Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Winter Wednesday-The Placid Stream

The  Internet community has blacked out to protest SOPA and to show what censorship looks like.

And with that, I would like to tell a true little story about small things.

Once upon a time there was a little creek in upstate New York.

On a late peaceful Sunday afternoon, near sunset, it looked serene, as the winter cold was starting to freeze it over (finally).
A few hundred yards away the creek meets up with the Susquehanna River.

Such a peaceful setting.   Nothing bad could ever happen in this picture, could it?

Well, one day in September, it started to rain.  Just a few harmless raindrops.  Few people paid attention.

But then the rain fell harder and faster.  A couple of days later, that placid stream was out of its banks and it and the Susquehanna River were pouring over flood walls and flowing down streets, a force that could not be stopped until hours after the rain stopped.  Finally, the creek and the river finally went home.

They took houses, jobs, memories, businesses and dreams with them.

What did we in upstate New York learn?

Bad things start small, almost beneath notice. Then they build.  And if we are not on guard, they may sweep us away.

We must always our safeguard our freedom of expression. The Internet has become the oxygen of our world.  It must be safeguarded.   The Internet was born in freedom, which sometimes lets bad things thrive  But we can't destroy the freedom of the Internet to fight the bad guys.

There has to be another way.  And we have to find it.

But SOPA isn't it.

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