Welcome to 2018. We Made Dystopia a Reality.
The moment when fragments of reality were “mushed together” to describe a new realm.
FORGET DYSTOPIAN FICTION, it’s Life that is PURE DYSTOPIAN REALITY
As the screen before my dry eyes buffers, I think.
These are strange times for humanity.
Forget Dystopian Fiction: Welcome to 2018.
We blew up consensus reality
We no longer believe in truth
We Made Dystopia a Reality
Truth is stranger than fiction.
Just in a year, here under the reign of orange giant, and I still dreamed of cyberspace, perhaps of days that never was, but hope fades nightly.
With every lag, every paid lane I can’t afford, every upload and download,
that drains away my time. Moments that I will never get back.
With every story, content, and poem that is still born. Moments that will never be.
The digital divide is far and wide,
The haves keep eating,
Glut, glitz and greed
The Ajit Pai of Verison’s eye.
The have nots starve
Buffering, lag and access denied
The Trickster of the Mind’s eye.
But The Poetic Underground, will survive, beauty never dies, only recombines. Eternity always turns, Infinity always burns, and the Universe always gives birth.
Life, creativity and humanity always find a way
The Internet came together as a miracle, really. Anyone with a wire can publish, we need to keep it that way.
Cory Doctorow likes to say the fight for a free, fair and open Internet isn’t the most important fight on the planet, but you can’t win any of the other major battles without it. The Net is the nervous system of the 21st century, so far we have misunderstood and mismanaged it and made it susceptible to capture by the powerful and corrupt.
Last night(12/5/17) Internet Archive and Public Knowledge had a Panel Discussion titled Net Neutrality & Competition: The Final Days of Internet Freedom that include: Gene Kimmelman (President, Public Knowledge), Evan Engstrom (Executive Director, Engine), Otessa Marie Ghadar (Professor, Director of DC Web Fest, Digital Content Creator & Advocate), Ernesto Falcon (Legislative Counsel, Electronic Frontier Foundation), and Brandi Collins (Senior Campaign Director; Media, Democracy, & Economic Justice, Color of Change).
It was something Otessa said during the discussion that really echoed around in my mind, “life finds a way”. She was quoting Jurassic Park, but humanity and creativity always seems to find a way. We don’t know what that way might be, but like Otessa I don’t think its gonna be through laws, government or politicians. Perhaps looking to the better Angels of our nature, we will begin to see the way.
Here’s what we know on December 14th, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will most likely vote to replace current rules enforcing net neutrality. Nothing short of an cosmic event will prevent it. But before abandoning all hope, know that while the battle for net neutrality at the FCC may have been lost, the war isn’t even close to over.
Dell Cameron’s break down on what will happen when Net Neutrality gets repealed
And if you want to know how to pick up arms in the fight, The Electronic Frontier Foundation always has a plan.
Net neutrality supporters plan a nationwide series of protests starting Thursday outside Verizon stores, where they will express their opposition to the pending repeal of net neutrality rules:
THE INTERNET IS FUCKED (but we can fix it) by Nilay Patel
Here’s a simple truth: the internet has radically changed the world. Over the course of the past 20 years, the idea of networking all the world’s computers has gone from a research science pipe dream to a necessary condition of economic and social development, from government and university labs to kitchen tables and city streets. We are all travelers now, desperate souls searching for a signal to connect us all. It is awesome.
And we’re fucking everything up.
Why was it fucked? Because the free and open internet was in danger of becoming tightly controlled by giant telecom corporations that were already doing things like blocking apps and services from phones and excusing their own services from data caps. Because the lack of competition in the internet access market let these companies act like predatory monopolies. And because our government lacked the will or clarity to just say what everyone already knows: internet access is a utility.
More on why/how we are fucked:
The Federal Communications Commission Chairman, Ajit Pai, a former Verizon lawyer, has spoken eloquently about the “digital divide” and his commitment to resolving it. His solution? Creating the same market conditions that fueled the divide in the first place. Pai’s approach is a field of dreams that suggests, “If we let them (internet service providers, or ISPs), they will provide it.” But that business model, at least for many of the large incumbents, has left far too many offline.
Its proposals will reclassify cellular internet access as sufficient — even if it costs more, can’t offer the same connection speeds, or is otherwise inferior to a home broadband connection.
Instead of continuing to make high-speed internet more widely available, the inbound regulations would move the goalposts on what qualifies as sufficient service. Beyond that, the internet as we know it is set to become far more fragmented, and less open and even-handed.
The Internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn’t understand, the largest experiment in anarchy that we have ever had. And there is no putting that Jinn back in the bottle.
Going back to Otessa from the discussion, she mentioned about Finland “Applause For Finland: First Country To Make Broadband Access A Legal Right”. Broadband access is a human right issue in our cyber-world we inhabit.
I think we have to look outside for having visions of the way out, and maybe the emerging world on how they have been bridging the digital divide. Something like A mobile broadband initiative accomplishing such a task in rural India is no small feat.
Formerly called “Internet Zero,” Free Basics’s pitch has been: we’ll get “the next billion internet users” (that is, poor people in developing nations) connected by cutting deals with local phone companies. Under these deals, there will be no charge for accessing the services we hand-pick. We will define the internet experience for these technologically unsophisticated people, with our products at the centre and no competition. It’s philanthropy!
India’s net neutrality activists have a crisp name for this: “Poor Internet for Poor People”. They rallied thousands, then tens of thousands, and eventually millions under that banner. They marched in the streets, they took to the net, and they terrorized companies that partnered with Facebook, one-starring their apps until they pulled out. Western activists didn’t know what to make of this. At one meeting — details withheld to protect the well-meaning — some of my colleagues pondered setting up an ad-driven alternative to Facebook’s Poor Internet, anything to compete….
I’m afraid I got a little shouty. Here we have India’s SOPA moment: an unexpected, unprecedented uprising that’s caught the popular imagination, terrified one of the largest companies in the world, made politicians and regulators take notice. Why aren’t we supporting them in what they’re asking for? Why aren’t we just saying, “The alternative to Facebook as internet gatekeeper is no one as internet gatekeeper?”
India’s activists didn’t need our help. They never blinked.( Cory Doctorow )
There is history, lessons and energy to push and pull on, “life always finds a way”.
“The internet today is a great platform for innovation, startups, banking, government applications such as health, telemedicine, education and agriculture,” the regulator’s chairman, RS Sharma, said in Delhi.
“From an Indian context, India has a huge population, huge things are going to happen on the internet. It is important that this platform be kept open and free and not cannibalised,” he said.
Trai had strongly indicated its preference for an open internet in 2015 when it rejected a push by Facebook to provide a free, limited version of the internet to Indian villages, citing concerns over net neutrality.
Also too Standing Rock Telecom owns 17 towers and provides month-to-month contracts for 1,600 subscribers (and growing). Something like community telecommunication co-opts.
What is a telecommunications co-op?
“From wifi to voicemail and everything in between, Telecommunication co-ops are owned by their members, those they serve. This is why people who receive services from cooperatives are called members, not customers. Without members, there would be no cooperative.
Members maintain democratic control of their co-op; they elect fellow members to represent them on the board of directors at an annual meeting. As a bonus, co-op members receive special benefits through co-op programs plus many co-ops return profits to their members in the form of capital credits.”
And in these final days of Internet freedom I want to call on the Punk nature of Humanity. To the weird, freaks, artist, hackers, writings, poets, dancers, meme warriors, creators, digital shaman and cyberpunk; FUCK the FCC, Trump administration, biggest corporations and the lesser Angels of our nature and start to ponder, dream and figure the way.
I spent most of the day editing the The Final Days of Internet Freedom Net Neutrality & Competition, because the audio was so bad on the original upload, it was actually a lil tricky and I didn’t get perfect, but here’s highlights from the first part. I also add a fun cyberdelic intro and outro.
Check out part 2: The Final Days of Internet Freedom (Part 2)