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The internet is fucked (again)
By Thom Holwerda on 2017-07-12 13:37:27

FCC chairman Ajit Pai is fond of saying that "the internet was not broken in 2015" when he argues for repeal of our nation's net neutrality rules. This is particularly funny to me, because in 2014 I literally wrote an article called "The internet is fucked".

Why was it fucked? Because the free and open internet was in danger of becoming tightly controlled by giant telecom corporations that were already doing things like blocking apps and services from phones and excusing their own services from data caps. Because the lack of competition in the internet access market let these companies act like predatory monopolies. And because our government lacked the will or clarity to just say what everyone already knows: internet access is a utility.

Most of these things are still true, even after the Obama-era FCC under Chairman Tom Wheeler reclassified internet access as a Title II telecommunications service and imposed strict net neutrality rules on wired and wireless internet providers. And most of these things will get even worse when Pai pushes through his plan to rescind Title II and those rules, despite widespread public outcry.

Hey look, another case of corporations actively working to undermine society by bribing politicians with huge amounts of money that individuals would never (or only rarely) have access to. As long as politicians' power is derived not from the people, but from money, shit like this will continue to happen. Trying to stop Pai's obviously horrible and destructive anti-consumer plans is a noble goal, but these plans are only a symptom, not a cause. We're playing whack-a-mole, while they are playing Jenga.

These corporate criminals and their political lapdogs will keep throwing money at the wall until it breaks - and they have more money than we have bricks and mortar.

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Read Comments: 1-10 -- 11-20 -- 21-30 -- 31-40 -- 41-45
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RE[3]: Why stop at condemning capitalism?
By Alfman on 2017-07-14 18:11:40
CaptainN-,

> These are all problems we see time and time again in capitalism and have even solved multiple times, usually through kaynesian economic policy (applying external controls to capitalism). Nothing about automation means people should have to live a crappier life, and that history goes back over a century. All we need to do is make sure we all share in the benefits of automation, but capitalism (defined in my other response) doesn't allow for that because of the way power is allocated. When we have solved these problems in the passed it has been a separate political system (which allocates power differently) applying the fixes in an external way.

Well, I agree with all of that and your other post too. That world would be better than this world, but it doesn't give us a clear path to get there. The underlying problem is that people with wealth and control actually benefit from the unfair distribution of resources, and power. And to defend their conscience they've invented this perverse notion that greed is good. How do you propose we actually change things though considering that greedy aristocrats preside at the top of government and corporate institutions? One way would be a revolution where the masses take control by force, but that would undoubtedly result in military power to squash it. Is there any precedence in all of history for a peaceful redistribution of power to the public?
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RE[4]: Why stop at condemning capitalism?
By CaptainN- on 2017-07-14 18:44:20
I agree with you on multiple fronts. I propose we get started on the model that would replace the current one. The problem with the current model is that it's unsustainable. Yes it does benefit those greedy bastards at the top to do what they are doing in the short term, but it massively destablablizes the system in the longer term. Eventually, it will cause a crisis that can't be solved so easily by government bailouts (once the mass of people figure out they are the ones paying - and there are signs they are figuring it out).

Since I'm suggesting that since the collapse of that system is inevitable, I think it's best to follow the model of a company like Mondragon, and just get started (they started in the 1950s). We can form 1 vote per person companies today (by tying the number of shares to the number of employees, and distributing shares amongst employees), using existing corporate rules. No need to wait at all! All we have to do is stop tolerating the old command and control ways of doing things, and do it differently.
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RE[4]: Why stop at condemning capitalism?
By CaptainN- on 2017-07-14 18:46:30
Pretty much - though I think we need to have better models to follow than most of what I've seen. Most of the models I've seen (In the USA) are formed by young folks, and they fail on a number of fronts. The model I want to follow would scale and persist - something like Mondragon in Spain.

Universities do a great job of training corporate lackeys to run those giant businesses - we could use something similar for how to start and run worker coops.

Update: Just to point out though, there are a number of different kinds of coops, and I'm talking specifically about an organization where the workers both own and self direct (if not directly manage) the company. Both of those are part of the hack. THat can look a couple of different ways - but to leave a corporate system in place, it would mean the board of directors would have to be made up of workers from the business (preferably, or maybe exclusively made up of asset producing employees, and not salesmen or managers). They would hire the CEO, and set compensation, etc.

Edited 2017-07-14 18:57 UTC
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RE[5]: Why stop at condemning capitalism?
By grandmasterphp on 2017-07-14 20:13:56
Not they talk about different types of economic theory, which I linked in one of the comments above.

Capitalism is quite clearly defined.

Edited 2017-07-14 20:15 UTC
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RE[5]: Comment by kurkosdr
By Dr.Cyber on 2017-07-16 21:08:36
>

You want to be left alone, yet allowed to be participate in that society. You can't have both.


Strawman, because I do not want to participate in the governments system, and neither do I want the 99% to leave me alone.
But they will put me in jail should I commit the crime of demanding that my human rights be respected. So I have no choice in the matter. Just like all of you I am just cattle.
>
I believe they do, but then I do like Australia's mandatory voting at state and federal elections. Free societies have few obligations, but there are some obligations I don't think can be shirked in order to keep the rest of the freedoms.


I am not talking about laws. Any mafia boss can make laws if they have the gun power to enforce it. Governments are just the strongest mafia bosses of a country. Laws are not a guidance of morality.

One of the few obligations a free society needs is to respect that which belongs to other people. Their property, their bodies, etc. And who would enforce that? Not a bunch of psychopaths who steal goods (thus violating the right to property) and use a small fraction of that which they stole to enforce respecting human rights.

If the majority of people respect human rights then the people will enforce it.

And if the majority of the people wants to violate other peoples rights then we are screwed anyway, even if we appoint the foulest of them to be our government and give them absolute power like we have done now.

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People treat voting like it's supposed to be done once, decision is final, the winner takes it all. Voting is there to steer society in a direction. You can't do hard turns in society. There is no way to get the exact choice you want, you can only get a choice to steer society in a direction you want.


Voting is there to give the illusion of choice.

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It's simply infantile to chuck a hissy fit just because you don't get to choose exactly what you want.

That depends on what it is that I want. For example, not getting beaten up by random thugs is exactly what I want. So if I do not get to choose to not get beaten up by random thugs, will you be standing next to my hospital bed telling me how infantile I am?

Your statement is too general to have any meaning.

Edited 2017-07-16 21:10 UTC
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