Over the Labor Day weekend I had a chance to get caught up on several of the podcasts I regularly listen to. One of my favorite radio programs, which I catch by podcast if I miss it in real time, is On the Media. The show for August 14th had four separate segments on the Internet, any or all of which should be very interesting to lawyers.
The first, Smirch Engine, dealt with harrasment on the Internet and had a good discussion of the panoply of laws which protect copyright and intellectual property on the Internet as compared to the relative lack of protection for individual reputation. The Net Effect asks the question “Is the Internet Making us Stupid?” and discusses the effects of being constantly connected on our ability to concentrate. There’s also a segment on The Net’s Mid-Life Crisis that covers the security vs. innovation debate, particularly in the context of how Apple regulates apps for the iPhone.
Probably the most interesting of the four segments, though, is The Future Brain, an interview with computer scientist and inventor Ray Kurzweil, in which he discusses the coming integration of microscopic computer components into the human body and what these changes will mean for civilization. His ideas are fascinating, especially in light of how many of his previously bizzare predictions have since come true.