November 18th, 2014

Switzerland, neutrality

Net Neutrality

Everybody has opinions: I have them, you have them. And we are all told from the moment we open our eyes, that everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. Well, that’s horsepuckey, of course. We are not entitled to our opinions; we are entitled to our informed opinions.
~Harlan Ellison

I saw a post recently which read, "By declaring the Internet a public utility, the FCC would be authorized to impose a 16.1% tax on Internet access." It went on to say, "Net neutrality isn’t something we want. It’s a threat to the Internet. It must die." Assuming the poster doesn't want the possibility outlined in The Oatmeal's reply to Ted Cruz's uniformed statement, "Net Neutrality is Obamcare for the Internet;" leads me to believe individuals are simply not aware of the sheer complexity which surrounds all the arguments for and against Net Neutrality. Apparently Ted Cruz (as well as every other member of Congress) is also "oblivious" the FCC is funded by regulatory fees, according to a recent Forbes article. I find that assertion bizarre.

What I read a lot in articles is the term, "principle behind net neutrality" meaning many agree upon an open Internet, but may not agree with everyone else's very specific ideas. That's okay, the only ones who make it an either/or scenario are those who deny complexity (and possibly greedy corporations). And when the bill does come to vote, I will remember that often political parties put "riders" in the bill, which will probably demand some outrageous dispensation which has zero connection with anything even remotely related to net neutraility, so when [other political party] votes against it, I won't be posting a meme stating,

"[political party] hates FREEDOM!"

For example, one could interpret the Forbes article as the author saying he wants to keep wi-fi out of schools and libraries - he must hate children. The idea isn't to latch onto something and believe only one side of the argument - democracy demands proposals be subject to argument and amenable to reason - rather attempt to understand both sides of the issue. In just reading Wikipedia's page on Net Neutrality I was able to see how both sides were for and against things I am for and against. Sadly, my cynicism tells me greed will win out in the end, and we'll all be poorer for it, mostly because we thought taking sides without fully understanding implications was the right thing to do.