My thoughts on the Wikipedia blackout

Well, well, in a matter of hours anyone reading my past posts will be quite confused. Most of them cite Wikipedia often, and Wikipedia is going to be blacked out to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act and the PROTECT IP Act.

I quite agree with their opposition to this legislation. I do hope their protest is effective. This line in a BBC article on the matter was all it took to persuade me:

“The anti-piracy legislation still has high profile supporters including News Corporation’s chairman, Rupert Murdoch.”

Then you may rely on my thorough and unrelenting opposition!

However, I am not sure that this is the best means of protesting the issue. I mean, they’re effectively removing information from the internet to protest the removal of information from the internet. This isn’t nearly as stupid as it sounds. Sometimes, hunger strikes actually succeed, despite the obvious tactical flaw.

Still, I’m not sure why it would work. It seems like it’s just a symbolic thing, and just symbolic things don’t always work. I guess it is plausible that everyone in the Congress relies on staffers to bring them information they gleaned from Wikipedia, and that without Wikipedia, the members of that august body would be operating in the dark. But that doesn’t seem to stop them.

No, I think there must be a better way. But I haven’t thought of it yet, so why bother listening to me complain and fail to accomplish anything? I just think of the quote about “Politician’s Logic” from the British comedy, Yes, Minister:

“We must do something.
This is something.
Therefore we must do it.” 
This is probably the thought process that has led politicians to creating bad anti-piracy legislation to begin with. I just don’t want it to be the one that underlies the opposition as well. 
(Hat Tip to Thingy)

1 Comment

  1. Unfortunately, more people pay more attention to Wikipedia than Congress.Good point on their means of protest, but people will take notice, I think.

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