by Rocky Tsai '02
V 1.2 - last updated August 31, 2000
"There are no FAQs, only interpretations."
"FAQs do not cease to exist because they are ignored."
"I hate FAQs. I always say the chief end of man is to form general propositions
-- adding that no general proposition is worth a damn."
-Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
"I believe in general in a dualism between FAQs and the ideas of those
FAQs in human heads."
How can I reach Professor Zittrain?
1. The absolute best way to reach Professor Zittrain is by emailing him: email@example.com.
2. A less efficient but certainly welcome algorithm involves scheduling an
appointment with JZ. You can do this by emailing JZ’s assistant Sara Hathaway
at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling
this number: 495-8351.
3. The final method, which has an essentially stochastic rate of success,
is to try to locate JZ physically. He is sometimes found sequestered in Griswold
How can I reach the Teaching Fellows?
1. The teaching fellows for the course are Rebecca Nesson '01 and John
Palfrey '01. Each is an alum of IS99, and each is as dangerously smart as
he or she is nice -- a rare and devastating combination.
2. You can email either of them at email@example.com.
3. You can try to find them in their offices, which are distributed throughout
the Berkman Center garret on the fifth floor of Pound Hall.
When and where does the class meet?
IS2000 typically meets Mondays and Tuesdays, from 4:20 PM to 5:50 PM, in Austin West. The first session on September 5 is scheduled to begin at 4:10.
How many credits is the course worth?
This is a 4-credit course (3 classroom + 1 non-classroom). There are also
optional clinical credits, as well as limited slots for writing 3L papers in
conjunction with the class (see below for more information). You should sit
down with the HLS catalog and, if necessary, review the rules on credits
required to graduate. They are somewhat Byzantine, and within lies the
answer to whether that fourth non-classroom credit can apply to your graduation
How do I get into the class?
Admission to IS2000 is by application only, and enrollment will be strictly
limited to 60 students. The sooner you can apply, the better.
What are the requirements for the course?
1. You will be required to pair up with a fellow student and write a research
paper, approximately 15 pages long. These papers will, with your permission, ultimately be archived on the IS2000 website. These
papers are due Monday, November 27, right after Thanksgiving. There will
typically be no extensions offered. Abstracts will be due on Monday,
October 2. They should be submitted by pairs.
2. You will be appointed to a panel of between three and six students. Each
day, an assigned panel
must be especially prepared to field questions on that day's reading materials. Each
panel will also be required to write a hypothetical case study or prepare an
analysis of an actual case (not found in the readings) related to its assigned
topic. Each panel is also responsible for preparing and editing class notes
for its day. If a guest speaker/panel is invited during your assigned day,
then your panel is responsible for hosting the guests (taking them out to dinner,
for instance) and for summarizing the guests' remarks (including linking to
cases and documents referred to by the guests) on the course website. The end
product of each day's panel will be a web page on the IS2000 website.
will be assigned to panels; however, you may request to switch panels if you are
assigned to a panel on a date which is particularly difficult for you. Panel assignments
will be posted on the course site at least one week in advance. There is no panel for
class on 9/5. Panel for classes on 9/11 and 9/12 will be announced in class on 9/5 and
posted on the course site as soon as possible.
3. You must participate in the weekly online Question-Answer-Response component
of the course.
4. You must participate in class.
How is the course graded?
1. Real-time class participation = 30%
2. Online participation = 40%
3. Final paper = 30%
Is class participation governed by the Socratic
Class participation is governed by the Zittrainic method, which is characterized
by a combination of monologue, dialogue, and oligologue. Hence, you should
expect a balanced mix of lectures, guest panels moderated by JZ, student panel
participation, and cold-calling (with names randomly generated in real-time
by a computer program).
In general, the policy is that you may be called upon at any time, and in any
class. However, if you know you won’t be prepared for a given class, let us
know by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
so that we can remove you from the cold call roster.
What does online participation include?
1. Although you are not required to post to the threaded messaging forum,
you are required to read the threads that have been posted, for they can become
topics of real-time class discussion.
2. A large portion of your grade is based on your participation in the online
Question-Answer-Response component of the course, which is managed by software
invented by the Berkman Center for Internet and Society.
3. The rotisserie gives you assignments in the form of questions (some multiple
choice, some short answer), and then, after everyone has submitted her answer,
it distributes these answers to different classmates, who must then submit a
comment. It is important that you familiarize yourself with the courseware
early, so that by the time the first assignment is due, you understand how to
submit an assignment. The rotisserie, being soulless code, does not countenance
4. The writing that you do for the rotisserie is the main reason that the
course is worth an additional 1 non-classroom credit.
This courseware has been known to respond, as only software can, to the aliases
“Rotisserie,” “The Bot,” and “Berkman Courseware.”
Is there a final exam for this course?
There is no final exam for this course.
Since “example is more efficacious than precept,” can you give me an example
of how the rotisserie works?
A typical week of assignments might go something like this:
Tuesday Evening: The Bot emails you, informing you that the assignment
for next week is posted on the IS2000 website. You log on to the website and
read over the assignments.
Saturday Afternoon: After doing the reading, you dutifully compose your
answers to the assignment questions in your favorite word processing program.
Sunday Afternoon: You read over your answer and then, fully satisfied,
cut-and-paste the text into the form provided on the course website (N.B.: formatting
does not transfer).
Sunday at 5:00 PM: The assignments are due, and the Bot mercilessly
enforces a strict cutoff.
Sunday Night: Each student’s answer to a rotisserie question is sent
to another student in the class for comment. In a class of Alyosha, Beelzebub,
and Commodus, Beelzebub's answer is sent to Alyosha, Alyosha's to Commodus,
and Commodus’s to Beelzebub.
Sunday Night or Monday Morning: You check your email and find the other
Monday Afternoon: You attend class.
Monday Evening: You respectfully compose your response to the other
student's answer in your favorite word processing program.
Tuesday Morning: You read it over your response and then cut-and-paste
it into the website form.
Tuesday Noon: The Bot once again mercilessly enforces a strict cutoff.
Tuesday Afternoon: You attend class.
Wow, am I on the cutting edge?
Yes, so don’t hurt yourself. You will be serving as de facto testers
of our courseware—which ultimately will be launched upon the open seas of the
free software community—and thus we welcome any recommendations you have for
improvements and new features. (If you find a problem with the courseware, please
email email@example.com, and
if you have suggestions for new features, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Please try to be as detailed as possible in any bug report or feature request.
How much work is involved?
A fair amount of work is involved in a class of this scope. The readings will
be targeted to take about two hours/week to complete, but they will be carefully
edited, highly relevant, and non-redundant. Your end of this bargain is to do
all the readings and be ready to talk about them in class.
Online assignments should take about two hours/week as well. If it is taking
you significantly more time to complete the readings and assignments than we
have planned, please email email@example.com
and we will see what we can do.
Are there optional clinical credits for this course?
The Berkman Center has a number of clinical placements, mostly related to ICANN,
that are associated with this course. Please email Diane Cabell at firstname.lastname@example.org
or see http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/clinical
if you are interested in pursuing this option.
Can I do my 3L paper in conjunction with this course?
A limited number of 3L papers can be done in conjunction with IS2000 for extra
paper credit. Please email Sara Hathaway at email@example.com
as early as possible to schedule an appointment with JZ to talk about your paper
Is it true that this class will have guest expert panels?
The class will include an expert panel on some occasions. Past guests have
included lawyers, business people, politicians, lobbyists, cybergeeks, and hacktivists.
Are you taking attendance?
No, although we reserve the right to start taking attendance at a later date
if large numbers of students start missing class.
Is there significant crossover between the subjects covered in this course
and Professor Nesson's "Exploding Internet" course? That is, if I'm considering
enrolling in one, would it be advisable to also enroll in the other?
The courses are quite distinct, and while there may be some overlap,
there's no problem seeking to enroll in each.
How do I add a question to the FAQ?
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
and we will post it—with an answer, but without your name—to this FAQ.