6.9.1 Self-assessment Questions

1. What do we mean by the term ‘architecture’ and why is it important?


‘Architecture’ is used to mean structure or built environment or the laws of nature of a world. Often when Lessig uses the term ‘code’ he is referring to the architecture of the internet. Architecture is important because it is one of the key regulators of behaviour, as demonstrated by Robert Moses' highway bridges. In the case of the internet the end-to-end architecture is the central feature which makes the internet an innovation commons.

2. What is TCP/IP?


TCP (transmission control protocol) manages the disassembly and assembly of messages into managable sized packets. It ensures the reliability and integrity of messages. IP (internet protocol) does the address labels at the sending end and checks for corrupt packets at the receiving end.

3. What are the four constraints on behaviour?


Law, social norms, market forces and architecture. Lessig believes that law and architecture are the most important of these constraints in the case of the internet.

"The bird of paradise alights only on the hand that does not grasp."

(John Berry)

Make sure you can answer these three questions relating to Section 6 before you continue:

  • What are the contraints that affect behaviour?

  • What does Lessig mean by ‘architecture’?

  • What is the architecture of the Net?

Record your thoughts on this in your Learning Journal.

6.9 Summary and SAQs

6.10 Study guide