In case you by some miracle hadn't noticed it yet, tens of thousands of web sites around the country and around the world, are "going black" or putting up banners explaining that they are not available or there is no content today etc... In protest against the "Stop Online Privacy Act" and the "ProtectIP act", which are currently (or were recently), being promulgated in congress.
We don't have a problem with anyone who does. It's important that people understand what SOPA and PIPA are (or were), and most folks are sadly unaware of the kind of stupid and harmful things that our government does.
Google and Wikipedia are two of the most important and most used sites on the net; and by participating in this protest, they will very certainly make a lot more people aware of this issue.
But "going black" isn't what we do here.
We talk about political and social issues here; in particular about liberty and freedom. We try to inform people about the important issues, events, and principles of liberty and freedom; and then talk about them in as free and open a way as we can.
I personally think that going black would be entirely against what we are about here; and while it might help to draw more attention to the problem, it wouldn't help us inform you, or help us begin the conversation about the issue.
... and of course, you can't go to wikipedia today to find out about it...
Note: actually, you can. All other searches are redirected to a "Stop SOPA" page, but you can research SOPA all you like... but it was too smartass not to say.
So, I personally, would like to do something that is in the spirit of protesting the idiotic and harmful nature of these pieces of industry lobbying masquerading as legislation...
...And share a few things:
That's the best explanation of why the freedom to share (within fair use of course, copyrights ARE important) is important; and why legislation like PIPA and SOPA are not only stupid and harmful, but entirely antithetical to the American system of ordered liberty.
And then there's this piece by my friend (and bestselling author, buy his excellent books please) Larry Correia:
"for all of the people out there on the internet having a massive freak out about the government potentially damaging something they love… WELCOME TO THE PARTY.
You think this is something new or unusual? Nope. This is just about a topic that you happen to be familiar with. If you fall into that camp, I want you to take a deep breath, step back, and examine all of the other issues in the past that you didn’t know jack squat about, but your knee jerk reaction was to say “there’s a problem, the governement has to do something!” Well guess what? The crap the federal government usually comes up with to fix these problems is similar to SOPA. In other words, the legislation addresses a perceived problem by instituting a bunch of stupid overregulation and taking away someone’s freedom.
You think people need access to affordable medical care and shouldn’t be denied coverage? Well, you got used and we got the bloated ridiculous mess that is Obamacare. You saw a news report about how big business defrauded people and said congress should do something? Well, everyone in the business world got screwed because of Enron by completely useless new arbitrary crap laws, and a few years later we got into an even bigger financial crisis which the arbitrary crap laws we spent billions conforming to did nothing to prevent. No, because that financial crisis was caused by people saying that there was this huge problem that needed to be fixed, so more people who couldn’t afford to pay mortgages could still buy houses, and the government simply had to do something to fix this problem!
Any crisis… Any problem… You ask the feds to fix it, you get this kind of answer. Almost never do the laws fix the actual problem. Instead the government gets bigger and gains a few more powers and it doesn’t fix the issue. When the problem gets bigger, then the government gets bigger and gains a few more powers that actually make the problem worse. Oh look! Despite all of these laws the problem has gotten even bigger? Whatever should we do? Why, I know! Let’s pass an even bigger law that takes away more individual freedom and gives the government more control!
Repeat, repeat, repeat.
Any topic, any situation, any problem.
They address it, you lose freedom and they gain more control. Some of you are only offended today because this particular law hurts something you enjoy. The rest of the time? Screw it. You can’t be bothered to pay attention. Or worse, people like me who are up in arms over an issue are just cranks or anti-government crackpots."
I was going to write something roughly similar to this, but Larry beat me to it... and I'd rather share what he wrote, because it's good, and because I can.
At least for now...