutions
- Regulation
- Search
- Security
- Software
- Space
- Spectrum
- Sports
- State Policy
- Supreme Court
- Taxes
- The FCC
- The FTC
- The News Frontier
- Think Tanks
- Trade
- Trademark
- Universal Service
- Video Games & Virtual Worlds
- VoIP
- What We're Reading
- Wireless
- Wireline
Archives by Author
PFF Blogosphere Archives
We welcome comments by email - look for a link to the author's email address in the byline of each post. Please let us know if we may publish your remarks.

The Progress & Freedom Foundation