Tim Wu on THE MASTER SWITCH
Tuesday, January 11, 12:15 pm
Pound Hall, Room 101, Harvard Law School (Map)
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This event will be webcast live at 12:15 pm ET and archived on our site shortly after.
Tim Wu presents his widely acclaimed new book THE MASTER SWITCH: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires. "A Masterpiece" - Lawrence Lessig. "A ripping yarn" - The Atlantic
Tim Wu is an author, policy advocate and author of The Master Switch. He is a professor at Columbia Law School,
the chairman of media
reform organization Free Press. Wu was recognized in
as one of 50 leaders in science and technology by Scientific
American magazine, and in 2007 Wu was listed as one of
most influential graduates by 02138 magazine.
Tim Wu's best known work is the development of Net Neutrality theory, but he has also written about copyright, international trade, and the study of law-breaking. He previously worked for Riverstone Networks in the telecommunications industry in Silicon Valley, and was a law clerk for Judge Richard Posner and Justice Stephen Breyer. He graduated from McGill University (B.Sc.), and Harvard Law School.
Wu has written for the New Yorker, the Washington Post, Forbes, Slate magazine, and others. He can sometimes be found at Waterfront Bicycles, and he once worked at Hoo's Dumplings.
*Starred Review* A veteran of Silicon Valley and professor at Columbia University, Wu is an author and policy advocate best known for coining the term net neutrality. Although the Internet has created a world of openness and access unprecedented in human history, Wu is quick to point out that the early phases of telephony, film, and radio offered similar opportunities for the hobbyist, inventor, and creative individual, only to be centralized and controlled by corporate interests, monopolized, broken into smaller entities, and then reconsolidated. Wu calls this the Cycle, and nowhere is it more exemplary than in the telecommunications industry. The question Wu raises is whether the Internet is different, or whether we are merely in the early open phase of a technology that is to be usurped and controlled by profiteering interests. Central in the power struggle is the difference between the way Apple Computer and Google treat content, with Apple attempting to control the user experience with slick products while Google endeavors to democratize content, giving the user choice and openness. This is an essential look at the directions that personal computing could be headed depending on which policies and worldviews come to dominate control over the Internet. --David Siegfried