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It is better
to not be on
the web than
to be on and
not know why

John Sumser

is more
it seems.
John Gall


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The Future of Ideas

(July 22, 2002) interbiznet is pleased to present the interbiznet Bookclub. The books are chosen for their value as an aid to strategic thinking. We are beginning with three books and will add a book per month. The books will cover a broad range of topics that expose underlying trends in Management, Human Capital, Economics, History, the Internet, and other Global Trends. We hope that each book will expand your thinking in a way that drops to the bottom line by improving the quality of your decision making.

The Future of Ideas:
The Fate of the Commons In a Connected World

By Lawrence Lessig
Random House, 2001
ISBN 0-375-50578-4

Ideas have profound economic consequence. Book Club members have direct experience with the window of innovation opened by the Internet in the mid-1990s. Either as beneficiaries or victims of that extraordinary moment in time, we have all navigated an enterprise through one of the most creative moments in human history. It was a "Golden Age".

Larry Lessig is a law professor with an astonishing pedigree. A Yale Law graduate, he has spent time in esteemed positions at the Law Schools of Harvard and the University of Chicago. He is currently at Stanford. The Future of Ideas is his call to arms to preserve and to continue that Golden Age.

It was a moment, says Lessig, when the power of networks was just coalescing into something really profound. With millions of individuals (as well as businesses and universities) connected to the Internet, powerful PCs, fast bandwidth, and peer-to-peer software that let people communicate and share with each other, the times were ripe for a real breakthrough in our ability to communicate, collaborate, and participate, not just in fandom, but in making art, creating software, guiding government, forming new social organizations, and so on.

Lessig paints a dark picture of lost opportunity. Among his most pessimistic predictions are that the people who created systems of shared communication, and those that would benefit most from it, are doing little to defend what they've built. What can be done in the face of Hollywood's powerful lobby?

Prosperity requires progress, and progress requires innovation. But while some intellectual property theorists and the shareholders of Disney may favor the extension of intellectual property rights into the infinite future, the long-term impact of an economic system that piles high property rights, while burying the intellectual commons that makes progress possible, could be that all new forms of production grind to a halt.

Whether or not you agree with him, Lessig has articulated a clear and compelling view of the relationship between regulation and innovation. It's an important perspective to understand.

John Sumser (john at johnsumser.com)

Buy this book now through Amazon.com.

2002 Electronic Recruiting Index

Check out the Table of Contents of the 2002 Electronic Recruiting Index.

Call the office today and get a Special Price for interbiznet Readers Only
(415-377-2255) or email Colleen Gildea.

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Copyright © 2013 interbiznet. All rights reserved.
Materials written by John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.
Mill Valley, CA 94941

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         © 2013 interbiznet.
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         Materials written
         by John Sumser
         © TwoColorHat.
         All Rights Reserved.