The Future of the Internet–And How to Stop It

zittraincover2Lawrence Lessig calls Jonathan Zit­train’s book “Absolute­ly required read­ing.” Cass Sun­stein says it’s “Absolute­ly essen­tial read­ing.” And Lawrence Tribe declares that it is “The most com­pelling book ever writ­ten on why a trans­for­ma­tive tech­nol­o­gy’s tra­jec­to­ry threat­ens to sti­fle that tech­nol­o­gy’s great­est promise for soci­ety.”

The book is The Future of the Internet–And How to Stop It.  You can buy it on Ama­zon for $11.56, or, even bet­ter, you can down­load it for free from Zit­train’s web site. Vis­it the web site, and find the PDF here. Thanks for this tip goes to Tony Yet, who guest blogged TED to Chi­na: An Inside View ear­li­er this sum­mer.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Down­load Free Audio­book of Chris Anderson’s “Free”

The Future of the Inter­net: A Free Stan­ford Course

Lawrence Lessig’s Free Cul­ture: Avail­able in Text or Audio (For Free)

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Socrates Flubs His Academic Interview

What hap­pens when Socrates tries to land a job at a uni­ver­si­ty? It does­n’t go so well. Below, we have the com­ments returned by the inter­view com­mit­tee, as imag­ined by THE (Times High­er Edu­ca­tion). In this piece, you’ll also find Tol­stoy, Kaf­ka, Jane Austen and oth­er genius­es com­ing up short with the search com­mit­tees. Now to Socrates…

“At first the can­di­date’s own list of ques­tions felt refresh­ing, but soon became counter-pro­duc­tive to the inter­view process. His spir­it of inquiry masked an indif­fer­ence to time con­straints and a pas­sive-aggres­sive need to dom­i­nate the con­ver­sa­tion. As anoth­er can­di­date cooled his heels, the request for him to con­clude his thoughts on the ide­al soci­ety scarce­ly reg­is­tered as we won­dered if, then began to wish that, some­one would spike his drink.”

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Watch Malcolm X Debate at Oxford, Quoting Lines from Shakespeare’s Hamlet (1964)

I enjoy replay­ing this vin­tage gem every now and then  — Mal­colm X debat­ing at Oxford Uni­ver­si­ty in 1964. In this clas­sic video, you get a good feel for Mal­colm X’s pres­ence and mes­sage, not to men­tion the social issues that were alive dur­ing the day. You’ll hear X’s trade­mark claim that lib­er­ty can be attained by “what­ev­er means nec­es­sary,” includ­ing force, if the gov­ern­ment won’t guar­an­tee it, and that “intel­li­gent­ly direct­ed extrem­ism” will achieve lib­er­ty far more effec­tive­ly than paci­fist strate­gies. (He’s clear­ly allud­ing to Mar­tin Luther King.) You can lis­ten to the speech in its entire­ty here (Real Audio), some­thing that is well worth doing. But I’d also encour­age you to watch the dra­mat­ic clos­ing min­utes and pay some atten­tion to the nice rhetor­i­cal slide, where X takes lines from Shake­speare’s Ham­let and uses them to jus­ti­fy his “by what­ev­er means nec­es­sary” posi­tion. You’d prob­a­bly nev­er expect to see Ham­let get­ting invoked that way, let alone Mal­colm X speak­ing at Oxford. A won­der­ful set of con­trasts.

“I read once, pass­ing­ly, about a man named Shake­speare. I only read about him pass­ing­ly, but I remem­ber one thing he wrote that kind of moved me. He put it in the mouth of Ham­let, I think, it was, who said, ‘To be or not to be.’ He was in doubt about something—whether it was nobler in the mind of man to suf­fer the slings and arrows of out­ra­geous fortune—moderation—or to take up arms against a sea of trou­bles and by oppos­ing end them. And I go for that. If you take up arms, you’ll end it, but if you sit around and wait for the one who’s in pow­er to make up his mind that he should end it, you’ll be wait­ing a long time. And in my opin­ion, the young gen­er­a­tion of whites, blacks, browns, what­ev­er else there is, you’re liv­ing at a time of extrem­ism, a time of rev­o­lu­tion, a time when there’s got to be a change. Peo­ple in pow­er have mis­used it, and now there has to be a change and a bet­ter world has to be built, and the only way it’s going to be built—is with extreme meth­ods. And I, for one, will join in with anyone—I don’t care what col­or you are—as long as you want to change this mis­er­able con­di­tion that exists on this earth.”

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Free Online Shake­speare Cours­es: Primers on the Bard from Oxford, Har­vard, Berke­ley & More

Hear Allen Ginsberg’s Short Free Course on Shakespeare’s Play, The Tem­pest (1980)

James Bald­win Bests William F. Buck­ley in 1965 Debate at Cam­bridge Uni­ver­si­ty

Albert Ein­stein Called Racism “A Dis­ease of White Peo­ple” in His Lit­tle-Known Fight for Civ­il Rights

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Darwin’s Dangerous Idea

Why did so many find Charles Dar­win’s con­cept of nat­ur­al selec­tion so sub­ver­sive and dis­con­cert­ing straight from the begin­ning? Amer­i­can philoso­pher Daniel Den­nett explains. To get to the meat of things, you might want to skip to 1:16.

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Dominick Dunne Looks at the Dark Side

Crime writer Dominick Dunne passed yes­ter­day today at 83, his death over­shad­owed by that of Ted Kennedy. Above, we fea­ture Dunne remem­ber­ing his rather unpleas­ant rela­tion­ship with Frank Sina­tra. It’s a per­verse sto­ry, though told in a some­what humor­ous way.

Ini­tial­ly, I con­sid­ered fea­tur­ing anoth­er video, but it’s entire­ly too sad, espe­cial­ly for any par­ents among us. Back in 1982, Dun­ne’s daugh­ter, an actress, was stran­gled to death by her boyfriend. And, in this clip, Dunne reflects on his rela­tion­ship with his daugh­ter. A heart­break­ing bit.

As a side note, Dunne kept a diary dur­ing the tri­al of his daugh­ter’s mur­der­er. The account was even­tu­al­ly pub­lished in Van­i­ty Fair, and you can find it here, along with many oth­er major pieces that Dunne wrote for VF. Amaz­ing­ly, the mur­der­er was con­vict­ed and served less than 4 years. Mean­while, mil­lions who have ped­dled small amounts of drugs are doing con­sid­er­ably more time across the US.

A Bob Dylan Christmas

Bob Dylan sings your favorite Christ­mas songs. “Here Comes San­ta Claus,” “Win­ter Won­der­land,” “Lit­tle Drum­mer Boy” and “Must Be San­ta.”

It sounds strange. But it’s very real. All mon­ey will go to char­i­ty. You can pre-order now. And although the album won’t be released until Octo­ber, it’s already #4 on’s sales chart.

If any­one comes across some mp3s from the album, Christ­mas in the Heart, please send them our way. Get more details on the project here.

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Open Books from Google

New from the Google Books Blog:

Try doing a search for [Ham­let] on Google Books. The first few results you’ll get are “Full View” books — which means you can read the full text. And, because the book is in the pub­lic domain, you can also down­load a copy of Ham­let in PDF form.

Start­ing today, you’ll be able to down­load these and over one mil­lion pub­lic domain books from Google Books in an addi­tion­al for­mat. We’re excit­ed to now offer down­loads in EPUB for­mat, a free and open indus­try stan­dard for elec­tron­ic books. It’s sup­port­ed by a wide vari­ety of appli­ca­tions, so once you down­load a book, you’ll be able to read it on any device or through any read­ing appli­ca­tion that sup­ports the for­mat. That means that peo­ple will be able to access pub­lic domain works that we’ve dig­i­tized from libraries around the world in more ways, includ­ing some that haven’t even been built or imag­ined yet.

The post con­tin­ues here.

The Beatles Talk Before the Fall

Flash­back to 1966. The Bea­t­les hold a press con­fer­ence in LA, on the eve of their very last live con­cert. As you’ll see, the ques­tions range from the friv­o­lous (“What do you think of Amer­i­can wom­en’s legs?”) to the more seri­ous (“Do you real­ly think you’re more pop­u­lar than God?” Or, “What would hap­pen if you came to an event with­out an armored truck and with­out police?”). A brief glimpse into a day in the life of a Bea­t­le. Part 1 is above. Part 2 is here. And Part 3, here.

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