2.8 Summary and SAQs

In this section we have described, in basic terms, the social and economic significance of changes in law and technology triggered by the internet. We have outlined how, until very recently, the thinking in this area was very piecemeal and explained why we have based the unit on a book by a US constitutional lawyer, Lawrence Lessig.

We have identified two distinctive types of innovation: incremental, which society absorbs; and disruptive, which society is often not sure how to deal with.

Finally, we have briefly identified some of the key ideas in the unit:

  • the internet is an ‘innovation commons’ – free resources that encourage innovation and creativity;

  • two of the main influences or constraints on behaviour are law and architecture;

  • the importance of critical thinking.

2.8.1 Self-assessment Questions (SAQs)