February 28th, 2006

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Some amusing updates

1) I have put my speech from last summer's ACLU Bienniel Convention: Technologies of Freedom v. Outsourcing Big Brother, on my professional blog at www.wetmachine.com. There you will also find an interview fellow Wetmachiner John Sundman did with Cory Doctorow, who was a guest at Boskone.

2) I am sorry to hear of the passing of Octavia Butler. I never read her stuff, but she seemed intelligent and thoughtful when I saw her on panels or speaking at cons.

3) I tought a class at Georgetown last yesterday as guest lecturer on why we need media regulation. More and more, I feel like Ben Johnson's proverbial dancing bear. It is not that I am particularly well versed in economics, but that someone from the touchy-feely crunchy granola side of the force does economis at all amazes and astoundes the free market types into actually listening.

One of the points I made was that there was a conscious decision in the rump media reform movement, beginning in 2001, to redefine itself and its arguments. This included testing old assupmtions (not merely seeking to justify them) and figuring out how to apply tools of sociology, economics, and other disciplines in a meaningful way. It is high time the other social movements out of the '60s and '70s do the same. Eventually, I will get a chance to ride that hobby horse at length. But I continue to be struck not merely at the utter failure of these movements in the last 35 years to train a new generation of advocates, but at the endless continuation of the same strategies, solutions and policies.

Yeah, yeah, all these movements are different from the media reform movement. Especially in one crucial way. They are losing. Meanwhile, other movements (intellectual commons, privacy, media reform) are winning.