Press on the Internet & Society Conference

On this site you'll find press, blog coverage, audio, video, pictures, the conference wiki and other social tools in which to continue the threads of conversations you had at the Internet & Society Conference.

Blogs and Press:

David Weinberger talks about his keynote at the conference:

"In [my talk] I say that the Web is revealing knowledge to us as it has always been, and urge that we not be too realistic as we address the Web's potential. I also pay homage to Charlie Nesson 's vision of the university leading the fight to keep the Internet open and free..."

Jessamyn West offers brief impressions:

"...It was neat to be at an academic conference where the speakers could toss around some fairly high-level vocabulary and jargon and be pretty sure that people in the audience could keep up. It was great to be someplace where all the technology just worked. It was fun to sit next to Dan Gillmor at the wrap-up and realize that he multitasks pretty much just like I do, but his inbox is fuller..."

The New Freedom gives a report back:

"...You can call me ageist, but I really do feel that 'old people' don't fully understand the implications and the possibilities of free information. Free Culture is, for the most part, a youth movement. Young people have more naive idealism which is necessary to push the boundaries of both what we're allowed to do and what we're capable of doing. The first keynote addressed this..."

Frank Paynter lists some high points of the conference

"Highpoints for me were: listening to Nicholas Negroponte, Charles Ogletree, and John Palfrey; a workshop with Anne Margulies; and, meeting Ethan Zuckerman, Cathy Norton and Jessamyn West."

Wendy Seltzer comments on David Weinberger's Wrap Up:

"...That lack of hierarchy sounds threatening to some, perhaps including universities, who are accustomed to being the authorities. Online, we find new sources of authority, though we also have to learn and re-learn when not to trust both online and offline sources. The university's challenge, and all of ours, is to engage with these new sources of information and meta-information..."

Professor Mike Madison posts on University and the Ethics of Information:

"...I think that the conference organizers (Charlie Nesson, John Palfrey, and the rest of the Berkman Center) are on to something important when they point to the ongoing importance of certain institutions - and the university perhaps most important among them - in mediating a host of complex questions emerging at some important intersections: the intersection between the virtual and the material; the intersection between the self and the network; the intersection between the market and other forms of information and knowledge production, distribution, organization, and preservation. It's a paradox that the university should occupy and define this role, this space, because the university is one of our most enduring yet most pre-market, pre-capitalist institutions. At their core, universities are positively feudal. Then again, maybe their feudalism makes universities perfectly suited for their 21st century roles..."

Changing Way weighs in on the Fair Use working group:

"...Why produce a guide specific to a group of creators? One answer is that it's difficult to draw the boundaries of fair use, and so drawing some lines around fair use in a specific domain may present a more feasible task. Indeed, this approach drew interest and approval from my university colleague Dave Herlihy, who is a lawyer with particular interest in the music industry..."

Lewis Hyde peppers The Filter with is2k7 coverage:

"...In his keynote to the IS2K7 conference, John Palfrey noted that in front of each Harvard library one now usually finds a sign saying "Harvard ID Holders Only." What sort of signs, Palfrey was asking, should greet those who approach these libraries not in their physical manifestations but as they appear in cyberspace? A story about Henry D. Thoreau and the Harvard libraries suggests some answers..."

Doc Searls gives a link roundup:

"...Podcasts of sessions and talks are also up. One I particularly enjoyed (because it opened and changed my mind) was Nicholas Negroponte's talk on the One Laptop Per Child project..."

Doc Searls on Karim Lakhani's wrap up:

"The theme of IS2K7 (that's the license plate abbreviation for Internet & Society, 2007) is "Knowledge Beyond Authority. Karim Lekhani is doing the wrap-up right now, and giving an excellent summary of the day. Knowledge beyond authority is a challenge to the university, his current slide says. Earlier he showed a slide that contained a half-joke I sometimes heard (seriously) when I worked in France: "It works in practice, but will it work in theory?" Karim says that practice is leading theory today. So, to follow up on that, I'd like to suggest a few theories, based on the facts of practices that originate, grow and spread knowledge far beyond and outside the academy."

Gene Koo talks about 'is2k7 and the copyright grand bargain':

"...Floating in the air of last week's Internet & Society 2007 conference was the whiff of a grand bargain between universities and the content industry: publishers give clear and broad fair use clearance ("transformative use"), and universities help publishers crack down on piracy ("consumptive use"). If such a bargain is truly in the works, it presents to me a Necker-cubish appearance...Either way you look at it, the two parties (broadly speaking) are engaged in a negotiation, and universities can do quite a bit to strengthen their hand. Perhaps the easiest and most important thing they could do is to establish a legal defense fund and begin pushing back the boundaries of fair use, which are shrinking because of general counsels' risk aversion..."

Denise Grey represents the PITFs:

"It was interesting and had some thoughtful commentary on open access and the role universities play in that effort. They used the Question Tool one of our Presidential Instructional Technology Fellows (PITF) helped them recode last summer. I also participated in a working group on the one laptop per child initiative taking place at MIT. Charlie Nesson approached us and asked us to participate because he sees a connection with the way Harvard University has organized the PITF program and the way MIT might organize this initiative..."

John Palfrey posts:

"The virtual Charlie has been very much present, though: eon, and his Second Life avatar, have been in the ether throughout the event. And blogging it. Charlie, we miss you, eon, we're thrilled you're here in the room."

Adam Lipkin on the "Digital Identity of University" working group:

"...I just noted that it's not the responsibility of the university to disclose that they'll search facebook/google for somebody; it's the responsibly of the university (and the high schools) to teach what a digital identity represents, and prepare students for the fact that they'll be searched on google. Good point by the person across the aisle -- high schools need to move away from policing social sites and towards partnering with colleges on how social sites can become a part of the pedagogy. Oops -- we ended up running past our time (we were all too engaged -- what a tragedy!)..."

Adam Lipkin on the Fair Use session:

"...This room is packed (likely because one of the other breakout sessions was canceled, as well as the fact). Great variety of folks here -- faculty members, writers, artists, lawyers, corporate folks (the chief privacy officer of Facebook, an NBC/Universal officer, the gen council for Sundance Channel, etc), others (someone from the Chilling Effects Clearninghouse, etc.). Nice range of stakeholders here as well. Interestingly, only one person actively identified themselves as a blogger. I suspect that there are quite a few more here..."

Jason Callina on "Connecting University to Basic Education":

"What is important on a large scale are solutions like the OLPC project where you dump thousands of machines (tools that have generativity) upon minds that have previously not had these types of tools. These children did not have a voice for themselves, now they have an avenue to spread their voices thoughts and needs all over the world. Because of the nature of OLPC it will start locally and then spread through the mesh networks, then nationally, then globally..."

The Harvard Gazette on the Internet & Society Conference 2007:

"In his welcome, Nesson said that the idea of a university is a concept as much as a place and he hoped the conference would explore the university's roles as knowledge-generator, as teacher, and as fair broker where divergent ideas could find common ground..."

Chronicle of Higher Ed posts on the RIAA working group.

"The university's role should not be to assist the record industry," said Wendy Seltzer, a fellow at the Berkman center who argued in a recently published article that Harvard should do more to defend students sued by the recording industry. "We need to go deeper into examining the costs of enforcing this regime of intellectual property," she said..."