"There is no question that as a concept, software patents are about as helpful to innovation as unregulated credit default swaps are to hedging risky financial bets. The question is how to protect ourselves from the negative effects of a terrifically one-sided view. Ten years ago I used to subscribe to the theory that the Internet made the concept of nation-states completely obsolete. Today, I now believe that one feature of a nation-state is that it represents a useful impediment to progress. That is to say, when things are working, it means that some efficiency is lost, but when things fail, it means that things may not fail as catastrophically as they might in a system of monoculture."