This post doesn’t have fancy pictures or videos because we want you to focus on what’s written. Take 10 minutes to give it a good read. Thank you.
We pride ourselves on being able to deliver news and media that you’re interested in. Typically, it’s under the filter of engineering or computer science, because that’s what we’re all about.
But sometimes we feel the need to talk about something that’s doesn’t explicitly fall under those categories. Because we’re plugged into the real world, we sometimes show you news about what’s going on at Oregon universities, how to grow a business and, sometimes, what’s happening on the internet.
What’s funny about that last thing is that what’s happening on the internet affects a lot of things. Computer scientists were the ones who invented the internet, and they’re the ones who continue to improve it with things like HTML5, linked to above. But the thing about the internet is that, like any other public forum or marketplace, it needs to be regulated somehow to prevent too many bad things from happening on it.
That’s the official motivation for the SOPA and PIPA bills, which are currently being discussed in congress. (Some people think there are other motivations, but that’s up to you to decide.) A lot of those computer scientists and engineers who work hard to innovate the internet fear that, regardless of motivation, the effect of the SOPA and PIPA bills on the internet, on innovation, and on information exchange, will be bad. Needless to say, there is a lot of debate going on. Google is against it, President Obama is against it, Khan Academy is against it, and a lot of groups are for it.
GetReal is government funded, and we want you to become the best engineers and computer scientists you can. We really don’t want to take sides on this because we don’t think our opinion matters.
But yours does. And whether SOPA/PIPA will have a negative or positive impact doesn’t change the fact that it will have an impact on your future.
So we want you to read up on these acts, form an opinion, and take whatever action you think is appropriate. Being a good engineer—no, being good at anything—means you’re passionate about anything and everything to do with it.
- Informational pages on SOPA and PIPA. Read the text of the bill so you can cite the source when discussion with others.
- Wiki for SOPA and PIPA.
- List of websites which went dark today, protest of these bills.