- Published on Tuesday, 19 April 2011 02:00
My hands are shaking. The clack of the keys grates my nerves. I hit reconnect repeatedly. They say the definition of madness is doing the same thing again and again expecting a different result. But the hub. Just. Won’t. Connect.
I understand that there are a few moral and economic issues tied up with DC. “You’re stealing music.” “Someone worked hard to make that movie.” “You’re spreading viruses.” I also get that there is porn being downloaded, but that is a conversation between you, your maker and that bottle of hand cream you hide in the cupboard. I also understand the issues of copyright. I understand that somebody (and we’re not talking about the temper tantrums in trailers) may be missing out on a small portion of their salary. But let us not be those people who don’t see the sunshine in the rain.
DC provides a means to share notes, lecture slides, in fact, knowledge across faculties, academic disciplines, years of study, friendship groups, and even strangers. Before you laugh and think I’m blowing smoke, I once obtained some amazing con law notes which I, in turn, shared. On Vula you’re restricted to just your course codes, but with DC the doors of academia are thrown wide open! And isn’t that what higher education is about?
Of course there is a more, shall we say, casual side to DC. Sure, in amongst the work there are some videos being shared. A little music floats back in forth. All this may or may not be free. But let us look at it this way. How many more viewers do obscure shows now have because thousands of students had their shows finish the current season? How many singers now have more fans who, having heard their albums, would actually go to their concerts (where the money is made)? Are we not in fact building this billion-dollar industry? Think of this as a utilitarian moral argument, the greatest good for the greatest number people.
Yes, I have invoked kindergarten-level philosophy to plead my case, but at the end of the day the prestigious honour of this university rests firmly on the shoulders of peer-to-peer sharing. As students after a hard day of late tuts, failed tests, and sleepless nights, or after the soul-crushing rejection when a man who has “lectured u 4 2 yrs” doesn’t recognize you, let alone know your name, the shows on DC give us the strength and sanity to face another day. The strength to sit through that tut or lecture. A reward for that late-night study session. And the notes we find on there don’t hurt.
Sure; the lectures are nice, the tutorials sometimes helpful, and the course readers contain some gems. But we need our fix. We have the need... for our speed. Yes I said it. We are junkies for that half an hour of mindless comedy, those 40 commercial-free minutes of intense drama. It is what carries us through the day... the week... the semester. We need our shows, or campus is going to become akin to something from Dawn of the Dead. Res will start to mirror deleted scenes from Hostel. And no one wants that. As one student eloquently put on Facebook: “We literally cannot survive without DC!” So for the love of all things DP-related, will this hub please connect!