The Core Dump

Lower your shields and surrender your ships

[By Nic Lindh on Tuesday, 17 February 2015]

Against net neutrality

The Arizona Republic prints a willfully ignorant editorial against net neutrality. It makes Nic unhappy.

This morning The Arizona Republic published an editorial with one of the worst arguments against net neutrality to ever waste innocent ink.

Take it away, editorial board:

Turning control of the Internet over to the FCC is an invitation to bring to a thudding halt the creative destruction that has marked the Internet from its outset.

The changes wrought through a free, open, mostly unregulated Internet have been monumental, all in service to a ubiquitous, dynamic electronic web that evolves before our eyes.

What part of that tidal flow of change might an Internet-controlling FCC impede in the name of lawyerly “fairness”? The spread of ultra-fast Google fiber? Wearable technology? Both those nascent innovations tread on someone’s sense of fairness.

Read those few short sentences again carefully—they are works of art when it comes to obfuscation. In those sentences, the editorial board manages to conflate two separate things not once but twice in a haze of purple prose.

First, they mix up the content delivered through the Internet and the distribution of that content. Which is either so ignorant that you can only marvel at the arrogance of sitting down and writing a strongly worded opinion about something you don’t understand or, more likely, a grossly cynical attempt at swaying the opinions of people who lack the grasp of basic technology by willfully lying to them.

Second, the word “fairness” has two meanings which, again, are conflated. There’s the actual meaning in this context, that of the content not being altered through things like artificial slow lanes, and the second an emotional response to perceived injustice.

I’m pretty sure the editorial board knows what they’re doing by mixing those meanings, making people think the big bad government is getting involved in decreeing what is fair and what is not. (Can you smell the lurching liberal oppression?)

The only thing net neutrality is concerned with is that the pipes don’t mess with the content. No matter what the content is and where it’s coming from. There could not be less of a value judgment.

Golf clap for managing to sneak that piece of sleight of hand in there, I suppose.

If you haven’t been paying attention to net neutrality and don’t understand why I’m getting all bent out of shape about what is one of the most important issues facing America, huge expanses of the Internet can’t wait to inform you. This is a good place to start.

« Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do

 »


You like to read about politics? Oh, I have thoughts about politics!

When the levee breaks

The Occupy movement, the Tea Party, and now Trump. America is angry.

The tire fire of democracy

Nic has never been more worried for the future of America.

Yearning for the Cold War

The GOP base is searching for a new Evil Empire to fight.

Jade Helm and the fever swamps of patriotism

Did you know the U.S. government is planning to invade Texas? Well, it’s not. Nic attempts to explain.

Another shot of wet socks against net neutrality

The Republic prints another sad editorial about net neutrality. Nic’s regard couldn’t be any lower.

Against net neutrality

The Arizona Republic prints a willfully ignorant editorial against net neutrality. It makes Nic unhappy.

As the rage rages in the Tea Party’s rage

Nic tries to understand why people choose to live lives of fear and anger.

Voting in America

The American voting system is stuck in a time warp. This makes Nic sad.

Red immigration meat in the Arizona primaries

There are ways to fix the illegal immigration problem. They don’t involve yelling at children in buses. Nic explains.

After the empire fades

Game of Thrones and The First Law Trilogy illustrate the different ways England and America are dealing with fading empires.

White privilege in extremism

It’s way easier to be an extremist in America if you’re white.

Further to the right

The idea that both the left and the right in America are getting more extreme is false. Here’s why.

How to privatize a public good

The standard right-wing approach to privatizing public goods like education and health care.

Blaming the victims

The Arizona Republic editorial board thinks the young ’uns are lazy.

Communists in the House of Representatives

If things are in balance, there should be Marxists.

What the hell were they thinking?

Nic tries to understand the Tea Party. Predictably, it doesn't go well.

Two Americas, one good one bad

Nic immigrated to an America that looks to the future and uses science and engineering to make the world as great as possible. And then there's another America.

Cain and the Democratic conspiracy

The harrassment charges against Cain and the sad kabuki theater of the Republican nominations.

The long democracy

Campaign season is gearing up in America and Nic has some thoughts on the endless primaries ahead.

Sports journalism is hurting democracy

Political news coverage in America tends to be abysmal. Nic explores why.