I’ve said before that I think the Internet is doomed in the long run, despite the victory over SOPA and other misleading “anti-piracy” censorship schemes. Right now the FBI, DEA, and the RCMP are roaring because IPv6 will make it more difficult to track what everyone is doing online. Meanwhile, “Digital Rights Management” is the name of the game in the video game world, where major companies impose ridiculous restrictions on how and when customers can access the content they’ve already bought (Diablo 3 being a perfect example), making people wonder what they’re actually paying for and when the paranoid power-grab will stop.
Well in case you forgot, the United Nations thinks that it should be in charge of policing and the world (big surprise!), and is overseeing a conference on the subject, the World Conference on International Telecommunications. CNET reports on the secret document leaked to the public from the conference:
Several proposals in the newly leaked document, for example, would authorize governments to inspect incoming Internet traffic for malware or other evidence of “criminal” activity, opening the door to wide scale, authorized censorship.
There are plenty of greedy, power-hungry organizations seeking to have a hand in the rewriting of the treaty, including ones who want to tax content providers, control how new IPv6 addresses will be distributed, and otherwise shut down anything they don’t like at the press of a button. Will they be successful? I wouldn’t be surprised. The La-Li-Lu-Le-Lo would be happy at least, don’t you think?
Want to know how I cure my boredom? I go online and look for these two guys. And speaking of all those things, I noticed that Nicholas Carr has responded to something Clay Shirky said about boredom and the Internet. Well, ain’t that a coincidence!
Carr replies to Shirky like so:
“Being bored is a kind of diagnostic for the gap between what you might be interested in and your current environment”: that’s well put. We don’t like being bored because boredom is the absence of engaging stimulus, but boredom is valuable because it requires us to fill that absence out of our own resources, which is process of discovery, of doors opening. The pain of boredom is a spur to action, but because it’s pain we’re happy to avoid it. Gadgetry means never having to feel that pain, or that spur. The web expands to fill all boredom. That’s dangerous for everyone, but particularly so for kids, who, without boredom’s spur, may never discover what in themselves or in their surroundings is most deeply engaging to them.
Perpetual boredom is an unattractive state. So is perpetual nonboredom.
The web does expand to fill all boredom, so if you’re bored (and let’s face it, you are) then slow down and watch Nicholas Carr share some more of his insights in this interview.
On Feb. 27, a diplomatic process will begin in Geneva that could result in a new treaty giving the United Nations unprecedented powers over the Internet. Dozens of countries, including Russia and China, are pushing hard to reach this goal by year’s end. As Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said last June, his goal and that of his allies is to establish “international control over the Internet” through the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a treaty-based organization under U.N. auspices.
Guardians of the Net, take up your spears! The Wall Street Journal has sounded the alarm, and this time it ain’t some American Intellectual Property bill. The Communists are coming!
I found this interesting. Fans of Metal Gear Solid 2 know that the game comments on the permanence of digital information, portraying traditional culture as fragile and transient, and digital culture as a swelling “flood” of eternally accessible garbage. Physical records conform to the idea of evolution and natural selection, he suggests. But yesterday, respected technology prophet and bestselling author Nicholas Carr flipped this idea on its head by suggesting that it’s actually old, physical culture that remains accessible, and digital information that becomes swept away in a stream of technological change…
I’ve become a fan of Clay Shirky in the last few months, so I wanted to share a presentation of his on SOPA and PIPA. I know that the bills have been squashed, but the way he makes his argument, together with his conclusion, speak to the future of this problem more than the present. You can check it out after the jump…
So today’s the big internet protest day. You probably notice a bunch of places shutting down out of protest, kind of like, “Hey, imagine what the internet would be like if we had this shitty legislation.” It would suck, no doubt about it.
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