Welcome to the Dark Ages
It would seem that the Golden Age of the Internet is over.
Well, not over, at least, not yet. I was gettin’ my drama on a little bit there. But I figured if a blackout was good enough for Wikipedia, then it’s good enough for me.
There are lots of reasons to rail against the SOPA (Stop Internet Piracy Act) and PIPA (PROTECT IP Act – the PROTECT bit stands for ‘preventing real online threats to economic creativity and thefts’ – it’s the ‘economic creativity’ bit that makes me throw up in my mouth a little bit). Don’t get me wrong – I think that piracy on a major scale is not only dumb, but robs artists, writers and other creative and innovative types of some material reward for their endevours. I understand people need to make money. I really do. It’s always nice to be able to feed ones family, keep the house warm, all that good shit. But in my view, the current way of doing things has come to the end of its cycle, and we need to develop a new paradigm. I know I’m a bit of a starry eyed idealist, and to be honest, I think that there is a point to be made about better regulation of the internet. But not at the expense of freedom of information, at the expense of community supported enterprises like Wikipedia. What I’m really quite worried about is the way that governments (not just the US government – it seems like the raison du jour for a lot of Westernised governments at the moment) are weighing in to protect the interests of privately owned companies, and by doing so undermining freedom of information.
If you are a US citizen, you can protest SOPA/PIPA; or hell, you can at least find out more about it. Here in New Zealand, we have the TPPA (Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement), which I would urge not only all New Zealanders, but also Australians, and everyone from Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. Japan, Canada and Mexico to find out more about too. There are lots of ways that freedom of information is under threat, and it’s up to us as citizens of the new age to find out about it, get informed and decide what side we want to be on.
Citizens of the new age? I think a hippy just invaded my brain. But this shit is really important, so go find out more, go talk to people, and let’s get the knowledge before it’s too late!