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I've run into a lot of blogs that are blacked out. Justin Amash's Facebook feed has gone figuratively dark too. Perhaps we should have planned to participate

Wow - the other Redstate has gone black, and in their announcement they included this tidy bit of information: While it pains us to do so, we are committed to working against the re-election of each Republican co-sponsor of SOPA and Protect IP, including Rep. Blackburn and Sen. Rubio. That's pretty strong considering how hot they were for Rubio a couple of years ago.

Redstate needs to let go of their foreign impulses for their own sake.

Google blacked out the logo on their home page. That's a big one.

Wikipedia is blacked out.

Wikipedia being blacked out can only improve the quality of the information flowing on the 'Net; quite possibly the biggest black hole of misinformation, inaccurate data, and biased opinionating in this or any other galaxy. It's not called "the last refuge of the clueless" for nothing.

As for Google blacking out their name, I am reminded of the old adage about ham and eggs - it represents only a day's involvement to the chicken, but a real commitment for the pig. Google is the chicken - the champion of the meaningless gesture. If they really cared they'd put a few of their millions (billions?) into an organized program to both defeat SOPA/PIPA, as well as help to develop an effective internal peer review type of system to police the 'Net. The way things are going, the Internet is going to collapse anyway under the weight of its own sham, greed, and artifice.

Ed, I had similar thoughts (not as skillfully worded) about Wikipedia - especially after climate-gate, where one guy bottle-necked all of the global warming info leaving a very biased perception in favor of AGW theory.

Would any private internet-policing system be enough to prevent a conglomerate like the movie industry from trying to use government force, despite the detriments to our freedoms, to squeeze out more profit? Would the government ever be satisfied with a peer-review system when it wants to squelch free speech and control information? Maybe Google and others are already shoving billions in bribes to the bribe-takers but can't compete with the propaganda machine in Hollywood. Nor can it convince an entity, which always lies through its teeth until caught, that a free internet has any advantage for elite power mongers and their plans.

As for the sham, greed, and artifice, no doubt the internet will collapse before our government does, even though the latter has a more concentrated supply of common qualities.


Excellent points - especially the one about the degree of baseness displayed by our government. One of the advantages of being American, it seems, is, no matter how foul or corrupt or useless a system might be we can always point to Washington and say "Yeah - but that's worse."

As for policing the 'Net,. I dunno if peer review would work - it's record is decidedly mixed (e.g., health care)... but I do know more gubmint control is not the answer. And you're right - Uncle Sam's interest in the Internet has, in my opinion, much more to do with controlling and exploiting the flow of information than protecting against piracy.

Sadly, I find myself pulling back from new technologies like the Internet because I simply do not trust the human race's ability and willingness to make mischief with and through them. I don't "FaceBook", I have shut down my blog, I visit fewer and fewer sites. RSE is about the only non-business related site I go to; you folks have convinced me over time that, while I don't agree with everything said here, at least the commentary is thoughtful, civil and, at least so far, non-threatening ... and I appreciate it.

"I don't 'FaceBook', I have shut down my blog, I visit fewer and fewer sites."

Reminds me of a prediction made by Doug Casey, of Casey Research, where he forecasts a sort of backlash against computers; that they would prove to be less productive (and more trouble) than imagined. A counter-technology movement would ensue (although I think he meant more in the workplace than in society).

You're right about the civility here. I read other blogs' comments sections and shudder. In truth, I'm reputed to be a tad less-civilized than others here but I'm improving. While becoming more docile, I can't say that I've become much less radical. When I choose a lost cause, I really commit.

The civility issue is the one that always sticks in my throat with some of our Paul-supporting friends. I guess it's the "nice/polite Nebraskan" in me, but even when I vehemently agree with someone's ideas, I just can't find myself able to fall into true incivility.

Maybe it's that Nebraskans take the "Golden Rule" more seriously than do you South Carolinians"?

I guess I was just raised with the idea that you can disagree without being disagreeable, and a recognition that someone that we might battle fiercely with on one issue today, might be someone we could work with tomorrow if we don't burn bridges. Hence my frustration with the ad hominems and general name calling that we see all too often in politics today--whether it's one side calling the other "nazis" or something else.

Hyperbole can be instructive, but it can also be destructive.

And Eric, while you do sometimes exhibit more demonstrable passion than others of us, I can't really point to a time when I've thought that you were less-than-civil.

And Ed: thanks for sticking with us...

"Maybe it's that Nebraskans take the "Golden Rule" more seriously than do you South Carolinians"?"

Well, my impertinence comes from New Jersey, as does my adherence to the golden rule I guess. The latest debate sure knocked South Carolinians down a notch in my book, and I've lived here for 12 years.

"I can't really point to a time when I've thought that you were less-than-civil."

There haven't been many, but there have been a few moments. Maybe not enough to burn bridges but might paint me in an unbecoming, inaccurate light.

"I can't really point to a time when I've thought that you were less-than-civil.

And Ed: thanks for sticking with us..."

Same here.

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