The Internet’s Midlife Crisis

You’re invited to a Slate Future Tense event about the Internet’s midlife crisis.

It is hard to pick up a major magazine these days without reading about the last days of the Internet, at least the World Wide (open) Web version of it. Recent cover stories by Wired, the Economist and Newsweek have all fretted about how private, cordoned-off spaces—be they Apple’s apps or Facebook—are undermining the ethos and promise of the virtual commons.

What gives? Was AOL’s initial approach to create a walled-off community ahead of its time? Is the trend toward proprietary online cul-de-sacs reversible? Is the Internet merely succumbing to the same cycles all information technologies have experienced—from their freewheeling pioneer days to their buttoned-down commercialization, as Tim Wu argues in his upcoming book The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires?

Premature obits are decidedly uncool, so instead of proclaiming the Web’s death, Slate, the New America Foundation, and Arizona State Universityinvite you to join us on Monday, Oct. 25 for a Future Tense event on “The Internet’s Midlife Crisis.”


The New America Foundation, 1899 L St. NW, Suite 400. Washington, D.C. 20036.

Click here to RSVP.


8:45 a.m.: Registration and Coffee

9:15 a.m.: How the Internet Is Losing its Mojo


    Tim Wu

    Author, The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires 

    Professor of law, Columbia University

    Future Tense fellow, New America Foundation

    Contributing editor, Slate  

    Andres Martinez

    Director, Bernard L. Schwartz Fellows Program

    New America Foundation

10:15 a.m.: But Aren’t Consumers Driving the Internet’s Transformation?

    Bruce Gottlieb

    General counsel, Atlantic Media Company   

    Former chief counsel and senior legal adviser, Federal Communication Commission

    Link Hoewing

    Assistant vice president for Internet and technology policy, Verizon

    Sascha Meinrath

    Director, Open Technology Initiative   

    New America Foundation

11:30 a.m.: Adjournment