On futility


Over the past week or two I’ve written about two different stories that have evolved and, at least in my eyes, have joined to highlight a lesson that everyone should have learned years ago yet continues to befuddle policy makers.

First, despite the public fetishization of all things military by the elected drones, Senator Joseph Lieberman has decided to ignore the U.S. military when they say engaging the Taliban on Twitter and ask Twitter to shut down two accounts that are affiliated with the Afghan insurgents.

Because it’s so hard to start up a Twitter account shutting down these two specific accounts would silence the Taliban forever.

In the event this ridiculous request actually moves forward, I’m confident the Taliban would have a workaround before the wax Lieberman apparently still uses to seal his correspondence dries.

The other bit has to do with the SOPA which I wrote about here.

Ah…just like the RIAA stopped the whole world from illegally trading music when they shut down Napster, SOPA promises to save our beleaguered entertainment industry from people using their copyrighted material online.

You kid scans a picture he drew of Mickey Mouse and wants to show Grandma on his Flickr account?  Well, we can certainly start by charging junior with a felony but clearly his parents are guilty.  This is what happens when we stopped saying the Pledge of Allegiance every morning at work.   Godless traitors.

Oh…never mind.  Looks like people have already found a way around the proposed law.  Yeah, that’s right.  People have already found (and are disseminating) a way around the provisions designed to prevent accessing copyrighted material before the law even comes into effect (actually, before the danged thing is even passed).  So while we’re facing some pretty serious economic problems and assorted other national ills, Congress decided it would be an effective use of its time to debate a law that would be rendered impotent before it’s ink was dry.

Nice move, guys.

You can find one of the ways to subvert SOPA as a Firefox add-on.

Short of a Chinese or Iranian style intervention (and I have no idea how effective those are) trying to shut down parts of the internet seems like a really dumb idea.  Well it’s a dumb idea in any case but if you don’t have any real hope of success it’s dumb and makes you look impotent (although, according to the emails in my spam filter that can be fixed via some very helpful pharmacists…).


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