Sunday, June 10, 2018

The Destruction of the Internet

Sometimes I worry about it, but for the most part, these things have a way of working themselves out. For instance, one of the most egregious pieces of legislative manure, the DMCA, has yet to actually shut down the internet. While it has made life harder for people and has slapped various YouTubers with illegitimate automated take downs, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act has neither stopped online piracy, nor completely destroyed the internet. On the other hand, the powers that be simply cannot stop coming up with “new rules” for Congress vote into laws with the intent to control what people cannot put on the internet.

One day, even the jokes I’ve been posting here might somehow become illegal. I imagine at some point every thought and expression will be owned by various corporate interests, and end users will no longer be permitted to post anything on the Internet for fear it may infringe on an agency’s intellectual property. Even then, people will still manage to express themselves in ways that displease their clandestined masters. More rules. More controls. Every color trademarked. Every vibration an infraction.

In the end, I imagine the public will be oblivious to the concept of living any other way. They will accept the new rules begrudgingly at first, but affectionately after a while. The future dark ages will further wipe any memory of a time when people imagined they could communicate freely.

“Has it ever occurred to you, Winston, that by the year 2050, at the very latest, not a single human being will be alive who could understand such a conversation as we are having now?” – George Orwell, “Nineteen Eighty-Four”



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