Feeds

Vote against a paid-for Pigopolist pol!

Insurgent candidates surface

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Bought and paid-for representatives of the entertainment oligopolies in Washington could find themselves facing challenges back home.

A 26-year old will oppose Howard Coble (R) as a single-issue candidate. Well, not strictly as a single issue: Tara Grubb is the Libertarian Party candidate who says she'll campaign on a single issue, the "Internet", which again sounds like a lot of issues [pl.].

Democrat Senator and former Presidential wannabee Joe Biden, who also benefits from the Pigopolists' largesse, is also in the frame for an insurgency candidate.

The idea of picking two vulnerable representatives - one from each party - was first hatched by Doc Searls and friends in an organized attempt to adopt the Pigopolists' tactic of buying influence in DC by forming GeekPAC. (A PAC is a fund-raising committee).

Lawrence Lessig welcomed the move in his blog. "Man, that would be a coup. Just the sort of thing they would say the geeks could never do," he wrote.

Indeed. And Lessig tips his own choice Hank Perritt, against incumbent copyright Taliban Mary Bono. And how we'd love to see a challenge against Howard Berman the man who wants the right to hack into your computer - and who our own Thomas C Greene brilliantly and accurately described as the House Hollywood sock puppet.

It'll be a great test of how effective computer users are at persuading the public at large that their freedoms are being taken away. So far, they've lacked the will or the courage to do so effectively. I identified a couple of reasons why here, and Register readers have elaborated on the topic most recently yesterday, discussing a parallel open "Stuckist" Net.

One of those correspondents Brian Hurt elaborated in a follow-up.

"Want to see a hundred people look at their shoes simultaneously? Ask a roomful of geeks how many of them would be willing to vote for the "other guy" if he'd support our cause. If you generally vote Democratic, what would it take to make you vote republican? If Republican, Democratic? I've done it. Or you could ask a bunch of SF fans or space proponents the same question, and get the same response (I've done that too).

"This is what the pro-gun (and anti-gun) lobbies do, every other lobby that's effective. Move as a unit. It has been said that managing programmers is like herding cats. We- and I'm a programmer myself- are not good at being part of the herd."

And he isn't optimistic:-

"But OK. Let's assume, for a moment, that such a lobby does coalesce."

"And that the highly individualistic, anarchistic-libertarian tending, geek subculture does decide to start voting as a block. What happens? Birds sing, government catches a clue, bells ring out freedom, and we all live happily ever after?"

"Try again. Take a long hard look at how the anti-corporatist movement is being treated in the mainstream media. We'd be lucky to only be called 'hooligans', and not 'terrorists'."

Or labelled as a right-wing insurgency. There's sure to be a swell of support from the heavily partisan Republican corner of the blogosphere, keen to tip the balance of the House back their way. So unless, as Lessig points out, "balance" is preserved, this campaign will get nowhere.

My only quibble with GeekPAC is a complaint that the insurgent candidates will also need to disarm. The name's wrong. Being a geek by definition suggests you're marginal, and so it's very easy for the mass media to marginalize the campaigns. Fair use, such as sharing music you've bought legally is not a marginal activity: it's a noble populist cause.

It needs an umbrella term as attractive as "Sunshine" legislation, which opened public representatives to greater public scrutiny. Any suggestions? ®

Related Stories

Hollywood's private war for social control
Valenti backs away from P2P hack bill
Congress to turn hacks into hackers
Music biz wants tougher DMCA, CPRM 2 to protect copyright

Practical Stuckism
The Meatspace Mailbag">
l">Bill Thompson answers critics
Damn the Constitution: Europe must take back the Web

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.