Frustrating observation by Lessig

February 25, 2008 at 9:59 pm Leave a comment

Lawrence Lessig’s first video on corruption, his new area of study, has a line has been echoing through my head ever since I heard it. Here he is talking about presenting his ideas about copyright to congressmen:

What struck me was not that I was meeting congressmen who had a different view from mine. It was I was meeting congressmen who never even imagined there was another side to the story. So I would appear and make an argument and they were just befuddled because…Well, maybe because I wasn’t clear enough but maybe because they actually hadn’t ever contemplated the kind of points that were being made because never had the people making those points had the opportunity to appear in their office to talk to them about it….

You can find the line at 42:20 but I recommend the whole video, if only for context.

Congressmen deal in arguments. It’s their job. The information required to do their job comes in the form of arguments. Us working folk can just run a search to get half the information we need to do our jobs. Congressmen, however, have to read op-eds, listen to lobbyists and *shutter* watch talk shows to get the information they need to do their jobs. I actually kind of feel sorry for them.

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