Author Archives: Soumya Mukherjee

SOPAthetic SOPA vs The Internet

This was merely a proposal, which possessed harmful potential. Too good it was brought to notice on time. Too bad it was slaughtered badly!
“What else can you expect from the same bunch of idiots who officially recognized pizza as a vegetable?” a glimpse of many hilarious quotes by the internet-surfers that were directed against SOPA.

Before I discuss the topic, let me first give you all a brief description on what really the fuss was all about.

SOPA or, Stop Online Piracy Act, which was put before the US House of Representatives. by the Republicans, asked for putting tabs on internet sharing and proposed a strong oppression for those who violated copyright laws. Needless to say, the world witnessed an absolute virtual revolution and consequently, it could not be passed. Perhaps, the biggest reason would be that the Congressman Lamar Smith who authored SOPA, pulled it off after a humiliating development of events proved that the Father himself violated the terms of his brainchild!(Jamie Lee Curtis Taete of Vice.com did some digging to find out if Lamar Smith has been honest when it comes to copyrights.According to Taete, Smith violated a copyright by using a photograph on his website without crediting the photographer. This is the background photo Smith had on his website.)
So Pathetic was SOPA (one of the gazillion phrases coined for the bill) that, the Internet Giants saw the threat coming, and stood against it, in unison. For the first time, all of them-Google, Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, Cragslist,and countless others. took a stand, opposing the bill openly.
Phrases like: “Stop Piracy, Not Liberty”, “The problem for the content industry is they just don’t know how to mobilize people”,”SOPA and PIPA Would Create a Consumption-Only Internet” spread the internet like Greek fire, and info-graphic sites like mashable, techcrunch posted quite a many interesting statistics which proved why SOPA won’t end piracy. Here are a few points I would like to share:
-the language and implications of SOPA has the potential to hurt the very industries and content creators the bills purport to protect.
-The backers of SOPA and PIPA believe that forcing ISPs, search engines, web hosts and users to take responsibility for infringing behavior will put a stop to the infringement. This is short-sighted and misguided-— there is a large underground business that profits off of copyright infringement and digital piracy. For the most part, however, that business is not online. In parts of Asia, such as China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, it’s a chore to find content for sale that is not pirated. Perfect digital copies of movies, television shows, music and software are for sale in packaging that looks and feels as if it were authentic.
-That industry will not disappear because of SOPA. The groups that source and distribute content will not be affected because they are technically savvy enough to get around restrictions. Finding a web host in another country and using a VPN service to tunnel to a different server is a trivial task.
-the countries where the bulk of the actual profit from piracy takes place will have little incentive to enforce a U.S. law. Just look at the situation involving the now-defunct AllofMP3.com — a site that sold DRM-free music to users in the U.S. and other parts of the world for $0.10 a track under a Russian copyright loophole.The site was eventually shut down, thanks to pressure from the Bush administration and payment companies. But Russian courts ruled the site was not guilty of infringement in that country.

Wikipedia and Craigslist supported the protests by staging blackouts for 24 hrs.- and this actually resulted in an array of internet memes making fun of students, and professors etc. , who are involved with the usage of the biggest available encyclopedia on earth. Many web-surfers did not know the full form of SOPA, some even confused it with SOAP, some made fun out of it by linking it to the Spanish word sopa, meaning soup.

But all these actually proved one thing- internet users can be very active-whether they are well-informed or not-but they can ensure that what needs to be done, gets done.
Talking about the internet unity, I would state:

We users, don’t know each other well, we fight with each other most of the time, we crib about our lives-our relationships, our work-schedules etc. We drool together whenever we are reminded of our childhood-through cartoons, books etc. We end up being sarcastic with our comments, but we also end up caring for each other. That thin string, which connects us, is very strong- ask for a solution to your problem, you will get multiple of them.  Ask for any recommendation-you will get the best ones possible. Ask for some ideas-you will not be spared before you are loaded with thousands of them.
So this is what internet is all about. And when we talk about freedom, we are not only implying that we be allowed to use the internet the way we want. We want that the walls between us, which are so brittle by now, don’t get reinforced. This connectivity between people around the globe, is only adding to the social development of an individual-people are more comfortable now, when they interact with strangers, in the real world.

So as we successfully convey our message to those who wanted to end this freedom, I would like to conclude, with these lines  by an anonymous user:

“You can mess with our social interactions,steal our money,make our health care and educational systems ridiculously lame, we will do nothing..but don’t you dare…mess with the internet.”

Ah! That heavenly bite (Chocolate)!

Chocolate A word enough to make your taste-buds ask for it. As we celebrate every day with this amazing creation by mankind,

I have taken and elaborated three scenes here which show how magical sometimes it feels, to find a bite of chocolate, at the right place, and at the right time!

Scene 1: Hunger at workplace

You are busy at work. Your boss wants to set an example of his work-ethic by giving you pressure that you won’t even wish to give to your worst enemy. Conclusion?

You miss your lunch, perhaps your dinner too.

Suddenly you notice a shiny-wrapper peeking out of your laptop bag. As if God’s angel was there for your rescue, you find that it is a chocolate bar! “Screw work, screw the boss!” you declare, and open the wrapper so restlessly that even your peers-at-work might want to make a video clip of you!

Soon enough, you see a brown-colored mold-and the glitter in your eyes .that moment is priceless… The scene becomes melodramatic, as tears start surfacing your eyes and you take a big bite from that innocent piece of chocolate. Ah! that heavenly bite! You relish each and every single ingredient, you savor the creamy filling, you enjoy the seduction of the smell. And before you know it, your day was made.

Scene 2: Boy in class

You are sitting in the front row of the class. Your teacher is so boring that you suddenly start wondering why the blackboard is black in color!!

Sitting at the first bench has its own low-points: You cannot yawn, you cannot wink at the girls, you cannot pass comments for the teacher, and the worst of all-you cannot do anything to satisfy your hunger.

And as if your sensory organs are determined to trouble you, your stomach gives away continuous growls to let you know it is starving! And there you realize that you got a bar of chocolate in your pocket. What do you do?

You ask your friends for assistance, with the simple promise of a share. Your friends oblige, they give you cover, you sneak to the back-row of the class, your friends join you, and then, three steps: open, momentary glance, and…HUGE BITE! Ah! that heavenly bite! And as your buddies are busy fighting for the rest of the chocolate, you find yourself drifting away-to that utopian land of happiness!

Scene 3: The penniless guy with his date

You are sitting with your date on a bench lying in the park . You are broke and you are  shy enough to ask for a treat.

But she seems less interested in seeing your state as she is very busy, blabbering about almost everything that this universe has ever possessed. Its not that like you don’t like her, but a hungry stomach plays weird tricks on your mind, and you suddenly feel that urge of giving your date a “neck-rub” with some twisting and turnings!

But you are shy, you are a fool- and this combination of traits combined with the hunger makes you blurt out a big fat: BURRRPP!

Embarrassed, your palms do the job of covering your mouth, while you decide to take a furtive glance at your date. She is flabbergasted!

But then, the miracle happens. She takes out a bar of chocolate from her bag, and suddenly, you are in love-not with her-but with that choco-bar. And your shamelessness makes you stick your tongue out like a puppy, leaving your date  laughing, uncontrollably!

She opens the wrapper carefully, and you get so ecstatic that you almost give her a big smooch, but she offers you the bar instead. “Go ahead!” she chirps. And without wasting a second, you grab a huge bite! Ah! that heavenly bite! And soon you find yourself landing an innocent kiss on her cheek. Eek?!!

No! She smiles and takes a small bite too, and as you thank this flavor which was making you swing with happiness, you realize-the cupid has struck!

Teresa Remembered 26TH..

26th August was observed as Mother Teresa’s 102nd birth anniversary. So , while the whole world is busy dealing with
their own issues, let us all Indians shift our focus from Anna Hazare and Lokpal Bill
to this issue, for a little while…

Awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace, she was the Mother of the underprivileged-gifted with immense amount of kindness, love, affection and tenderness. She could not bear to see the pitiful condition of the children on the streets. Hungry, malnourished children, begging on the streets-ached her heart the most. For the poor, the orphaned, the sick, the under-privileged, she was a ‘Messiah‘. Till this day, the world observes her contribution as something that is unmatched, yet so simple. She is not with us anymore, but it was always her dream that people-irrespective of ethnicity, religion, and place-always lent a helping hand to those who were needy.

But how far have we succeeded in doing so?
Today we are so happily participating in rallies, staging a peaceful protest, associating ourselves with pride, in this August Krantibut how many of us really remembered our obligations towards the underprivileged of the society?

Everyday, I see a million of rag-pickers-most them being 4-8 yr old kids. When asked, they give a confused expression. It seems that the very idea of not dreaming, was infused in them. Everyday whenever I go out, and there is a stoppage at the signals, I would see children coming out of their hoods-some start cleaning car-bonnets, some sell roses, some try their best to woo us with toys made of cheap plastic, and some, just beg-a clear sign of their desperation and an inability to satisfy their hunger. Cannot blame God but, we the people overlooked something, somewhere, which resulted to this.

Statistically speaking,India’s one of the major democracies where child labour is a raging issue-hideous in its own terms. And this gets worse as soon as you get down to the core of the issue, because then , evils such as Human Trafficking too come to play. Our Govt. has taken up initiatives, and has churned out certain policies too, but these alone are not sufficient to track down and destroy this problem.

                                WHAT ONE NEEDS TO DO-

Yes, it’s us, the people, who should really look into this matter.

See a child selling roses-ask him/her, why is he/she doing this. compel them to question themselves-why should they leave this. Make them dream-give them hope by offering them some help-maybe a few hours of our work would be sufficient enough to make their life better like never before. Take up a “social- drive”, where you and your friends can go to slums to offer simple but priceless education, some basic amenities, and, just a little love. I have done that, and I am sure that the smile that will light up in those kids’ face, will be rewarding enough for your noble work.

With that note, I conclude, with this beautiful quote by Mother Teresa:

“If you want a love message to be heard, it has got to be sent out.
To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it.”