I'm feeling a bit of pressure to talk about SOPA and PIPA here, but I don't have much I feel I can add to the conversation. Everyone, to a person, whose opinion I respect that I've heard weigh in on the subject has said some variation of "these are horrible, horrible bills and should be killed." I agree. Completely. Nothing new for me to add there.
You'll note, though, I'm not taking the symbolic step of blacking out my site. Why? Because I rarely get more than 200 visitors a day, and I'm pretty confident that my regular readers probably share my opinions on SOPA and PIPA already. Blacking my site won't raise even a modicum of awareness.
I'm very, very cynical about the US government. What you or I say and do doesn't matter on this. Yes, I've written my politicians to let them know I'm against SOPA and PIPA, but it won't do any good. Because they're only listening to people who give them lots of money. Congress only started wavering on SOPA/PIPA after several major companies started taking action against it. The hearings on the matter where almost all the technical and legal experts said this was a bad move? Didn't sway Congress a bit. It's only when large sums of money started getting involved from groups opposing SOPA/PIPA did they care.
My opinion isn't worth shit in Washington. My opinion coupled with the opinions of every other person with a blog isn't worth shit. The only thing that matters is where the money is coming from. That's why these bills were introduced in the first place and why they're being contested now. Whether or not these pass in their current, or even modified form, has nothing to do with what's right or just or fair or what impact that has on you or me; it has everything to do with who lines politicians' pockets with the most money.
I think these are bad bills and should be stopped. I've written letters to Google, Facebook, etc. to take action. But that letter-writing is just to keep my conscious clear. The blackouts today are symbolic; the only thing that really matters is who ponies up the most cash. The rest of us can't really do anything of any consequence except try to work with/around/through the results. That's why I haven't said anything publicly on the subject before, and why I'm not going dark today.