Thursday, January 1, 2009

Bonus Blog: As a user of the Web, SOPA will Affect Me

Typically I don't include political rants or opinions here--which makes sense given this is a blog about management and as a manager political rants and opinions are a luxury you can't explore at work. However, the concept of sending a penny and a letter to your congress person to get your point across...I just had to post my thoughts here. Fortunately, there is (at least until SOPA is enacted) no Internet HR to get all over my bum about it.

That said, what the Stop Online Piracy Act suggests it should do is noble in thought, but easily the greatest gift of censorship we could give our government in modern day. It compares to McArthyism's book burning and paranoia a potential of even greater terror and control on free speech. At least in my opinion, though you can read the Wikipedia article above for additional information and make decisions for yourself--which I recommend you do.

In regards to SOPA, I've had a blurry early morning thought: The Penny for Your Thoughts Campaign. Unlike bags of tea being sent to places (and therefore giving people unfortunate nicknames) which can easily be thrown away, each person dissatisfied with SOPA sends a paper letter saying as much and giving the congress critter a penny for their thoughts--literally. It is illegal to throw away or destroy currency.

Hopefully this will reach proportions where they'll have to figure out what to do with that know, the change that multiple banks has problems with even if you wrap it up in $1 amounts (David (the husband) had to go to three different places before they'd finally accept it from us--we keep a treasure chest of change and turn it into actual dollars every now and again). At the very least, one staffer's full time job could end up being wrapping up $1 penny amounts, 100 at a time.

Inconvenience + being vocal = change; Congress (with some notable exceptions) seems quite out of touch with the rest of us; making them put our money where their mouth's are might help.

Note: if you don't want to send money to your own congress critter (because you don't like them, are opposite parties, etc.) you can always modify your letter to let them know that you aren't sending them a penny for your thoughts because you're pretty sure they don't care/it doesn't matter to them.

Just my thought as I prep to contact my congress critters regarding the insanity of SOPA. I don't have a lot of faith here, having done the same for my opposition to the war in IRAQ and receiving a very patronizing letter explaining how much information I was not privy to. Information which is now confirmed to be false, btw. I didn't bombard them with something that would personally inconvenience them last time, so maybe that will help this time. But one penny isn't much of a statement. Millions of pennies are.

Might I endorse the two readers of this who are not my parents or siblings (though, them, too) to take up the penny and the pen?

Edited to Add: I have posted my little suggestion to Reddit and BoingBoing. If you're up for it, please comment, plus it, whatever to get it higher on the Reddit and/or Boing Boing lists. Thank you.