Disclosure statement

Who am I?

I'm David Weinberger. I write about the effect of tech—particularly AI and the Internet—on our ideas about ourselves, our businesses, and our world.

My background for this, in bulletized form:

Here are some things I've done:

I was born in 1950 in New York. I've lived in Boston since 1986. There's a hype-y version of my bio here. It includes a de-hyped version.

Several thousand photos of our grandchildren are available upon request.

Disclosure in a nutshell

No one pays me to write this blog or to say particular things in it. That includes all forms of compensation, including offering to shovel my walk or tell me that I look like I've lost some weight. I don't run ads, no one pays me under the table, and I don't sell t-shirts or coffee mugs. I've got nothing to tout except the companies and people I'm enthusiastic about. So, what the hell am spending so much damn time blogging for? Now you've got me all depressed.

Note that as of June 2018, I've been a part-time employee of Google, embedded in a machine learning research group. I try not to let that distort my vision, but of course it does, so I disclose that relationship when posting about topics where it's relevant.

How I make money

I give talks, write, and consult. Google also pays me as a part-time employee, as noted just above.

Not that although I'm a Senior Researcher at Harvard University's Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, at this point it's a non-paying position.. I still come out ahead. You can learn more about the Berkman Klein Center here.

Business attachments

When I have clients who I think affect my judgment or credibility about the topics I talk or write about, I disclose them on my blog. (None of them has ever asked me to mention them, btw.)


I am a straightforward liberal, of the aging Jewish hippie variety. My positions are totally predictable, although over the past twenty years, I've increasingly understood the extent to which my life and my ideas have been deeply shaped by the privileged position I was born into.

I try to be an ally. I try to encourage kindness. I fail at both.

I am a depressed optimist.

Things people understandably get wrong about me

I had a terrific title with the Howard Dean presidential campaign in 2004, thanks to Joe Trippi: I was "Senior Internet Advisor." I did not design Governor Dean's amazing Internet campaign. That was well in place before I got there. I did a little kibbitzing about Net tactics, and got to hang out with the incredible group of people who actually were responsible for designing and implementing it. I worked on Internet policy issues for the campaign, and put together the Net Advisory Net of net policy advisors. I also stood in the snow holding a Dean sign. I was awfully glad to be allowed to participate in the campaign any way I could. (I believe I was also the first person to be invited to ride on a presidential campaign plane as a blogger.)

No, I am not Canadian. I got my doctorate in philosophy from the University of Toronto and lived there for seven years in the 1970s, and wrote for a bunch of Canadian magazines. I loved the time I spent there, and admire our sisters and brothers to the north. But I was born in NY and am a US citizen.

Yes, I did write gags for Woody Allen from about 1976-1984, but it was for his comic strip. The strip ran for many years in many papers, and I think I wrote about 40% of the gags that ran. I wrote seven gags a night, every night, and every week I'd send in the least worst of them. Woody Allen edited the strip, so it was a great learning experience. I only met him twice. He would not remember me.  (The late Stu Hample, the strip's originator, artist, and writer,  published a memoir about it.)

No, I am not a professor at Harvard. John Palfrey and I co-taught a course at the Law School called "The Web Difference" a while ago, and I currently teach a course called "The Idea of Technology" at Harvard Extension School. But I am not a professor.

Blog Tech

I use WordPress for my blogs. I intermittently hire the musician Brad Turcotte (AKA "Brad Sucks") to help with some of the techie stuff. I also really like Brad's music and plug it whenever I can. I use Pair Networks as my host, and Hover and Dotster as my domain registrars. (Hover has fantastic customer service, and actively supports an open Internet.)

My promise

I will disclose anything that I think affects my judgment, or should affect your judgment about the reliability or partiality of what I'm saying. Inevitably, I use my judgment. For example, there are times when the mention is so slight or innocuous that the disclaimer would be out of place. E.g., if I post something about Microsoft's policies on preserving an open Internet, I probably wouldn't bother explaining that over twenty years ago I was on an uncompensated advisory board for Microsoft OneNote. I also wouldn't mention that from about 1991-3, when I worked for Interleaf, I managed that company's marketing relationship with Microsoft, unless it seemed relevant. Life's too intertwingly. That's why we make judgment calls.

Ultimately, all I can promise is that I will never write something I don't believe in because someone is paying me as part of a relationship you don't know about. Put differently: All I'll hide are the irrelevancies.

If you don't like this or disagree, let me know .

- David Weinberger

  Most recent update: August 4, 2019

  First posted: Aug. 15, 2004

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