Thursday, December 16, 2010

For Your Further Enlightenment V

Well, I'm very busy at work again. I don't have time to write all the posts I have in my head, and that's frustrating. But I get to listen to The Smashing Pumpkins' Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness right now, do laundry, and look forward to seeing my new shrink tomorrow afternoon. Oh, and I get to put these links right here, where they'll be safe and I won't forget them. 


  1. Hey! I was wondering what your take on this net neutrality business is?
    Hope you're well!

  2. Hello! I am doing fine at the moment. I really need to go to the gym a lot more often. It works wonders.

    I don't really have a take, to be honest. I haven't been paying as much attention to this issue as I should. My knee-jerk reaction, based on insufficient information, is that I support net neutrality.

    If you have a moment and your own take on this, why don't you tell me what you think about it and why? I am interested in finding out what you have to say about it and learning from you.

    How did your lunch with the bigwig go?

  3. One of my Facebook friends posted the following link:

    Note what the writer says about double-dipping. This reminds me of what Bob Sullivan complains about in Gotcha Capitalism, i.e., how fees are a significant drain on the economy.

    I haven't stumbled upon arguments against net neutrality yet. I hope I do soon.

  4. I stumbled upon many arguments both for and against. I approached this with zero knowledge and an open mind. This was my favorite video:

    Have you read that the 111th congress has passed more laws than any other since 1960? Why is it that we're all okay with that?
    Laws = Power. Laws should only be passed when completely necessary. The folks in favor of internet regulation didn't come close to convincing me that net neutrality rules are necessary. But I'm not blaming congress for net neutrality this time...because I can't. I'll have to reserve my blame for the five unelected bureaucrats that passed the silly rules. Rather, the *three* that passed it. Two were opposed and believe the push for/passing of the rules was politically-motivated and legally unjustified. No cause for concern there, right? ;)
    I'm sure we can agree that politicians are great at creating a crisis when there is none and using that as an excuse to pass ridiculous law. (Historically liberal politicians have created a faux-crisis more often and with more legislative success than conservatives, in my opinion.)
    But my thoughts on net neutrality come down to this:
    I have a problem with shoving new law through any door that it'll fit through. I have a bigger problem with unnecessary laws that give the government unnecessary power.

  5. That is a compelling video. Thank you for that.

    I have a Facebook friend who considers himself a libertarian and who also supports net neutrality. Libertarians all want a free internet, but they disagree over how to achieve it. (Being a liberal, I side with libertarians on these issues, so I'm actually on your side. You lean libertarian, right?) His view is that there is no guarantee that the free market will maintain neutrality, since the profit motive isn't necessarily consistent with it.

    I can appreciate his position on this, but I also appreciate yours. Again, I don't consider myself to be well informed on this issue, but this seems to go in the If It Is Not Broke, Do Not Fix It category. All else being equal, more laws is worse than fewer laws. If there is no need for net neutrality laws, then there should be none. The market appears to be doing a fine job of regulating itself at the moment. I agree with you about that. And I like the analogy made in the video between bandwidth use and electricity use.

    While many people are skeptical about the government, though, I tend to be skeptical about corporations. The fact is that profit is not the only thing individuals value, and the corporate world, in my view, overemphasizes the value of profit. I understand that profit is their game, and the pursuit of profit has a valuable role to play in many human endeavors. But government regulation is needed to moderate the pursuit of profit. Even Milton Friedman acknowledges this.

    So if the pursuit of profit conflicts with freedom, a balance must be struck. ISP's must be allowed to be profitable, but they can't be allowed to violate neutrality for the sole purpose of maximizing profits, either, and that's where government has a legitimate role. I think that's a pretty moderate view. But again, I wonder if this is just a manufactured crisis as you say, requiring no government regulation.

    I hope to read more about this at some point, but I'm going to focus on the holiday in the meantime. I hope you have a good one.


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It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence. ---W.K. Clifford

Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear. ---Thomas Jefferson