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In Search of Jefferson's Moose: Notes on the State of Cyberspaceby David Post
Synopses & Reviews
What is the legacy of Brown vs. Board of Education? While it is well known for establishing racial equality as a central commitment of American schools, the case also inspired social movements for equality in education across all lines of difference, including language, gender, disability, immigration status, socio-economic status, religion, and sexual orientation. Yet more than a half century after Brown, American schools are more racially separated than before, and educators, parents and policy makers still debate whether the ruling requires all-inclusive classrooms in terms of race, gender, disability, and other differences.
In Brown's Wake examines the reverberations of Brown in American schools, including efforts to promote equal opportunities for all kinds of students. School choice, once a strategy for avoiding Brown, has emerged as a tool to promote integration and opportunities, even as charter schools and private school voucher programs enable new forms of self-separation by language, gender, disability, and ethnicity.
Martha Minow, Dean of Harvard Law School, argues that the criteria placed on such initiatives carry serious consequences for both the character of American education and civil society itself. Although the original promise of Brown remains more symbolic than effective, Minow demonstrates the power of its vision in the struggles for equal education regardless of students' social identity, not only in the United States but also in many countries around the world. Further, she urges renewed commitment to the project of social integration even while acknowledging the complex obstacles that must be overcome. An elegant and concise overview of Brown and its aftermath, In Brown's Wake explores the broad-ranging and often surprising impact of one of the century's most important Supreme Court decisions.
In 1787, Thomas Jefferson, then the American Minister to France, had the "complete skeleton, skin and 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.
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.
Table of Contents
A Note to the Reader
Prologue: The Fox, the Hedgehog, and the Moose
Part I: Chaos
Chapter 1: Mapping the Territory: The Geography of Nowhere
Chapter 2: Population
Chapter 3: Networks
Chapter 4: Jefferson's Moose, and The Problem of Scale (I)
Chapter 5: The Problem of Scale (II)
Chapter 6: Connections
Chapter 7: Language, I
Part II: Order
Chapter 8: Language II
Chapter 9: Governing Cyberspace I: Code
Chapter 10: Governing Cyberspace II: Names
Chapter 11: Governing Cyberspace III: Law
Chapter 12: Newton's Plow, and The Condition of the General Mind
Epilogue: Jefferson's Nature, and the Nature of Cyberspace
References and Suggested Readings
I. Prologue: The Fox, The Hedgehog, and The Moose
Virginia, 1781: Notes on the New World
II. Notes on the New World, Part I: Chaos
1. Mapping the Territory: The Geography of Nowhere
4. The Problem of Scale (I)
5. The Problem of Scale (II)
6. Jefferson's Moose, and the Degenerate Animals of the New World
Two Kinds of People
IV. Notes on the State of Cyberspace, Part II: Order
8. Pathways and Settlements
9. Governing Cyberspace, I: Code
10. Governing Cyberspace, II: Law
11. Governing Cyberspace, III: Getting it to Scale
12. Newton's Plow: Property on the Frontier
Jefferson's Moose, The Laws of Nature, and the Nature of Cyberspace
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