Doc Searls transcribed some of Lawrence Lessig's keynote at OSCon. I've seen him speak a few times, and it's always been inspiring. I hope he wasn't serious about ending his public speaking as Doc noted. This time around he said,
"Yes, we have sites and blogs and Slashdot stories. But nothning in Washington. If you don't do something now, this freedom will be taken away — either by those who see you as a threat and invoke the system of law they call patents, or through copyright enforcement. If you can't fight for your freedom, you don't deserve it...How many have given more to the EFF than they've given their local telecom company for shitty DSL service?"
It reminds me of Bruce Sterling's keynote at SXSW last year. He said that we had millions of Napster users, but no one in Washington willing to stand up and defend it. He asked, "Where is our representative from the state of Napster?" If a national politician could tap into this loosley connected state of Web, I bet they'd find amazing support. But it's a two-way street. The state of Web also needs to find, court, and support politicians who share their views. As hackers (in the larger sense of the word), we like to think we can route around the idiocy of Washington. Based on what Lawrence Lessig is telling us though, it's time to route through Washington while we still can.