Larry Lessig’s book, The Future of Ideas, is now available as a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial licensed download.
In The Future of Ideas, Lawrence Lessig explains how the Internet revolution has produced a counterrevolution of devastating power and effect. The explosion of innovation we have seen in the environment of the Internet was not conjured from some new, previously unimagined technological magic; instead, it came from an ideal as old as the nation. Creativity flourished there because the Internet protected an innovation commons. The Internet’s very design built a neutral platform upon which the widest range of creators could experiment. The legal architecture surrounding it protected this free space so that culture and information–the ideas of our era–could flow freely and inspire an unprecedented breadth of expression. But this structural design is changing–both legally and technically.
In this video, Lessig explains his change of focus, from copyright law, to government corruption.
I agree with the majority of the views presented by Lessig. However, I think his argument loses a bit of steam when he explains how transparency of government can help to reduce corruption. I agree to some extent however, I believe that (1) not all corruption will be transparent (that’s the nature of corruption), and (2) even if all corruption were exposed, people still need to act upon that information. Unfortunately, I do not see this happening, and the major political events of the last few years have demonstrated to me that people can be empowered by information but more often, they are disempowered through inaction.