From the Editors

SOPA/PIPA

Today, January 18, a number of sites including Wikipedia and Reddit have gone dark in protest of the United States Congress's consideration of H.R. 3261, the "Stop Online Piracy Act," and S. 968, the "Protect IP Act."

Arcade remains live, but I have blacked out my own blog today, and on my own behalf urge readers of Arcade to inform themselves of the grave legal, ethical, and technical ramifications of these bills. Internet policy is currently being made and voted on by people who have an embarrassingly minimal understanding of how the internet works, a devaluation of expertise that should concern all scholars. Once upon a time it was funny when Ted Stevens called the internet "a series of tubes"; we listened to the techno remix and called it a day. But SOPA and PIPA make it clear how dangerous that ignorance can be, just as the recent Arizona ethnic studies ban reveals the danger posed by ignorance of—yes, little old us—the humanities. Moments like this reveal the urgency of public scholarship.

Natalia Cecire's picture

Lecturer in English and American Literature, University of Sussex.