Saturday, July 7, 2012

Ron Paul doing internet freedom all wrong

Look, I have read Atlas Shrugged and the Fountainhead--and liked them and appreciated them.  I think Ayn Rand has many useful things to say about the world and our society.  I even believe, on the whole, that she is quite simply correct, in any important sense.

I also know that there are a lot of people who reference her work while at the same time advocating corporate looting of the public treasury, which is how you can always tell someone who hasn't actually read Rand.  Trust me, she hate hate hated those kinds of fuckers.  The "looters" she frequently refers to in AS are both those people who use the government to steal from private people, and the converse--people who funnel government money into their own coffers.

Remember, Dagny Taggart's dad almost killed a guy trying to give him government money.

Yes, I have actually read the books and know what I'm talking about.

Unlike Ron and Rand Paul and the internet.  They do not have the faintest clue what they are talking about, and frankly I suspect their strangely generous telecommunications donors may have something to do with it.

Look, I even consider myself a libertarian, albeit a realistic one, in my view.  Too many Randians can't seem to think for themselves, once their brains are filled up by all of Rand's ideas.  Which frankly, I suspect was her goal in making those books so damn big!  Most people don't seem to think for themselves too well, so I'll just be sure to fill their heads with something more constructive than destructive....

So anyway, I do like many of Ron Pauls ideas and I do think he is the only presidential candidate who would actually change anything.  Which is not to say I would vote for him, oh no.  For every good idea he's got he's got another one which is specious at best, or just plain dumb.  And his and his son's new internet crusade is a perfect example.  It's also a great example of why people that don't  understand the internet should just unplug their computers and in particular please stop talking about it as if you do.

Reading their words it sounds just great to stop government interference with internet service providers, if you don't know anything about the net, it's history, and what a lot of large corporations are trying very hard to do to it.

It's like this.  You pay Comcast for internet access.  Google pays a bunch of providers for their internet access.  Thus, you and Google can talk to each other via the internet without interference, as you have both been sold a "neutral" internet connection.

You ask Google questions.  Google answers.  No problem.

The problems start if say Comcast gets greedy.  They call up Google and say, "hey, if you want my customers to be able to access your site, you need to cough up some money or I'll block it".

The converse could be that Google could shake down Comcast for more money in order to allow Comcast's users to access Google.

Mind you, they don't say "I'll cut off access", but "I'll give you improved access", but it's all semantics.  In the end I've already paid Comcast for a full, unfiltered internet connection, and Google also paid for theirs.  That's what net-neutrality means.

If you want to call it government regulation, please understand it's the same as government regulation keeping you from murdering people.  It's about having a civil society.

Without net-neutrality, the internet could quickly disintegrate into a series of disconnected fiefdoms, a la AOL and Compuserve in the 80's and 90's.

Personally, I think it would probably work itself out in a Mutually Assured Destruction type scenario.  But I'd rather not take the chance.

And Dr. Paul, please understand as well that if you were to succeed in destroying net-neutrality, it would almost certainly only destroy the American internet.  The rest of the world would never be so fucking stupid as to go along.

And that would be a shame.  Because the internet is American, dammit.  Why is it only we who are threatening to destroy it from so many different angles?

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