Interesting. Gregor talked about doing a co-working cafe in Boston some time ago, and it sounded interesting then; it sounds more interesting now that it is very real in Manhattan. I no longer exactly fit the intended target market of “entrepreneurs, designers, programmers and technologists”, but I’ll certainly try to sneak down there for a work day some time in October (probably a Friday since I have no classes.)
[By way of a long Chris Messina post on co-working.]
To wrap up what has really been a stunning weekend Krissa and I went to have a cookout at a Green Market co-worker’s house. This co-worker happens to live right behind Stone Barns, a big (new-ish) farm-focused educational center with a fairly swanky food concession. I had a great time- lots of cool Green Market people who I’d heard a lot about but not been able to meet before, and a beautiful day to get out into the country a bit.
Ate like a king (despite the lack of ‘meat’ at the supposed bbq ;)- when you work with a bunch of people who are obsessed about food, it turns out that the company parties feed you very, very well. I’m still bursting.
This is beautiful farm country that feels like a world away despite being about 50 minutes from my front door. If you’re in New York, and have a chance before the weather turns, you owe it to yourself to spend a day out there. More pictures here.
Good: I spent the morning in line for Shakespeare in the Park. Great to enjoy a little bit of what the city has to offer.
I somehow seem to end up in lines a lot.
Impromptu Shakespearean puppet show by awesome line monitor/vendor dude.
Bad(?): my light enjoyment reading while waiting in line was “The Antitrust Enterprise: Principle and Execution”. This is optional reading for my Antitrust class. Yes, I’m that big a dork.
I’m enjoying being back in my own bed and back on my own couch. If only I hadn’t brought a brutal head cold with me back from North Carolina.
Next up: 31 interviews in 5 days, with or without the head cold.
It is pouring out. I’d meant to go to Duke Gardens and start on Wealth of Networks again, but clearly not going to happen today. Instead, a quick linkdump and then a search for some local foraging.
- Matt Asay elaborates a bit on my musings on social production and lawyers. Matt is right to emphasize that lawyers often can’t solve conflicts; often they can’t solve anything. My hope is that we can, however, help put the pieces in place so that conflicts are reduced and social producers can instead focus on growing better communities and producing better stuff.
- Tim Lee elaborates, well, on my riff on tollbooths and bridges the other day. If I didn’t make sense to you, go read his post instead :) Best comment: “It is the consistent inability to see itself as an agent supplying something that a customer actually wants, rather than as the owner of a mine from which to extract monopoly rents, that will eventually do-in MS.”
- Interesting little Wu piece on Zittrain’s generative internet. I think his criticisms of Zittrain’s vision are right on, particularly the part about the motivation being commercial control with security being primarily only a thin excuse. My fear is that Wu may overestimate the PC industry’s commitment to openness- I’m not sure that customers value it all that much, and if customers don’t value it, the PC industry won’t either.
- By the time I left Cambridge, I was really sick of Boston, and I wasn’t a big fan of most Harvard students. (Some rock, of course.) The only reason I applied to Harvard was because the faculty at the Berkman center is so mind-blowingly good. The rich, it turns out, often get richer. I won’t say I’m bitter, because I am finding myself loving New York, I’ve enjoyed most of my classmates at Columbia, and the faculty here are excellent and have even exceeded my high expectations (not to mention the other cyberlaw faculty elsewhere in New York that I have access to). But especially with the addition of Prof. Benkler there is no doubt that the best place on earth to discuss internet law will be over the lunch table at the Berkman Center, and I am a touch wistful about that.
- More on presentation techniques; this time, about preparation. Look forward to trying that next time I have to speak. (See also slide deck on ‘how to piss off the music industry for fun and profit‘.)
- Good introductory post about community-building.
- I’m traveling a lot this summer (almost every other weekend) so I need to look more into carbon offsets. This looks like a good place to start. (I don’t remember if I mentioned it here, but my power in NYC is now wind-generated, which is cool.)
- Apropos my rants last summer about P2P, some thinkers weigh in on the decline(?) of P2P.
- I sometimes feel like this is how most lawyers and MBAs think of compsci majors.
- Politics link; don’t follow unless you want to be enraged for the rest of the day. Nutshell: the ‘enhanced interrogation’ term my government is now using as an Orwellian euphemism for torture, and indeed many of the same ‘enhanced interrogation’ techniques, are quite literally straight out of the Nazi playbook. I normally am skeptical of demands that US leaders be exposed to war crimes trials, because often those demands are motivated by politics and hatred of the US rather than any actual search for justice. But it may be time to seriously consider the issue. (See also. We have truly become what we most claimed to abhor; the terrorists really have won.)
- James Grimmelman ponders a favorite topic of mine- the parallels between law and computer science. And here I’d wanted to write the definitive blost post on the topic. Oh well. :)
Managed to make the last day in New York pretty stereotypical:
- wait 25 minutes for a bus that should come every 12: check
- switch trains in order to save yourself a two-block walk, end up waiting 20 extra minutes: check
- take a cab ride which makes you violently nauseous: check
- go to a spectacularly beautiful Olmsted-ian park: check
- go to (a branch of) the Met; see plundered but incredibly beautiful and unique works of art: check
- have a dinner that would be hard to have anywhere else, featuring steak tartar topped with ice cream, freeze dried mustard, and pretzel consomme: check
Also spent a big chunk of the day packing and doing laundry; leave for North Carolina in… well, about 15 minutes if you count the ride to the airport. Will miss Krissa a lot but am really looking forward to the summer job. And I think she is looking forward to an excuse to visit the Triangle again :)
Next week I’ll be basically completely offline and in the mountains around Asheville, so if you’re looking to get in touch with me, leave a message after the beep.
This mental health break brought to you by the last day of classes, Morningside Park, warmth and sunshine, and a Canon.
My old co-worker Ethan (who is blessing New York with his global presence next week) has written a piece about ‘the post-national’ people who are his friends. It includes some thinking about the implications of a growing post-national class- particularly one which is post-national not because they hate their countries, but because they love all the rest- xenophiliacs, in other words. No one has invited me to Davos yet, and I’m not lucky/cursed enough to travel as much as Ethan does, but in other ways I recognize myself in there, and I certainly recognize some friends in there. The internet has let us become globally-oriented creatures, and it is a wonderful thing.
Ethan’s friend’s term for the people most caught up in this- the ‘moving circus’- reminded me also of Charles Stross’s short story ‘Lobsters’, which later became the CC-NC-ND-licensed novel Accelerando. I’m not brilliant or creative enough to become Manfred (the title character of Lobsters), but Ethan might be- and if not, he’ll meet Manfred pretty early in his career
I don’t usually consider myself jealous of extreme wealth, but outside my window tonight is one of those times. Apparently Elton John is throwing his 60th birthday party at St. John the Divine, the cathedral across the street from my apartment. The paparazzi are out in force; I can hear the screaming fans when particularly famous people arrive. (My superintendent told me that he saw Angelina Jolie and Paul McCartney; all the people in the right side of the picture below are paparazzi.)
But that isn’t what made me jealous. What made me jealous is that he has put giant spotlights behind the cathedral, such that the guests inside can see the stained glass even though it is the middle of the night. That is something I may never get to see, so yeah, I’m a little jealous. I wandered out in the rain to see if I could get interesting pictures of the cathedral under the spotlights. Some came out pretty nicely, I think.
I’m not much for focusing on the wealth disparities in our country. But it is hard not to when on one side of the cathedral there are limos, and on the other side, right under Elton’s spotlights, there is barbed wire to keep out Harlem.
More pictures here. The Columbia student paper blog notes that there is some irony in holding your birthday party in a cathedral when you’ve apparently said you would like to ban religion completely. :)
(Krissa is out of town, else I probably wouldn’t be posted in the middle of a saturday night ;)
Thanks to the excellent InfoLaw NYC calendar, I just discovered that Prof. Moglen is speaking tonight at NYU Law School. The talk is titled “The Empire & the iPhone: ‘Technology Platforms,’ the Commons, and the Way We Live Now.” I’ll be going- hope to see folks there.
[Tangent: is there any way to get notifications when new events are added to a public/shared ical calendar? I would not have noticed this event if I hadn’t had my own event to add to the calendar today.]