First off -- apologies for the lack of updates and general slowness; I've spent all this past week attending and in transit to conferences with my day beginning promptly at 5am and ending at 9pm, which is an exercise that requires Zen-like endurance (such is the scholarly life!). All yesterday was spent luxuriously doing absolutely nothing of importance or note, and today, with the exception of more reading, catching up, and the Ravens/Patriots and Niners/Giants game (which is certainly something of importance and note) will be more or less the same.
In any case, as we are well aware, SOPA has been effectively shelved. Such is the legacy of politics; when a strong enough force has gathered (be it money from supportive donors, or a collective response of pissed off internet users), it has the ability to strong-arm legislators into their guiding (after all, isn't that the PURPOSE of a representative and congressman? To, you know, stand by the interests of the PEOPLE?). Those expensive lobbyists for the RIAA and MPAA must be fuming, and that they are brings me happiness. But again, that such legislation was even under consideration and, at one point, held a majority support, means that this is only the beginning. No doubt revisions will be made supposedly "amending the language and/or provisions", a useless throwaway term meant to ease opposition but will in the end be no less damaging to our online freedom. A great victory for civil liberties that will make the supporters of SOPA rethink their strategies.
If only, oh if only, such vigilance and momentum were reached when NDAA was proposed! (I would say the same for the Patriot Act, but it seems the momentum was tragically reversed to support it -- after all, as Goering stated prior to his Nuremburg trials, "...the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country." (emphasis mine). Indeed it does, and how can anyone hope to combat such a pervasive idea?
In the end, however, everything is merely an insignificant speck of dust in an infinite universe:
Funny how that works, no?