April 3, 2013  ·  Lessig  · Reblogged from  Tumblr

Today, the wonderful people at TED release my TED talk. At the same time, we’re releasing an eBook based on the talk. And as an innovation still, if you get the book through the TED platform, you can hear me read the text of the book too. (We’re going to release the audio book (an aBook) through Audible as well, but that process is slower). 

The point of the talk and the book is to offer a clear way to understand the nature of the corruption that is our government. It builds up my earlier work, Republic, Lost, and One Way Forward, but the framing is different, and the remedies evolved. One Way Forward announced itself as the first version of a plan to respond to the corruption described in Republic, Lost. Lesterland is version 2.0: a rev on the description, and a rev on the plan. 

Consistent with TED policies, the talk is CC licensed. I am very happy that TED has also agreed to allow the book to be CC licensed (CC-BY-NC) from its launch. (If your copyright notice doesn’t quite say that, it will update to correct that error soon. The first release hadn’t corrected the default template.)

Finally, a note about eBooks: This will be obvious to most, but trust me (and I have the emails to prove it), it is not obvious to everyone: An eBook is a platform. It is distinct from a device. So if you buy the eBook from Amazon, it is a “Kindle” book, but it can be read on a Mac, a PC, an Android phone, an iPhone, etc., if you install the Kindle software. If they got the settings right, the book is not DRM’d, and you’re free to share them. The only restriction the CC license imposes is that you can’t exploit the work commercially without talking to me first. 

Enjoy, and thanks to the friends at TED for working so hard to enable this experiment. 

(Original post on Tumblr)

  • http://moultonlava.blogspot.com/search?q=Cancer Barry Kort

    Larry Lessig is invited to attend the President’s Prayer Breakfast. Much to everyone’s astonishment, God shows up and offers to answer two questions.

    The President rises and asks, “Will Republicans and Democrats ever learn to work together in the public interest?”

    God softly answers, “Yes, but not in your lifetime.” The President weeps and sits back down.

    Then Larry Lessig turns to the Deity and asks, “Will there ever be an end to corruption in politics?”

    God lamentably answers, “Yes, but not in my lifetime.” God then weeps and gives Lessig a gentle hug.

    • http://www.suzannelittle.ca Suanne Little

      ?

  • juan c garcia

    Question and possible idea. How many signatures will required to force the government to change it or put it to public vote?
    If that has an answer-
    Step 1- Place idea in Kickstarter and collect money from the people.
    Step 2- Use social media adds like Facebook, Youtube, and others to spread the word.
    Step 3- Collect signatures, create momentum and let’s better our country.
    Wish you the best and in such the best of us all.

  • http://designalok.com/psd-to-xhtml-conversions John

    Literally a great read about the audio book. Awesome article.

  • http://vet-education.org/welcome/ Edmund J. Lizotte

    Prof. Lessig –
    I had the pleasure of watching your TED GLOBAL presentation on Lesterland – and have been inspired to want to take action. I am a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel and love our country deeply. I took an oath of office in 1978 to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. I have also studied, though I am not an expert, the Federalist Papers and their meaning and purpose during the ratification of our Constitution. I firmly believe the framers of the Constitution and the government needed to support the Republic did not intend for our elected officials to be elected by as elect few, with the ability to fund their personal interests. I am in total agreement with you that WE THE PEOPLE must act! I welcome the opportunity to open the lines of communication with you and perhaps work with you to develop a strategy to bring about the change you passionately discussed in your presentation. Perhaps Publius must be reborn and introduced to social media.
    Best Regards!
    Edmund Lizotte

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    Larry, check this out. ms602.info (Not $pam) Tell Pinker too.

  • peter R

    The shift toward Lesterland proves that democracy is not a self-sustained system (what also repeatedly has been proven by ancient Romans and Greeks).
    Do you have any idea how to fix that?
    How about less tested but promising open meritocracy instead?

    PR

    • Cori

      Peter, the problem with any sort of “meritocracy” is that it’s almost always a comfortable lie. No matter how much all the beneficiaries think that the fact they’ve risen to the top is based solely on their own merit, there’s almost universally some other privilege involved in determining whose merit is allowed to be measured.

  • http://www.suzannelittle.ca Suanne Little

    GREAT Talk on Ted. Brilliantly presented!
    I am not a USA citizen but a next door neighbour, and we have the same problem in Canada. This applies so widely, we need a global coalition of interests groups tackling this problem.

  • Arleen Winer

    LOVED the TED talk by Prof. Lessig……my heart put into brilliant words! I am a lover of the environment and can plainly see if we don’t change the way our present government works, we will never lead on this critical issue. I want to read the e-book, but you need to realize there are a LOT of us ACTIVIST Seniors that are coming from our Activist Years in the 1960′s, do not do e-book! Can’t someone make a little, regular, recycled paper book for us technologically challenged lovers of democracy? Please do take this into consideration promptly. Respectfully

  • Adam Martin

    Prof,

    I hope you’re ready to be the leader of a movement, because you’ve just started one. I have had a fire in me over these issues for a LONG time. It’s so nice to see a viewpoint to fix our country that doesn’t involve violent revolution; which, for the first time since the civil war, is being discussed in closed communities. At lease, it is here in Alabama (but everyone knows we’re crazy and have too many guns anyway)

    I would love to devote all my time to pushing your idea for reform as well as my own. Do you know anyone that I can talk to that would show me a path forward on this activist career path? It would be really nice to not have to eat gravel and go unwashed in the street as recompense to helping the movement to reclaim our republic.

    If you don’t get back to me I understand, and I wish you the best anyway. I’ll help in whatever way I am able.

    Respectfully,
    Adam Martin

  • Carolyn

    Inspired TED talk. Please keep us informed about where we go from here. I’ve been working to over turn the citizen united decision and really want to focus on cracking and the environment but as you said with a broken government our causes will never progress. Add my emai l to any lists yous put together.

  • Jennifer Hillis Engebretson

    So I am all dressed up with no place to go. What can I do to as an indivdual , with a voice, a command of the English language and a computer to move us toward a funding for politics that will restore our elected officials to focus on the resolve of the concerns of the people of the Republic. What’s next or what’s been started and let me in.

  • Cori

    Prof. Lessig, while what you say about ebooks is true (and thanks so much for making them CC licensed), some of us would still rather not send our monies to Amazon or Apple. It would be great to see this released on Smashwords or something like that!

    Thanks agains for a great talk!

  • http://FauxScienceSlayer.com Joseph A Olson

    In Lesterland, Prof Lessig says his pet issue is “climate change”, which is Lester contrived issue, supported by Faux Science, paid for with misdirected tax dollars. Bush the Elder ramped climate study funding in 1988 from $20 million/year to over $1 billion per year by 1992….expanded by Slick Willy to $2 billion per year. All of this excess was for CARBON ENDANGERMENT FINDINGS. And as we all know. “If all you fund is findings for danger, danger is all that you will find”. The public needs to know HOW the Lesters have perverted every branch of science with climate change, sustainable energy, peak oil, GMO and fake pharma faux science funding. These are the ROOTS to this poison Lester tree.

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  • Scott Guthery

    In the Ted talk when Prof. Lessig said “Even liberals love this country.” the audience laughed. They thought it was a joke. In deed, to them it was a joke. This laughter told me all I needed to know about Prof. Lessig’s agenda. The objective is to tear down “this country” and build another in its place. One from which I am sure many citizens of “this country” will be banned.

  • steven goldstein

    The idea that each House member should represent the people of his/her district and not large donors is clear. However, a republic is not the same as a representative democracy. Corporations have been substituted (wrongly) as representatives of the taxpayers. The founders equated democracy with mob rule and if unchecked would tax the productive people to the point that the financial incentive to be productive would disappear. While the House should represent all the people, why not have the Senate represent the taxpayers? The requirement to vote for the Senate….. payment of income tax. This should restore the balance of power intended by the founders.

  • Lindsay morris

    I love your $100 voucher idea.
    My friend Mike thinks that even if all candidates sign on to this funding scheme and eschew corporate contributions, special interest groups can still funnel millions into issue ads that support candidate A or B. how does your funding scheme address that?

    ——
    Lindsay Morris
    859-539-9900

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    It’s time for Sortition!

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  • zz

    1) In Russia, there is no corruption. In Turkey there is no problem like that too. Well, In China not at all!! Well there must be a reason why American Congress has this unique problem for being corrupt just because funders contribute a lot more than non-funders.

    2) Besides, John contributes $1MM and Adam contributes $1. How come John and Adam can have the same amount of vote, which is ONE? So John has to make it up somehow.

    3) Maybe try bitcoins in 2016 instead of money?

    4) Big money makes little kids eat McDonalds and chips just like it makes big kids to vote. That is to say big money can influence you through any means. So why doesn’t the gov limit fast food spending to $20 per month for each family? Citizens United vs McDonalds?? Come on Supreme Court, you can do that!

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  • Afonso Rocha

    Brazil is in the middle of a social turmoil and the main cause is what you so eloquent describe in your book as the “economy of influence” and corrupt politics (and in the criminal sense too).

    Too bad policies for too long and reckless spending regarding the events of the world cup have made the people come to the streets bringing about several important issues, but as you´ve said, we have to tackle the first issue – fixing the way our representatives get elected and assuring their independece.

    Brazil is now trying to push a bill by popular initiative that very much follows the framework you have described out in book (http://www.mcce.org.br/site/).

    I know it maybe a little too much to ask, but a word of encouragement in the social networks from a great reference for all activists and academics I believe that wold have a huge impact!

    Well, besides the plea, I would just like to say that your book is superb and that I hope the translation to Portuguese comes soon!

    Thanks for all your work and inspiration !

    P.s.: Huge fan since CODE!

  • http://thwink.org Jack Harich

    I noticed on the TED Talk page it says “Now he’s focused on an even bigger problem: The US’ broken political system.”

    Would you be interested in reading a paper (in submission) dealing with the Broken Political System Problem? If so, see this paper on “Finding the Fundamental Forces of the Sustainability Problem with Root Cause Analysis” at http://www.thwink.org/sustain/publications/papers/index.htm#FindingFundamentalForces.

    The Broken Political System Problem is discussed late in the paper. How to solve it requires finding and resolving its root causes. Campaign finance reform doesn’t appear to resolve a root cause. Instead it resolves an intermediate cause, which explains why this solution, which has been tried before, has been less than effective.

    Thanks for your tireless work on corruption, money in politics, and making politics work for the common good instead of special interests.

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