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net neutrality - Pope Salmon the Lesser Mungojelly

Dec. 21st, 2010

03:35 pm - net neutrality

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Let's be clear what we're talking about: Video. No one is going to try to profit by charging different rates for different streams of text. Text was out the barn door before we ever started having this conversation. Then images escaped, and still everyone was stunned still. When audio started to escape, the Napster era, finally the defenders of the status quo leaped into action-- and failed. They had no idea what they were fighting, and they never landed a single solid blow.

So now they're taking a crack at video. They're doing a much better job. The ISPs intentionally slow-walked the bandwidth so we'd spend as long as possible in the region where video is sluggish; now we're forced to walk slowly through this pass where they can spring their ambush. But that's all we're fighting over: Just video, and just the next few years. In a few years the technology forces the situation by making video so tiny it can slip through any net. There's a lot of money that could be made in those few years, but it's not as much money as they're imagining.

They're imagining taking control of us forever. That is not going to happen. None of us have the power to back information technology into Pandora's box, not even for a good reason, not even if we need to to save humanity, never mind so someone can make a few bucks selling videos. Soon the cost of storing or transferring a video will approach zero, and this fight will be history. If we invent something that takes more bandwidth than a video, there will be a window of a few years where it might be possible to control that, whatever it is. But it will never last forever. The theoretical limits on bandwidth are very far away, more than enough to transfer entire humans never mind any human media.

This is a ridiculous game with little actual relevance to the future of humanity.

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