Blog #5 – SOPA/PIPA and Research – Christina A. Pascucci

Photo retrieved from: and edited with GIMP

Photo retrieved from: and edited with GIMP

1.  In the first video, Why SOPA Is A Bad Idea, Clay Shirky was talking about the various pieces of legislation that have gone through the Legislative, such as the Audio Home Recording Act (1992) and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (1998), and two that are current bills within the Senate, SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protecting Intellectual Property Act).  Clay Shirky also talked about how we used to only be the consumers, which the media businesses liked, but now we are also serving as the producers and sharers, which the media businesses do not like and they are trying to stop with these bills in the Senate.  In the second video, Search Now and Search in the Future:  A Look at Where We Are and the Current Vector, Daniel Russell was talking about research skills, how to improve research skills, and how research has changed greatly over the years.  Daniel Russell discussed how we used to utilize libraries and books for much of our research, but we now do much of our research utilizing the internet, such as online journal databases, which is nice because research can be done anywhere.  Lastly, the transcript we read/audio we listened to was regarding the inaccurate radio remarks made about a visit to the FoxConn plant in China, of which the original story was withdrawn, but we were able to read the original transcript to see the inconsistencies and falsities.

2./3.  In regards to the issues of SOPA and PIPA breaking the internet, as Clay Shirky referred to the matter, he suggested we be proactive and tell our government representatives and senators that we oppose these bills and we hope they will listen as voters in their jurisdictions.  I feel like this concept very much so links to leadership because being proactive and potentially producing change are qualities relevant to leadership.  Plus, just as we are the consumers, producers, and sharers within the media world, we should utilize those same skills in producing change (or stopping change) in regulating polices and sharing by getting others to join in on stopping this issue.  Sharing can even happen by utilizing media to spread the message.  Also, I feel like the transcript/audio is very relevant to the SOPA/PIPA issue because if bills like those passed, we as the consumers/users/information seekers would probably not be able to find the real information.

Created with Inkscape

Created with Inkscape

An interesting point to me was when Daniel Russell was talking about socially constructed content and the information age being largely social, especially when he was talking about the homeless man that he met and spoke with on a trolley/shuttle inPortland.  It was fascinating to hear how this homeless man was involved in this tail spotting (for planes) online community in which he, and others who he interacts with digitally, essentially monitor planes coming and going from various airports.

Photo retrieved from: and edited with Inkscape.


I found it somewhat humorous when Daniel Russell was talking about the group of engineers that could not figure out a problem in front of them and wondering why they did not have the information they needed within their “conceptual toolbox.”  Then, he told another story about him and his 14-year-old son being at a Stanford Basketball Game and the son really liking the song that was being chanted by the crowd.  Daniel Russell basically told his son that it would be too difficult to find based only on a chant from a crowd, but the son was not a sufficient enough answer for him, so the son ended up finding the song quite easily on his own because others had previously searched for it as well.  Perhaps young people are quite resourceful because they have been much more accustomed to utilizing various media for their whole life, so they naturally go to it as their solution.  When searching for information on this notion that young people are resourceful when utilizing media, I found this interesting article listing the Top 20 Young Internet Entrepreneurs Under 21 (pretty interesting what they have all done at such young ages!).  Also, I found an interesting article called Internet Use Clouds Millennials’ Ability to Read Body Language, which mainly discussed how so much exposure to media has diminished the social skills of the millennial generation.  However, it also mentioned how “research indicates that millenials are great at processing complex information and integrating sensations and thoughts because there’s higher baseline activity in the part of their brain that controls these areas, Mullen says” (Camille Tuutti, March 23, 2012).

4./5.  I guess I was most confused by Clay Shirky talking about how previous similar bills have not been passed, so why do bills of this kind keep popping up?  What is the current status of SOPA and PIPA?  Is there a possibility of something like this passing?  And if so, how would they really police it with such a large portion of the population not abiding by it from the get go?  It would essentially be requiring people to change how they have been using the internet for several years now.  And wouldn’t passing bills like these infringe on the people’s rights in some way?

6.  I think the discussion on a person’s conceptual toolbox was helpful in thinking about our upcoming project because I considered what I have in my personal toolbox that I will be able to utilize as I work on the concept and then when I work on the technology piece of the project.

I also thought the discussion about reaching out to your political representatives was a piece of thought of beyond the video and when thinking about my organization.  I am continually working with students who sometimes come to me complaining about something to which I usually respond to them with something like, “Well, what are you going to do about this?” or “What have done to express your feelings about this and attempt to make some change?”

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