While some folks are preparing feverishly for the Chinese New Year (it’s the Year of the Dragon, darlings, so prepare yourselves), many are speaking publicly about censorship.
Today, Wednesday, January 18th, thousands of websites have gone “dark” to protest SOPA & PIPA, two US bills racing through Congress that threaten prosperity, online security, and freedom of expression. (http://americancensorship.org/)
I thought, then, that today’s Word should be censorship.
Censorship is defined as the institution, system, or practice of censoring or the actions or practices of censors.
Censoring is a transitive verb that means to examine in order to suppress or delete anything considered objectionable <censor the news>. Also to suppress or delete as objectionable <censor out indecent passages>.
According to the Encyclopedia Britannica’s online article on the history of censorship,
Censorship, as a term in English, goes back to the office of censor established in Rome in 443 bce. That officer, who conducted the census, regulated the morals of the citizens counted and classified. But, however honourable the origins of its name, censorship itself is today generally regarded as a relic of an unenlightened and much more oppressive age.
Illustrative of this change in opinion is how a community responds to such a sentiment as that with which Protagoras (c. 485–410 bce) opened his work Concerning the Gods:
“About the gods I am not able to know either that they are, or that they are not, or what they are like in shape, the things preventing knowledge being many, such as the obscurity of the subject and that the life of man is short.”
To learn more about SOPA and PIPA and what these bills could mean, please visit websites like:
Here is a video from website fightforthefuture.org:
Use the internet to read all you can about censorship, SOPA, PIPA, and piracy, oddlings. To quote a cartoon Bubo is fond of: “Knowledge is Power”.