A Tool Without a Handle

This is a short essay to introduce three topics I’ll be exploring in various ways, including writing, talking, and reading:
1) How metaphor powerfully shapes the beliefs we hold about the Internet - and is used by advocates seeking to shape the beliefs of others.
2) How the “cyberspace’ metaphor has outlived much of its usefulness, causes us to focus attention on the wrong things, and inaccurately describes how people use information technology.

The Industry of Bad Feelings

Some weeks ago I wrote a post, The Industry of Good Feelings, about Silicon Valley's unique esprit de corps – how it has long been the kind of place where industrial rivals say nice things about one another and even openly use one another's products.

At the end of that post, however, I noted that the spirit I described might be eroding. I wrote that I was worried intellectual property law "may be playing a role in making Silicon Valley less about hat tipping and more about fist clenching."

Paperback and Kindle Versions of Internet Architecture and Innovation Now Available

The paperback and Kindle versions of Internet Architecture and Innovation have been released. More information about the book can be found at There's a page of reviews, including reviews from Lawrence Lessig, Marvin Ammori, and Brad Burnham. The book is available on and on Amazon's international websites.

Appreciating what we’ve built (or dismissing the myth of the "romantic" business owner / entrepreneur / free market)

We inherently depend on each other and on shared infrastructures of various types. It is too easy to lose sight of this basic fact. We like to celebrate individual achievement and independence. Unfortunately, we make the mistake of thinking in binary terms, individual or social, private or public, market or government. This leads to great distortions in our perceptions about the world. Reality is more complicated.

Australia Moves To Massively Expand Internet Surveillance

The Australian government has proposed sweeping changes to its surveillance and national security laws. The government’s wish list includes mandatory data retention, surveillance of social networks, criminalization of encryption, and lower thresholds for warrants. As it seeks to expand its surveillance powers, the government also wants to dilute oversight by jettisoning record-keeping requirements. This week I submitted detailed comments opposing the changes to the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Intelligence and Security.


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