We've tried to ignore the problem... I tried to ignore the problem. I wanted to ignore the politics of the internet and, in many ways, politics itself. From a netizen point of view, Democracy often seems inefficient and ineffectual. But just because WE want to ignore it, doesn't mean politics wants to ignore us.
There are many groups who would subjugate us if they could. They would force us to pay every time we heard a song on the car radio, they would make sure we can't speak freely about their brand or their brand of government, they would exert complete control over our online existence.
As Netizens, we naively think that calmer heads will prevail and this has often been the case... but laws like SOPA and PIPA, which could potentially make the Patriot Act look tame if used to their fullest extent... continue to be paid for by big industry and pushed through congress. These acts are not just bad, they are unAmerican and more akin to something we would see in China or Iran... not here.
How does this happen? It's simple enough, Congressmen are paid to make laws that would oppress us. In the emerging world, this would be called "Corruption"... here it's called "Contribution". It's easy. These laws are complicated and their most of their constituents don't even know that their congressmen are involved or how these laws would affect them. The industries behind these laws are wealthy and spend lavishly on representatives willing to support them. Most importantly... there is little to no political pain for these representatives. They fill their campaign coffers with cash... if the bill fails, they keep the cash and it's quickly forgotten. If the bill passes, they'll get more money next year.
This needs to stop.
We can no longer expect our representatives, many of whom couldn't write an email on their own, to represent us without firm action. We can no longer depend on OUR means of discussion - Facebook, Twitter, and Email -l to express ourselves.
We need to fight these laws, and the lawmakers that would pass them, in their back yard. We need to earn their respect, and fear if necessary. We need them to know that supporting these bills has a political cost.
We need a sort of "Internet Protection Fund", a PAC, that is designed for a single purpose - To use every legal means to attack those who would attack us. To bring the fight to to their doorstep, their airwaves, and their TVs. We need to organize and focus the resistance.
Step 1 - Stop the SOPA and PIPA before they are passed through targeted boycotts, information campaigns, and letter writing campaigns.
Step 2 - Target those in Congress who support these bills and attempt to unseat them in the fall with internet, grassroots, TV and Radio campaigns. Congress needs to know that supporting these bills is no longer a blank check...it's no longer safe.
Step 3 - We need to build our organization BETWEEN elections, build its resources, and build its capacity to defend our rights... aggressively. This fight is about to intensify as the information age matures. We need to begin to take an active role in shaping our online future.
This is not a replacement for organizations like the Electronic Freedom Foundation... without whom we will be already be in virtual chains. This is the sharp end of the stick that comes when they are not able to negotiate our freedom. These are the troops that back up the political discussions with real, tangible, action.
This is not a replacement for Anonymous. They play harder than we will. We will keep our fight within the confines of the current laws. We will use every means within those laws to express the will of those we represent but we will stay well within the confines of the current rules.
We will play by the political rules that our opponents play by... not the ones we wish they would play. We will use our skills, connections and ability to organize online but we will bring this fight to their field and beat them there.
So now what do we do?
Step one: +1 this post and pass it on. If there is enough interest, the next steps will be somewhat obvious (begin the organization structure). Comment and let me know what you think and what you would do next. If there is enough interest... more posts will follow.
- You can edit your damn posts, so go ahead and fix that silly typo without having to retype the entire thing.
* text * = bold text
_ text _ = italic text
- text - =
- You can tag people by first typing + or @. Type the first few letters of their name and you're usually already there. When typing in a comment to a status, people that have also commented on that status will be included in the top results, so you're not tagging complete strangers with identical/similar names.
- You can create circles for your social circles and share just with those, or allow cross-over action by sending to all in your circles.
- You can share posts with individuals, as a way to PM/DM.
- You can lock posts to prevent commenters from all too easily re-sharing the content. Nothing prevents malicious the recipients from copy and pasting of course, or taking a screen shot.
Watching/managing the stream:
- There's a "Mute this post" item in the menu of each post (look in the upper-right corner to activate that menu).
- The "j" and "k" keys allow you to easily jump to the next and previous post, unless your focus is in a text field of course (like search, post, or comment).
- When you reach the bottom and hit "j" again, it'll load in more posts, after which you can "j" again to continue.
- A more powerful alternative to Skype. Knitting circle, family meet-ups, conference calls, I'm sure you can find a good use for it. Supposedly the new version allows for screen sharing, document sharing and such, but I haven't had a chance to try that yet.
- In a completely separate tab (click the right-most icon left of the "Search Google+" field). No cluttering of your stream of other updates.
Chrome extensions (no idea about ones for IE or Firefox, alas):
- "Google Translate for Google+"
- "Replies and more for Google+" https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/fgmhgfecnmeljhchgcjlfldjiepcfpea
I think I only use that for the M (mute) keyboard shortcut at this point.
Dear G plusers
This is such a sad day for G+ community: an Irainan PhD researcher in sociology, a blogger, a political activist and a supporter of Mir Hossein Mousvi, the true winner of the 2009 presidential election, was flogged yesterday while her hands and feet were put in chain.
Before this, she had been arrested, prosecuted and imprisoned on different occasions. Yesterday, while in chain, a sentence of 50 lashes was carried out on the charge of 'insulting the Preseidnet.'
Share this post with your followers in support of a freedom activist who also belongs to the big family of G+ community.
- U.S. Peace CorpsTEFL instructor, 2010 - 2012
- Colonial Fox Theatre FoundationExecutive Assistant, 2009 - 2010
- Pittsburg Public LibraryComputer Lab Assistant, 2006 - 2010
- Pittsburg State UniversityInternational Studies, English-Technical Writing, International Business, 2006 - 2010
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