morningamp: Legal scholar and developer of the Creative Commons…


Legal scholar and developer of the Creative Commons licenses that have opened up access to intellectual property old and new, Lawrence Lessig has also been focused on the corrupting influence of money on American elections and politics. Earlier this month he “retired” his popular lecture about this issue and spoke with AMp hosts Brian Babylon and Molly Adams this morning about his hopes for transforming Legislator’s dependence on funders’ money and not on voter’s opinions.

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The unintended consequences of bike lanes

The Boston area is working hard to add bike lanes wherever they can. As a biker, in principle, I like the idea.

But as I’ve watched a busy stretch of road convert from no bike lanes to bike lanes, here’s what I’ve noticed most: more people park illegally. Somehow the bike lane operates as a permission to “temporarily” park at the side of the road. This morning, for example, I had to weave around 5 different illegally (but “temporarily”) parked cars; before the bike lanes were added, I literally never encountered a similarly parked car.

Weaving doesn’t sound terrible, except I worry that drivers are less attentive when there’s a bike lane than when there isn’t one. There’s a subconscious sense of “that’s your space, and here is mine” that I fear makes them less attentive. 

Of course, this doesn’t mean cities shouldn’t install bike lanes. But they also need to adjust the rules about temporary parking. And schmucks need to learn that walking an extra half block to get your double tall carmel latte won’t kill you. Indeed, and as an extra bonus, it would make it even less likely to kill me (or a bigger concern, my kids).

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The continuing debate over the @aaronsw prosecution

It is the last thing in the world that I want to do to continue the debate over the prosecution of @aaronsw. But my colleague, Phil Heymann, father of the line prosecutor, recently delivered a paper at a faculty workshop criticizing my views and others. A number of people have asked me for a response. Here is the response I circulated, and all I’m going to say just now. 

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Lesterland: the talk, the eBook & the aBook (as in audio book)

Today, the wonderful people at TED release my TED talk. At the same time, we’re releasing an eBook based on the talk. And as an innovation still, if you get the book through the TED platform, you can hear me read the text of the book too. (We’re going to release the audio book (an aBook) through Audible as well, but that process is slower). 

The point of the talk and the book is to offer a clear way to understand the nature of the corruption that is our government. It builds up my earlier work, Republic, Lost, and One Way Forward, but the framing is different, and the remedies evolved. One Way Forward announced itself as the first version of a plan to respond to the corruption described in Republic, Lost. Lesterland is version 2.0: a rev on the description, and a rev on the plan. 

Consistent with TED policies, the talk is CC licensed. I am very happy that TED has also agreed to allow the book to be CC licensed (CC-BY-NC) from its launch. (If your copyright notice doesn’t quite say that, it will update to correct that error soon. The first release hadn’t corrected the default template.)

Finally, a note about eBooks: This will be obvious to most, but trust me (and I have the emails to prove it), it is not obvious to everyone: An eBook is a platform. It is distinct from a device. So if you buy the eBook from Amazon, it is a “Kindle” book, but it can be read on a Mac, a PC, an Android phone, an iPhone, etc., if you install the Kindle software. If they got the settings right, the book is not DRM’d, and you’re free to share them. The only restriction the CC license imposes is that you can’t exploit the work commercially without talking to me first. 

Enjoy, and thanks to the friends at TED for working so hard to enable this experiment. 

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TarenSK: Bombshell: New evidence that Steve Heymann committed serious prosecutorial misconduct:


The prosecution didn’t just show poor judgment in its prosecution of Aaron. In addition, Steve Heymann actively broke the law and violated Aaron’s constitutional rights. Below, you can read the details, but the basic outline is that Heymann withheld evidence that would have been helpful to Aaron’s…

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TarenSK: MIT/Boston memorial event: March 12, 4pm

TarenSK: MIT/Boston memorial event: March 12, 4pm:


Next Tuesday, March 12, at 4pm, the last of the memorial services for Aaron that I’m attending will take place in Boston at the MIT media lab (where Aaron’s father works). Speakers will include Larry Lessig of Harvard reading a statement on behalf of Tim Berners-Lee, Joi Ito of the MIT media lab,…

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The blessings of jetlag

On Saturday I returned from .GE — where I didn’t sleep at all. Saturday I slept some, but last night critical, as I had two final days to put the final parts on the lecture I must give Tuesday: Aaron’s Laws.

But alas, at 1am, my incredibly sweet 3 year old daughter did what she has now formed the habit of doing — coming into our bed, flopping about like a stranded fish for 15 minutes, and then falling asleep. 

Usually it is a minor annoyance. Jetlag turned it into the end of the nights sleep. So at 2am, I got up to begin today’s work. 

15 hours later, I’m finished for the day. 

This is a really difficult talk to craft. In principle. And in practice. There are too many points where I need a strategy to avoid spinning into blubbery. I am hopeful that if I can persuade sweet Tess of the wonders of her own bed, one more day’s preparation will do it. 

If you can make it, come. If you can’t, it will be webcast. The info for both is here.

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