Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 16th Jan 2012 19:33 UTC
Internet & Networking Big news from Capitol Hill in Washington DC today: House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa has said that the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) has been "shelved" in the House of Representatives, meaning it has been put on indefinite hold until a consensus about the act can be reached. Sadly, SOPA's counterpart in the Senate, the Protect IP Act (PIPA) will still be pushed forward, meaning we must remain vigilant. Despite all of this, Wikipedia has announced it will join the blackout coming Wednesday.
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Posting a statement like this in The Netherlands would be pointless - it would be chalked up as a sign of weakness on the side of the administration.

In case you haven't noticed, the US is not The Netherlands. My stay in your country was brief and many years ago. And it came at a bad time for me, personally. I was distracted. But even so, the differences were still glaringly obvious.

Thom, we're still arguing over creationism vs Evolution, here in the US. Creationism vs the Consensus Cosmology. The educational competence of our public school graduates is steadily falling through a hole in the floor, as documented by uniform, standardized testing, while our upper education continues to do well.

We're a nation of contrasts. And the bad tends to outnumber the good, by a substantial margin, viewed on a per capita basis. And yet we all have exactly the same vote. Meanwhile, politics is the art of finding the point at which your constituency is divided more or less 50/50, and pushing your own political agenda items right to the point that you think you might just be on the 50+ side of the 50/50 balance. (Sure, corporate interests and lobbies complicate the matter.)

You really cannot expect the straight-forward strategies, which might work in your country, to be as successful here.

Sad to say, but it's true. This may be why I interpret the White House statement in a different way than do you.

Steve from Oklahoma

Edited 2012-01-16 23:06 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

Thom_Holwerda Member since:

Didn't you just confirm my point though? Politicians in the US will dilute their positions so much they lose all meaning.

You are right though. We have 8 parties in our 150 seat parliament, allowing parties to be true to their idealogies.

Edited 2012-01-16 23:25 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

sbergman27 Member since:

Didn't you just confirm my point though? Politicians in the US will dilute their positions so much they lose all meaning.

Again, those are two points. US politicians will dilute their positions. Which is a different claim than that the statements carry no meaning.

Granted, the situation is not at all satisfactory. But it may well be the optimal strategy for the good guys in our highly *suboptimal* context. Unfortunately, the same strategy is also probably best for the bad guys.

In an abstract way, you are asking if I have any idea what an ultimate solution to our situation might be. (i.e. How can a more straight-forward way someday be made to be the optimal strategy?)

Opinionated as I may be on certain topics, I do not have definite suggestions on this one. I can tell you that I think it has more to do with the educational levels of the Sally and Bob high school graduates (or non-graduates) one meets on the streets than with Dr. Sullivan and Dr. Roberts. I can tell you that the relative ignorance of Sally's and Bob's children are likely to pack a far more deadly punch for my country in the coming decades.

But beyond really high level, birds eye appraisals which involve nebulous terms like "complacent", "fat and lazy", and "internal rot", I can't really even point to a definite cause. Let alone a proposed solution. One thing I'm reasonably sure of is that, by and large, I don't think public school system teachers, themselves, are to blame.

Tying this back into the SOPA topic, I will say that the only hope that I see for the US rests squarely with the Internet as a conduit for cheap continuing education on all levels From youth to adult. And from formal to somewhat less formal.

It is absolutely critical that the Internet remain as healthy as possible. And that, of course, goes for the entire World as well as for the US. It's just that the US is in more desperate need than some nations.


Edited 2012-01-17 00:04 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2