Blacked Out: taking the what-if approach

Online research today may be a bit more difficult to come by as sites across the web are silent in protest of proposed legislation. 

The writer in me asks, “What if these sites remained black?”

What if?  Truly.

The old part of me–the precomputer craze and easy information access part–says, “So what?”  Twenty years ago, we went to libraries, read newspapers and watched the news.  We held human conversations with those who had more knowledge than us.  We still learned.

The traditional publishing part of me says, “Yay!  Dead tree books will stay alive forfreakinever.”

The human rights part of me says, “Holy crap, here comes 1984.”

And for those who don’t know about George Orwell’s novel, I’d provide the link–except you’d get sent to a blank screen–which makes my gesture meaningless and your ability to read free information nonexistent.

So…what if?  You decide.


11 responses to “Blacked Out: taking the what-if approach

  1. Hey,

    I mentioned your blog on my blog today.


  2. Pingback: Censorship. Piracy. Copyright Infringement. « Kay Elam Writes

  3. Scary thought. Censorship is a dangerous slide we might fall onto– face first– if we aren’t careful. But you’re right when you say that there’s more than one way to look at this. I just hope we don’t end up regretting our choices in 20 years.

    • I know. Wish we could have that hindsight now. Our technology and the way we use it is changing so rapidly that I’m not always certain we are ready for the consequences of our growth. The implications are scary and there’s no certainty in how things will turn out based on the decisions we make today.

      Thanks for the great input.

  4. My life would be pretty much over without the net. At least the meaningful portion. My local library is very small and anything out of the ordinary has to be special ordered from other libraries. I can’t afford newspapers, and they’re usually behind the times, anyway–and self-censoring. TV news is a good part of why something like SOPA can almost sneak under the radar–mainstream media routinely ignore the really important issues.

    • Catana,

      I hear you on the internet lifeline. The ease and convenience of it makes it ideal for those of us in small, rural communities that lack the means to keep us connected.

      Here’s hoping you continue to have the freedom to view what you want, when you want.


  5. Ditto what Catana said. And really, I had the same thought as you: Orwell’s 1984.


  6. 1984 is a very good comparison. Even at the library, though, we’re very reliant on the Internet. SOPA, as it stands, is against everything libraries stand for. Censorship? Why would people want that?

    Interestingly, a patron came to the counter today and asked why Wikipedia was down, and so I got to explain, or summarize, anyway.

    • Yay! So at least Wiki opened the door for conversation by their black out. Hopefully said patron took something from it other than the inconvenience it caused him/her.

      And why would we want censorship? Good question. Hopefully people will think long and hard on the issue and come to responsible conclusions.

      Thanks for commenting!

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