18 January 2012

On Strike

I appreciate the principled stand that Wikipedia is making against the potential threat against free speech constituted by the SOPA (H.R.3261) and PIPA (S. 968) legislation.

Today, January 18th, Wikipedia is officially on strike.

 Naturally, I am completely opposed to the practice of pirating copyrighted material, which this legislation is ostensibly targeting. But the bills follow the chilling pattern of much recent legislation (e.g. Sarbanes-Oxley): presuming universal guilt and holding arbitrary power over every honest citizen.

Wikipedia has a good description of the purpose of their strike here, and Google has a petition you can sign here.

04 January 2012

John David Lewis

I am very sorry to hear that one of my intellectual heroes, John David Lewis, has died following a long bout with cancer. He was a brilliant, passionate, and courageous advocate of reason and liberty. His loss strikes me on a personal level--our few encounters at Objectivist conferences demonstrated his warmth and intellectual honesty--but above all it is a blow to the defense of freedom and civilization.


Alex Epstein has a nice tribute, "Remembering John Lewis," on the CIP website. My wife wrote a post dedicated to him back in 2009.