Law in the Internet Society

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DevinMcDougallFirstPaper 8 - 15 Jan 2012 - Main.EbenMoglen
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The Distributed Generation: Technology, Politics, Law

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 -- DevinMcDougall - 27 Oct 2011
As it turns out, just to take the last point first, electrical markets show pipes and switches elements pretty closely. Deregulating switching into the "free market" in electricity allocation was the big theme of the 90s among a subgroup of deregulationists. Enron then transpired. We lost the lesson in the larger signals generated by a more catastrophic deregulatory nightmare late last decade, but you might want to rethink your way through it. Maybe you need to see "The Smartest Guys in the Room" again?

On the larger scale, I think this is an interesting beginning. You spend too much time on the initial definitions, it seems to me; they're not self-evident, and a reader might think herself required to decide how precise they are, in view of their apparent precision. Either way, that process in the reader is not what you want, because the terms don't need to be precise the way you wind up using them. This is supposed to be practical, after all.

The fact that "energy" is not a category harms you somewhat here. If you were discussing "electricity" there would be, as I say, more direct relationships in network theory of various sorts between the metaphor you've chosen and the comparand. Maybe that's actually undesirable, and what you want is solely a metaphor rather than liminal ground. So maybe the path forward is to begin by answering that question, and then we'll see how the argument should be further developed.

These are useful revisions. I don't see a way to improve the argument within the space available; you are necessarily hampered, at this point, by the inability to be specific. I still think some narrowing of focus would have facilitated that strengthening, but that's not the essay you've written, and within the scope chosen, I don't see how you can proceed further.

In another context, however, I would suggest again that you write out some of the ideas that follow from this with respect to electricity. The technical meaning of "liberalization" in this market has been the separation of generation from distribution. If you had said a twenty-five years ago that Con Ed was going to remain the dominant electric utility here, but that it would altogether stop generating power, no one would have believed you. Now, it's not even a remarkable fact. Some rumination on that point will bring you to a useful insight or two, I still believe.


Revision 8r8 - 15 Jan 2012 - 16:12:51 - EbenMoglen
Revision 7r7 - 26 Nov 2011 - 05:02:55 - DevinMcDougall
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