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MoveOn.org and the GOA agree on something!

Discussion in 'Legal' started by liberalgunnut, Oct 19, 2006.

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  1. liberalgunnut

    liberalgunnut Member

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    It's not that often that MoveOn and the Gun Owners of America agree on anything. So last night when I was watching Bill Moyers discussing Net Neutrality on PBS it was a bit unnatural to see them both in agreement. Fortunately it was on the issue of Net Neutrality. Currently nearly all the Democratic legislature supports net neutrality and nearly all of the republican legislature opposes it. Please keep in mind that currently about 60-80% of all content on the internet is supplied by individuals or small groups, like this site.

    When internet neutrality is lost not only will a few large companies decide who gets to see what dependent upon what they are will to pay... but they can also block sites that they may find in opposition to their political beliefs or business... such as the GOA's site, moveOn, or this site. As most of you are aware the majority of Americans support some form of gun control... with net neutrality gone it will be majority/money rules on the net.

    The argument from those that support losing net neutrality is that "someone needs to pay for the pipes"... let me ask you a couple simple questions...

    1.) do you not alreay pay for your internet service ("the pipes") whether it's phone charges or hispeed charges?
    2.) Do you support net neutrality?
    3.) have you told your legislater?
     
  2. MikeB

    MikeB Member

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    Oh please. Net Neutrality is a political football between the cable companies and the telephone companies. I wish the GOA would not spend any time on this issue. I could really care less what Moveon does or doesn't support.
     
  3. WayneConrad

    WayneConrad Member

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    I'm not convinced that free enterprise can't handle this problem better than can government. With government driven solutions, we're likely to end up with other, worse problems, the stated problem might not be fixed after all, and we will all be taxed for the privilege.
     
  4. beerslurpy

    beerslurpy member

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    This should be a purely economic argument about infrastructure costs between the various providers but it is being cast in inappropriately political and civil terms. They are trying to avoid having to make compromises with one another by taking their disagreement into the political arena. That is a vast oversimplification, but I think it gets to the heart of the matter.

    We need to ignore them and resist the urge to be helpful. The marketplace has already indicated that it has the ability to punish the backbone providers when they dont play nice.
     
  5. Manedwolf

    Manedwolf member

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    Sure, private enterprise can handle it. The same way they handle your cellphone bill and cable bill. If you want to be nickel-and-dimed to death if you want your website to be served at more than 56k, while infotainment entities shove out their mindless fluff at lightspeed, drowing out any independent voices, (including gun owners vs. the corporate antigun media with lots of $$$) go for it.

    Right now, anyone with a personal gun website is on bandwidth equity with the Bradyites, despite their vastly larger funds. If net neutrality ends, they'd be a battleship to your toy rowboat, in terms of traffic speed and the ability of people to quickly find and browse content.

    In terms of business, right now, anyone crafting their own goods at home and selling them is on equal footing with a fortune-500, in terms of being able to let people see the images and content on their store site. Good for small business. That'd all end. You could crawl...through...slow...page...loading on Mom and Pop's goods, or GO REAL FAST on XTREME FACELESS HYPERMEGAMART PAGE! Because only the latter could afford the required rates.

    Talk about a dystopia.
     
  6. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    "Net Neutrality" is a brand name for a policy someone wants, just like "Assault Weapons Ban", "Campaign Finance Reform", "Fairness Doctrine", "Digital Divide", "Universal Health Care." These are words being used to create emotional reactions, so we don't actually think. Orwellian Demagoguery. The use of this technique, and the way people, including some people here, buy into it without thinking, bothers me more than the political footballs themselves.

    Saying that the Republicans oppose "Net Neutrality" is by no means the same as saying that they oppose free expression, any more than saying that they oppose the "Assault Weapons Ban" means that they support gang violence.

    In this case, the policy proposed is a ban on ISP's charging high-volume users differently from low-volume users.

    You might note that, with phones, cell phones, etc., this is commonplace, and no one complains -- generally, it helps the consumer anyway.

    Now GOA and MoveOn might want something, and I might agree with them, but this is far from the extreme issue it's being painted as.

    McCain-Feingold is FAR more insidious, and legit groups, with real political clout, like the ACLU and the NRA, oppose it, and went to court together about it.
     
  7. Thefabulousfink

    Thefabulousfink Member

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    Here is what I predict if Net Neutrality fails:

    ISP's will charge sites that use large amounts of bandwidth more than sites that use less bandwidth. Even if the big ISPs decide to shower the Corps. with bandwidth and starve out the Mom and Pops, someone will realize "hey there's thousands of people being screwed, My ISP is going to cater to them." In the business world, you cant afford to ignore marketshare like that or someone else will grab it.

    The same thing goes for political censorship. If one ISP decides that "Guns, Abortion, Bush, etc. are bad" and bans that content, some othe ISP will pick it up. Look at PayPal and Gearpay, if the market is there, someone will tap it.

    The only thing that we really have to worry about is government regulation screwing everything up.:rolleyes:
     
  8. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    Exactly.

    Furthermore, no one is up in arms because AT&T charges business cell phone customers who use the phone 4 hours a day during peak hours more than retirees like my parents, who only use the thing for emergencies, or that they offer different "plans" for different types of users, at different rates.

    Servers, whether you buy them or rent space on them, cost more if they support more users and larger downloads. ISP's wanting to charge by how much of their services are actually being used by a customer is hardly shocking.
     
  9. liberalgunnut

    liberalgunnut Member

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    I'm sure that the free market can deal with net neutrality in much the same positive way that it dealt with energy prices in California.:)

    Just curious to those that think that this is a non-issue... how do you think that there is not a "free market" now for the internet? The reason that this issue is being raised is because companies that currently spend millions on network presence find themselves in competiton with individuals that post blogs or boards (such as this) who have virtually no investment in their site. Sites are visited as a result of the quality of their content... not how much is spent to lure your to it.
     
  10. liberalgunnut

    liberalgunnut Member

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    This is much of the problem. Most people seem to think that this is simply a "free market" issue. We currently have a free market. I'm not saying that there is a problem with paying more for higher speed access (I pay $169/month for mine for my home business)... the problem is who is granted access. For example; if googtube or whatever company the google youtube thing becomes buys "exclusive" access to ultra high speed in their market as ATT, Comcast and other have suggested as a possible business model. Then the concept of "free market" does nto exist. If the NRA came along and wanted to have a pro-gun video channel on the internet... but the Brady's had already snagged the deal on the bandwidth then the NRA would be SOL.
     
  11. Correia

    Correia Moderator Emeritus

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    Yeah, there's a real apples to shoelaces comparison for you. :rolleyes:
     
  12. liberalgunnut

    liberalgunnut Member

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    Business goes where the money is. You will find that the only businesses ponying up lobbyist money for this are companies that provide the pipes. Their claim being that they cannot provide faster pipes (like they apparently can do in the rest of the developed world) and still make a profit. What they are asking for is legislation that effectively regulates everyone else. It makes being a monoploy in a "free market" that much easier.
     
  13. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    There's never been a free market for energy in California. There was a partial "deregulation" that was done in such a way as to be almost guaranteed to have the results it did.

    It's dangerous to use examples like this as if you know about them. In Portland metro, people might nod and smile uncritically at any leftie truism, but not everywhere. And no, I'm not just being an *******: I'm being serious. It's something to consider.

    And BTW what exactly do you know about Internet infrastructure?
     
  14. beerslurpy

    beerslurpy member

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    Whoa, really? So if I use more of something I have to pay more? What a failure of the marketplace to not let me have as much as I want without paying!

    If this idea were extended to the sale of tangible goods, I might have to pay more for a 12 pack of beer than for a 6 pack! The insanity!

    You dont need terabytes of bandwidth to stump for political causes. GOAs site has been plain html without even pictures since probably the early 90s. You could serve it over a rack of modems like an old bbs if you wanted- their site is tiny and services a modest number of visitors. Is GOA really so technically uninformed as to imagine that they use bandwidth on the scale of something like Google, YouTube, p2p or the major news sites?

    I think the whole point (which you have missed twice now) is that the free market can't cope with government meddling. The CA energy crisis was due entirely to stupid CA State energy policy. All they had to do was refrain from acting and they wouldnt have had a crisis in the first place. Reminds me of the monetary policy that lead to the Great Depression. Also reminds me of the stupid ideas you are proposing in regards to Net Neutrality.

    The free market is not the problem. Government is the problem- whenever it attempts to impose the ill-informed opinions of a small number of people over an enormous multitude of well-informed people acting for their own benefit.
     
  15. Helmetcase

    Helmetcase Member

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    Having worked in the telecom world for the better part of the decade, I can tell ya this--you can already toss out whatever you think you know about supply and demand. It's a twisted, corrupt world and a big mess. The only thing that's been worse for it than regulation has been deregulation.

    We're pretty much already at the point where Judge Green's landmark 1982 decision to break up the Bell companies has been de facto reversed, with ATT and MCI being absorbed back into the Bell Companies, and Bell South about to join them.

    If you really think that the market is preventing media resources from being cobbled into just a few mega entities, you're not paying much attention.
     
  16. MikeB

    MikeB Member

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    Hmmm. I propose a Beer Neutrality law. I want to pay the same for a six pack as for a case of beer. Who's with me?
     
  17. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    Uh, who cares?

    You're assuming that this is a problem, when most businesses that enjoy economies of scale end up that way. That doesn't end competition, not by a long shot.

    Do you think you'd get cheaper and better cars if they were still built by mom-and-pop operations, rather than a few large companies fighting for customers?

    Furthermore, breakup of AT&T was not "deregulation". It was a highly-regulated plan someone cooked up to try to mitigate the effects of a long-term government-mandated private monopoly.

    Either way, when I was a kid, "long-distance" was something you didn't want to do often if you weren't rich. "Car phones" existed, but only for the wealthiest of the wealthy. Now we don't even think about long distance calls, or mobile phones, because they're so cheap. Cellular technology has become cheaper, but it's vigorous competition that has forced this. Anyone who doesn't see how the modern telecom business, with all its problems, is far better for the consumer than what went before must be awfully young, or have major memory loss.

    Just do a bit of research on what energy prices, etc., are like in Europe, where they're still highly regulated.
     
  18. beerslurpy

    beerslurpy member

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    Stagnation has that effect. Youre dealing with mature products (telecom and big media) that compete on cost instead of features so the natural inclination is towards consolidation and cost cutting. This will introduce systemic problems (like monopolies etc) but those can be dealt with in other ways.

    Seriously, how many independent radio stations does it take to churn out promotions and airtime for bland music industry puke? If you end up with 100k employees churning out the same stuff on 3000 little stations, why not consolidate them into 1000 people and run one national station? If no one is producing value, why are you employing them?
     
  19. Helmetcase

    Helmetcase Member

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    We all should care, that's who.

    Notice I didn't say that we didn't still see competition in the market, you ASSumed I was saying that. I am saying that we're seeing fewer and fewer resources in telecom and media, and reduced competition; the Intarweb is a nice counter balance to that.

    Think you know a lot about the subject? I'd offer that just about nobody knows more about the Internet than the guy who really did invent it. It'd be rather presumptious of anyone to challenge that assumption, appeal to authority or not.

    Let's see what he thinks: Vint Cerf on Net Neutrality.

    I think you enjoy setting up strawmen. Nobody's saying things aren't better today than things were before 1982. The point is that opponents of net neutrality in concert with the conglomeration of media outlets and an essentially reformed Ma Bell are going to have us in a de facto pre-1982 state if we don't pay a little attention.

    And BTW, LD cell calls are cheap because LD calls are cheap. With the advent of IP voice termination, the wireless carriers can afford to give it away. It has nothing to do with "cellular technology" per se. And I wasn't saying that the ATT breakup is synonomous with de-regulation; that's merely a different form of regulation. I'm talking about the explosion and then contraction in the local telco CLEC market, which largely precipitated the absorbtion of companies like ATT and MCI back into the bells.
     
  20. beerslurpy

    beerslurpy member

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    No need. I pity the fool that supports the ATF by paying tax on beer.

    [​IMG]
     
  21. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

    Someone whose title is "Chief Internet Evangelist" for Google -- who is PAID by them to make statements to influence politics and the market in Google's favor -- is automatically 100% credible regarding all matters Internet just because he was involved in defining TCP/IP?

    Give me a break.

    "Presumptious," if it were a word, would describe your statements better than mine.:rolleyes:

    Straw man? Uh, your words: "We're pretty much already at the point where Judge Green's landmark 1982 decision to break up the Bell companies has been de facto reversed"

    Perhaps you didn't intend for me to infer that you meant that this was a bad thing.

    Besides, it's not even true. AT&T was the only nationwide infrastructure provider at the time. It is no longer. We couldn't get back to 1982 very easily, for that reason alone.
     
  22. beerslurpy

    beerslurpy member

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    Helmetcase, 2 things:

    1) Vint Cerf agrees with me that interfering with the internet is stupid. He may also beleive that it is possible to interfere with the internet in a good way, but I dont agree- the problem is within the lawmaking process itself. For lack of expertise on a subject, the legislature is going to end up giving someone a big handout rather than letting the best customs form on their own and be codified later. Havent we seen this approach fail enough times in *ahem* the gun control arena?

    2) I'm arguing that the old media was a crappy business model that stagnated and was begging to be put down decades ago. It is basically just a huge steady money-making venture. Real artists and real art are risky and potentially can disrupt revenue flow. Is it a surprise that the industry has naturally become full of risk-averse, uncreative people that run it like a mortgage or accountancy business? Fortunately for everyone else this isnt a mentality that leads to growth, this is a mentality that only knows how to defend. Eventually it either changes or it shrivels and dies.

    I completely agree with you that the internet is the next big thing and I dont currently feel that it is strangling itself or failing to accomodate the users and consumers. P2P based mechanisms completely destroy all attempts to limit upload capacity, and the big media clowns themselves insist upon the right to send huge amounts of download bandwith to people, so the problem is almost self solving.
     
  23. Helmetcase

    Helmetcase Member

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    Is he credible? He's Vint Cerf. He's got just a weeeeeee bit more history and role in all of this than just "helping define TCP/IP protocols". Uh, yeah, he's credible. Certainly moreso than you are. If you're gonna disagree with him, you're gonna need a better, more sophisticated argument than "eh, the market will sort it out." Perhaps you need to read up on who he is before you stick the other boot in your craw. Yes, you're being just a weeeee bit presumptuous. Your argument is kinda like saying Gaston Glock's opinions aren't credible, he's just some guy who figured out a neat way to make pieces of lead go fast. :rolleyes:

    Yet another strawman, the surefire and trustworthy argument of the lazy intellect.

    It being a potentially bad thing and "worse off than we were before 1982" aren't the same thing.

    Oh no? Read up. We're not there yet, but we're certainly heading in that general direction. It would be silly to argue otherwise.
     
  24. beerslurpy

    beerslurpy member

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    Do you agree with me or are you ignoring me?
     
  25. liberalgunnut

    liberalgunnut Member

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    Actually my clients include several internet infrastructure companies and several content providers. Frankly most of the infrastructure companies are all for anything that gets fat pipes put in as fast as possible. Most have had relatively flat stock prices over the past several years... the providers are totally opposed to the concept. Much of my business is creating visual concepts for abstract ideas on how the interent works for laypeople, IT professionals and investors. Like for example, how routers can be controlled to block viruses, spammers, fishers, and also content.

    Let me give you a prime example. Last December I went to one of my favorite leftwingnut websites... My computer could not access it through the comcast network in my home. Given that my business is so interent based I also happen to have a Qwest DSL line in my home as a backup and Verizon EVDO access. I could access the site on the DSL and EVDO. Comcast advised me that they were not blocking the site. through a route check we discovered that the site (IP address, which serves up alot of video) was being blocked by SBC (now ATT) which was the pipe that comcast was connecting to in my area. After going to the local press to complain about blocked sites, I suddenly had the service restored and several comcast VP contacting me to make sure that the problem had been resloved.

    My point is that, after this legislation, you may find that your favorite sites are blocked in much the same manner... While you may not have the same tastes in websites that I do I would imagine that you would find yourselves as pissed off as I was that content was being blocked.

    btw: Companies currently pay for bandwidth... the argument from the providers is that they should also pay for the infrastructure. In a free market the providers should be providing the infrastructure that generates more bandwidth usage that they can charge for... you do not pay the phone companies for cell towers, you pay them for providing a service that you willing use and pay for the time you use it. The profit by having towers that provide the service that gets used... They don't stick towers out in the middle of Nevada for one person to use because the market isn't there. we already have a free market.
     
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