There’s nothing like winning an award to get the blood flowing in the veins …
So I’m pleased to report that my “Moose” book has garnered another obscure award — the “Nyan Cat”** award, for given for outstanding achievement in disinformation, web myths and general web based idiocy. I’m in good company, sharing the award — for “creating the Fake Thomas Jefferson” — with two friends/colleagues, former Grateful Dead lyricist John Perry Barlow and Harvard law prof Lawrence Lessig.
David Post has written a sort of legal alternate reality historical fiction, In Search of Jefferson’s Moose: Notes on the State of Cyberspace. A sort of what WWJD (What would Jefferson do) about cyberspace. Those on the copyleft often refer me back to his writings when the intention of our founding fathers regarding copyright and intellectual property comes into question. Just as The Singularity Myth partially emerged from science fiction, The Fake Thomas Jefferson has been birthed by writings like this.
I actually rather like it, to be honest – at least the “legal alternate reality historical fiction” part. It’s not too easy to put into words what I was trying to do in that book — reconstructing Jefferson’s mindset by rewriting his book “Notes on the State of Virginia” for the Net — and “legal alternate reality historical fiction” actually kind of captures something about it. And I bet you it’s the number 1 seller on Amazon in that category!
On the merits, as to whether I created a “fake” Jefferson, you get to decide. The spectacular thing about Jefferson is that there are so many versions of him and his ideas — so many different Jeffersons (the Scientist, the Architect, the Botanist, the Politician, the Slaveowner, the Linguist . . .) that you can reconstruct his vision from many, many different perspectives. It’s what makes him fun to hang around with, and a continuing source of good ideas.
** I must be missing something, but I have no idea what this means … if any reader can illuminate me about the “Nyan Cat” reference, I’d appreciate it.