I started my internship this week at an organization committed to rights in the online world. A few details:
- In the bathroom, there's a familiar sticker on the toilet, clearly pulled off a laptop: "Designed for Windows XP." (Another one on the bathroom mirror: "You Are Under Surveillance!").
- During meetings, everyone brings their computer (we all work in the office from our personal laptops). People freely work, email, and IM during these conferences. In fact, my work email points to my personal email account, and people send email to the staff email list all day. Nevertheless, it's very hard to suppress the urge to minimize my Gmail window when someone walks by.
- We interns were advised that we can sit in on any meeting going on because they are "open source," although with a "CC license," someone quipped. (Creative Commons).
- Discussions of ordinary life quickly evolve into pertinent legal discussions. For example: There's a soda machine in the office. One of the interns suggested that it would be cheaper to have a fridge that we bought soda to put into it. One of the attorneys suggested money could then be placed into a fund and distributed to the soda companies according to the frequency with which their soda was purchased. (Referencing, of course, the subscription-based online music proposal.)
- Everyone wears jeans and sneakers. A row of bikes hang from a rack inside the building, next to the pool table. A giant dog is leashed outside our legal director's office. And I mean GIANT, as in the size and shape of a medium-sized bear.
- It may be stating the obvious, but everyone uses a Mac. And staff transportation (in addition to the bikes) includes six Priuses.