In Search of Jefferson's Moose: Notes on the State of Cyberspace

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9780195342895: In Search of Jefferson's Moose: Notes on the State of Cyberspace

In 1787, Thomas Jefferson, then the American Minister to France, had the "complete skeleton, skin & horns" of an American moose shipped to him in Paris and mounted in the lobby of his residence as a symbol of the vast possibilities contained in the strange and largely unexplored New World. Taking a cue from Jefferson's efforts, David Post, one of the nation's leading Internet scholars, here presents a pithy, colorful exploration of the still mostly undiscovered territory of cyberspace--what it is, how it works, and how it should be governed.

What law should the Internet have, and who should make it? What are we to do, and how are we to think, about online filesharing and copyright law, about Internet pornography and free speech, about controlling spam, and online gambling, and cyberterrorism, and the use of anonymous remailers, or the practice of telemedicine, or the online collection and dissemination of personal information? How can they be controlled? Should they be controlled? And by whom? Post presents the Jeffersonian ideal--small self-governing units, loosely linked together as peers in groups of larger and larger size--as a model for the Internet and for cyberspace community self-governance. Deftly drawing on Jefferson's writings on the New World in Notes on the State of Virginia, Post draws out the many similarities (and differences) between the two terrains, vividly describing how the Internet actually functions from a technological, legal, and social perspective as he uniquely applies Jefferson's views on natural history, law, and governance in the New World to illuminate the complexities of cyberspace.

In Search of Jefferson's Moose is a lively, accessible, and remarkably original overview of the Internet and what it holds for the future.

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In 1787, Thomas Jefferson, then the American Minister to France, had the skeleton of an American moose shipped to him in Paris and mounted it in the lobby of his residence as a symbol of the vast possibilities of the largely unexplored New World. Taking a cue from Jefferson's efforts, David Post, one of the nation's leading internet scholars, presents a pithy, colorful exploration of the still mostly undiscovered territory of cyberspace--what it is, how it works, and how it should be governed.

Dear Amazon Reader:

Why might you want to read a Jeffersonian natural history of the internet? Perhaps because you know that Thomas Jefferson was a very interesting, and a very smart, guy but you'd like to know more about what he was up to. (Why did he have a moose skeleton and carcass--an acquisition, he wrote, "more precious than you can imagine"--shipped to him in Paris for display in his residence?) Or perhaps because you believe that the internet represents something important, some kind of transformative milestone in the history of human communication, but you don't really know much about where it came from, or how it actually works, or who's in charge.

At bottom, this book is a "natural history" of the internet: what it is, how it works, what shape it has, what kinds of things can be found there, how and why it has grown so prodigiously in size. Thomas Jefferson is the guide; the book is (or aspires to be) the natural history of the internet that Jefferson would write, were he around to write it. One thing I can promise you, if you read my book: you'll learn some things about Jefferson, and some things about the internet, that you never knew before, and you'll see some connections between the two that you never saw before. And I can also promise you that you'll encounter some magnificent prose--not mine, Jefferson's. I use Jefferson's own words as much as possible to describe what's going on out there in the "new world," and nobody could craft an English sentence better than Jefferson could.

To be honest, I don't know whether the book will change your mind about, or give you any simple solutions for, any of the great issues of the day. I was struck, though, several months ago, at the start of the meltdown in the global financial markets, by something Thomas Friedman wrote in his NY Times column: What we have to understand about the global financial markets, Friedman wrote, and what makes them so hard to understand and so hard to control, is this: everything is inter-connected, and nobody's in charge. Hmm, I thought--sounds like the internet. There are lessons to be learned from a deeper understanding of the net; I won't pretend to know what all of them are, but I know they're there, and my book is a way to help you think about what they might be and what they might mean.

Sincerely,

David G. Post

About the Author:


David Post is currently the I. Herman Stern Professor of Law at the Beasley School of Law at Temple University, where he teaches intellectual property law and the law of cyberspace. He is also an Adjunct Scholar at the Cato Institute, a Fellow at the Institute for Information Law and Policy at New York Law School, and a contributor to the influential Volokh Conspiracy blog. For more information, please visit: www.jeffersonsmoose.org.

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2009. Hardback. Book Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. In 1787, Thomas Jefferson, then the American Minister to France, had the complete skeleton, skin horns of an American moose shipped to him in Paris and mounted in the lobby of his residence as a symbol of the vast possibilities contained in the strange and largely unexplored New World. Taking a cue from Jefferson s efforts, David Post, one of the nation s leading Internet scholars, here presents a pithy, colorful exploration of the still mostly undiscovered territory of cyberspace-what it is, how it works, and how it should be governed. What law should the Internet have, and who should make it? What are we to do, and how are we to think, about online filesharing and copyright law, about Internet pornography and free speech, about controlling spam, and online gambling, and cyberterrorism, and the use of anonymous remailers, or the practice of telemedicine, or the online collection and dissemination of personal information? How can they be controlled? Should they be controlled? And by whom? Post presents the Jeffersonian ideal-small self-governing units, loosely linked together as peers in groups of larger and larger size-as a model for the Internet and for cyberspace community self-governance. Deftly drawing on Jefferson s writings on the New World in Notes on the State of Virginia, Post draws out the many similarities (and differences) between the two terrains, vividly describing how the Internet actually functions from a technological, legal, and social perspective as he uniquely applies Jefferson s views on natural history, law, and governance in the New World to illuminate the complexities of cyberspace. In Search of Jefferson s Moose is a lively, accessible, and remarkably original overview of the Internet and what it holds for the future. Bookseller Inventory # POW9780195342895

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2009. Hardback. Book Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. In 1787, Thomas Jefferson, then the American Minister to France, had the complete skeleton, skin horns of an American moose shipped to him in Paris and mounted in the lobby of his residence as a symbol of the vast possibilities contained in the strange and largely unexplored New World. Taking a cue from Jefferson s efforts, David Post, one of the nation s leading Internet scholars, here presents a pithy, colorful exploration of the still mostly undiscovered territory of cyberspace-what it is, how it works, and how it should be governed. What law should the Internet have, and who should make it? What are we to do, and how are we to think, about online filesharing and copyright law, about Internet pornography and free speech, about controlling spam, and online gambling, and cyberterrorism, and the use of anonymous remailers, or the practice of telemedicine, or the online collection and dissemination of personal information? How can they be controlled? Should they be controlled? And by whom? Post presents the Jeffersonian ideal-small self-governing units, loosely linked together as peers in groups of larger and larger size-as a model for the Internet and for cyberspace community self-governance. Deftly drawing on Jefferson s writings on the New World in Notes on the State of Virginia, Post draws out the many similarities (and differences) between the two terrains, vividly describing how the Internet actually functions from a technological, legal, and social perspective as he uniquely applies Jefferson s views on natural history, law, and governance in the New World to illuminate the complexities of cyberspace. In Search of Jefferson s Moose is a lively, accessible, and remarkably original overview of the Internet and what it holds for the future. Bookseller Inventory # POW9780195342895

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