So after a lovely school year teaching International Telecom Law, US Telecom Law, and Cyberlaw as a law professor in Nebraska, I’m back in DC for the summer. One benefit of academics: professors like me have the summer off to write and think big thoughts.
There are probably theories on how best to think big thoughts. One way to to go to the library. This is the ivory tower model. I could have stayed in quiet Nebraska and researched and written, largely alone.
But there’s a second model, which is to be in the mix. For me, being in DC is being in the mix. Tech policy is made here. I can bounce big and little thoughts off lots of brilliant people working on tech and media issues. I can also advise, and learn from, folks making tech policy at the national scale.
Plus, I was an activist advocate in DC once.
That advocate job enabled me to think big thoughts–in fact, it forced me to think big thoughts because every day we were trying to devise policies to promote innovation, personal freedom, and a pro-democratic media and Internet system. Writing academic scholarship can only benefit from being near my people at Free Press. Take, for example, Derek Turner, whose magisterial analysis of Internet policy prompted notice from the entire policy community, including the FCC Acting Chairman.
Essentially, I’m among my people when I’m in DC. Tech wonks and other wonks. Folks at tech nonprofits and other nonprofits. And lawyers, like me, or not like me.
And I’m near a Whole Foods. I’ve gone to Whole Foods every day.
And I’m at Kramer Books.
As I said, I’m even happier than this guy to be back in DC for now.