Election Day. . . 2233

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Warning: Highly Insulting

This piece uses terms like “lamer” and “loser” a lot. If nobody can tell you anything, just click the “Back” button.

Do I do this just to get my jollies? Of course not. I’m calling people lamers and losers not because I like that state of affairs or because it makes me somehow feel better about myself, quite the opposite.

No, I’m calling people lamers and losers because 1) I don’t want you to be lamers and losers and 2) the first necessary step to change is to realize that you need to change.

You Have To Be In It To Win It

Today is Election Day in the United States. Are you going to vote? Are you even registered to vote?

Provided you’re eighteen and otherwise eligible to vote, if the answer is “No,” let me be the first to call you a loser.

You don’t like that? Good. Maybe that will get you mad enough to get you off your apathetic ass and do something about it.

You want to find some people who think it’s really cool that you don’t vote? Go here. Or here. Or here.

All these places love the idea of you all not voting, because that makes their job so much easier.

It’s very likely we’re going to see major legislation in the U.S. that will greatly affect computing and the Internet.

If I had to bet today, I would bet we’ll see the U.S. Congress endorse Palladium and Company over the next two years, it will get implemented shortly after that, and most of this activity will peter out. I don’t see anything stopping it.

Even The Old People Are A Lot Smarter Than You

Do you think, “There’s nothing I can do?” Lamer.

Of course there’s nothing you personally can do to single-handedly change all this, but if you’re saving yourself for the chance to play Superman, I’ll save you the wait: it isn’t going to happen.

But just because you can’t do everything means you can’t do anything. That’s only a loser excuse.

One of the most powerful if not THE most powerful political lobbies in the United States is AARP, the Association for the Advancement of Retired People.

How does AARP work? A whole lot of elderly people pay a modest membership fee every year, a little over $10 a year. This helps to fund a very nice lobbying effort.

More importantly, though, senior citizens back up AARP in two critical ways.

First, if AARP tells them to write their Congressperson, they do. Oh God, they do. Not a few thousand responses, a few million.

Second, they’re registered, and they vote. Any Congress-type with a lot of retired people in his district knows that if he doesn’t keep them happy, odds are they’ll retire him.

Think that doesn’t affect you? Just look at your pay stub and see how much is taken out for Social Security and Medicare. Whom do you think is getting that money?

If AARP didn’t exist, that figure would be lower. During the rest of your life, it will likely go higher.

You know why? Because the old fogies are organized, and you aren’t. Congress is scared of them, and they ain’t afraid of you. Why should they be? You’ve given them no reason.

Congresspeople do one thing very, very well. They can count. Especially count votes. If they didn’t, they would stop being Congresspeople really fast. Believe me, they have all kinds of demographic data about their districts, and they know which groups vote and which don’t.

Young people tend not to register nor vote. That’s why they get ignored.

But if a Congressperson sees that all of a sudden a ton of young people have registered to vote, and they’re sending messages early and often, he’s going to pay attention to that. That’s all he’s going to pay attention to.

Do You Want To Treated As A Bunch of Stupid Kids Or Not?

That’s how the political and lobbying grownups see you. Political nothings.

Frankly, from what I and more importantly those more sympathetic
to this have seen so far, they’re right. You whine a lot, but do nothing useful to help yourselves. That’s the definition of a loser.

The reality is this is a special interests issue. The average person isn’t going to care. The RIAA and MPAA and company certainly do care, and the only group that can conceivably stop them are you “pathetically apolitical . . . slugs.” That’s not my insult, that’s Lawrence Lessig’s.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Combined, you have far more votes than the content providers, and combined you even have more money to spend on lobbying, too. If you wanted to.

Of course, that would mean getting together, and spending some money, and learning something about laws and politics, then applying it. But, of course, this implies effort, and we can’t expect that now, can we?

What’s your excuse? If the old folks can do it, why can’t you?

From now on, if anybody writes me about this copyright stuff, I’m going to ask you upfront if you’re registered to vote, and what actions you’ve taken to back up your opinions.

If you haven’t done these things when you could have, I’m not going to waste my time with you because your opinion simply doesn’t count. You don’t like that, do something about it. Register, get informed, get involved.

If you don’t take your opinion seriously enough to act on it, why should anybody else?

Ed

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