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367 pages, Hardcover
First published March 7, 2013
“To my friends in the “open” Internet movement, I have to ask: What did you think would happen? We in Silicon Valley undermined copyright to make commerce become more about services instead of content: more about our code instead of their files.
The inevitable endgame was always that we would lose control of our own personal content, our own files.
We haven’t just weakened old-fashioned power mongers. We’ve weakened ourselves.” (p.207)
“A world in which more and more is monetized, instead of less and less, could lead to a middle-class-oriented information economy, in which information isn’t free, but is affordable. Instead of making information inaccessible, that would lead to a situation in which the most critical information becomes accessible for the first time. You’d own the raw information about you that can sway your life. There is no such thing as a perfect system but the hypothesis on offer is that this could lead to a more democratic outcome than does the cheap illusion of “free” information.” (p. 210)
“…what we have to look at is economic incentives. There can never be enough police to shut down activities that align with economic motives. That is why prohibitions don’t work. No amount of regulation can keep up with perverse incentives, given the pace of innovation. This is also why no one was prosecuted for financial fraud connected with the Great Recession.” (p. 311)
"Not long after Jaron’s birth, his parents abandoned their last name, Zepel, for the less Semitic-sounding Lanier, after Sidney Lanier, a nineteenth-century poet and flutist, whom Ellery admired."