Second Amendment Meets First Amendment


While waxing nostalgic and looking for the roots of the rebellion against SOPA and PIPA I found a relevant bit of paleoblog navel-gazing come true.

From 2003, as the power of social tools -- preached by pioneers like Dave Winer and grasped early by the then-rising Howard Dean presidential campaign -- was dawning on the rest of the world:

Weblogs bring Second Amendment logic to the First Amendment.

The Second Amendment means everyone gets to have a gun.

The First Amendment means everyone gets to say what they want to say.

But a limiting factor on freedom of speech has been that the tools of mass communication have been unavailable to most individuals. Some people are more equal than others.

Now push-button publishing onto the Web means everyone gets to have a printing press and a distribution network...

Arming people with weblogs certainly provides a check on corporate media and the government.

I thought of that when I read this in this morning's New York Times:

[The SOPA] protest grew out of a much wider grass-roots movement -- a collective flexing of Internet muscle that started in some of the less mainstream parts of the Web, like the social news site Reddit and the blogging service Tumblr, and in e-mail chains and countless message boards.

I'm not claiming to have foreseen the paths social media would take -- if I had, this post would have been dictated to my manservant, Cunningham, as I prepared for another day on my private island -- and any tecnhotopianism I felt at the time has been ground down to the nub by reality.

But, still, things kind have happened as expected, and the changes came quickly (in historical time, if not net time), and we are not done yet.