Touch That Dial!
"Problems cannot be solved at the same
level of awareness that created them." - Albert Einstein
Story Short: Vote Democrat and save the internet.
It's your only choice.
'net? Working like cable TV? Whatchoo talkin' 'bout, Willis?
There will come a day when your ISP, and basically there's only two of them now,
will tell you that if you sign on to its service you will have to use their proprietary
browser. A browser that will only let you go to sites that are approved by the
ISP, and those sites will just happen to be ones that pay the ISP money to be
included in its browser.
Think they can't? Think they won't? Think again. After all, why should they allow
you to waste their precious bandwidth visiting Uncle Fred's Cat-O-Rama if it
doesn't put a nickel in their pocket?
It won't happen all at once but it's happening now. It begins with exactly the
kind of media consolidation which has occurred over the past eight years. One
day you'll wake up, as many cities have, to find you're living in an informational
cul-de-sac catered to and controlled by one data stream. You'll now follow Big
Data's rules or go without. And don't even think about building your own citywide
wireless system as that was legislated out of your reach a long time ago by the
In this wretched future you'll be able to shop all day but innovation, the thing
that made the internet such a marvel, will be a thing of the past. I know this
because I've been through this once already.
When cable TV came to my city back in the early 80s there was much skepticism
about one company being the gate-keeper for all that information, so we were
promised a number of bright, shiny trinkets to divert our suspicions.
One of them was the development of a number of public access facilities that
would let us make and transmit our own media, sort of an early Youtube. There
were eventually three or four channels on the "B" side of the box filled
with all sorts of sometimes delightful, mostly dreadful home-made lunacy. I should
know, I made some of it.
Another pie-in-the-sky feature the cable company used to reel us in was interactivity.
We would, they promised, be able to react in real time with what was on the tube.
What we got was a control box with a couple of buttons on it that let us answer
questions to dumb quiz shows, and not much else.
As you might expect, after a couple of years those channels disappeared either
due to budget cuts or lack of interest. More likely they were disposed of the
moment the contract for such frippery expired. All that was left was exactly
what we've got now, a little box that works only one way. You can either take
it or leave it.
I, personally, leave it.
The net still holds unending promise as long as its kept out of the money-grubbing
hands of corporations, and John McCain's campaign is slopping over with telecommunication
lobbyists. Demand that the net be kept neutral, the way it was designed. In this,
there is only one choice. Vote Obama.
Seriously. Go here to learn more.