Posts Tagged ‘Lawrence Lessig’

What’s Going on at South by Southwest?

March 15, 2009

Pretty much everyone I know in tech circles is down in Austin this weekend and week for the conference extravaganza South by Southwest. I went last year to do a panel on WiFi and roll out my book and had a blast.

In fact, at least two of my colleagues this year are at SouthBy, as it is known to long-time goers: Stephen Baker and Douglas MacMillan. I haven’t yet heard of any break-out companies this year. But I am getting a feel for the conference thanks to the spadework of Doug and Steve, who today moderated a talk with FiveThirtyEight.com founder Nate Silver.

Check out the videos that Doug has been shooting down there with law professor Lawrence Lessig, Seesmic founder Loic Le Muer and Revision3 president Jim Louderback.

I can almost taste the BBQ while watching the video with Louderback at the famous meat house Stubb’s. Last year, I was starving and went to eat dinner at Stubb’s. But the restaurant was too packed to get a table. So I walked around back and scarfed down $5 beef brisket sandwich and can of beer while watching a few bands on the outdoor stage. A perfect beginning to a night at SouthBy.

Loic Le Meur from Doug MacMillan on Vimeo.

Book Review of Larry Lessig’s REMIX

October 24, 2008

I am a huge admirer and fan of Stanford Law professor Lawrence Lessig. I have followed his writings over the years and have drawn inspiration from his work. He’s made me smarter and more thoughtful, that’s for sure. So it pains me to report that I did not love his new book, REMIX: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy.

On his blog today, Lessig wrote that it “was a tough morning swallowing Spencer’s review. My reaction was — “really, that’s what you see in the book?!” None of the key points that made it worth my writing the book were visible to him (or at least, as evinced by the review). And that, frankly, was astonishing, and astonishingly depressing.”

Maybe I missed something here. Or maybe the doom and gloom of today’s world has so permeated my being that I don’t even realize it, as one commenter on Lessig’s blog noted today. I am not one to easily criticize a new book, especially now that I myself am an author. So I look forward to seeing how other people respond to REMIX. In the spirit of the blogosphere, perhaps I will remix my review after hearing what people have to say.

Heck, I would even welcome a response from Larry. I thought I understood the key points but maybe my head is so clouded with falling stock prices and fear that I didn’t.

Here’s the header of the BW review:

Editor’s Rating: 3 stars out of 5

The Good: A good primer on the debates over copyright in the Digital Age.

The Bad: Like Martin Scorsese doing another mobster flick, Lessig seems uninspired, groping for a fresh take on familiar themes.

The Bottom Line: An uninspired work by an important thinker.

Check out my full review here.