Demiurge, Moi?

Today's word is demiurge. I didn't quite know what it meant, so I had to look it up. defines as follows:

dem·i·urge (dĕm'ē-ûrj') pronunciation

  1. A powerful creative force or personality.
  2. A public magistrate in some ancient Greek states.
  3. Demiurge
    A deity in Gnosticism, Manichaeism, and other religions who creates the material world and is often viewed as the originator of evil.
  4. Demiurge A Platonic deity who orders or fashions the material world out of chaos.

[Late Latin dēmiurgus, from Greek dēmiourgos, artisan : dēmios, public (from dēmos, people) + ergos, worker (from ergon, work).]

I mention this because someone has called me a “Domain names demiurge” and I think it's brilliant: The people who like my work can think definition one, and those who hate it can think definition three!

I should perhaps explain: although it doesn't seep into this blog much, one of the issues that turns up with some frequency in my academic work has been the regulation of domain names. Some of my articles, especially the ones critical of ICANN, the major institutional actor in this area, have been very controversial, as has some of my online advocacy at

[Original draft 3/20/2005. In preparation for my blog redesign, I found draft blog posts that somehow never made it to publication. This is one of them.]

2010: Although the link to the blog posting where this happened is no more, or at least not findable by me, I’m pretty sure I didn’t hallucinate it. In any case, it seems appropriate to post this now, as I’ve just put the finishing touches on my latest — and I think last — ICANN-related article (online soon), which is an analysis of the ICANN/US “Affirmation of Commitments”. Of course, I also said that the previous ICANN-related article would be the last. And also the one before that.

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