The thing about democracy, beloveds, is that it is not neat, orderly, or quiet. It requires a certain relish for confusion. Molly Ivins
If ever there were a call to relish confusion it is now – the options for “relishment” are myriad. And if ever there were an organized effort to “weaponize” confusion, it is the war to end net neutrality now raging on the nation’s regulatory frontlines.
“Confuse and conquer” is an ancient strategy rendered ever more lethal by the fact that the digital age effectively limits time for the body politic to think, much less thoughtfully discuss. Issues, especially issues involving complex technology, speed their way through a political process well-lubricated with corporate contributions and compliant appointees.
As many but not enough affected Americans know, Wednesday, July 12, is Net Neutrality Day of Action. (https://www.battleforthenet.com/july12 For many of us whose dependence on the Net is assumed without question the ethos of the tool is vague and the implications are vaguer still. Here’s one digestible overview of the issues and implications:
And yet there’s always time to crib for a deep dive into the digital age version of Cliff Notes – some basics:
- ACLU offers this cryptic guide to the essence of net neutrality: https://www.aclu.org/feature/what-net-neutrality
- Common Sense provides a backgrounder on the issues at stake in the net neutrality debate along with examples of what advocates ae doing to resist: https://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2017/07/05/net-neutrality-day-action-july-12-may-be-largest-online-protest-years
- Wired reminds us that it’s OUR Internet – to be used and ruled as the people’s resource. https://www.lifewire.com/net-neutrality-3482853
- Thanks to an alert contributor there’s even a Wikipedia entry with generous links to everything you ever wanted to know about Net Neutrality and were too overwhelmed to ask:
The corporate campaign to confuse the public opponents of net neutrality has clogged the web with more than the citizen owner of the communication tool needs to know. Still, this is a KISS “keep it simple, stupid” moment.
Herb Schiller is the wise man whose words have long shaped my understanding of the principle, if not the technology, of net neutrality. More about Schiller’s prescient caution in this 2013 post: https:/marytreacy.wordpress.com/tag/herbert-i-schiller/
The control of information is something the elite always does, particularly in a despotic form of government. Information, knowledge, is power. If you can control information, you can control people ~ Tom Clancy
BACKGROUNDER- MINNPOST: https://www.minnpost.com/politics-policy/2017/07/everyone-claims-be-open-internet-so-what-s-latest-net-neutrality-fight-reall?utm_source=MinnPost+e-mail+newsletters&utm_campaign=956e5e91b0-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_07_21&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_3631302e9c-956e5e91b0-123365126