No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.
- Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. ___ (June 26, 2015) (Kennedy, J.).
Cory Doctorow, in remarking on YouTube reaching the astonishing rate of 1 hour of video uploaded per second, shares this excerpt from a forthcoming book. I thought it was really great:
A common tactic in discussions about the Internet as a free speech medium is to discount Internet discourse as inherently trivial. Who cares about cute pictures of kittens, inarticulate YouTube trolling, and blog posts about what you had for lunch or what your toddler said on the way to day-care? Do we really want to trade all the pleasure and economic activity generated by the entertainment industry for *that*? The usual rebuttal is to point out all the “worthy” ways that we communicate online: the scholarly discussions, the terminally ill comforting one another, the distance education that lifts poor and excluded people out of their limited straits, the dissidents who post videos of secret police murdering street protesters.
All that stuff is important, but when it comes to interpersonal communications, trivial should be enough.
My parents received a Google TV (the Sony version) for Christmas. Being the visiting technophile, I was tasked with setting up the device and teaching my parents how to work it. I had previously set up the exact same device for my roommates over the summer in San Francisco, so I was familiar with the set-up and the device itself. This post is a brief review of the set-up process, followed by my thoughts on the concept of Google TV and similar systems.
Today, the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing about the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). SOPA — along with its Senate counterpart, PROTECT-IP — is a disaster waiting to happen. Calling it a blunt instrument would be a compliment. Essentially, it gives private actors the extrajudicial power to cut off traffic and advertising money to sites that are 99.9% legitimate, but happen to have a few links or pages related to infringing materials. I’m not talking about random websites, either: Etsy. Flickr. Tumblr. All of them could face crippling liability that undercuts the existing DMCA notice-and-takedown system that — while most definitely imperfect — has enabled the birth and flourishing some of the most innovative websites we have today.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice.
And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
Thank you, Steve Jobs, and rest in peace.
Image: cc-by-nc-sa / jmywuaco