This, Too, Shall Pass

on November 18, 2011 in Horror

“You know, I think this SOPA thing is going to be like Y2K all over again,” she said. “Everybody makes a big hairy apocalyptic deal out of it and then nothing happens and the world goes on.”

“Nothing happened with Y2K because people made a big deal out of it,” I said. “Because it was a big deal. It took a lot of trained professionals doing a ton of hard work that no one would ever see the results of because ‘nothing happening’ was the proof that they’d done it right.”

“And yet I remember you being all ‘blah blah blah blah misinformation’ at the time.”

“Because people were talking about things like toasters and coffee makers not working because a chip in them that was keeping track of the date for some reason and they imagined their non-computerized kitchen appliances would care if it was suddenly 1900,” I said. “And easily disproved misinformation like that only makes it easier for people to ignore the actual consequences of ignoring something like the Y2K glitch… like how the crap stories about Obama vetoing SOPA or the senate voting it down are making people complacent about this.”

“Okay, yeah, but even if those news stories weren’t actually about SOPA… the senate wouldn’t throw out one bill and then pass this one,” she said. “And why wouldn’t Obama veto this one after saying he’d protect net neutrality?”

“Because this bill doesn’t have anything to do with net neutrality, according to its sponsors,” I said.

“You said it did.”

“I said it’s an end run around net neutrality and could be used to demolish it,” I said. “But to the people who are pushing this bill, it’s only about stopping pirates and boosting business, and we can’t count on a bunch of career politicians to know or care better.”

“Whatever,” she said. “What are you going to say if this whole thing blows over?”

“I don’t know,” I said. “Whatever I feel like saying, I guess. That’s the nice thing about free speech, when it works.”

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