Mon, 12 Dec 2005

Great weekend in New York City, as usual, with the excellent Eily Hayes and Matt Beckett, watching Duke beat the tar out of Texas and generally coasting around the city. Bumped into Joe in Penn Station, so the ride home was nice too- good to catch up with him. Only negative part of the weekend was my knee acting up, unfortunately.

Was pleased to see on my return that I’ve been re-elected to the board; was flattered to see that I was the top vote-getter. Am optimistic that (forced by our recent downsizing) this will be the year the board learns to delegate and advice instead of doing so much in-house. Hope that those who did not get elected (particularly dynamic newcomers like Quim) will not be discouraged by this and instead will become even more active in the work of the community and Foundation.

Read two papers on the way to and from NYC. The first was ‘The Generative Internet’, by one of my bosses. Really thought provoking paper that should be read by anyone interested in the future of technology policy (not just the internet; he makes the point that from a policy perspective separating the PC and the internet no longer makes sense). I’m not sure I can yet agree with all of the conclusions, but it frames central questions very differently from how they have been approached before, and I believe very fruitfully. I’ll probably write more on it later, after I’ve had a chance to re-read it and digest the implications more thoroughly. The second was on ‘The Regulatory Challenges of Virtual Worlds’. A really interesting thought experiment on the implications of competition between virtual worlds- i.e., what would happen if you could take your virtual goods with you when you moved from, say, WOW, and ultima online. The authors hypothesize that the games would start competing on the structure of their governments and property regimes, and they do some interesting analysis based on that assumption. However, it seems like in the end the article is just a thought experiment- the basic assumption (that it will be possible to move data objects between virtual worlds) seems unlikely to occur to me. We can’t even get data to move between word processors, and the market by itself is clearly not interested in fixing that problem.