Monthly Archives: September 2013

My Solution to the Internet

Should the internet be free from censorship?

Yes, kind of.

I’ve been following a bunch of recent controversies on my twitter feed, from the alleged fake book reviews, to the changes on Goodreads. They all seem to stem from the same problem: the never ending battle between free speech and civility online.

Why does the internet turn so many people into troll-haired jerk-monkeys?

Everyone knows the answer. It’s anonymity.

If every person who harassed someone else online had to look into the judging eyes of their granny the next day, I think that the internet would clean itself up in no time.

It truly is a new issue. Shame has always been what made free speech work. Before the computer era, you could say whatever you wanted, but you had to live with those words.

Not anymore. Now you can spout whatever crazy-assed thing you’d like, and unless you attract the attention of the FBI, it never comes back to roost.

I’m going to offer a controversial solution. Rather than online censorship, everyone who logs on must sign into an internet profile. It doesn’t say where you live, it just gives your name, every website you’ve visited, and every comment you’ve ever made. I should be able to see it and so should your mom and your boss. Maybe it would be a sort of online SSN that you’re given at birth. If you want to talk smack on duelinggrannys.com, that’s fine, it should just be there for everyone who knows you to see.

I’d imagine that my plan would have a bit of a negative effect on the porn industry. That’s okay. Porn has gotten OUT. OF. CONTROL. If the average internet pornoholic had to get their whole fix from movies and magazines, they’d have to back up an 18 wheeler porn truck to their house to reach a near equivalent. People would have to devote whole rooms of their house to it. I think consumption would go down if Granny had to sleep on a hide-a-bed in the porn room. It might make it a bit harder to hide from the wife and kids too.

Getting back to trolling, I’m sure there would still be people who don’t care what people think of their behavior, the same as there is in everyday life. I’m fine with that. If you believe in something unpopular, you should always be allowed to speak your mind. Own it. Rather than using the internet as cover, hold your head up high, pound your chest, and say, “I’m me, this is what I believe.”

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Writer’s Toolbox – Awesomesauce

So the only way this is going to work, is if we’re all on the same page. If you haven’t read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s/Sorcerer’s stone, sorry.

When you pick up a book, what makes you turn the page? What’s the yummy ingredient that gets you from page 1, to ALL HAIL THE VICTORIUS HARRY. Opinions may vary, but I think it’s the glorious little blobs of awesomesauce that keep you from snoring into your butter beer.

Some people will argue that it’s the characters. I don’t think so. Characterization is what happens in between those bites of saucy goodness. Let me show you what I mean.

Put aside the first chapter prologue-ish thing of Potter part one. We’ll start where the real story does, in chapter 2.

We have a trip to the zoo (Zzzzz… Huh, wha, I’m awake). There’s some stuff that happens, some of it’s pretty cool and we learn great things about Harry. It all ends with a little blip of awesome, a talking python.

The next chapter can be summed up pretty easily: Mr. Dursley is a D-Bag, but then we get letter-toting owls.

Then Hagrid.

Hogwarts.

The Sorting Hat.

And we’re off to the races. Each awesome builds to something awesome-er.

Where is the characterization? It’s stuffed between those delicious dollops of awesomesauce. Character is what keeps you coming back for more. You want to discover what happens to Harry next, so you buy Chamber of Secrets. Awesome is what gets you there, character is what brings it home.

When an opening falls flat, it’s often due to too much characterization. Scratch that, rather too boring a situation. Writer thinks, “I need to show my darling going through this tough (and sleepy) thing. How else will the reader understand him?” Sure, do that. Just make it awesome too.