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the internet does not need a guard dog

a long time ago, i came across a really interesting piece about the mistakes people make in training their dogs, particularly those who are interested in having a companion who also serves as a form of protection for the home. the author [and i apologise that i can't remember her name] made the point that training a dog to defend its territory by attacking unknown intruders is a recipe for disaster, because a skilled thief will know easily enough how to dispatch with an animal, but a relative, friend, postal worker or emergency care worker will not. so training a dog to be aggressive is likely to result in some pretty horrific damage while doing nothing to address the problem of safety.

i've been reminded of that story a lot lately as i've heard about the draconian legislation currently before the u.s. congress, because i suspected that s.o.p.a. and p.i.p.a. were similar to the guard dog- endangering bystanders while doing little to resolve the larger problem. those who engage in large-scale internet piracy will know how to get around these rules. in fact, it seems that anyone who can find out an i.p. address would be able to circumvent the system proposed by these acts, but content providers- particularly start-ups without deep legal resources- would not.

the appalling vague wording of the acts makes it possible for sites like reddit, metafilter, fark [whose page you should really check out before it goes back to normal tomorrow], even google, mozilla [firefox] and facebook, which allow a diverse base of users to link to content they neither produced nor host, to have their domain name blocked and their advertising stopped. and far from stealing, these places are often doing content producers a favour by including them in listings and links. why else would we all have clickable buttons under our posts to make it easier for you to share them on these sites? if someone shares my stuff, i'm flattered. if someone steals from me, i'll try to address it personally, but even if i were protected by legislation, i wouldn't have the financial resources to launch a legal campaign against a really big copyright violator.

there's the rub. who does have the financial resources to make this legislation work for them? the people who want to push the bills through- giants of the entertainment industry. these people have spent a lot of money lobbying politicians and mounting advertising campaigns [largely focused on convincing the public that what they're really concerned about is the loss of american jobs because of piracy] to ensure that final say over what you can and can't see on the internet is determined by the people who brought you the debt ceiling crisis and gigli.

and just to be clear, no one is saying that content theft is ok. but a piece of legislation written by those who don't understand the internet advised only by those who have a financial interest in restricting its content is not the answer. 

here's a page indicating things you can do to help ensure that this legislation ends up in the trash bin where it belongs. 

here's a great little infographic on what the legislation is and what its dangers are.

here's a document summarising the p.i.p.a. and the concerns about it.

and you should definitely check out the oatmeal's protest, because it [like all of his stuff] is made of awesome.

and finally, here's a video that explains the basic problems with the legislation:






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making faces :: fall for all, part 2 [a seasonal colour analysis experiment]

well, installment one was the easy part: coming up with autumn looks for the autumn seasons. now we move into seasonal colour types that aren't as well-aligned with the typical autumn palette. first up, we deal with the winter seasons: dark, true and bright.

in colour analysis, each "parent" season- spring, summer, autumn, winter- overlap with each other season in one colour dimension- hue [warm/ cool], value [light/ dark] and chroma [saturated/ muted]. autumn is warm, dark and muted [relatively speaking], whereas winter is cool, dark and saturated. so you can see that the points of crossover in palettes, the places where you can emphasize autumn's attributes, is in the darker shades.

it's unsurprising that as fall transitions into winter, you get the darkest shades of all. we've seen the warmer equivalent in the dark autumn look from last time, so from there, as with all neutral seasons, we move from the warmer to the cooler cognate...


it continues... [part one]

so we're back at it with the democratic debates. last night saw cnn take their first crack at presenting ten candidates on one stage after msnbc led the charge last month. a lot of people were critical of the first debate because it seemed there were moments when moderators got such tunnel vision about keeping things moving that they stopped thinking about what was happening on stage. [the prime example being kamala harris having to insist that she be allowed to speak on the issue of racism, being the only person of colour on stage.] the other problem that many identified was that the time given to candidates wasn't even close to equal. i feel like cnn wasn't a lot better with the former, although they avoided any serious gaffes, and that they did an excellent job of fixing the latter. [that said, some of the outlying candidates might be wishing they hadn't had as much time as they did.] as with last time, i'll start off with a few general observations.

how importa…

white trash

yes, my lovelies, i have returned from the dead, at least for the time it takes me to write this post. this is not just another piece of observational drivel about how i haven't been taking care of the blog lately, although i clearly haven't. on that front, though, the principal cause of my absence has actually been due to me trying to get another, somewhat related project, off the ground. unfortunately, that project has met with some frustrating delays which means that anyone who follows this blog [perhaps there are still a few of you who haven't entirely given up] would understandably be left with the impression that i'd simply forsaken more like space to marvel at the complexity of my own belly button lint. [it's possible you had that impression even before i disappeared.]

ok, enough with that. i have a subject i wanted to discuss with you, in the sense that i will want and encourage you to respond with questions, concerns and criticism in the comments or by em…