May 21, 2003
Things are going to slow down a bit over the next two weeks. I have my last exam Friday, then I head to my step-brother’s graduation from Middlebury, then to New York to spend some time with my dad and brother, and finally to beautiful San Francisco, where I’ll spend the rest of my summer. Hopefully, you’ll see some posts next week. If you start to suffer from withdrawl, use the blogroll or my news aggregator.
I hope to post at least two or three times a week during the summer. My Net access is going to be cruddy, and I’ll be pretty busy, so we’ll see. In any case, I intend to delve into some cyberlaw/space topics I haven’t spent enough time on. I need to read about spectrum, I’ve never read Shelley Turkle’s Life on the Screen, and I want to read about the FCC – there’s too much to study. I also hope to read more about constitutional law, so maybe you’ll see some tie ins there. In any event, expect to see less frequent, but hopefully longer pieces, along with analyses of important breaking news.
I want to end this first phase of my blogging with a few closing remarks:
When I started this blog four months ago, I had no idea what it would turn into. Interacting with the copyfight community on a daily basis has been incredible. I’ve made many friends and learned an incredible amount.
You all have helped give me a nice in-between, pseudo-academic space to write in. Let me explain what I mean. When I started this blog, school was fine, but not optimal – it still isn’t. In some courses, I feel fulfilled at the very end, but the process itself is often grueling, high pressure, and high stress. It’s not that the coursework is too difficult – it’s very do-able, and, in many ways, I’m getting off a lot easier than my classmates. But, there’s something about doing this sort of work that isn’t healthy for me – when my coursework peaks, I turn into a person I don’t entirely like. I know, I know – wait until I get to the Real World. But there’s something very peculiar about this academic lifestyle.
Blogging is the complete opposite. It’s low pressure and collaborative – the atmosphere makes me want to work harder, study more, because it’s always fun. I continually ask questions and receive insightful responses. It allows me to focus myself a little, get my ideas down on paper – after reading blogs and copyfight articles for so long, I needed a way to engage the topic more actively. But, I get to test out my ideas without putting out full-fledged analyses or policy proposals or even a basic research paper. As much as I (think I) know about copyright, I’m far from saying anything comprehensive. On a much more basic level, I’m still learning how to express my thoughts clearly (Professor Felten and Donna in particular make writing clearly look effortless – even if it isn’t actually effortless, I want my words to feel that way). I still feel/am very much like a student, not a scholar. At some point, I want to write in-depth about the copyfight. But, for now, blogging is just what I need.
My favorite moments of this in-between writing space have been when the experts build on something I’ve said. For instance, when Felten wrote up this bit on DRM and linked to me, I was overjoyed because he said what I wanted to say but far more eloquently than I could hope to. I reacted similarly when Frank recently wrote about the role of universities in the copyfight. It’s nice to know that people are picking up what I say, but it’s even better for me to see them express the underlying ideas with such precision and skill.
Connecting amateurs and experts really makes this community what it is. I have loved debating with Matt Morse, because we’re both just trying to feel our way through this complex topic – as far as I know, he hasn’t been schooled in this subject either. The S-DMCA protests were spurred by Felten, but it’s amateur mobilization that’s helping slow these silly bills down as much as we can. Even when I’m not interacting with experts, I have learned so much from watching them. Though not completely copyfight related, if you haven’t read the current debate between Jack Balkin and Larry Solum on how judges should judge, you’re really missing out. It has been absolutely riveting. And here’s the thing: read Solum’s latest post or this one – maybe he could get away with that sort of writing in an academic journal, but I doubt it. It’s beautiful to see them write in this way.
I look forward to much more blogging to come. The copyfight is only starting to heat up. I intend to be here for the long haul, and I’m glad I’ll have all of you with me.