I thought about, and wrote a few paragraphs on, the uniqueness of characters. Had I written the post, it would have been about how we humans aren't merely the sum of our parts, but the sum of our experiences, and that you need to make that clear in your fiction. A character tells their story best by doing, of course, but how they feel about what they've done also matters. Maybe I could have stretched that into an entire post. Guess we'll never know.
I also thought about, and wrote a few ranting paragraphs on, SOPA. Perhaps I can make a few of my better points on this.
If you're friends with me on Facebook, you might have noticed I believe it should, instead, be called DOPA. I believe you can discourage piracy, but you can't stop it. The high points of this post would have been how I don't believe our interests are best represented by a bunch of crotchety farts on capitol hill who barely know how to work an email account, and about the nature of digital "property." Unlike some of my cohorts, I do, to a certain extent, believe that "piracy" is a necessary component of this amazing tool we call the Internet. Except I believe it should go by its original name, sharing.
Where you fall in this argument is going to depend a lot on your ethics. Where I fall in this argument is that the music industry missed their chance, when Napster and broadband were first becoming popular, to seize and take advantage of this amazing delivery mechanism. If you make something easy to access, regardless of price, people are going to access it that way. If, however, you bar entry, all you really do is force people to get creative. Necessity is the mother of invention, after all.
But I am aware that piracy/sharing does not encompass only music. I think Henry Rollins said it best in one of his spoken word shows that I attended, "I'd rather have your time than your money." To be honest, if someone came right out and asked me if they could have a copy of my book--especially an electronic copy--I'd give it to them without hesitation. It's not that I'm not proud of my work. Quite the opposite, actually. I want you to read it, whether or not you paid for it.
Now, I'm not saying I have the only right answer. Hell, I'm not even saying that I'm right, but you're going to have a hard time convincing me otherwise. This is what I believe, and it's the reality that I live in. Unfortunately, it seems we are only allowed to have an anarchistic Internet, or an over-regulated one. Never mind the fact that people aren't "gone after" when it comes to piracy, I still think all this SOPA petition-signature-begging is fearmongering.
It should also be noted that I have a policy against signing petitions of any kind. Call me lazy or disbelieving, but I don't feel like it accomplishes a whole hell of a lot. Digression over.
Much like Metallica (in the Napster debacle) came out looking like shit, so too would any artist or government that "cracked down" on some vanilla internet user who innocently posted something to their blog or YouTube without the proper attribution or whatever. Will that stop people from being dicks? No, it never has, but at least it's a deterrent. Which brings me back to my original point.
The law, in a global sense, is not designed to stop you from committing crimes. It can't stop you. Not even the police can stop you, and they're not meant to. No, the law (and the police's response, and your potential prison sentence and/or fine) is merely meant to discourage you from committing crimes. Freedom doesn't mean you're only allowed to do good or positive things.
So, there are some of my thoughts on the topic of the week, and a bit of writing stuff too. If you agree or disagree, I'd love to hear about it.
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