Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wikipedia's protest

Today, Wikipedia in English is blacked out, to protest proposed legislation against "piracy," etc.:

I am of course on the whole in agreement with UD News on Wikipedia, generally and on this subject:
Regular readers will know that we do not recommend Wikipedia as a resource for any ID-related topic, and news staff scrupulously avoid it wherever possible on any other topic. [NB: I will use it as a point of reference on neutral topics, and often as testifying against interest.]

That said, government interference (US bills SOPA, PIPA) would only make things much worse. That’s not just falsehood or prejudice, that’s falsehood and prejudice with force to back it up. The appeal is not only to laziness in the reader, but to fear for personal safety.
We warned about this earlier. Briefly, governments that can’t balance their budgets or control crime and disorder would be happy to focus attention on controlling opinion instead. Historically, that’s one of the things they have usually done. And it is easiest to stop in its earliest stages.
See also: Think politicians don’t want control of the Internet? Read this.
Wales, a founder of the controversial online encyclopedia -- on BBC this morning, said, correctly, that if cars are invented, and we find some being abused to rob banks, we deal with the abuse, not restricting the general use unduly. 

Some cures are worse than the disease. END

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