Net Neutrality and the Strange Concept of Freedom
Thanks to an alert reader who by now probably regrets sending us this story
The Internet was before the FCC this week. Like many, we’re nervous when the government notices something we like.
However, the issue was access to the internet.
As stake is the desire for internet and wireless providers to charge more for faster service. No one has any problem with charging more for faster service now, but the internet, it turns out, it is not infinite. The technology and infrastructure limit the capability of the system to carry an unlimited amount of data, and that very likely will always be true, for two reasons:
1. There is a theoretical limit to the transmission of data even if we use logarithms to fold data many times over. The electron is only so fast, the photon carries only so much information. Technology is not yet exhausted, but it is possible we see the theoretical wall ahead. There are other possible limitations, and one that seems persistent is that it is dangerous to be bathed in radio radiation, but more and more devices uses “wireless” technology. It might indicate a human limitation to data transmission.
2. There seems to be no end to demand. The “limit” of transmission is actually defined by the system’s ability to meet demand. There is, of course, a “theoretical limit to demand” but it is probably much higher than capability.
When the limit is met, as it nearly is now, suddenly internet access will become like gold or health care: limited to those who can Pay.
That is what is at issue, your dollar in a supply short internet environment.
Those who favor “net neutrality” think the internet should be like the telephone system, or the planet’s air: available to everyone at an equal price. In its purest form (a form impossible in the Land of the Free) net neutrality also means no government intervention in content, methodology, technology or any other aspect of the internet.
That, of course is impossible, primarily because conservatives insist that the government control everything people do. As a result, there is a push from “law and order conservatives” to monitor emails, and insist that all encryption systems are open to government snooping. They want more “parental controls” so kids can’t see nude adults and they want site snooping so adults can’t see nude kids, and they want everyone with the words “Mohammed” or “Hussein” in their names electronically monitored, and so on until there is literally no way to escape the government on the internet. Go HERE
Oddly, if you flip over a “law and order conservative” it becomes a “free internet conservative”! Conservatives object to the wealthy not being able to have what the rest of us can’t have. What’s the point of being wealthy if you don’t get something other people don’t?
In other words, in this new, strange meaning of “freedom” it really just means that the public resource of the internet belongs to those with the most money. Instead of air, they want the internet to be like gold.
As the internet becomes increasingly clogged, prices will increase. It will also limit the development of new hard and software. Even if net neutrality supporters get their way for now, eventually some kind of a “free” internet system will have to prevail which will be a combination of air and gold, and the internet will be treated like water: no one gets it free but everyone gets enough.
In the meantime, is there any way to discourage conservatives from using the word “freedom” when they mean “profit”?