It’s hard to know what to make of OneWebDay, an initiative that promotes itself as “an environmental movement for the Internet ecosystem.” It appears to be a one-day awareness-raising event devoted to keeping this former Defense Department project free from government surveillance, commercial malfeasance and anti-democratic social stratification.
Plenty to like, from where I sit.
OneWebDay is Monday, September 22, exactly six months from Earth Day–one half an an earthly orbit of the sun, the yin to the vernal equinox’s yang. (Very cerebral, if a bit creepily astrological.)
The OWD site, oddly, can use a lot of work–usability experts or WordPress programmers may want to volunteer some time for the effort, sort of like a geek squad Habitat for Humanity project.
But anyway, what should you do to participate in OWD on Monday?
The site has some pretty good ideas. I paraphrase:
Go on a virus hunt on your own computer–not only to save yourself headaches, but because what happens on your computer doesn’t stay there.
Donate a computer. “You can donate a new $100 laptop to children in impoverished countries, or donate your used computer to Goodwill or a school.”
The only really bad ideas on the list are editing a Wikipedia entry and donating to the Wikimedia Foundation.
I have previously inveighed about how the public costs of Wikipedia outweigh the public benefits–about how the scattered errors and regular acts of mischief on Wikipedia, combined with its ubiquity and dominance of search results, create a clear and present danger to the world.
So I’ll just say this: If you choose to observe OneWebDay by supporting either of those projects, my own 501(c)3 group, “Wikipedia Must Be Stopped,” will vandalize Sarah Palin’s entry again.
Trust me. You don’t want to provoke us.