December 08, 2003

Declan McCullagh, "call off the dogs", says Lessig

Deep down at the very end of the Lessig blog's discussion about the "the classic Declan" item (falsely characterizing him as favoring "ending anonymity"), Lessig himself makes a comment I found extremely interesting:

But this is all taking the wrong tone. Declan and I have had fun arguing since 1996. He jabs when he can; I when I can. He's plays well, even if sometimes fast and a bit loose. But I did entrust him with my job (in the spam bet) and I'm sure I'd trust him with something more sometime again. The only real point of all this is to say: whatever sensible strategy just now is to protect and extend privacy, I am not advocating the elimination of anonymity. So call of the dogs.

My view is that Declan "plays" in a kind of Beltway-pundit way. I once parodied it along the lines of the Barney Song ("I Love you. You love me. We're a happy family.") as:

I backstab you; you backstab me.
We're in politics in DC.

(I have more to the parody song, but I probably shouldn't post it)

But this really did seem to be his outlook. Like war is the sport of kings, lies are the sport of journalists.

I suppose this works if you can turn off the computer and go out for drinks, nobody really gets hurt. And maybe it's all even good for everyone, in terms of playing to their cheering sections. But if Declan decides that people facing lawsuits are a sandbox for him to play in, well, it's all fun and games until someone goes to jail - and that's not going to be Declan.

Sigh. Oh yeah, I got a blog! ("I'm a Insignificant Microbe in the TTLB Ecosystem")
[Update: Apparently the database hadn't yet fully ranked me when I looked - my true status is in fact ... Multicellular Microorganism ]
[Update2: Thanks to anonymous for telling me, my latest ranking ... Flippery Fish!]
[Update3: Broke into the ranks of Crawly Amphibian! But I think i've hit my ceiling]
[Update4: Back down to Flippery Fish. Yup, that looks to be my final approximate status.]

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in journo | on December 08, 2003 09:01 PM (Infothought permalink) | Followups
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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You're actually moving up in the world. It's got you as flippery fish now.

Posted by: anonymous :) at December 9, 2003 11:56 AM

It seems that ecosystem status is elusive. Yesterday, I'd made it up to "Slimy Mollusc", but today, I'm just a "Lowly Insect". >sigh<

Posted by: jed at December 10, 2003 10:07 PM

The lower ranks each differ by just a few links. So gaining or dropping a level can be a matter of gaining or losing a link somewhere.

But it's all here a very long way from the top.

Posted by: Seth Finkelstein at December 11, 2003 12:06 AM