Copy Paste?

So, last Wednesday, I went to Mummy Brown paint’s presentation: Actually, why CAN’T I copy money? and it was pretty fascinating. She had used this blog to base her presentation off of, which is the link that I’m going to base this blog post of off.

While the title is Why can’t I copy money? Is that censorship?: Thoughts on framing SOPA and PIPA, there’s really not much to do with SOPA or PIPA specifically. Instead, the post talks about what is censorship and how to frame and argument and conquering the Internet frontier.

It’s interesting, the post, because it really is about how to frame an argument properly. After all, if you control how something is framed — where the boundaries are, and what the distinctions are — then you have a good bit of control over how it is defined in the end.

An interesting issue that this touches on is what is censorship? When is it a good thing, or a bad thing? What is copyright? How are the two connected?

I really liked the example of not allowing people onto your property being censorship. It’s a twist to the word that no one thinks about — the connotations of censorship have a more malevolent sort of feel. It’s sort of like the aftertaste to the word is bitter and full of vengeance. Which, yeah, the guy standing with the shotgun has the same sort of feel, but locking your gate doesn’t. Yet, censorship can apply here.

I don’t know, I thought it was cool. I like words, and phrases, and origins. (Did you know that close but no cigar comes from days where there were cigar slot machines? And if you didn’t win, well, you were “close, but no cigar?” It’s one of my favorites. Beating a dead horse is an interesting one as well, but let’s not get into that right now.)

I wish that this blog post was longer, but it’s only seven paragraphs, and not much of that is substance. It’s mostly just throwing questions out, thought it does contain a lot of links. There isn’t all that much that can be said solely about this page, except that the author has really bad grammar. (Which, yes, I know it’s rude, and that mine isn’t all that great either, but still. The way the end of this sentence is never, ever going to be anything even resembling “okay”. Just, no. That’s not where the punctuation goes. Not unless every teacher I’ve ever had was terrible. …Though, US education being what it is, that actually wouldn’t surprise me.) I do,  however, like how he used examples of framing to show what he meant. If framed right, you really can lead the conversation down whatever path you want.

It’s really quite manipulative.




2 comments on “Copy Paste?

  1. Dear ekhlami,
    Thanks for the link to my post. I am glad you found it of interest. I agree that it is a bit light (7 paragraphs is not a lot for the topic) and the grammar needs work (being quick and grammatically correct never seem to go together for me. :))
    The focus was on changing the minds or views towards the issues, which you picked up on in your post. The challenge is that we fall prey to the use of terms like censorship, which we immediately assume, are bad. Yet, in many ways censorship is exactly what the parties want so long as it favours them. (The origin of censor in Rome (very crudely) as being someone who upheld the public morality (however understood)) and enforced it. For an extended disucssion of SOPA, ACTA, and PIPA, see my blog at

    On the question of education, I have another blog on that one that may interest you. I would be interested in your comments on it.


    • Dear Lawrence,
      First: Whoa. I can’t believe you read my blog. I feel both honored and significantly more guilty about commenting on your grammar.
      Interesting. I didn’t realize the origins of the word were so different from colloquial usage. (Clearly, I need to go back to looking up origins. I just haven’t had time. This will need to be remedied. Soon, my vocabulary will atrophy, and then all will be lost.)
      As far as framing goes: this explains an awful lot about many, many things.
      Thanks for leaving the other posts — I’ll have to check them out. Sadly, I won’t be able to for a few days, but I’ll definitely be by.
      Take care,

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