Friday, January 14, 2011

Net Neutrality - The Media Fight

Apparently you can have too many renewals on a library book.  I didn't think it was possible to reach this point, except I have.  For whatever reason I just can't seem to actually make use of the items I borrow from my new library.

Maybe it has something to do with the collection being well, so incredibly limited in genres that I find interesting.  Maybe it has to do with the fact that the majority of the books are quite outdated and showing their wear (I know, you can't judge a book by its cover but I am a visual person and frayed edges with dirty smudges really puts me off of something.).  It could also have to do with the fact that I have Netflix that fills my time (going through Nova, PBS, and National Geographic specials is fun for me - I know I'm a dork.).  That is probably the biggest culprit, the advent of the instant stream.  Instead of having to wait for a week or months to see the next episode of a series, I get to watch it right in a row.  I can have addictive marathon after marathon and no one is the wiser (except Christian, poor bloke).

I have mixed feelings about the accessibility of shows on Netflix. While my bad habit is coming to an end (because there simply aren't enough series available on instant play to whet my appetite) it could have been on-going.  Cable generally puts me off if I end up having to watch something other than what I want or wait, I simply turn it off completely and pick up a book. This result would be bad for the production company no matter what - no money could be made through cable or Netflix. 

Most of the people I know with Netflix are poor intellectuals who can't be bothered to deal with cable.  These people tend to also use the lovely Skype.  Remember these are people who wouldn't have these services except for the cheap accessibility that companies like Skype and Netflix offer.  So then I have to wonder, why would Metro PCS try to charge people more money for their internet service if they use either of these companies' services (or better yet, just blocking them)?

Oh, I remember!  Corporate greed!

It goes back to resource control.  In this, I have to say, I am a bit of a social anarchist.  I think the internet should be free.  Total net neutrality.  Call me a rebel, say I belong with Emma Goldman, but it's true.  One of the things that is so critical to our world today is the free flow of information.  Put a stopper in that and all kinds of things crop up. 

It doesn't just have to do with who makes money off of music files, TV shows, or e-Books.  It's about being able to access the news freely - a number of different sources at any given time.  It's about connecting with people, staging protests or flash mobs, creating communities surrounding issues and making a difference in the world.  It's about sharing our very human experience in America with someone's very human experience in Uzbekistan.  I for one don't want uber-corporate controls stifling information flow.  Even though Comcast hasn't pulled this fast one on us yet, I have to say something, because honestly, like World War 2, we could be next.

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