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Neutral as Black and White

Hi everybody. I'm actually having regrets about posting this last blog. This has been so much fun!

I guess I would take a more militant stance on net neutrality if I understood in more. In a way I've come full circle in this course, and am once again feeling like kind of a dummy. I did not understand all of the acromymns Orlowski used to explain the matter. VoIP? Anyone?

I liked how both sides say consumers will pay--this seems like a good subject for a student of rhetoric to dismantle. The truth is that no one can tell the future. Perhaps this debate will be something that sidetracks us from seeing a really big picture--kind of like the Apple vs. IBM war in the early 80s, which totally did not see Bil Gates with his purloined windows operating system taking over the planet. But I digress.

I feel that the telephone companies do not need to be paid for the use of their sytstem if the government was already paying them in the 1990s. I agree with the talking head in the Human Lobotomy spot, that telephone companies did not invent the Internet, so why should they find a way to profit? Also, I agree that the way the net is used, content created by business, nonprofits, and regular joe consumers--each given equal value and access, is just fine. I think narrowing possibilities so we can play movies on our computer (what's wrong with a TV?!?!?) does not add up.

I'm a little nonplussed, though, that Whitacre's few comments, supposedly made innocently enough, created this firestorm of net-community activism. If you look at it content-wise, as Orlowski tried to do, the pro-net neutrality arguments make as little sense as the cable/telecom arguments--because neither side really knows what it really meant. Thus by participating in emotional rumor-mongering, the pro-neutrality camp nearly proves the anti-newtrality camp right. We really are bunch of Wikipedia dweebs who don't know what we are talking about.

Nearly. I think it is time to take a page from Courtney Love's page and look at legislation that is being written by assistant's and passed in the dead of night. Therein we will find the truth. I just hope it will not be too late.

Man, this sounds so pessimistic! Sorry to end on this sour note. You all have been a pleasure.

Comments

I second your feeling of confusion about all the acronyms... I understand media consolidation, standard capitalist business shenanigans, and corporations backing what appear to be grassroots movements, but if someone asked me to explain the details of the net neutrality controversy and the genuine implications for users, I would not be able to form a very good answer. It's discouraging to think that we could be duped into thinking we are fighting for the little guy, when those little guys are the Googles and Yahoos of the world.

I totally agree that since phone companies were not involved in the development of the Internet, that they should be not be given full ownership of it. I think that the Human Lobotomy speakers were correct in saying that phone companies have no right to enforce such acts. And I agree with you, maybe this issue is more of a distraction from another issue that has not surfaced yet.