The Lord’s Prayer of Internet Pessimist Orthodoxy

by on May 11, 2009 · 8 comments

A few months ago, Adam Thierer penned The Pragmatic (Internet) Optimist’s Creed in response to calls from “Internet pessimists” for increased regulation of the Internet on many fronts. Adam‘s recent 4-way debate with pessimists Larry Lessig and Jonathan Zittrain (as well as optimist Declan McCullagh) inspired me to pen the following cheeky homage to Lessig, the Father of Internet Pessimism, whose work has launched a thousand efforts to increase government control of the Internet in the name, ironically, of “freedom:”

Our Lessig, who art in Harvard,
Hallowed be thy blog.
Thy Free Culture come.
Thy Code be done,
In Washington as it is in thy Ivory Tower.

Give us this day our Net Neutrality.
And forgive us our trespasses against Internet Openness,
As we forgive those who question thy genius,
And lead us not into trusted systems of perfect control,
But deliver us from digital rights management and architectures of identity.

For thine is the wisdom,
and the clairvoyance, and the coolness,
for ever and ever.

Lest I become the Salman Rushdie of pragmatic Internet optimists/regulatory-skeptics, let me emphasize that my techno-blasphemy is meant in good humor.  But then, that’s probably what poor Rushdie said…

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