The Fourth Quadrant
15 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2010
Date Written: May 30, 2010
This essay makes the case that Internet-based platforms can be evaluated along two dimensions: the first between generative and sterile, indicating openness to further contribution and development from outsiders, and the second between hierarchy and polyarchy, indicating the ease with which those affected by the platform can escape its umbrella.
The quadrants formed by these two dimensions can help us to understand patterns in the development of new technologies and platforms, and to brainstorm the widest array of solutions to problems arising under them, particularly problems involving enforcement of regulations against bad actors. Using cybersecurity as a principal example, the essay explains why current national security approaches to Internet vulnerabilities are unduly narrow, and how focusing attention on the "fourth quadrant" can broaden the range of options.
Keywords: cybersecurity, regulation, cyberspace, internet, lessig
JEL Classification: O3, O31, O33, O39
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation