SOPA, the controversial internet bill that claims to make the internet a less lawless place for the average American but in the end is much more likely to be a watered down version of China’s Great Red Firewall, is under fire from such internet heavies as Google and Wikipedia. These companies and their supporters are not only wondering how their business will be affected but what the effect of the bill will be on the health of the internet as a whole.
Both companies plan to join together tomorrow with other concerned websites in a “blackout” to show the bill’s proponents what a dark place a SOPA internet might be. The sites will effectively shut down all operations and users will not be able to access the sites till the protest is over.
However, not everyone is happy about this.
The Huffington Post published a short article online today that was mostly Tweets from irate students Twitter accounts, with them crying foul and asking just how can one do homework without the free and ever present flow of information we have come to take for granted over the last decade.
If it was not both a serious subject and some what mystifying response to a necessary protest, these Tweets would be very amusing:
“FML, IF WIKIPEDIA IS GOING DOWN IM GOING DOWN WITH IT. ITS HELPED ME THROUGH EVEN THE TOUGHEST OF HOMEWORKS,”
“I’m hearing #Wiki will have a blackout this Wed in support for #StopSOPA . I’ll tell my profs that my paper will be a day late #thanks,”
“WIKIPEDIA, DON’T YOU F***ING DARE SHUT DOWN ON WEDNESDAY. I F***ING NEED YOU FOR MY PAPER,”
More shocking to the students themselves might be this tweet from Swarthmore professor Timothy Burke, who responded to the “crisis” with: “Tomorrow with WIkipedia down, our students will be thrown back on the mercy of that collection of errors called ‘a library’.”
I have to say that I agree kids.
See, when I was young, there was this place called, as Prof. Burke so rightly points out called a library (You might even find one of these buildings on the campus of your college or university) and it contains a collection of these rectangular things that they call” books”.They might smell a bit funny and you may not be able to search them for key words, but they are very useful for such task as writing papers, looking up information and doing homework.
Washington Post columnist Mura Judkis even wrote a guide to surviving the blackout that seems like it may have been better suited as a piece for Mad Magazine or Craked.com if it was not so seriously disturbing. The guide contained such gems as scrolling down to other search results and using an encyclopedia (A printed one,with text you can touch without using an I-Phone).
So kids, if you want to know something and the internet is down and you have to choose between failing a college course and graduation with a degree in hand, do the sensible thing and pick up a book. That’s b-o-o-k, with no ‘E’ in front.
Another great thing about physical books and print magazines and newspaper is that they cannot be altered or updated as easily as a website or a virtual reference format like a PDF or Kindle edition of a publication or book, meaning the format, although clunky, outdated and sometimes heavy to carry is not as susceptible to revisions done for the right or wrong reasons.
Sometimes, the old ways are still the best, although not always the quickest or most efficient ways of doing business, they can be more reliable in our modern age of Tweets, status updates and GPS navigation.
A book can also never crash, although it can hurt if it lands on your feet.