Electronic Frontier Foundation co-founder and executive chair John Perry Barlow brings his clean, pedagogical style to the subjects of patents, intellectual property and the life-cycles of Dawkinian memes in this archived article from Wired. Barlow argues that the current sick state of copyright demands a rethinking of the basic tenants of information economics, and prescribes a new framework based on parallels to biological ecosystems. Some excerpts:
Like DNA helices, ideas are relentless expansionists, always seeking new opportunities for Lebensraum. And, as in carbon-based nature, the more robust organisms are extremely adept at finding new places to live...
The "terrain" itself - the architecture of the Net - may come to serve many of the purposes which could only be maintained in the past by legal imposition. For example, it may be unnecessary to constitutionally assure freedom of expression in an environment which, in the words of my fellow EFF co-founder John Gilmore, "treats censorship as a malfunction" and reroutes proscribed ideas around it.
This /. article has a nice spread of links on the state of the manned mission to Mars. Could it really happen by 2010?