“I love you as the sclave loves…. light and the blind…. liberty!” – Rică Venturiano, a very confused citizen (character from a famous play of I.L.Caragiale, “O Scrisoare Pierdută” [“A Lost Letter”])
Yesterday, 30 January 2012, Google celebrated 160 years from the birth of Ion Luca Caragiale, a famous romanian playwright best known for his satirical humor.
The problem is that Wikipedia, champion of knowledge, had let us totally perplex by providind 4 different dates of birth for Ion Luca Caragiale, two by old style (the Julian Calendar), and other two by new style (the Gregorian Calendar). At that interval of time (1800 – 1900), there was a difference of 12 correction days between the two calendars.
So, the four dates of birth are 18 January (O.S.), 30 January (N.S.), 1 February (O.S.), 13 February (N.S.). But which is correct? Searching deeper into the problem, I found that:
Yesterday, the Internet wasn’t a good place to navigate.
The Network “oceans” were shadowed….
Every time I wanted to learn something, I kept hitting myself by the locked doors of knowledge. Wikipedia had been blacked out….
Every time I wanted to search the definition of a certain word, a black screen appeared in front of me. The Romanian Explicative Dictionary had been blacked out….
So yes, the blackout wasn’t a nice thing.
But how would you feel if this happened to you every day?
Today, 18 January 2012, as a sign of protest against the legislation proposed in the United States – SOPA and PIPA – Wikipedia in English is now in total darkness.
Today, 18 January 2012, as a sign of sympathy towards this protest against measures that could harm the free and open Internet, the blog “theodorvisanmiu” also goes black (but only by background color).
Although I am Romanian and the U.S. laws cannot directly affect me, I rely on Wikipedia in English very much and I believe that an act whose purpose is to do good may do quite the opposite, and this may be the case for the bills against Piracy and protection of Intellectual property.