Sun, 09 May 2004

Good weekend.

  • Spent most of the weekend at my grandparent’s new place. They had lived in the same house for about 40 years, but they are in their late 80s with all that entails. So they recently moved into a large ‘aging’ complex near their old house. I was sort of worried about it, frankly a little guilty that I didn’t go down more often and help them stretch out their independence. But the new place is nice- it is a much larger apartment than I have, and part of a really nice facility- they have a great pool, gym, theater, lakes, gardening areas, everything you could want, except for a terrible, terrible cafeteria. It is like dorm life, really- lots of people in the same period of life living together, sharing the same experiences, having fun together. Pretty neat, really. Made me feel a lot better about the tradeoffs they’ve made.
  • Finished Lessig’s new book on the flight down to DC. Nothing terribly new, really, for those following it, but some nice, concrete, doable-in-the-real-world improvements, and of course detailed, persuasive argument for anyone who wants to read the whole thing. Yes, that link is to perfectly legal remixes of the book. Heck, you can BitTorrent the thing.
  • Big shortcoming in Lessig’s book (that he admits was the reason he lost Eldred) is the lack of a persuasive but simple and coherent explanation of the harm done by the current trends in IP regimes. He sort of touches in the book on two posssible such themes/memes- James Boyle’s IP Environmentalism– that copyright actually is a lot like DDT, useful and also dangerours- and the notion of IP Feudalism- that we’re entering a period where all content is owned by a select few who use the law to enforce that ownership. But he never really develops either of them very extensively. It seems to me that until someone does this, and the EFF, Public Knowledge, and other such groups work together to push it as a meme (like the content industry has overloaded ‘piracy’), the IP situation will continue to deteriorate.
  • John Rawls mentioned in the same speech as wireless. I’m excited.
  • Dad and brother in town for a few days this week, should be nice to see them. OTOH, we’re supposed to go to opening night at the pops- which I just found out is supposed to be formal dress. Oops. I don’t think Dan has anything more formal than a guayabera with him right now. And I’m not much better off.
  • J5: Mono does something like this, I’m pretty sure.