technocratic liberation

Now Congress faces a legislative decision. Will we reinstate net neutrality and keep the Internet free? Or will we let it die at the hands of network owners itching to become content gatekeepers? The implications of permanently losing network neutrality could not be more serious. The current legislation, backed by companies such as AT&T, Verizon and Comcast, would allow the firms to create different tiers of online service. They would be able to sell access to the express lane to deep-pocketed corporations and relegate everyone else to the digital equivalent of a winding dirt road. Worse still, these gatekeepers would determine who gets premium treatment and who doesn't.

Their idea is to stand between the content provider and the consumer, demanding a toll to guarantee quality delivery. It's what Timothy Wu, an Internet policy expert at Columbia University, calls "the Tony Soprano business model": By extorting protection money from every Web site -- from the smallest blogger to Google -- network owners would earn huge profits. Meanwhile, they could slow or even block the Web sites and services of their competitors or those who refuse to pay up. They'd like Congress to "trust them" to behave.

Without net neutrality, the Internet would start to look like cable TV. A handful of massive companies would control access and distribution of content, deciding what you get to see and how much it costs. Major industries such as health care, finance, retailing and gambling would face huge tariffs for fast, secure Internet use -- all subject to discriminatory and exclusive dealmaking with telephone and cable giants.

Am I a horrible person for kind of wanting this to happen? So the internets will suck (even moreso than it already does)—so what? Then we'll have to, like, go outside or something. I look at this blog, I look at my MySpace page, I look at all the gossip blogs I go to, etc. and I feel tired. T I R E D. For the past ten years I've spent a great deal of my life on the internet and I am beat. I dream of a world w/ no blogs, no MySpace, no metafilter, forums, movie review sites, blah blah blah. Do you know how many times I've just tried to publish this post? I can't even get my one huge gripe about the internet on the internet. Fucking Blogger sucks a big one. It's all so meta/anti-meta/whatever it makes me wanna go all Tyler Durden and start picking fights. But it's hard. The internet is like the TV: it sucks but if it's there, you can't help yrself. Perhaps if it sucks too much I'll be permenantly dissuaded from using it.

Fuck the internet; don't save it.