Here’s why I couldn’t predict how many posts I’ll do over the next nine days…
I just read this post by Larry Lessig and watched the 18-minute lecture (with Lessig’s apparently famous one-or-two-word PowerPoint slides, which seem to generally be loved, and which I find I love even less than typical PowerPoints, but that’s another post that’s probably never going to get written…but I digress*).
The post starts out being about COPA being struck down yet again, but then goes into a Lessig recommendation to Congress, having to do with mandatory HTML labeling of “harmful to minors” content.
I’m not going to get into that argument. Comments at the post begin to pick at it; I’d expect that Seth Finkelstein and others will continue to discuss it.
Nope. I’m just going to point out a slide that has two words and one symbol: Very clear, very blatant, and maybe very unintentional at least taken out of context (but there’s no disclaimer later on). At least I assume this stance isn’t intended by a professor at that big private university just a little north of here in Palo Alto.
The slide’s contents?
private = bad
What Lessig is trying to say, I think, is that leaving identification of “harmful to minors” entirely up to private enterprise (filters), in the absence of good legislation, yields bad code. But that’s not quite what it says.
And, capitalist pig though I may be, I’m not quite ready to accept that government regulation is always necessary for good outcomes. Maybe it is in this case; I’m not sure.
* If I ever had a tombstone, which I sincerely hope won’t be the case, “but I digress” would be a wonderful epitaph.