I'm not really sure what to think about a lot of this. What I do believe is:
() We need meaningful competition for broadband. (I live in Silicon Valley and all I can get is Comcast!)
() A given company should not be able to be in both the content and connectivity businesses. If classifying broadband as a utility is the right way to accomplish this, let's keep it; otherwise, let's find a different way. I'm open to argument about the means, but not so much about the goal.
() Laws proscribing localities from setting up their own broadband utilities are unconscionable and need to be gotten rid of. I don't know if the FCC or even Congress can do this -- these are mostly state laws.
I don't know if Ajit Pai is going to bring us any closer to this world or not.
There are some industries that are natural monopolies, like water and electricity, because it's incredibly expensive to build both last mile connections and core infrastructure. They're also natural monopolies because you don't really have great, cost competitive alternatives to water and electricity provided on a large scale.
When you consider hard wired internet, it bares of a lot of similarity to utilities, in the cost and difficulty of accumulating infrastructure and in the absence of effective alternatives.
For that very reason, internet should be classified, like other natural monopolies, as a utility.
Moreover, last mile lines should be rentable or available through competitive bidding. There's actually enough dark cable to make some regional ISPs viable if they could actually get access to consumer level last mile lines. But Comcast won't get off them unless they're kicked off them. And if you try to build lines then Comcast will half their rates in the areas that you offer service in!
Of course, Ajit Pai will have a lobbying job earning well north of 400K the moment the Trump administration runs out the door so it's really not his concern.
One counter here is that the reason they have a monopoly is the last mile lines and easements, but arguably there is enough spectral bandwidth in the wireless realm that perhaps whats really missing is competition for home internet from wireless operators. I'm not sure where I stand here but I do think its interesting to consider whether it would be better to help bring competition somehow from that side into the home broadband realm or whether the landline route should be made more public. I'm sure there are some capacity limitations on the wireless side also that may make this a pipedream.
There needs to be more consumer education to allow them to differentiate between high-performance things like fixed-wireless compared to running their home internet off their phone's LTE connection.
Funnily, my iPhone's LTE connection (according to SpeedTest) has very good latency and throughput: I get ~10ms to my nearest major city and ~30mbps downstream, sometimes my LTE upstream speed is faster than my home DOCSIS connection. Alas I can't use it as my home connection because I need a static IP address and more than a few gigabytes of data-transfer per month (more like a few terabytes...)
We have ~50 users on our unlicensed fixed wireless service and we've been running into numerous signal issues. Wireless isn't the answer.
I've read a bit about WISPs, because they seem like a happy solution to the whole monopoly problem but they haven't caught hold in the way that I've hoped. Latency seems to be a pretty significant issue. Consistency in signal strength is also a problem.
I also sort of think that this is kind of the way we get out of problems without ever getting at the root cause. We look to technology that may exist at a later point to fix problems caused by underlying political, organizational and infrastructure issues. Always looking for the next band aid for the bullet hole I suppose.
Clearwire ran into many of these same issues, but they were able to operate at two orders of magnitude more power than most WISPs can (1 watt vs 150 watts) and had way more bandwidth around 2Ghz to work with, all of which was pristine.
What that would solve is high speed low latency access for rural areas.
Now all we need to do is actually make it work...
1) You don't operate wireless in a vacuum. There's all kinds of potential obstructions to the signal, including any physical objects
2) Even if wireless as a medium itself has less latency, it requires far more relay points to travel comparable distances to fiber, which introduces far more latency than the medium itself
As an example we can see what happened when New Orleans did that after Hurricane Katrina. Not only did Bell South take back donated resources to the rescue efforts, but they and several large telephone companies stepped up an aggressive lobby actions against the city during a time where focus should have been to save human lives and restore the infrastructure.
Same for GSM - if you are too high, too low, too far or in shadow from tower it just doesn't work properly. Holiday overload on the cell - goodbye internet.
Wireless is barely functioning as it is and more customers will just make it worse.
PS: also when something in the last mile is not working it is insane to debug it. Phone disconnects for some reason and that's it. Router is working but devices can't connect or auth. Some APs work and some aren't. My devices from same vendor and same model lineup can't even properly restart by themselves after power outage. I need to go and reboot them in order one by one each time. I hate wireless... :)
Hasn't Trump banned this?
It is speculated that much of the lobbying that occurs is by the influential people in an unregistered capacity and it's known as "shadow lobbying".
"1. I will not, within 5 years after the termination of my employment as an appointee in any executive agency in which I am appointed to serve, engage in lobbying activities with respect to that agency."
... and there is the "out". Just engage in lobbying activities with respect to another agency, where you now have a lot of contacts. Or consult with an agency that does engage in lobbying activities with respect to that agency.
You get the idea.
I am happy that the "Revolving Door", made famous by Larry Lessig (whose writing and classes, if you are lucky, can't be recommended enough) is getting more than lip service from some branch of government. However, this is just barely more than lip service.
Is this not beginning to change though? Setting up a local solar farm for a neighborhood and selling on that electricity seems like a valid business model to me. Same with setting up automated water desalinization and treatment plants. But because of regulations, the cost to do either is extreme.
I think the very regulations that add so much cost may be the one's that have us thinking all about 'natural monopolies' today. The more people you can service, the easier it is is to spread the cost of regulation. But why do you need that cost in the first place?
Still, the distribution grid is a natural monopoly, if somehow it became obsolete because everyone was producing energy at home it would become useless but still have the same characteristics that made it a monopoly.
Given the broad prevalence of this type of activity, it seems to at least suggest some fundamental breakdown within the system of representative democracy or, as you suggest, it is an indictment of governments, in general.
This is actually self-evident in the fact that these companies are actively engaging in non-market strategies. There would be no need to practice such tactics if they could simply hold a 'natural monopoly'. Others certainly disagree, but for me, this argument is the one I find most compelling.
This worked really well so now there is a health population of companies in both the telephone/mobile and isp sectors.
I can get at least 5 different wired isps and maybe 50+ mobile broadband providers in the outskirts of a town of 60k people.
In fact, ISPs thrived, and a lot of them are now installing and contracting the installation of their own Fibre to a lot of residences. Essentially, side-stepping the existing copper infrastructure that kept people tied to the telco monopoly.
In addition, it is quite possible to have competition while still regulating something as a utility. Regulation is really more what the classifacation is about. You want clean water standards, companies that don't turn you off for being a few hours late, and so forth. This stuff is doubly important since in many areas, utilities are a natural monopoly. The classifacation can also ensure that the large companies venture out into small and rural cities and areas. Some folks in the US have only had home phone service less than 20 years despite such laws, after all, and I doubt they would without regulation.
It describes how transmission has stagnated. Particularly the tactics used by large utilities and how they lead to a degraded and unreliable grid.
That's a pretty bad comparison, though, because the transmission of electricity is as commoditized as possible (given that the electricity gets somewhere, the only thing the consumer cares about is price - there's no such thing as "fast" electricity). So what does "stagnation" on energy transmission even mean? There's no innovation - at least, not that the end consumer would ever know or care about - which is the textbook characteristic of a fungible commodity.
The production is not fungible (see: clean energy production vs. dirty), but that's the part that's also somewhat competitive. For example, in New York City, Con Edison has a monopoly on the infrastructure, but you can purchase your electricity either though Con Edison or through an ESCO, which can include clean energy providers.
As a general trend, municipalities which decouple the generation from the transmission and allow competition between companies that generate electricity do tend to have more clean-energy options than those which monopolize both the transmission and the generation.
 A few parts are serviced by another provider instead of Con Edison, but basically any given household is serviced by only one power company
You're repeating the definition of a commodity, which was exactly what I addressed in my first paragraph.
> Both decreasing costs to customers and environmental impact, as well as increasing profit margins for the company.
"Decreasing cost and increasing profit margins" again is part and parcel of commoditization. The environmental impact is what I addressed in the rest of my comment.
Again, the comparison is bad because the only part of the electric industry which is not fully commoditized and which has the potential for non-commodity innovation is the part that is already competitive and much less regulated.
Broadband Internet, on the other hand, is not at all commoditized. There are at least four different things that consumers can care about besides cost per unit, so comparing it to a commodity utility is a bad comparison.
Hahahaha, 400k? The man is the Chairman of the FCC. Try well into seven figures
> In the final months of the Wheeler FCC, the Commission rushed through orders re-regulating rates for enterprise data services, subjecting ISPs (and only ISPs) to a highly-restrictive privacy regime that upends the model of ad-supported free content, and flirted with banning free and sponsored mobile data services that consumers actually want.
The reason the rules apply to only ISPs is that only ISPs are a natural monopoly. If you don't like gmail scanning your email there are sixty free alternatives that don't.
ISPs have nothing to do with "ad supported free content", nor should they.
And consumers "want" free everything, but that's not how "sponsored mobile data services" work. Instead they allow the ISP to charge high data fees while exempting their own offerings to disadvantage or ransom the competition. And if high data fees and destroying competition are the cost of "free", no consumer who actually understands that wants it.
"Because sewers and electricity are far more static markets than broadband. You don't shit 10x as much every 3 yrs."
I don't understand the resistance to nationalizing the physical Infrastructure. This is exactly the kind of thing that makes sense for consumers. Because somebody famous once said Govt. is part of the problem, we don't even want to entertain this idea anymore.
I buy a new house when I'm single. Three years later I'm married and have two kids. More new houses have been built in my neighborhood, and they all have families moving into them.
I sure hope whoever laid the sewer pipes at year zero anticipated at least 10x capacity in three years.
What perseusprime11 is pointing out is that the typical house will consume much more broadband in a few years than it does now, not just the houses with carefully chosen stories.
The government should lay fiber to every home and business, then sell access to that fiber at cost. Let ISPs setup equipment racks at a local POP and do the termination & CPE.
Now you can innovate by replacing the equipment at either end without digging a single trench.
8K video (near IMAX quality) can be compressed into a 500mbps stream, so gigabit should have decent lifespan. If we lay fiber to the premises then we can increase speeds in the future without digging everything up.
But 4K per eye prototypes exist, and will almost certainly be at CES next year. And will ship, maybe next year, maybe the year after. That's 4-ish people on gigabit? Hmm. Doesn't that seems a little bit tight to be confident that "gigabit should have decent lifespan"?
360 video for VR is certainly a bandwidth-hog, but I think that could well be offset by most VR content being game-like, where, though the game might weigh in at 40G, you download it once, and spend 40 hours in it, vs a 4k movie at the same size, which lasts 2 (and which you'd likely re-stream if you watched it again). In other words, widespread VR use, even with next-gen hardware, could actually lead to a reduced demand for bandwidth.
One approach I've seen mentioned is sending a larger-than-used field of view (and resolution), and then locally deciding, with more recent orientation data, which portion to use. Also depth segregation of the scene, and sending multiple copies of nearfield, selected by recent position.
These approaches might result in sending more data than the displayed video.
I don't necessarily disagree with your suggestion of gigabit adequacy. Though after hearing similar suggestions so many times over the decades, about everything on Moore's law curves, and then having them almost always be wrong, I'm... leary of this form of suggestion.
But one way such estimates fail, is being hit by an "oh, we didn't expect that one". So I'm brainstorming (well, merely sort of musing) about potential surprises.
Hmm, surprises... One advantage of a single video stream is the system always knows what's needed next. The user may turn it off, but not much else. The above are perhaps examples of needing to send speculative content, which acts a demand multiplier. The future equivalent of web page preloading.
As people acquire automated assistants, one thing they may do is speculative exploration and data gathering. When a user's eye pauses on a github project, not just download everything about the project, to produce the desired pithy little briefing popup, but also other pages associated with the repo authors (still alive? any replacement project?), news articles, related work, and so on. Automation of the 'github project evaluation dance', which in the fine-grained node.js ecosystem, is frequent. So what is now a few bytes of web link, and a rare on-demand textual mouse popover, followed by slow manual surfing, might be become an immediate massive demand spike, and pervasively common? One potential of VR vs 2D screen UIs, is that while screen realestate must be severely managed, else clutter, VR may permit vastly greater inclusion of speculative "some related stuff", blended as low-cognitive-overhead ambiance. Once upon a time, a web page had the bandwidth demands of a few lines of ascii email from a dumb terminal - no longer.
Consumers at home use bandwidth for exactly one thing: video. I can only watch so much video (just as I can only shit so much).
And the cable that comes into my home - like the sewer line - is 30 years old, and has never been upgraded.
It's really funny because they offer gigabit speed internet but it's cap is lower than the 100Mbit. So you get faster transfer speeds but less actual data.
Also our city (which is relatively small in the 200k range) has two competing cable providers installing fiber for gigabit internet across the city. This doesn't seem uncommon and I'd call that a total replacement.
Netflix/youtube streams are still garbage in image quality with huge amount of compression artifacts.
All that means is the ongoing infrastructure costs and technology upgrades required are even higher. I don't see how that makes it less like water and electricity infrastructure, surely it makes it even more of an extreme example of the same thing?
The fact is a lot of countries have successfully opened up their telecoms markets to competition through regulation. So the US telco company's assertions that this cannot work has been proven to be false. It has been done, therefore it's a thing that is doable.
This very much reminds me of the US mobile operator's arguments that the European model of standardizing mobile infrastructure on GSM was market interference that would harm consumers. What it did was establish an open market in which consumers could freely switch between providers thanks to common technical standards. Meanwhile the US market was ghettoized into GSM and CDMA silos.
Anyway, I think Andreessen's argument is greatly exaggerated. 20 years ago I had ISDN at 128kb, if memory serves; now I have a cable modem that bursts to something like 90Mb. That's a CAGR of 39%, or a factor of 2.7 every 3 years. Give me gigabit fiber and I'll be happy as a clam for years to come. (I don't expect my cable speed to increase significantly from this point either; that 39% CAGR is not going to be maintained.)
Fierce competition made sense in the 90's and 00's when all the last mile technologies were duking it out. Now we know that DSL and Coax cable don't have a future. It'll be either wireless or fiber, and you just can't go wrong with fiber.
Where the heck do you live that runs fiber to the home but can't deliver better than 10mbps?
Suppose you build a pipe to provide 1gigabit/person that should he more than enough for the future. Multiple streaming HD videos /person in peak time. That capacity should last quite a while
It's a physical monopoly. It doesn't work that way with physical monopolies. We need regulation, just like we do with power and water.
FCC is not really of help here, granted if you would have more competition at the ground level you would get more options like unencumbered access at a reasonable price.
I run an ISP. There's a reason for this. In order to compete, you need a viable business. Unless a competitor can obtain >40% market share, it's not worth the enormous costs of deploying new infrastructure. Competing with Comcast is one of the worst possible business strategies ever; they have limitless access to cash and if you try to compete on price you're going to lose.
> If classifying broadband as a utility is the right way to accomplish this, let's keep it; otherwise, let's find a different way. I'm open to argument about the means, but not so much about the goal.
I honestly don't think that's going to solve anything. We're obtaining "utility" status simply by offering voice service, that won't give us any kind of major advantage other than forcing our local government to be more willing to cooperate with us on infrastructure deployment.
Does it make sense to have like three of them going to the house?...
That means you will then have st least four to five (att, Verizon, Comcast, sprint and T mobile) broadband providers to choose from.
Sounds solid to me... one bill for my Internet on all my devices and lots of choice!
In 2008 we should have let the banks fail and all the wealth in the world evaporate like it's supposed to in a Capitalistic society. Instead, we basically made the banks bigger and the rich richer and more powerful.
If the banks holding these complex instruments were allowed to fail, if Lehman Brothers collapsed along with AIG, then it's very likely that the financial system would have been dragged down with it. The resulting recession would be likely on the same magnitude as the great depression.
The bank bailout inserted a huge amount of liquidity into the market, which absorbed much of the shock of reduced consumer spending. Combined with the auto bailout and Obama propping up state budgets, the economy was able to hold together.
Truthfully, I believe that the banks should have never been able to be too big to fail. Let it be said, however, that main street and wall street are intimately linked, and failure of one deeply imperils the other.
Other countries simply nationalize and recapitalize the bank and sell it on. This worked out well for Sweden: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swedish_banking_rescue
Any recessionary impact can always be offset by counter-cyclical fiscal spending.
Either way, it's fatalistic to say that wall street and main street are linked. We could have easily picked main street banks over wall street banks. To some degree, that's what the opposite of too-big-to-fail looks like.
If there aren't any community banks, it's pretty hard to choose them. Dodd-Frank, according to many -- including Barney Frank, the "Frank" in Dodd-Frank -- had a number of unintended consequences, the largest of which was the compliance cost, which smaller banks couldn't manage.
The result of burdensome compliance, more often than not, was consolidation; couple that with the too-low threshold for what counts as 'too big' and the end result was that most community banks were too small to succeed - where we once had 18,000 main street banks in America as of 1985, we currently have fewer than 2,000.
The small credit unions are in aggregate a very big lobby in Washington and they were pretty good at getting small members exempted. DF and CARD were mostly about stopping egregious behavior by very large FIs.
I mean I don't give a nickle about wall street, but I understand that the collapse of wall street would have been totally devastating to the global economy.
Compartmentalization is key for the financial industry.
The basic problem is this: no matter how good your system, it's not going to be used solely by angels, but by a distribution of people. A few of those will be very ethical and unselfish and operate completely within the rules and the spirit of the system. A few others will be total assholes and just exploit every weakness they can find to advance their own interests, regardless of the damage inflicted on others. And a lot of people in the middle will just go in the same direction as everyone else - when there are more good people around they'll conduct themselves ethically, when there are more bad people around they'll help themselves. But the middle group is generally passive and doesn't make any particular effort to either support or subvert the system within which they find themselves.
So in the context of capitalism you'll have some very high-minded entrepreneurial people and some corrupt cronyist types, in the context of socialism you'll have some very selfless individuals and some authoritarian thugs, in a religious context you'll have some saintly types and some hypocrites who prey on the naive and use fear of divine retribution to silence their victims, and so on.
When we design or experiment with social technologies, we have to be on our guard against two extremely risky assumptions: one, that our proposed system would work great if only everyone adopted it, and two, that our proposed system will be used by people like ourselves who share our basic assumptions about right and wrong.
In sum, you're right to point to cronyism but you're wrong to ignore cronyism given the fact of its widespread popularity. there are bad as well as good people int he world, and so we should consider what the possible negative outcomes of our technology would be if such people gained control of it.
This seems far from the general consensus in social psychology, which is that the context we exist in determines the majority of our actions. The Milgram and Asche lines of research are the most prototypical, but Zimbardo has spent his whole career on basically this question.
True sociopaths are incredibly rare (less than 1% of the population). People find it very difficult to betray or hurt other people, and this comes from genetics, not context, and we know this because it is a human universal.
In similar experiments measuring trusting behaviors and betrayal vs. reward responses to those behaviors, 90% of people engage in a trust behavior (giving money to another research participant, over a computer game, never seeing this other person), and 95% of people who are trusted reward, rather than betray, their partner.
This sort of human-naturism is just defeatist propaganda meant to maintain the existing system of total hierarchical dominance of elites (the capitalist class, men, whites, cisgenderds) over the oppressed. You can choose to stop being a shitty person, and your doing that will create a context where other people are pressured to do the same, and will likely concede to that pressure.
(It's not surprising that this didn't exactly take on in an environment like the Soviet Union, where trust was intentionally minimized by the state, which itself didn't trust its citizenry because it was the active target of an espionage and proxy war for its entire existence. It's also not surprising that people in an environment that values capital accumulation over all else are quick to betray each other. However, there are a lot of examples of libertarian socialist territories, brief though they may have been, that contradict the notion that communism (which is the same thing as socialism, there is no difference at all) inevitably leads to totalitarianism. Since these societies were attacked both by capitalists and authoritarian communists, it's not surprising that they didn't last very long either.)
That's plenty. If the system rewards unethical behavior, then the 1% of unethical people will be highly rewarded.
Since we're mostly trusting, the market for this aggregated exploitation is quite large. I'd even argue that it includes, to some extent, all forms of labor.
"Free market capitalism" is a not particularly coherent utopian aspirational vision which defenders of real-world crony capitalism invented as a distraction.
BTW if you've never heard of it, I think you'd be extremely interested in Nomic, a game whose play revolves around the reconstruction of its own rules.
Piketty's "Capital in the 21th century" can serve as a source on how wealth has been getting concentrated in the real world (interrupted by WW2 which spread it out again). He also argues well for why this is an intrinsic feature of our economies.
You may oppose him and say "that was just because the market isn't free enough", but it is an extraordinary claim and I would say the burden of actual proof is on you then.
Solutions to this problem that have been tried and failed include:
* Endless war. This doesn't do much the problem of concentration of wealth (warlords as well as capitalists have high wealth concentration), and it creates sociological problems; for details in a familiar context, read Albion's Seed, specifically the section on the Borderers/hillbillies/Scotch-Irish.
* State ownership of some productive capital (Britain after WWII) or basically all productive capital (the USSR). This works well for a while (see How Asia Works), but if kept around for too long it breaks down, producing complacency, mismanagement, and an inevitable fiscal crisis. Thatcher and Gorbachev did pretty much the same thing, for pretty much the same reasons.
* Wage controls, price controls, tariff walls, heavy internal regulation. The New Deal, Ireland under De Valera, all European governments before the 1700s (see Braudel, The Structures of Everyday Life), and the Tokugawa Shogunate did this. For as long as the will to enforce everything exists, this approach sort of works, and it slows down wealth concentration and the development of crises; but it doesn't stop them entirely, and the crises are likely to be really explosive when they hit. (See also the 1700s, 1968, and the fall of the Tokugawas.) It also leads to technological stagnation, which has other obvious problems.
* Letting the market work its magic. See Upton Sinclair, The Jungle, for why this is intolerable in practice.
Don't ask me for a magic bullet, none of the ones above work and I don't know what others there could be. Perhaps the solution is to just be aware of the problem and try to manage it...
Some forgoed the sacrifice and allowed them to host large community events where their wealth was shared broadly.
Others made it fashionable and socially expected for the wealthy to be absurdly risky with their investments and so ensure their wealth would be redistributed regularly through the risk and reward of the market.
This one seems to be the one we're missing today. In particular because of two trends: a) a tax code that encourages large piles of cash to be accumulated offshore inside corporations and b) the modern trend of large companies to be publicly-traded rather than privately owned.
So then you get a billionaire who owns a large percentage of their own publicly traded company which itself has a hundred billion dollars in cash inside of it. He can't direct the company to use the money for risky investments because that's not what the other shareholders want, but neither can he extract his share of it to do that with because it would incur a huge tax cost.
If we fixed this we might have a dozen instances of Elon Musk instead of just one.
I need to remember that transhumanist axiom, that "the purpose of a system is what it does" -- and not what it claims to do.
In the absence of other factors, it's every known system itself. This is not the same as them being causes. The observation is that humans have not found a suitable system.
Rather than linking you to a particular source of information, there are plenty of good sources here on this 'cronyism': https://www.reddit.com/r/socialism/search?q=crony&restrict_s...
Also, capitalism without government intervention is still as flawed because it is capitalism.
And either way, wealth accumulation is a feature of capitalism, 'crony' or not. So is wage labour, the two-class society of the proletariat and bourgeois, maximising exchange value over use value and the biggest teller of them all, private ownership of the means of production.
Recommended reading is Marx's 'Wage Labour and Capital', and I'm making my way through 'The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists' by Robert Tressell if you want to get to the nitty gritty of what Capitalism was like and how it still persists in its exploitative global form.
Of course this has the same fundamental issues as all economic modeling when employed in practice.
Perhaps, but if the government hadn't refilled their coffers after they blew up all their money, at least a different set of criminals would have it now.
The reason we are discussing this policy is because Trump was elected as the antithesis of the rich and powerful elite. Which is obviously ridiculous but that's another issue. The masses who voted for him are responsible for this policy.
And simply letting the financial system crash would've hurt the poor and vulnerable the most. Just as I personally saw in the UK when Northern Rock went under. It was pensioners and the poor left confused and panicked who were lining up at branches not the big, fat bankers.
Those people actually got their money back whereas the "big, fat" shareholders sued for compensation in court and lost. I'd rather queue.
Letting the financial system crash and deleveraging in a disorderly manner wouldn't have been the ideal way of dealing with the crisis but it would have yielded a better outcome than the bailouts which simply provided lavish subsidies for the financial sector.
It's confusing when people conflate the prosperity of the ruling financial elite with the "global economy".
The challenge with capitalism is these rollups of the small players are great for efficiency but once they get past a certain size it will become a defacto monopoly without regulation.
I'm curious, how do you know this?
"Thanks to the innovation-promoting policies at the new FCC, we're pleased to announce that, starting next month, FoxNews.com, Brietbart, 8chan, the Drudge Report and reason.com, will be deprioritized to 1 Kb/sec unless you purchase our premium plan for only an extra $100/month. God bless America and the free market."
What would be even better is if they only did it in markets where there was no competition, and they announced that they would drop the plan as soon as another competitor offered service in the area. Wonder how fast people's ambivalence about net neutrality would shift then.
C'mon, doesn't anyone have the balls? Sonic?
The biggest unknown right now is whether there will be more competition in the ISP space. We need this now more than ever.
In reality all I've seen is the opposite. The US has bad and/or expensive healthcare, cell service, Internet, TV service to name a few.
I feel like this is cyclical.
You start out with a bunch of smaller companies that compete and consumers tend to win with the advantages you listed. Over time, some get bigger, the smaller ones eventually either go under, or get absorbed by the larger, growing companies until you end up with either one or two really large companies that then become essentially monopolies.
A prefect example is here in the Midwest when they deregulated US West Communications - now Qwest Telecom. There was a huge explosion of CLECS getting into the game, leasing lines from Qwest and essentially competing with Qwest using its own infrastructure (which seemed weird to me).
Consumers won (in the short term) because these new companies were taking all the risks. How much above cost the CLEC's were willing to risk either made them or broke them. It was a gold rush to see who would have the thinnest margin and try and lock down the most customers they could and get them to switch.
I have many, many stories from those days, but in the end you know what happened? Most of those companies went under, a few survived and merged with other companies and are still around, and most of the people who wanted more choice and lower costs eventually went back to Qwest anyways after having poor billing experiences, poor installation, and poor customer service. People think all you need to do is have more competition and it will solve everything - but that's just the beginning.
But, certainly, looking to ISPs to oppose giving ISPs more latitude to capture the value of Internet services is a doomed cause.
This is the crux of the argument.
If you feel government can dutifully manage the internet then you're generally for NN. If you feel the government is incapable of managing the internet, then you're against NN.
My arguments for being against it are simple:
- Not sure how people are all for privacy and encryption, but also want the government managing the internet. They've proven time and time again that if you give them a foot, they take a mile. There is a strange relationship I see to people who distrust the government but are readily willing to allow them to manage nearly every aspect of the internet.
- Also, I've already read a ton on here about monopolies and how they're bad. How is the government managing and controlling the internet NOT a monopoly? How is it once you hand them the keys to the kingdom that they get to pick the winners and losers a good thing? Again, the same people who were against no bid government contracts are the same people touting NN? It doesn't make sense to me.
- The government has shown repeatedly it is a poor manager. We don't need to look very far to see how government waste and mismanagement costs tax payers billions every year. Do I have to mention the ACA sites that cost north of $3B? The fraud in Medicaid and Medicare? The USPS and how they're effectively bankrupt right now? Hell, just the DOD alone costs us billions every year. If people wanted a more efficient system and competition that will lower their costs, I don't see how letting the government run it is a viable solution at all. The list of government entities that are poorly managed and run deep deficits is a mile long.
Lastly, if you've read the FCC's Open Internet order from 2015 you'd find it pretty gives the government carte blanche to micromanage nearly every aspect of the internet: https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-15-24A1_Rc...
But it would be the utopian thought experiment of transparently communicating a concept in practice.
Now your "ISP" is the colo provider, not your home ISP, who only gets to see an encrypted pipe, and everything you do is under a business name.
Seems like the best way forward to me.
Until your home ISP that doesn't care about net neutrality just decides to throttle your OpenVPN encrypted pipe and make it useless, they don't need to see what is inside of the encrypted pipe to fingerprint it as a VPN tunnel.
terms and conditions apply, all other internet traffic is at speeds of up to 1mb/s"
It is far fetched sure, but I honestly wouldn't put it past some ISPs to attempt something super lame like this.
I think the killer app would be to combine this with a mesh networking protocol like CJDNS and some kind of cryptocurrency based micropayments for bandwidth. We could build the data equivalent of a microgrid, a p2p internet operating in parallel with but connected to the hierarchical one.
Without the protection of all lawful uses in the Open Internet Order, any technical hack around non-neutral ISP policies is itself fairly trivial subject to being blocked or surcharged by ISPs.
Seriously, I've decided after reading this. I just want to vote for a party that supports abortion rights, gun rights, a open Internet, and a generally smaller government (focused more on research and education).
FYI Ill be moving to Champaign, IL if anyone is interested.
The first thing you'll need to do is engage in activism directed at replacing the current electoral system with one that supports more than two viable parties (or, alternatively, convinces enough people of your set of priorities that it replaces one of the two major parties or becomes the platform of one of them.)
This activism will, necessarily, need to be a lot more than just voting.
electoral system that supports more than two viable parties
Explanation of USA's FPTP count as root cause of a two party system:
Of the people I asked, the older more politically conservative people opposed it because of the perception that it would make it more difficult for their party of choice to win (I heard this argument on both sides of the political spectrum) and the younger, more liberal voters opposed it because it "wasn't good enough". Less than half of the population even bothered to participate. So we're still stuck with FPTP.
The only chance we've had to completely overhaul our election system and people voted overwhelmingly against it. Ho hum...
Here are a couple of small tweaks that will help a bit:
1. Ditch the electoral college, elect the president by popular vote. There's a concrete proposal for doing that, the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Popular_Vote_Intersta...
2. Fix gerrymandering in congressional districts and state senates. Again, there's a concrete proposal, which recently won an important legal battle in Wisconsin (Whitford v Gill): http://www.fairelectionsproject.org
Neither of those helps bust open the two-party system, but they'll at least help level the playing field so that the big two parties don't have artificial incentives biased towards special interests.
Fixing voter suppression is very important. Anyone know of any good efforts afoot there?
As for third parties, I think that's probably best done first at the state level. If one or more states adopt a more proportional system internally, and show it can work well, that would provide a blueprint for implementing it nationally.
I guess Trump could get away with some really radical proposal, like using PR for the Senate. Both parties would almost certainly resist that though. He would need substantial popular backing, whereas every bungling decision he makes right now is making him less popular.
Since the latter is what is empirically shown in real democracies to be strongly associated with both satisfaction with government and ability of a system to support multiple viable parties and multidimensional debate on policy in the public sphere (see, e.g., Lijphart's Patterns of Democracy), I'm as disinterested in wasting time with the former as I am with wasting time with any other method of rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic of American democracy, like fiddling with how district lines are drawn for single-member districts.
(It also shows that IRV is only marginally better; while "worse is better" sets my teeth on edge, if IRV is the doable option I'll take it rather than wait for people to come around on score methods).
Most simulations assume consistent mapping from preferences to ballot markings, which is reasonable for ranked, but not score, voting.
For example, if the scoring range is 1-10, it's better for me to use the full range even if none of the options on offer is really a 1 or 10. Using the full range gives my opinion more weight in the result.
I strongly suspect score voting tends towards ranked voting when people vote tactically, which they always will, just with extra noise and randomness. (I don't know of any studies on this, though.)
There are many versions of it, but let's go with Maine for now, since it got acceptance and will soon have a track record.
Canada uses the shitty FPTP system and while at the federal level it's mostly been two parties, several other parties have held significant clout over the last century. It's not impossible for it to work, it's just difficult. At the provincial level you see a lot more variety because they don't need to appeal country-wide, they can focus on local issues (e.g. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parti_Québécois, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wildrose_Party)
Sadly electoral reform here has recently been put on hold much to the frustration of many as it was an election platform issue.
I'm sure part of the problem with reform is there's too many options and some of them are so dizzyingly complicated to explain that most people prefer the "simple but busted" FPTP method to something more mysterious and formula-based.
(For very small numbers of voters, such as for elections within an academic society, Rating Voting is even better, but its advantages fade as the number of voters increases. AV is just the limiting case of RV with only two values.)
This problem still exists in FPTP where some voters may opt not to vote for any candidate for a position.
It's very nearly the worst actually proposed single-member ranked ballots system; I can't imagine any way in which it is optimal. It's better than FPTP, but that's a pretty low bar.
Note that choice of voting systems don't matter so much if you only have one representative per electorate.
What does this even mean?
The way presidential campaigns are funded for example, by voluntarily checking a box on your tax form is perfectly libertarian.
In fact I might go as far to say that corporatism is the natural state of the world. The wealthy and powerful will always use their influence to gain even more wealth and power. It is a state that we must constantly fight against regardless of whether we call ourselves anything from libertarian to socialist.
Request denied. Join a side and conform any of your conflicting ideals with theirs. Too much effort letting people decide each issue for themselves.
Edit: /s [sorry I forgot to put that, I know sarcasm can be confusing on the internet]
Im just super liberal. I think you should be able to do what ever you want as long as you don't hurt (or overly annoy) others.
The thing is, almost everyone I talk to agrees with me. I don't understand the current political system at all...
because you're trying to view it through the lens of "rational, beneficial policies that are supported by a democratic majority" whereas our current system is "niche issues of low utility but high tribal divisiveness used to distract the democratic majority while we secretly empower monopolist corporations"
If everyone you talk to agrees with your particular political ideology which doesn't match well with either of the major parties, then you have an extraordinarily strong and narrow filter bubble, which you'll need to get out of if you want to achieve any of the goals of that ideology.
Does not compute. Mutually exclusive desires. Unchecked gun ownership leads to loss of life at a shocking scale.
edit: i see downvotes, but I don't see counterarguments. Parent post says "everyone I talk to agrees", if nothing else I'm trying to point out that while it may seem like common sense to you, others will see other things as common sense.
Further, I can kill more people with a truck than I can with a gun. People use guns because of the fear, the spot light, and the ability to target.
I don't disagree people see things as common sense. I also don't disagree in having some laws governing weaponry. That doesn't mean I don't think we should be allowed to own them, nor that it isn't benificial. Honestly, I'd like research done to prove it one way or the other and be rational about it.
Statistically it does. I.e. this particular gun might not kill anyone, but for every 100 guns there is n deaths, so adding another gun means another fraction of a death added to that number.
> gun rights are literally part of the foundation of the U.S.
The interpretation of the 2nd amendment has changed radically within the past 50 years. The idea that government doesn't get to regulate even slightly the right to bear arms is a new interpretation.
Free speech is literally part of the foundation of the U.S., but we mostly all agree that slander is a thing that should be illegal. Separation of church and state is part of the foundation of the U.S., but churches are tax exempt.
These rules all have nuances. Why shouldn't "right to bear arms" have nuances.
> Further, I can kill more people with a truck than I can with a gun
Trucks are highly regulated and licensed.
> Honestly, I'd like research done to prove it one way or the other and be rational about it.
Well we agree there, but in my view the research that has been done has already pointed in the direction of more regulation than we have now.
That's not how causation works. If you add more guns in one culture you may get more violence because people do the same violence with more lethal weapons. If you add more guns in a different culture you may get less violence because perpetrators are less likely to initiate violence when there is a higher likelihood that their victims are armed. In a third culture there will be negligible difference because people commit the same violence whether with guns or IEDs or other weapons.
And nothing exists in a vacuum. Something like mandatory firearms safety training in high schools will reduce the number of deaths without reducing the number of guns. In other words, you can determine the culture.
> These rules all have nuances. Why shouldn't "right to bear arms" have nuances.
The nuances that have historically made it into gun laws have no relation to reality. A law banning rifles based on cosmetic features scores political points with the gun control lobby but saves no lives. And the stated end goal of the gun control lobby is to repeal the second amendment and ban all guns, which is not a nuanced position.
> Trucks are highly regulated and licensed.
You can own a truck without even having a driver's license, and the regulations are unrelated to intentional use to do violence, which is covered by the general laws against murder and violence rather than anything specific to trucks.
Is it possible that the right place to be lies somewhere in between?
I find the American mentality is that all slopes are slippery. In Canada, where I live, we have some gun control and we have limits on free speech and it seems to be working pretty well.
I refer you again to this:
The compromise you are asking for has already happened.
> If on one side you have the nra, who lobby against ANY gun regulations, such that only the most control-in-name-only "cosmetic" laws can get passed (then later repealed).
The NRA is not lobbying to repeal the National Firearms Act of 1934. It's not that we're at the top of a slippery slope, it's that we're 3/4ths of the way down it already and you're asking to keep going.
The problem is that there is no coherent compromise here. You can't have millions of guns in the hands of millions of gun owners and at the same time not. It's zero sum.
> And on the other side you have... idk the parents from sandy hook?
The parents from Sandy Hook are the people they put in front of the camera. The money behind the gun control lobby has the same motives as the money behind the other side's pro-life lobby -- it's a hot button issue that drives votes, so if you want a particular party to win and your real reasons are unsympathetic, you can beat the "think of the children" drum to get your party into office.
That is one of the reasons why the compromises are so ineffective -- and why real solutions like addressing the root causes of violence are never even considered. The funders (as opposed to the public faces) are not actually interested in fixing anything, they just want their party to get credit for Doing Something, and then have the problem continue to exist so they can get credit for Doing Something again tomorrow.
Congress is undoing Obama's restriction on people who have someone taking care of their finances due to mental disability buying guns. The restriction wasn't that they couldn't own guns it was that they needed a bg check because idk maybe they are unfit to own one?
Your view of gun control advocacy as a drum to get people into office? Seems highly cynical and mostly untrue to me. Look at the democratic primaries. Bernie Sanders basically changed the subject whenever he was asked about gun control. The two top candidated were not of the same mind when it comes to gun control. That says to me that it is not simply a rallying cry for the left, but an issue americans are deeply conflicted about in both repub and dem camps.
As for addressing the root causes of violence: my view is that gun ownership actually is one of the root causes of violence. Not the only one, not the biggest one (thats poverty), but one.
"Not able to own a gun" is the bottom of the slope. It's the final 1%. What we have now is an ineffective mess that does nothing but interfere with honest gun owners, particularly at the state level.
Different state prohibit different things. If you live on the East Coast and legally own a particular pistol, and you want to travel to Maine where it is also legal, you have to drive hundreds of miles around Massachusetts where they will arrest you for it.
Acquiring a permit can cost more than a hundred dollars for each renewal and require you to come in person to a government building during work hours on a weekday, raising the barrier to low income people or anyone without flexible working hours. Blue states do this knowing it will have that effect.
States require permits not only for purchasing but also possession, so low income black men are commonly charged with a felony because they live in a bad neighborhood and acquired a gun for self-defense, and either didn't know a permit was required there or couldn't afford one or let it expire or moved from one state to another or owned it before the law changed. Even though they were entirely eligible to own it -- and now they're not. And have just lost their job and are going to prison. If poverty is a root cause of violence, what are we doing here?
> Congress is undoing Obama's restriction on people who have someone taking care of their finances due to mental disability buying guns. The restriction wasn't that they couldn't own guns it was that they needed a bg check because idk maybe they are unfit to own one?
If you have a diagnosis by a mental health professional that someone is a danger to themselves or others then they get institutionalized and they are obviously not going to have access to a gun in a psychiatric hospital. If that isn't the diagnosis then on what basis are you justifying a background check for someone with e.g. dyscalculia?
Laws like that are also inherently dangerous because they discourage people with mental health issues from seeking treatment for fear that they will be penalized for it. Then you have more people with untreated mental health issues and yet they still have access to firearms. Doctor-patient confidentiality is a thing for a reason.
> Your view of gun control advocacy as a drum to get people into office? Seems highly cynical and mostly untrue to me.
Explain the focus on mass shootings, and especially mass shootings of white kids, which constitute a very small minority of all gun violence, juxtaposed with the high death toll from drug and gang-related gun violence, none of whose victims are commonly individually held up as a reason to pass gun control laws.
> Look at the democratic primaries. Bernie Sanders basically changed the subject whenever he was asked about gun control.
Bernie Sanders is from Vermont. It's like a New Hampshire Republican being pro-choice. Not a representative example.
And his needing to change the subject rather than defend his position, and Clinton's revisiting of it to damage him in the Democratic primary, is only proving the point.
> As for addressing the root causes of violence: my view is that gun ownership actually is one of the root causes of violence. Not the only one, not the biggest one (thats poverty), but one.
You believe that people not otherwise prone to violent crimes, given guns, would commit more violent crimes?
I'd like to see percentage of households with one or more gun. That, to me, would be representative.
This is a horrible way of thinking. Times change, just because something made sense in the 1700's doesn't mean it makes sense today. Every generation has a right to change the laws it lives under to better reflect the reality of the world they live in, the Constitution is not a sacred text that can't be disagreed with, it's just laws, and it's changeable. There is every reason to fight that which no longer makes sense. The second amendment was written in an era where muskets were state of the art; unrestricted access to arms hasn't made sense in a hundred years.
Very little cleanly private money exists to study the issue. Universities are tainted with public funds, NGOs are tainted as well, and so on.
So what studies we do get are NRA-funded.
Probably because you aren't interested in a discussion.
> Unchecked gun ownership leads to loss of life at a shocking scale.
The tendency toward loss of life is known and acceptable, much like the cost of having vehicles. You think it's a shocking scale and I think it's marginal. Vehicle deaths still outpace in the US, so your bias is transparent.
Maybe gun deaths could drop more if CDC and other researchers were allowed study their effects on health more and if gun safety regulations were handled more like car safety.
What makes you say that? Why would I delve into comment threads if I wasn't interested in a discussion.
> your bias is transparent
I also strongly believe cars should be heavily regulated. Lucky for us all, they are. I'm down for more regulation, if well thought out, to continue to bring this number down.
But libertarianism isn't easily defined on the Left/Right spectrum. Two people can hold completely different views on virtually any issue and both could hypothetically fall under the libertarian umbrella.
That's not really true. The thing which is a natural monopoly is the last mile, which is inherently local. You could literally have the city government own the fiber and lease it to competing private companies without any federal involvement whatsoever.
The main impediment to this is that the incumbents are too large, which allows them to overpower city governments in terms of lobbying and prevent anything like that from happening on a widespread basis. But if you had some hypothetical state government with the will to stand up to them, that would be the end of it.
And then, when the state government can't stand up to them, we could use the federal government to do so!
If only someone suggested doing that in the first place.
Short of violence is there anything to do other than wait four years and elect a president who will put someone not so blatantly against consumers?
Administrative regulations aren't really democratic. Easy come, easy go.
As for Pai, do you remember how much pressure Wheeler had on him? When he wanted to do halfassed net neutrality rules, people were furious. Like, confronting him in his driveway furious. That same spirit needs to be kept here; apathy is going to fuck us pretty hard.
Also, find any FCC proceedings dealing with net neutrality as an issue, and file a comment; explain to them why striking down net neutrality is a bad idea. When they have commission meetings, they have to elaborate on why they didn't choose a certain way of doing things, and the more people who file comments, the harder that'll be. That makes it more likely for them to try and push the Communications Act rewrite the Republican party is planning through the Senate, which can still likely be filibustered.
Just remember though; a lot of the FCC employees are probably having the same bleak thoughts we are right now. We need to make it known they're not alone.