Historic Times

We are living in historic times.

It’s not hard to find evidence; here are three examples that hit my screen today.

In a Voice of Russia OpEd called “Internet Under Siege“, a Russian corporate official observes:

What we are witnessing on the internet is more than just local skirmishes around SOPA, PIPA or ACTA. Together, they factor in one single process, which can be dubbed “internet colonialism”. All of a sudden, several world powers, which pose themselves as democracies, have stumbled upon a New World – that is the Internet – and decided to colonize it, forcing it to play by their rules.

Giulio Prisco talks about “Bankers and Bureaucrats vs. Internet Freedom“:

The Internet is beginning to hit them where it hurts: the wallets of the bankers, and the sanctimonious, self-righteous control freakery of the bureaucrats. The old “content” industry with its overpriced crap, and the ability to control the flow of free information across obsolete national borders, are rapidly disappearing, and there is much more disruption to come. It is becoming easy to see that entire financial, political and cultural systems will go, and our species is beginning to remake itself with technology, god(s) willing or not.

Prisco’s entire essay is required reading.

The third item will be exactly 16 years old tomorrow, something I’d read but forgotten, cited by Prisco. It’s John Perry Barlow’s “A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace“, also required reading. Here’s how it begins:

Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather.

And here’s how it ends:

We must declare our virtual selves immune to your sovereignty, even as we continue to consent to your rule over our bodies. We will spread ourselves across the Planet so that no one can arrest our thoughts. We will create a civilization of the Mind in Cyberspace. May it be more humane and fair than the world your governments have made before.

In other news, the number of anti-ACTA demonstrations planned across Europe for Feb. 11 has risen well past 100.

We are living in historic times.


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