A time to break silencephiffer.org

I did some light maintenance on something I made a few years ago on a previous Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Mainly I replaced the QuickTime embed with the more modern <audio> tag and hooked it up to an interactive transcript. This makes it possible to deep-link into the speech:

We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.

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This was something I built when I was a student at ITP and making one-off web pages. At the time I was doing a daily exercise of creating a novel online artifact, figuring out the best way to express an idea in HTML/CSS/JS.

I’m happy to start tidying & conserving this old code. And glad to have an excuse to meditate on Dr. King’s speech at Riverside Church.

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On the ownership of MLK’s speechesmotherboard.vice.com

The rights to the “I Have a Dream” speech are owned by EMI. They are only legally available through buying a $20 DVD.

What would King have made of all this, and of SOPA? I think he might have reframed the question, with poetry: how does ownership of ideas effect how we exist together in the world? How does the spread of ideas help push forward better understanding among men. What price are we willing to pay to keep ideas free? How do we decide who deserves access to ideas, who gets to build on them, and who gets to “own” them? Who gets to censor them, and at what cost?

See also: On the Media’s MLK segment

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