It’s strange how shocking this is. It’s a reminder of how dependent we have become on our networked environment. As a sardonic colleague put it this morning, some of his students are going to be mightily discombobulated today when they realise that (a) an essay is due and (b) Wikipedia isn’t available. But that’s too cynical. He and I use Wikipedia every day, and it often saves us a lot of footnoting and explanation.

The blackout served a useful purpose — that of drawing attention to the SOPA and PIPA Bills now before the US Congress. I wrote about these on January 8. Joi Ito, Director of the MIT Media Lab, has posted a really good essay explaining why he — and the Lab — oppose the Bills.