So, I’m a student again, sort of. Had the first class in The Technologies and Politics of Control (sort of the canonical Berkman class) tonight- was a lot of fun, not least because Dom is going to take it too. Over beers after class, Dom described the vibe of the profs as ‘libertarian’. After thinking about this a bit, I’d almost go so far as to say ‘utopian’- the Berkman Center is about the only place I know of where there is still a very tangible sense that the complete internet is this new, wondrous place that needs tender care and protection. There are lots of people who still think their particular pieces of the internet are Cool(tm), but Berkman seems to bring all of them together under one roof- lunch had experts in blogging, knowledge taxonomies, e-learning, IP law, the economics of privacy, and technology in the workplace. (And one free software hacker.) That combination of people from across all these different fields creates an outlook, energy, and optimism that is really quite powerful, and to me at least, quite infectious.
[As for the class itself… I probably could have taught the first day’s lecture ;) and I’ve probably read a third to half of the readings for the course already. But I’m excited about the chance to apply myself to these issues in an academic setting- I’ve never seriously discussed them or written about them outside of this blog and over beers or IRC with Seth Vidal, so this will be a change of pace, even if some of the material is a rehash of iLaw, the Public Domain conference, or my blog reading.]