Open Letter to Rick Falkvinge

Dear Rick:

When I wrote a criticism last week of your incomprehensible TED video, in which you  vaguely stump for the Swedish Pirate Party, I had no idea that you were about to produce an article that so beautifully exemplifies the depraved extremes to which you and your kind will go to protect your cherished technology.  In your BLOTTR article, you insist that child pornography must inevitably be, as you say, “re-legalized” in order to first, accommodate technological changes (you refer to Google Glasses); and second, hedge against censorship in general.

In truth, your unforgivably longwinded article would require an even more unforgivably longwinded response were I to criticize it point by point; but I’m sure most rational readers will be able to understand it’s legal and humanistic fallacies as long as they have even the slightest memory of high school civics.  For a pirate, you’re not much of a sailor on the sea of reason, it seems. As in your TED video, you yaw about on a rudderless ship, spilling gibberish and actual lies through those oversized scuppers in your principles.

If it sounds like I’m taking this personally, it’s because I am; and so should any other adult who understands that exploiting children is (I know this a word you don’t like) wrong. Sometimes, Richard, the utter wrongness of an act is sufficient reason to make it illegal, even if the laws themselves are imperfect. If human civilization demands that we seek every opportunity to stop the exploitation of children in any form, then your technology be damned.  Let it conform to humanity’s needs or let it fail.  But, of course, you’ve made a career out of promoting exploitation in another form — that of artists and craftspeople who actually work for a living — so it should be little surprise that your first concern is for your toys and not our children.

Photo by Thomas Bedenk.

Funny that you point to CNN coverage of Operation Desert Storm as a seminal moment because I do too, but from exactly the opposite perspective.  That war, which put CNN on the map and, therefore, validated 24-hour news, transformed news reporting forever and not necessarily for the better. It meant that news would compete with entertainment and then become entertainment, which is precisely what happened, all to the benefit of side-show politicians such as yourself.  As one real journalist I know put it so well during that time, “It’s all presentation and no information.” It is a perfect example of what I mean by The Illusion of More, and suddenly you so neatly personify this myopia gazing at the world through those Google-colored glasses of yours.

I predict your fifteen minutes are nearly up, Rick. See what you can do to avoid further damage, while you’re here.



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