Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Internet Needs Your Help (SOPA)

I posted a link to the White House Site (please go there and sign the petition) tonight on Facebook and Twitter. I, like many others, who spend so much time on-line are shocked at the implications of a bill to shoot now and aim later as it pertains to content on the Internet. The view of its necessity to me is summed up in some tweets by Jim Cramer: "We all kid ourselves about the web. It is just a way to destroy great media institutions and steal value from the good guys. We know that." and previously, "I wish people really knew how corrupt the web is. How it is all a game of search engine optimization and intellectual theft. Do you think the truth will ever come out about the web? People pretending to be others, Stealing from others. Gaming everything? I am simply saying that all of the papers i applied to or worked for are hurt or killed by the web."

Techmeme rips headlines and curates one of the most read site on-line. Jim's point it seems. He rightly points out: "I can be Seeking Alpha. All i have to do is report what Jim Cramer says and then misquote him, grade him, trash him, praise him."   

I see it differently. 

My friend Aaron Breden on Facebook said, "between the national defense authorization act and this (SOPA) and some of the other actions the government is taking it leads me to believe we are in deep shit."

I have a sense of the same thing from time to time.. then I think SOPA is nothing more than big business acting out of pure self interest. Knowing that there are principled leaders running companies with reasonable ideas about competition and success, not acting out of pure greed, is small comfort. This bill is a grab. The Internet still represents freedom. Yup.. it's so overly commercial and noisy. Trolls all over the place and individuals cowardly posting under assumed names etc..I asked a reporter (@acarvin) to stop with the non-stop tweets ("write a blog dude") tonight (he dominated a list of "journalists" which is very active-has 69 members). He YELLED at back at me and told me to "unfollow me" (spell check unnecessary).. then caught a troll who was posting under "URaDouchbag" with no avatar giving me the clear view of a pimpled 16 year old virgin on meth about how freedom is being able to say and do whatever you want. It's a graceless age. Maybe the Internet doesn't matter. But hidden in all the noise is a great deal of our collective intellect.. That's what I came here for. Not success  measured by followers, users or readers but in the quality of the search (thanks Wikipedia, BING and Google). Google+ has it right. Publish under your own name or at least be visible.. this is no place to hide. I'll write my confession about how I got tossed out of chat rooms on the original aol in the late 80's.. maybe early 90's? It was dial up at 9600.. that was fast!

I was one of the first 100 guys with ISDN at dual 128. WooT!

Maybe we just need to learn some manners and reread the 10 commandments.

I helped build 10,000 route miles of the westcoast Internet backbone in the 90's. Between the Phone Companies with their greed and the trolls it's sometimes hard to feel good about that. 

Now and then I hear a story of information saving a life or communicating vital information to better mankind.. just more of the same thing.. the yin with the yang..the ocean keeps wearing away the shore.. see below and keep breathing.

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