I live on the border to the United States of America. A place where the people love their country almost as much as they love hearing themselves say as much. It’s one of those indisputable, inarguable truths that would otherwise be unfathomable to be without, equivalent to the love of one’s mother. Well then, what does this lowly, despondent introvert think of his obnoxious, overbearing extroverted nation? While it’s nice to feel in a superior position to the boisterous Americans, I can’t say the need for patriotism is quite so onerous on me. Call it ambivalence, if you like.
But that’s not to say I’m in no way patriotic. At least, not when taken in the spirit of the word, and not necessarily in the direct literal sense of a recognized state. My country is one without borders, without limits. In the truest sense of the word it is by the people and for the people. My country is the Internet.
In every way as one would dictate their emphatic devotion to his community, so can you place that within my own digital world. In the physical world I am very liberal, but in the virtual world I am libertarian bordering on anarchist. The Internet is the last true bastion of freedom the world over, and I won’t–I can’t–give it up without a fight.
And there is a fight. It’s not in the news, it’s not on television. But it is happening. There’s propaganda in the news, yes, but not the real story, because there’s noone there to understand it. The terms net neutrality, piracy and the like are thrown around with no understanding, no actual reporting. Nobody cares.
For the better part of the year what little efforts the Internet community can manage with regard to politics here in Canada has been fighting off the Conservative push for bill C-61, termed the “Canadian DMCA”. A media-lobby push for legislating against their outdated and dying business model. How many members of parliament even know what a byte actually is? How many representatives have any idea what DNS even stands for? Without a basic understanding of how the Internet functions, they’re on a collision course to break one of the greatest achievements in human history.
It’s not just Canada, or the United States. It’s the world over. The Pirate Bay case is currently under review for the judge’s undisclosed membership to copyright lobbies. The judge appointed to review the case? Was removed for the same bias. This is in Sweden.
And no, it’s not just a matter of idiot politicians and lobbies. The Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have long since monopolized the market and are consequently abusing their power. Usenet support from Rogers was killed under the guise of protecting against child pornography. Bell Canada’s throttling is suffocating resellers as they’re effected as well. You get what you get, because that’s all you’ve got.
Meanwhile society as a whole is as ignorant as those in control. The Conficker worm has affected by rough estimates at least 10 million PCs. This is a worm that is only on Windows XP, transmits primarily via a long-since patched exploit in network sharing–which should be off–that should also just be blocked by Windows Firewall anyway, and would be completely nullified by passing the connection through a NAT router, which you should be doing anyway. There are services such as “Geek Squad” that costs more than buying a new computer, which is convenient since they can then can sell you that too. Your computer is not “broken” you just don’t know what you’re doing.
I’m running Linux as a desktop operating system. I wrote and maintain TheVGPress.com, which runs on the Apache Web Server and is coded in PHP 5 using a MySQL database. All of which have been developed and written over the Internet, are open-source and free for anyone to use. Freedom: It’s more than just a turn of phrase. It has meaning, and you can see it here.
This is my country; this is my world. My entertainment, my hobbies, interests, friends. My hopes, dreams, and aspirations.
All of it. It’s all in danger. In danger of ignorance, of corruption, of greed and profiteering. Morality and law are two entirely different things. While I wrote a series of pieces on the morality of the sharing of copyrighted materials, which in itself wasn’t one-sided, legally standing there is no argument. Arguing that, for example, downloading a song that a recording studio has the rights to is illegal threatens literally everything. You’ve now made the entire structure of the Internet invalid. I’ve gone on long enough; if you don’t understand how that last sentence is true, then that’s exactly the point. You don’t understand. Nobody in any sort of position to make a decision on what is right has any idea what right is.
Some may have a view of my country as a bit weird. What with the grammatically challenged cats, random videos, and a penchant for abhorrently graphic imagery. Well you’re close. We’re out of our damned minds. And that’s just the way we like it.