Dammit, this is frustrating. You see how prophecy works? It's just like in the stories, where you make a wish to a genie and you wish to be a millionaire, and then you're buried in piles of worthless Zimbabwe currency that's worth about $1.88 American, and the genie goes, "Oooooh, you meant in DOLLARS! Well, sorry, you already spent your wish."
A while ago last December, I spake the Prophecy "SOPA shall not pass". And I promised to follow up on that, which I'm doing now.
It came half-true: Lamar Smith has now cut the DNS-blocking part from the SOPA bill. This was the part that made the bill so Draconian and had everybody in such an uproar. So, without the Gestapo-like powers to black out millions of websites at the fingertips of the Black Hand of the MPAA/RIAA, SOPA now becomes another toothless, gummy, mushy bill that kinda-sorta makes online piracy a no-no, just like twenty other laws we already have.
But they're still trying to pass SOPA anyway.
So I do a half-victory-dance for my prophecy that came half-true. Technically speaking (arguing my case just like that aforementioned genie), SOPA, as it originally existed on 12/16/11, is now dead, so that's a point for me. But SOPA in its present form? Meh, might go through. Thus forever splitting future scholars into the people who thought I was right, the people who thought I was wrong, and the people who know I'm half-right.
Part Deux: How Did I Know SOPA Would Not Pass?
Let me tell you a joke: There's this fly, see, and he lands on a bridge. And right when he does that, an earthquake hits. The bridge starts rumbling. The fly gets alarmed and does his fly thing and buzzes back into the air. As he circles the bridge wondering what's happening, the bridge crumbles from the earthquake and falls into the bay. And the fly says to himself: "Damn, I need to lose some weight!"
The Internet Hivemind (Anonymous, 4chan, Reddit, Digg, Slashdot, Twitter, whatever-the-collective name becomes) chances upon a "grassroots" (Har de har har!) outcry against SOPA and joins the fight, because that's where they happened to land. The fight is actually between huge, huge corporations, battling for control of the US government. The bigger, stronger corporations beat the smaller, weaker corporations, and the fight is over. The Internet Hivemind, having done as much damage as a flea to the weaker corporations before the bigger corporations delivered the coup de grace, now land on the corpse of the defeated corporations and thrust their tiny little tin swords into the air and roar. Victory! We did it! We slayed the dragon!
No guys. You had nothing to do with it.
Not that it should let that stop you all from charging around beating your chests and kissing each other's asses for being such hot stuff. By all means, have your fun. You need the boost to your e-testosterone.
Here's why SOPA Classic could not have passed: It was anti-business. Online business is becoming damned important to this economy, need I remind you? It was so anti-business that Microsoft, Apple, Google, Yahoo, and Facebook all came out against it before ANY of you ever HEARD about SOPA. That doomed SOPA, end of line, even before other online businesses began jumping on the bandwagon.
Listen folks, I don't know how this could not be obvious to all of you, but you know that corporate control of the US government that this little thing called "Occupy Wall Street" (perhaps you've heard of it???) has been up in arms about? Well it cuts both ways. What you just saw is an attempted coup in which Old Media, (MPAA/RIAA) tried to wrestle control of government from New Media (Internet companies), and failed. The corporations of New Media still run the show, still buy and sell politicians like baseball cards. You still have no control of your government, and the politicians still simply voted for who wrote them the biggest check.
Once I saw Microsoft, Apple, and Google all three allied against SOPA, I knew it was a won fight. Believe me, all kidding aside, when I solemnly assure you that if Microsoft, Apple, and Google came out against peeing, you'd all have corks superglued into your urethras like Saddam Hussein torture victims and most of you would go tweet "It's not so bad once you get used to it!"
As Smith says, he came to this decision "after consultation with industry groups across the country", not giving a damn about threatened web blackouts, the protesters in Guy Fawkes masks on his front lawn, and all the other hissy fits everybody was throwing. Read: "New Media wrote me a bigger check."
Now, back to the 1,278 OTHER problems where our freedoms are happily chomped away by hungry corporations looking to enslave the world while you all apathetically go back to your Angry Birds games...
Update 1/16/12: Two days later, SOPA officially flatlined. In accordance with the prophecy spake by your humble prophet. Gloat. Gloat. Gloat gloat gloat.
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