In Search of Jefferson's Moose: Notes on the State of Cyberspace

In Search of Jefferson's Moose: Notes on the State of Cyberspace

by David G. Post
     
 

In 1787, Thomas Jefferson, then the American Minister to France, had the "complete skeleton, skin & horns" of an American moose shipped to him in Paris and mounted in the lobby of his residence as a symbol of the vast possibilities contained in the strange and largely unexplored New World. Taking a cue from Jefferson's efforts, David Post, one of the

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Overview

In 1787, Thomas Jefferson, then the American Minister to France, had the "complete skeleton, skin & horns" of an American moose shipped to him in Paris and mounted in the lobby of his residence as a symbol of the vast possibilities contained in the strange and largely unexplored New World. Taking a cue from Jefferson's efforts, David Post, one of the nation's leading Internet scholars, here presents a pithy, colorful exploration of the still mostly undiscovered territory of cyberspace—what it is, how it works, and how it should be governed.

What law should the Internet have, and who should make it? What are we to do, and how are we to think, about online filesharing and copyright law, about Internet pornography and free speech, about controlling spam, and online gambling, and cyberterrorism, and the use of anonymous remailers, or the practice of telemedicine, or the online collection and dissemination of personal information? How can they be controlled? Should they be controlled? And by whom? Post presents the Jeffersonian ideal—small self-governing units, loosely linked together as peers in groups of larger and larger size—as a model for the Internet and for cyberspace community self-governance. Deftly drawing on Jefferson's writings on the New World in Notes on the State of Virginia, Post draws out the many similarities (and differences) between the two terrains, vividly describing how the Internet actually functions from a technological, legal, and social perspective as he uniquely applies Jefferson's views on natural history, law, and governance in the New World to illuminate the complexities of cyberspace.

In Search of Jefferson's Moose is a lively, accessible, and remarkably original overview of the Internet and what it holds for the future.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195342895
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
01/21/2009
Series:
Law and Current Events Masters Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
264
Sales rank:
1,442,612
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgements
A Note to the Reader

Prologue: The Fox, the Hedgehog, and the Moose

Part I: Chaos
Chapter 1: Mapping the Territory: The Geography of Nowhere
Chapter 2: Population
Chapter 3: Networks
Chapter 4: Jefferson's Moose, and The Problem of Scale (I)
Chapter 5: The Problem of Scale (II)
Chapter 6: Connections
Chapter 7: Language, I

Interlude

Part II: Order
Chapter 8: Language II
Chapter 9: Governing Cyberspace I: Code
Chapter 10: Governing Cyberspace II: Names
Chapter 11: Governing Cyberspace III: Law
Chapter 12: Newton's Plow, and The Condition of the General Mind

Epilogue: Jefferson's Nature, and the Nature of Cyberspace

References and Suggested Readings
I. Prologue: The Fox, The Hedgehog, and The Moose
Philadelphia, 2006
Virginia, 1781: Notes on the New World
II. Notes on the New World, Part I: Chaos
1. Mapping the Territory: The Geography of Nowhere
2. Population
3. Networks
4. The Problem of Scale (I)
5. The Problem of Scale (II)
6. Jefferson's Moose, and the Degenerate Animals of the New World
7. Language
III. Interlude
Two Kinds of People
Looking West
Looking Forward
IV. Notes on the State of Cyberspace, Part II: Order
8. Pathways and Settlements
9. Governing Cyberspace, I: Code
10. Governing Cyberspace, II: Law
11. Governing Cyberspace, III: Getting it to Scale
12. Newton's Plow: Property on the Frontier
V. Epilogue
Jefferson's Moose, The Laws of Nature, and the Nature of Cyberspace

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