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Recursively Generative Technologies

With Professor Jonathan Zittrain
Date & Time:
15:30:00 - 17:00:00,
Tuesday 18 January, 2005


What makes cyberlaw so special? Its brief history suggests it’s the capacity of its technologies to reach multiple audiences who can be creators and tinkerers. Both the PC OS and the Internet are open to and powered by amateurs in a way that other technologies are not, and members of one audience can build technologies on top of existing ones that in turn allow others to continue to build.

Cyberlaw’s central challenge is to establish ways of thinking about such technologies when their undesirable applications – and very success – threaten to undermine the recursive potential of the technologies themselves through, respectively, regulation or entrepreneurial enclosure.