I am often struck at how small minded we are as a nation when it comes to the idea of freedom. We care to be free in all of the symbolic ways we define freedom. Yet when we get into the weeds, we see our freedoms–especially in regards to purchasing power–eroding. Net Neutrality is yet another step towards freedom not actually belonging to the free. The basic concept of NN is that the ISP does not have the right to throttle speeds to any particular site. This bias can manifest in any way. Perhaps the ISP is religious and decides that pornhub.com shouldn’t be allowed to be viewed through their provider. Perhaps they are more capitalist and, as a servant of Disney, decides that Netflix is no longer going to be allowed to be reached at any reasonable speed. In other words, it allows your ISP to determine what you do or don’t see on the internet. In a place where you are limited to one or maybe two providers, you lose control of the messages you see. You lose control of the truth.
This is all part of a larger and growing discordance I’m seeing fall into place around our increasingly digitally dependent society. We are willingly giving away our access to deeper understanding in exchange for a easier to swallow, prepackaged truth that subscribes to our worldview of how things are. Net Neutrality is the antidote to alternative facts, and we are prepared as a society to dilute that antidote almost entirely for profit and ease.
- Deeply frustrating days this week. I’m glad to be done with school shortly.