It is indeed the Age of Stupidity, where all things have become politicized regardless of merit. Now, the Internet Archive is stupid as well, as they rush to put up servers in an even more restrictive country than the U.S.
The world has obviously lost its mind. Fear-mongering seems to increase with every US election cycle, and I sometimes have trouble believing the words that come out of people’s mouths. I mean, Madonna wanting to blow up the White House? Is this sanity?
Now, what was once one of my favorite institutions has decided to become political. The Internet Archives, also known as the Wayback Machine, is soliciting donations to setup redundant servers. I honestly did not know they were doing this, and I almost wanted to whip out my credit card until I actually read the article, “Help Us Keep the Archive Free, Accessible, and Reader Private“.
For the record, even after reading the article, I still don’t get what they mean about “reader private”. However, that is just a nit.
They begin by saying:
The history of libraries is one of loss. The Library of Alexandria is best known for its disappearance.
Libraries like ours are susceptible to different fault lines:
- Legal regimes,
- Institutional failure.
So this year, we have set a new goal: to create a copy of Internet Archive’s digital collections in another country. We are building the Internet Archive of Canada because, to quote our friends at LOCKSS, “lots of copies keep stuff safe.” This project will cost millions. So this is the one time of the year I will ask you: please make a tax-deductible donation to help make sure the Internet Archive lasts forever. (FAQ on this effort).
So far, so good, right? I mean, who isn’t for redundancy? After all, I always say the three rules of computing are: 1. Backup, 2. Backup and 3. Backup.
Unfortunately, they don’t stop there:
On November 9th in America, we woke up to a new administration promising radical change. It was a firm reminder that institutions like ours, built for the long-term, need to design for change.
Translation: We are idiots who haven’t been backing everything up and now we are going to do the right thing for all the wrong reasons.
Seriously, they are worried about Donald J Trump overriding the US Consititution, and so they are putting up servers in Canada, who has one of the worst records of falsely labelling things as “hate speech” that are not?
It. Makes. No. Sense.
Worse, was it Trump who wants to censor “fake news”? Who gets to decide that, anyhow? Every time I turn on so-called mainstream news, I am bombarded by lies and manipulation that simply are not questioned by a worldview so bigoted that they simply cannot see how stupid they really are.
So, to say that suddenly the Internet is in danger of losing its freedoms is like yelling fire after half the building has already gone up in flames. To politicize a valuable resource simply because your side, who has done even worse than anything Trump said he might do, is outright stupidity and is not going to receive any of my money.
Heck, I don’t even like Trump! I just hate stupidity.