Configuring the Networked Self; This is Improbable; At the Corner of Hollywood and Web

November 07, 2012

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Remember to load images if you have trouble seeing parts of this email. Or click here to view the web version of this newsletter. Below you will find upcoming Berkman Center events, interesting digital media we have produced, and other events of note.

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special event

Configuring the Networked Self

Tonight! November 7, 6:00pm ET, Harvard Law School, Wasserstein Hall, Milstein East A Room.


The models of individual behavior upon which U.S. legal scholars and policymakers habitually rely are too narrow and unrealistic to yield useful insights into information policy problems. Configuring the Networked Self seeks to remedy this deficit, and in the process to develop a unified framework for conceptualizing the social and cultural effects of legal and technical regimes that govern information access and use. It offers guiding principles for information policy reform that move beyond the themes of “access to knowledge” and “network neutrality.” The everyday behaviors of ordinary people require spaces where they can be enacted, tools with which they can be pursued, and meaningful legal guarantees in which they can claim shelter. This requires more careful attention to the semantic structure of the networked information environment. The mixture of freedom and control that human beings require to flourish is achieved most effectively when regulatory architectures are characterized by operational transparency—by access to the underlying logic of information systems—and by semantic discontinuity—by gaps and inconsistencies within systems of meaning that leave room for the play of everyday practice. Julie Cohen is a Professor of Law at Georgetown University. RSVP Required. more information on our website>

berkman luncheon series

This is Improbable

Tuesday, November 13, 12:30pm ET, Harvard Law School. This event will be webcast live.


Marc Abrahams -- editor of the Annals of Improbable Research, host of the annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony, and author of several books (including his latest, This is Improbable: Cheese String Theory, Magnetic Chickens and Other WTF Research -- listen to Marc's NPR interview) -- will be joining us for a lively exploration of weird science, off-beat research, and things that go bump in the lab. Members of the Berkman Center community will join with a group of special guests to perform dramatic readings from bizarre studies discussed in Marc's new book, and answer questions about what they have read based on no special knowledge whatsoever. Does it sound odd? Yes. Does it actually work? Surprisingly well. Special guests will include: Gus Rancatore (proprietor, Toscanini’s Ice Cream), Richard Baguley (technology reviewer), Naomi Stephen (literature scholar), Jeff Hermes (director, Digital Media Law project), Mary Carmichael (higher ed reporter, Boston Globe), Molly Sauter (Berkman Center Fellow), Ryan Budish (Berkman Center Fellow and Director of Herdict), Judith Donath (Berkman Center Fellow), Kendra Albert (Berkman Center Fellow), Alicia Solow-Niederman (Berkman Center Staff), Matthew Battles (Berkman Center Fellow), Adam Holland (Berkman Center Staff), and more. RSVP Required. more information on our website>

special event

At the Corner of Hollywood and Web: A conversation + a screening of a new indie movie

Monday, November 19, 6:00pm ET, Harvard Law School.


What happens when a movie maker looks to the Web to work around the traditional entertainment system in which he is one of the leading figures? Rob Burnett is the executive producer of "The Late Show with David Letterman" and CEO of the production company, Worldwide Pants Incorporated ("The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" and "Everybody Loves Raymond)." He and his writing partner Jon Beckerman were also the creators of the much admired "Ed" and "Knights of Prosperity." But, they decided the traditional Hollywood route was wrong for their new indie movie. "We wanted to let it find its right audience," says Burnett. So, they turned to the Web. Join us for a conversation with Rob Burnett about what they've learned as entertainment industry insiders trying to use the Web to let "We Made This movie" find its audience. The conversation will be held with the Berkman Center's David Weinberger, Jonathan Zittrain, and other special guests. Afterwards, there will be a screening of "We Made This Movie," where five high school seniors set out to make a silly comedy movie, but accidentally end up making a dramatic and moving movie about their actual lives. RSVP Required. more information on our website>

berkman luncheon series

Scientifically Verifiable Broadband Policy

Tuesday, November 20, 12:30pm ET, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, 23 Everett St, 2nd Floor. This event will be webcast live.


Measurement Lab (M-Lab) is a collaborative effort founded by Vint Cerf and a large body of network researchers, dedicated to creating an Internet-scale ecosystem for truly open network measurement. In the policy space, this means the facts can speak for themselves, and the rhetoric can adapt. To make this happen, Measurement Lab allows researchers the ability to run open source broadband measurement tools on well-managed, near global infrastructure. All data collected by these tools is made publicly available. This public repository of M-Lab data comprises by far the biggest such resource on the planet (and other planets, I assume), with over 600 terabytes of raw, real-world, globally comparable network measurement data (!!). This data is being used by researchers as the basis for peer-reviewed papers furthering network science. It's also being used by governments and national regulators. Canada recently joined Greece, the US, and the European Union in choosing M-Lab and M-Lab's ope n data as the backbone of their upcoming broadband study. M-Lab's creates a model in which scientists, policy-makers, and consumers have access to good information drawn from the same pool of open, scientifically-sound broadband performance data. This means that conclusions made based on these data are verifiable, and that debate can focus on data, not hearsay. Very cool, right? So come learn about M-Lab's tools, M-Lab's data, how M-Lab is creating a paradigm for collaborative science as the foundation for good, data-based policy. Meredith Whittaker is a Program Manager for Google Research. Thomas Gideon is the technical director for the Open Technology Institute at New America Foundation. RSVP Required. more information on our website>


RB208: The NetRoots


How have politically engaged organizations used the web to fundamentally change how people organize and engage politically? Why are left wing organizations more likely to succeed in organization online? Why are conservatives less funny than liberals? David Karpf chronicles the dozens of Netroots political organizations, both progressive and conservative, that have sprouted up with the mass adoption of the internet in his new book The MoveOn Effect: The Unexpected Transformation of American Political Advocacy. On this 2012 election-themed episode of Radio Berkman he speaks with our host David Weinberger about how these organizations are having an impact on politics. video/audio on our website>


Stuart Shieber and Peter Suber on How to Make Your Research Open Access (Whether You're at Harvard or Not)


How do you make your own work Open Access (OA)? The question comes up from researchers at schools with good OA policies (like Harvard and MIT) and at schools with no OA policies at all. In recognition of Open Access Week, Peter Suber — Director of the Harvard Open Access Project — and Stuart Shieber — Professor of Computer Science in the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences — discuss the Harvard Open Access Project, and suggest concrete steps for making your research OA. video/audio on our website>

Other Events of Note

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Last updated November 07, 2012

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