Today is my Dad’s 83rd birthday, he was a tireless civil servant working around the negotiation table throughout his distinguished career with one goal in mind; The best pay and working conditions now and for the future. It’s the future part that worries me when we look at SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act), you see, my Dad often talked about sustainable systems that protect and plan for the future of education. He finished his career as the Director of Education in New Zealand, his signature on every paycheque of every educator in the country, including my first when I went to teach at a school part-time out of university (I wish I had kept it). His system of pay scales and job titles within schools still exist today and he was brought out of retirement to look at the Picot Report which reformed education in New Zealand and is still referred to here in the UK. His work lives on, proof of a vision for the future.
What does this have to do with SOPA? If he could, my Dad would rip this poorly thought out piece of legislation to bits. Yes, I think I just reverted back to when I was 5 years old “My Dad’s bigger than your Dad”. He understood what motivates people and gives them a future to look forward to, this is why he created the education employment scale and job titles that still exist today in New Zealand’s educational system and has been adopted in other countries. People like to know what role they play, what contribution they make, their unique position in any large organisation and a clear ladder to climb.
SOPA’s goal is to protect money not people, to stop progression and future technology and to run away from what they either fail to understand or are too scared to embrace. Dan Pink refers to Wikipedia in his excellent motivational animation about what motivates us. Why do highly paid, well-educated intelligent people take time out to contribute their special knowledge to a website for free? Because it motivates them, they see their contribution as part of the future, they see the difference they make to the future sharing of knowledge. SOPA is not the way forward, it’s a step back.
Get with the program people! Look back at our history and see how many industries have been destroyed by piracy then look forward confident that we can change and embrace the technology and sharing of ideas and information. Well led, legitimate businesses work. Poorly led, dubious businesses don’t work and naturally die out.
Ignore the fringe, they were never intending to buy anything anyway and never will. Legislation will not change this, it’s a red herring and a waste of our precious time!
Happy Birthday Dad! Love you x
Reading the proposed bill is quite a task and as I am not a lawyer, very difficult to navigate around the language used. If you want a fantastic summary of why SOPA is so wrong please read Chris Heald’s article. Click here.
It is laughable how bad this legislation is.
I never needed an alarm clock as a little boy, my bedroom was next to the bathroom. I was woken every day to the sound of Brian talking in the mirror as he shaved. Practising what he would say in the meetings ahead of him that day, knowing that if he got it right he could make a difference to our future.
Brian William Jackson (Dad) lives in a specialist care home now for those with advanced Alzheimer’s.
Me and Dad
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