Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Future Fable

I want to write down a story my grandmother used to tell me when I was little.

“In the old days, the whole world was engulfed in an invisible blizzard. The snow was not visible to the naked eye, and the people could not feel it or catch it with their tongues because each snowflake was made of an idea. Words, pictures, numbers, sounds all furiously blustered and tumbled together in the air, and when they fell to the ground they melted and mingled and became new ideas. There was so much snow that it even seeped between window panes and beneath doors and filled their homes. The blizzard was constant, and magnificent, and many thought it would never end.

Although people could not physically see the blizzard, they could see it if they had access to an electric brain. The electric brains came in many shapes and sizes, and with the help of one of these devices, a person could see any individual snowflake at any time, or even multiple snowflakes at once. Because the electric brains allowed people to play in the snow, society flourished. Great business deals were struck, new products were invented, knowledge of all varieties was made readily available, lovers were introduced, friends and family were able to keep in touch, songs were heard, face-to-face conversations were happening between people on opposite sides of the globe, art was sold, literature was shared, celebrity was gained, news was spread, protests and revolutions were organized—and all this could happen in a manner of weeks, days, hours.

Certain powerful people, however, feared the blizzard. They hated it because they could not own the snowflakes, and because other people were using the blizzard to challenge their authority. The powerful ones were wealthy, and they promised their money and their support to the leaders of the people, as long as those leaders promised to destroy the blizzard. The leaders were greedy, and they sacrificed what was best for the people at the behest of the powerful ones. Slowly but steadily, laws were written, fines were issued, people were imprisoned, and the blizzard finally dissipated. Without the blizzard, the electric brains were no longer useful, and the people set them aside. Society was no longer as vibrant, for ideas were no longer easily shared, and innovation was not valued.

Society will remain this way, slouched and sluggish, until the blizzard returns.”

As you can probably tell, this story is not about someone I saw on the CTA today. I wrote this story to voice my opposition to PIPA and SOPA. The internet we know and love is under attack, and it's important that we fight to preserve it. If you don't know a lot about PIPA and SOPA, educate yourself. Then sign a petition, and/or contact your Senators and Representatives

1 comment:

  1. Becky,
    This is beautiful - and apt. How did you learn to write so well???!!!
    The Mom


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