Technology with attitude

How to Survive the SOPA Blackout

1
Google protests SOPA and PIPA

SOPA and PIPA are bills that will limit the accessibility of websites with copyright material in the attempt to prevent copyright infringement and piracy. For instance, all of the websites where you may or may not get free or leaked music will be shut down, thereby protecting the works and rights of artists or people who use the internet as their workplace. This bill looks like an excellent idea on paper, much like Communism. For an example of why I made that particular reference take a second and look up Communism on Wikipedia.

How’d that work for you?

Today Wikipedia, along with several other websites, including some independent bloggers, are blacked out in protest of the impending enforcement of SOPA and PIPA. The reality is that websites like these are created from the assemblage of copyrighted information. Something that blocks access to the sites could severely cripple not only the owners and contributors but also the people that depend on them. Relax, contrary to Mayan prediction, today is probably not the end of the world. Here are just a few survival tips to help you get through today.

1) That place with all the books

Anyone whose every had to do a research paper or research of any kind has hear the phrase, “Wikipedia is not a scholarly source.”  Believe it or not there was a time in which Wiki did not exist, apparently in that time people went to the library and did their research using a multitude of sources and these books called, encyclopedias. While certainly not as convenient and definitely require more effort, you may find them to be quite useful.

2) Search engines

All of the information from Wikipedia came from somewhere else and fortunately for you, search engines are not blacked out. Despite the blacked out logo, Google is still functioning, so use the search engines to find different sources of information.

3)  People Watching

Now there is, of course, how you’ll survive without your daily dose of talking cats and videos of people failing. You might try going outside for a little people watching. You might be surprised how funny people can be in their day to day lives. There’s also the bonus of vitamin D which is good for the absorption of calcium and prevents bone related diseases.

4)Wait

All will be as it was tomorrow.  Waiting is an option.

Now, I realize if these antipiracy attempts are successful and the future is as bleak as Wikipedia predicts, I’ll change my tune quite quickly. But I think we can make it for one day. I hope you survive the Black Out of 2012 and that someone is making T-shirts to that effect.  Above all, stay calm and, as best you can, stay informed.

Seriously, though, these two bills are not only a violation of the first amendment, but will cripple our way of life. It is easy to joke about life before the internet but that is how many of us, including the people the government is attempting to protect with bills like this, share our work, make connections, and get information. If any of this is important to you, visit https://www.google.com/landing/takeaction/ or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page.