Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality Nonsense

Pro-net neutrality types warn that if new FCC rules are inadequate, it will be the death of the Internet and free speech. Ignore the hyperbole.

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Blaise Alleyne/Flickr

In January, for the second time in recent years, a federal court told the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that its net neutrality enforcement was illegal, sending the agency back to the drawing board. On May 15, the FCC proposed new rules.* Dozens of major news outlets have trying to read the tea leaves, with several pro-net neutrality writers warning that if the FCC's rules are inadequate it will be the death of the Internet and free speech.

Ignore the hyperbole. It's nonsense.

Net neutrality is a complex subject to describe because there are so many flavors of it and neutral network practices, like beauty, are in the eye of the beholder. In essence, though, net neutrality rules move broadband providers from the lightly regulated status under which the Internet has flourished for years closer to common carrier status and reams of rules.

This unquestionably offends free market principles. The federal government should not control the development of the Internet. But consumer advocates pushing for strict net neutrality have convinced themselves, despite substantial evidence to the contrary, that regulators will get it right. The most vocal net neutrality activists demand rate regulation, forced sales of network infrastructure, and publicly-funded "competitors."

Internet-related industries are fast-moving and filled with firms experimenting with new business models in part because of benign neglect by regulators. Net neutrality would throw sand into the gears and change these dynamics.

No matter the industry, regulators demand that the regulated seek their permission before acting. And new business models represent a threat and an opportunity for local and national regulators. Exhibit A is new entrants like AirBnB, Uber, and 23andMe. Slow down, regulators say, we just want to kick the tires before you start delivering services.

In the FCC's case, kicking the tires—whether well-meaning or not—frequently amounts to business-killing scrutiny. The primary cause of death is delay. Tech entrepreneurs, ISPs, and investors can't tolerate the months-long to decades-long FCC approval process. Business plans and technology investments would get shelved while in regulatory limbo.

This problem is present in any regulated industry—transportation, energy, health care. Given the subjective nature of what "neutral" Internet traffic management looks like, however, and the fast-moving tech sector, the potential social damage of net neutrality is multiplied. FCC staff become tech philosophers, consuming forests of paper while contemplating unanswerable questions like, "Is Netflix part of the Internet?" "Which stimulates more broadband investment: better online services or more equal treatment of traffic?" "At what point is failure to upgrade broadband speeds equivalent to degrading broadband speeds?"

These are questions of metaphysics, not regulation. And this lengthy FCC navel-gazing is the best-case scenario.

Once FCC rules are made, delays pile up because modifying these rules requires not only regulator activity but public comment. That means that if an ISP or a tech firm try to launch a new service, their competitors and political enemies get to weigh in on whether the service is in the "public interest." The results are predictable and chilling. Several firms and business models have been deterred or crushed in this process in recent years: Northpoint, LightSquaredFree World Dial-Up, and ultrawideband. Countless others surely saw the carnage and never attempted to try.

And the problems don't end there. Regulators do not humbly submit to their express responsibilities. As the decade-long net neutrality saga shows, agencies seek out adjacent markets to regulate.

The most fortunate near-miss is when, in the 1960s, the FCC almost regulated the upstart cable companies out of existence. As a former FCC commissioner put it, "the cable regulations were originally designed solely to protect … [incumbent] broadcast stations." Since Congress hadn't given the FCC express authority to regulate cable, the agency argued that many broadcasters would disappear if it didn't and the FCC would have little left to regulate.

The technologies change, but the agency overreach continues.

Regarding the relative merits of net neutrality, it's difficult to improve on my colleague and tech scholar Adam Thierer's words: "Living in constant fear of hypothetical worst-case scenarios—and premising public policy upon them—means that best-case scenarios will never come about." Some of the possible casualties of strict net neutrality rules—telephone competition, inexpensive television bundles—are foreseeable. But the more worrisome problem is that businesses—large and small—won't risk the gauntlet, thus depriving us of the next fantastic service.

In the dynamic Internet-related industries, where creative destruction is greatest, firms should be able to experiment and develop freely, not require the government's permission. Regulation should be a last resort and markets the default position. Net neutrality turns that principle on its head.

*Ed. note: Updated to reflect that the proposed new rules have been made public.

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  1. An open letter to the FCC

    [What] those arguing for “Net Neutrality” in the context of today’s submissions are demanding is the ability to use government force to compel the subsidization of a private, for-profit business service. The FCC … has the obligation under the Constitution’s demand for Equal Protection as found in the 14th Amendment to reject such entreaties and expose them as a sham argument and blatantly improper attempt to force consumer subsidization of their businesses interests.

    1. That’s a different angle than I had considered before. Good stuff.

    2. Everything the government does could be argued against on those grounds, because everything the government does could be provided for by private, for-profit business. Defense, charity, healthcare, food inspection, everything.

      1. .

      2. If I had written “should” instead of “could” would you not have mistaken me for Tulpa? I’m not saying Rich is wrong, just that his argument is ineffective.

        1. .

        2. mistaken me for Tulpa?

          Protest more Tulpa, this is another one of your suck puppets, it’s obvious, stop wasting time with it and move on.

        3. As persistent as Tulpa you are.

          1. See, THAT shit is funny, channeling Yoda to try to avoid the tells you always give off.

            You’re Tulpa’s fucking suck puppet, and no one is fooled.

            1. It’s not tulpa, you dolt.

              1. yes, you stupid inbred retard fuck, it is

                1. Hey, your name seems like something Tulpa would name himself, YOU ARE TULPA.

                2. Hey, your name seems like something Tulpa would name himself, YOU ARE TULPA.

                3. No, no it’s not. This guy has been around for a while.

                  Guys, “fuck you tulpa” is Murican’s sockpuppet. See, I can say random shit too.

                  1. Yes, yes it is you enormous fucking moron.

            2. This guy has been around for a while.

              You spoiled the fun, Acosmist.

              1. Fuck him, he’s an idiot.

                1. Acosmist|5.18.14 @ 6:26PM|#

                  Fuck him, he’s an idiot.

                  Weird. a bunch of names I don’t recognize defending Tulpa…

                  x4rqcks3f may not be Tulpa but you certainly are.

                  Maybe if you were not such a jack ass who sock puppets like 10 different names then people like x4rqcks3f would not be in the crossfires of the people trying to root out your bullshit.

                  1. You don’t recognize Acosmist?!

                    Google is your friend.

                2. “Fuck him, he’s an idiot.”

                  Die in a greasefire cunt.

                  “Guys, “fuck you tulpa” is Murican’s sockpuppet.”

                  Yup, got it in one, now die in a greasefire cunt.

              2. .

      3. Excellent point. The internet was invented with our taxes dollars… It should be reclassified as a public utility. Shouldn’t we get a fair return on OUR investment in the form of equal access for everyone? The free flow of information is to vital to a healthy democracy.

        If Netflix, Amazon and other streaming services are placing such a burden on ISP providers, maybe (and I stress MAYBE) they should pay a small surcharge.
        Here is a simple illustration of what we will be looking at if Net Neutrality dies… higher costs for everyone. For the rich, that won’t matter. For the rest of us, we will eventually be priced out as the US continues it’s march to oligarchy.
        http://www.theopeninter.net

    3. Arguing the Constitution? How quaint!

      1. “Constitution Neutrality!”

  2. After reading the comments at the re/code article, it seems to me that problems people are trying so solve with net neutrality would be solved much more effectively by ending the monopoly status many providers enjoy in certain markets. I’m not an expert on this issue by any means, but I’m surprised, given the culture of the internet, that more energy isn’t being put into that approach.

    1. You are 100% correct, and the problems NN is purportedly trying to solve are already being solved by innovation and competition (DirecTV, FIOS, etc), and will only improve. The mongoloids who push NN incessantly are usually driven by hatred of the ISPs like Comcast, who, while usually deserving of hatred, only have their monopolistic position by virtue of the government.

      The NN advocates are a combination of irretrievably stupid dipshits who just want free shit and hate Comcast, and control freak statists who just want to bring the internet under government control. Think about their solution: they want to end monopolistic ISP territories by bringing it all under the ultimate monopoly, the government.

      1. You stupid douchebag, monopolies exist in rural areas because of high-capital cost barriers to entry – not government granting a monopoly. Your paranoia is rotting your brain on this issue.

        There is no FIOS in the sticks, idiot. And satellite charges by the Gb. Some locations don’t even have a monopoly – they have no broadband at all unless you count their crappy 3G cellphone.

        The irony of this argument is that I am siding with rural flyover country and while you act like everyone has access to Google Fiber.

        1. Sorry, moron.

          Every county in Massachusetts and New York has a single cable provider.

          Are you going to sit there with your fucking dunce cap on and tell me it’s because of a lack of density?

          Holy Fucking Science, I don’t understand how you manage to fucking feed yourself.

          1. That is a bullshit lie in general.

            There is a 200 home subdivision near me that has only BellSouth (now AT&T) DSL. Nothing else. Their DSL tops out about 4Mps. They would be so lucky to have a “cable” provider like I do. The city council begs for it.

            Every county in Massachusetts and New York has a single cable provider.

            That is the definition of a monopoly, you brainwreck.

            1. There is a 200 home subdivision near me that has only BellSouth (now AT&T) DSL.

              That was a choice from the land developer.

              The fact that he was allowed to do that without getting permission from the Cable provider indicates that local franchises are pretty weak in your area…this is a good thing.

              They way it works with strong franchise agreements is local governments give service providers powers to approve subdivisions and other land developments based on them signing off. So if the developer does not do what Comcast or Verizon or whoever says they have to do then the land development is stopped. Often those service providers will require huge infrastructure improvements of the land developer.

          2. And if you fear local government (which is justified) then you should really fear them if they can block content via an ISP.

            I lived in a goddamn Southern town where the local government blocked MTV on cable. IT IS THE DEBIL’S WORK. That is who you are siding with. The ability for a local jackass govt to smash a Content Delivery Network in the teeth. Really, I am ashamed of your pandering to local SoCon jackasses. I thought you were better than that.

            1. Yes, our fear of censorship from local government should animate us to demand total control of content from national government.

              Also, I’m inclined to say you’re full of fucking shit. Did they ban dancing too?

            2. block content via an ISP

              Why again is local government blocking MTV the fault of the ISP?

              Also in what fucked up unicorn universe do you live in where the FCC does not censor radio and TV?

            3. Mr . “I’m actually free market” is pro-Net Neutrality. Shocking.

        2. they have no broadband at all unless you count their crappy 3G cellphone.

          Hmm who regulates the cellphone spectrum again?

          Oh yeah the FCC does.

          Funny how that works.

          The irony of this argument is that I am siding with rural flyover country

          Concern troll is concerned. Hey guess what dipshit rural living has costs. Seeing the opera or an indy movie in the big city costs me, a rural dweller, more then it costs city folks. If I don’t like it then I should fucking move.

          Anyway you are another useful idiot. Explain how NN will increase competition?

        3. You stupid douchebag, monopolies exist in rural areas because of high-capital cost barriers to entry – not government granting a monopoly.

          Lol. That explains why I have at least 6 ISP choices in a rural area of about 35k people 60 miles from a major metro area of 2 million people where there are all of 2.

    2. It is not hard to find a Net Neutrality advocate who says regional ISP monopolies are a reason to advocate for Net Neutrality.

      Yet not one of them can say how Net Neutrality will fix regional monopolies.

      Net Neutrality has effectively flooded the space. Any mention of regional monopolies is effectively subverted into an argument for Net Neutrality.

      An example of this can be seen with the comments Stormy Dragon made a couple of days ago.

      Essentially Stormy hates Verizon but refuses to switch to Comcast cuz he hates Comcast. so then he advocates for Net Neutrality cuz it will hurt Comcast and justifies that hurting because of regional monopolies.

      It is a crazy circular argument but it is what it is. Any sane discussion about regional monopolies and reform of local franchise agreements is essentially shut down with crazy.

      1. Well, what’s the realistic option? Both Verizon and Comcast offer pretty much the same service for the same prices – one may be slightly better than the other but there’s no substantial difference.

        What would fix regional monopolies?

        1. Most of the monopolies are granted by the local governments, usually city governments. Simply push the city council to end the sanctioned monopoly. Seems pretty simple to me.

          1. That’s a good point. In Philadelphia, I remember Rendell being very much in the pocket of Comcast and shutting out RCN when they tried to expand.

            Still it seems that starting an ISP would require resources only a large organization could have. Maybe that’s wrong or maybe tech progress will be an equalizer in the future.

            1. Still it seems that starting an ISP would require resources only a large organization could have. Maybe that’s wrong

              Yeah, its’ wrong, unless by ISP you’re counting the actual backbone to move the bits, in which case, it’s not hard or easy, it’s just regulated.

              Regardless, the idea that it requires any real resources to start an ISP isn’t remotely true, and anyone with any knowledge of the subject will likely tell you many stories about the numerous little ISP’s they remember from their years in the industry.

              No, it isn’t hard to start an ISP, so the follow-on ideas that inevitably follow the argument that the barriers to entry are too high, are a cure for a problem only ignorant people thinks exist.

              1. Actually, I think starting an ISP is quite hard. It didn’t used to be, when everyone used dialup over existing phone lines, but now there’s a lot of up-front hardware and infrastructure cost. That last mile is expensive.

                1. Actually, I think starting an ISP is quite hard.

                  unless by ISP you’re counting the actual backbone to move the bits, in which case, it’s not hard or easy, it’s just regulated.

                  Not sure what the actually is for, as you’re not correct or correcting anyone, it is by no means hard.

                  Leasing backbone space and servers is simple. Hiring sysadmins is simple. It’s all very very simple.

                  That last mile is expensive.

                  Which is why I put the caveat in about actual backbone and moving bits. The lines involved aren’t the ISP’s province, usually. That’s the majority of the cost involved. In addition, you seem to be using “expensive” as a synonym for “difficult”. It isn’t.

                  There’s nothing hard about leasing space and equipment, and hiring people to run it.

            2. The article says this in a roundabout way, but it boils down to this: The *exact* same mentality of the state controlling the market via regulations and politically-connected sweetheart deals, is what brought us the regional ISP monopolies in the first place. But no, net neutrality proponents argue, this time the result of this state meddling will be completely different.

              There’s something in there about the definition of insanity.

        2. In the near future Cell phone networks are the likely candidate to compete with cable and DSL

          Pretty easy to role those out in urban areas and local franchise agreements have little to say about them.

          Of course the FCC has direct control over the light spectrum and roll out of super fast cell phone Internet has been predictably slow..so the solution would be to get the FCC out of the light spectrum regulation business.

          Click on the Ultrawideband and Northpoint links in the article above for more info.

        3. Regional monopolies will be fixed by things such as satellite or some other internet through the air. The reason the monopolies exist is that someone had to lay down wire and the government picked a company and said they could do it and then they had the monopoly. Any new technology that makes digging wire into the ground unnecessary will fuck those monopolies (assuming that the government doesn’t try to perpetrate them, which it often does).

          Once again, the solution is competition and technological advancement. But the mouth-breathers who are screaming for NN want the government to step in and give them what they want at the price of enslaving the internet to the government forever. They are too stupid to live.

          1. Satellite has too much lag time for a decent internet experience.

            1. Soo…

              It will never work cuz of online video games?

              I love video games as much as anyone but aside from that why would lag over a 100Mbps satellite connection really mean?

              Press a button wait 2 seconds then my HD video downloads in 10 seconds? Verses DSL which you press a button wait 1 second and then my HD video downloads in 5 min…

              1. Also if satellite was supplemented with DSL, cable, cell, or even dial-up the lag would quickly go away.

                TCP/IP was basically designed for this.

                “ok here are a few bits, oh here are some more over a slightly better route, oh wait here is a fire hose, open wide”

                1. Also if satellite was supplemented with DSL, cable, cell, or even dial-up the lag would quickly go away.

                  TCP/IP was basically designed for this.

                  “ok here are a few bits, oh here are some more over a slightly better route, oh wait here is a fire hose, open wide”

                  TCP is not multi-homing. It is very bad for that.

                  Moreover, lag impacts a lot more than games. TCP requires 3 RTTs before data transfer starts, and a typical web page can involve several — even dozens — of TCP connections (though after the first, they can be executed in parallel).

                  Satellite often involves RTTs in the hundreds of milliseconds (vs. 20-40ms for wired home broadband of various types). That can make a substantial difference in web browsing.

                  Your point is closer to valid when talking about things like Netflix.

                  1. TCP is not multi-homing. It is very bad for that.

                    It is?

                    Then what the hell does TCP/IP even do if not find the fastest route?

                    Should we stop calling it a network and start calling it a tree with branches?

                    1. I based my comments on some computer writer (Cringley?) who had satellite-only web service for a while and disliked it. You don’t want an extra lag every time you click a link on a web page.

                    2. I don’t even know where to start with this…

                      In IP, the end hosts don’t carry out routing functions, and datagrams don’t contain much routing information. Routing (beyond your LAN, of course) is carried out by your ISP, the other end host’s ISP, and any intermediary networks that may be in between.

                      Again, TCP (as used today) is single-homing. For any given connection, you have to pick a physical interface to send data over.

                      There is an experimental extension called Multipath TCP, which, as its name suggests, is multi-homing. Basically the only common consumer devices that support it are iPhones and iPads with iOS7. It is rarely used, and moreover, its purpose is not to mitigate latency issues; it’s so you can switch between physical interfaces seamlessly (for instance, so if your phone leaves WiFi range, whatever network activities its performing over [multipath] TCP can continue seamlessly over LTE).

                    3. So how does bittorrent even work then?

                      How can you layer something like that over TCP/IP if bits can only follow one path?

                      Also how do webpages work which have HTML that calls images videos ads and information from multiple servers and domains?

                    4. By opening multiple TCP connections.

                      You can open one TCP connection over DSL, one over satellite, and one over cable if you’re so inclined, sure. But that doesn’t do anything to reduce the latency of the satellite connection; it just means you’re sending some data over a high-latency link and some over lower-latency links.

                      Also, I didn’t say bits can follow only one path. I said that for a given (traditional) TCP connection, you’re restricted to one physical interface on your end host. In between you and the destination, packets in the same connection can end up taking different paths.

        4. What would fix regional monopolies?

          Also regional monopolies are not as strong as you might think.

          If google came to your town offering to install google fiber most municipalities would bend over backwards to accommodate them. And in fact it has already happened.

          Facebook and Microsoft (other super rich Net Neutrality advocates with market caps in the 10s of billions) can also afford to start laying broadband fiber networks. No Net Neutrality means these companies have every incentive to start rolling out competing services.

          Will some local municipalities play hard ball and stop any competition?

          Yes they would. But does the whole county need FCC enforced Net Neutrality, which would do nothing to improve competition, because backward municipalities like say Detroit will behave badly?

          There comes a point when cities and counties and states turn into thug robber barons. This is true with everything from property taxes to small business regulations not just broadband Internet. And when it reaches that point then you should simply move the fuck away from it. Not impose a country wide federal FCC robber baron on everyone.

        5. Thanks for the replies. 🙂

  3. After reading the comments at the re/code article, it seems to me that problems people are trying so solve with net neutrality would be solved much more effectively by ending the monopoly status many providers enjoy in certain markets. I’m not an expert on this issue by any means, but I’m surprised, given the culture of the internet, that more energy isn’t being put into that approach.

  4. I dont understand the net neutrality issue. I do understand this: The left as it exists today is largely fascist. Fascists hate free speech. Fascists hate the free market. Fascists hate anything that empowers the individual. When I see that it is leftists pushing for net neutrality my answer is immediately ” Fuck you. No.”.

    1. The only “free” the left is interested in is “free lunch”. Which is pretty much the goal of net neutrality.

      1. I just assumed their goal was control of the net and the squashing of free speech. It really rankles some lefties I know that people like us are here saying whatever we please whenever we like.

        I would bet my last dollar that if they could kill the net entirely, or turn it into some kind of forum for propaganda only they would do it without hesitation.

        1. That is because you are a fucking redneck idiot.

          It is your fucking kind – the Social Conservative redneck trash that wants to block modernity from their little crumb-crunchers minds that drive today’s censorship programmes.

          1. Wow, you either need to take more or less of something…

          2. Lol. Yeah, them thar rednecks shure does like to censur teh speech. John McCain and Russ Feingold, for example.

          3. The US government under Obama tried to get Google to take down the Bengazi videos.

            The IRS has targeted opposition groups by denying them status and audited them at 10 times the average rate.

            The US government under Obama has gone after numerous reporters and whistleblowers in regards to the war on terror.

            And we all remember that Citizens United was simply a company that made a movie critical of Hilary.

            The CDC is lying to reporters about Obesity studies and freezing them out if they are critical of the CDC.

            Sure seems there are piles of evidence backing up Suthenboy.

          4. Your belligerence reveals your true progressive leanings.

      2. Which is pretty much the goal of net neutrality.

        This is probably the goal of the useful idiots.

        But the goal of major players/politicians is control. Any new players can either be pushed out of the market in favor of established players or they can be filtered through Washington DC to be squeezed for bribes and political donations.

        Suthenboy has it right it is fascism disguised as consumer advocacy.

  5. OT: A conversation I had with a lefty last friday about the nature of happiness.

    Me: I have six dogs and they are all happy but one.

    Her: Why isn’t the one dog happy?

    Me: Oh, he is the male and he thinks he has to be in charge all the time. He just worries and frets all the time about what all the other dogs are up to. The others don’t give a shit and they are obviously happy. Him, not so much. (I was trying to make a point to her about meddling lefties, not the dogs)

    Her: Why does it always have to be the male in charge?! Always the man. He just thinks he is in charge, but the females are really in charge! (Insert here a ten minute rant of the standard feminist whining )

    Me: *slowly takes out and lights cigarette while keeping eye contact*

    Never mind.

    *walks away*

    1. The idea that feminism has any application to dogs, or that the behavior of dogs could in any way inform feminism, is straight-up crazy. In a different era, your friend would be confined to a mental institution based solely on that conversation.

    2. You probably should not have mentioned the gender of the dogs.

  6. The results are predictable and chilling. Several firms and business models have been deterred or crushed in this process in recent years: Northpoint, LightSquared, Free World Dial-Up, and ultrawideband. Countless others surely saw the carnage and never attempted to try.

    What is interesting is that some these offer direct competition to cable and DSL ISPs. Which are the go to for broadband right now.

    Right now Soule South Korea is rolling out 100Mbps Internet using cell phone networks and it is being done by private firms.

    The future competition that is financially feasible to go after the broadband markets in the US is regulated by the FCC and yet the service is not being rolled out. Funny how that works.

  7. Another day in Madrid, and yet another monster celebration for Madrid Athletic winning the Spanish League (La Liga). Apparently their first title in 18 years, and the first time in quite awhile the champion hasn’t been Barcelona or Real Madrid. Yes, Madrid has two teams in the league, and the one that just won it all seems to be sort of their Clippers/Mets equivalent.

    So the crowd is finally starting to thin out below my hotel window (10pm here), but it has been over three hours of a stage blasting music, the players arriving via double decker bus, and the delirious crowd (estimated at a million plus) singing the team fight song and other victory tunes. You haven’t lived till you’ve heard “We Are The Champions” sung by a million Spanish accents.

    The windows aren’t very good at keeping the noise out, so it will be impossible to sleep for many hours. Oh well, might as well head to the plaza and fight the crowds to snag a sangria.

    1. Meanwhile in Madrid

      Have a pleasant evening!

    2. How’s the Tapas?

      1. And the Prado?

          1. Tapas awesome, Prado amazing (as well as the Reina Sofia and the Thyssen, the other two legs of the “art museum triangle” here.) And the senoritas are just mind – blowing. That European lithe, slender, slinky look in tight – cut jeans never gets old for me here. A feast of eye candy.

            1. When I was in Spain circa 1981, what I noticed were all the hot young women, and the total lack of good-looking mature women. It was rather startling, though of course walking the streets of a city isn’t a random sample.

    3. I remember when Manchester City started getting good again, upsetting the Big 4 oligarchy (Man U, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool) who had dominated for the past couple decades.

  8. Today in navel-gazing: http://elitedaily.com/news/wor…..ter-thing/

    The paper goes on to say that liberals who don’t believe in God are more likely to be intelligent as well.

    It seems that the gist here is that progressive thinkers who uphold adventure and experimentation over safety and tradition are the more intelligent beings.

    So as Esquire says, “if you’re getting laid at 3 am on Sunday morning and have a full bowl packed beside the bed and you aren’t going to church the next day, you’re probably a genius.”

    1. It seems that the gist here is that progressive thinkers who uphold adventure and experimentation over safety and tradition are the more intelligent beings.

      Just imagine what minds like Galileo, Da Vinci, Newton, etc., could have been if they hadn’t been so damn religious.

      But then, this sort of BS fits with the progressive belief that they are just smarter than everyone else.

    2. “if you’re getting laid at 3 am on Sunday morning and have a full bowl packed beside the bed and you aren’t going to church the next day, you’re probably a genius.”

      If Liberals are so smart? why do they think people are going to church on MONDAY?

      1. You’re a shahp one.

  9. Today in navel-gazing: http://elitedaily.com/news/wor…..ter-thing/

    The paper goes on to say that liberals who don’t believe in God are more likely to be intelligent as well.

    It seems that the gist here is that progressive thinkers who uphold adventure and experimentation over safety and tradition are the more intelligent beings.

    So as Esquire says, “if you’re getting laid at 3 am on Sunday morning and have a full bowl packed beside the bed and you aren’t going to church the next day, you’re probably a genius.”

    1. those with an IQ of 125 or higher are exponentially more likely to use drugs.

      What does that even mean?

      1. Dude, let’s get cubed!

      2. It means that their IQ is not going to stay above 125.

        It is actually horseshit. I fall in that group and have never used drugs aside from alcohol. None of the people I know who have high IQs use drugs. I don’t count Marijuana or alcohol.

        The people I know who use hard drugs are really not that bright and consequently fuck their lives up giving them ample reason to want to escape with drugs.

        1. English researchers recently discovered that students at prestigious schools like Oxford and Cambridge spend much more time having sex, smoking weed and staying up later than their peers at less reputable institutions.

          This sounds like a good study that you could extrapolate to the rest of the population.

          Like lots of these things, the sample is shit.

          1. Yeah, my sample is shit too, but it is what I see. Like a lot of things the proggys say it just doesn’t match what I see going on around me.

        2. *Disclaimer – I put near zero stock in IQ tests. I do not use Marijuana but nearly everyone else seems to, smart or not.

        3. What, the idea that IQ correlates with the likelihood of self-medication?

          That’s really not something people argue about anymore, it’s pretty well known to be true.

          1. Oh, I get that notion.

            It’s the apparent precision of the “exponentially” part that provides an air of, um, doubt to the claim.

    2. Progressives don’t value safety and tradition?! Someone should tell them that.

      1. Isn’t the whole progressive shtick basically the quest for stasis and the War on Sadz?

    3. Oh, and these are people for whom IQ doesn’t exist, until they think theirs is higher than those stupid socons, in which case IQ suddenly exists again.

    4. I am trying to figure out what the connection here is. Proggys are people who believe the end justifies the means. It seems likely that they would also have fewer inhibitions about other areas of life than just politics.

      Hmmm. Sounds like a description for super-prickishness more than intelligence, which pretty well describes the evangelical atheists I have run into.

      1. High IQ people can rally from just about any fuckup, and a certain percentage of them know it.

        The bar is set so low just about everywhere.

        When you know that working at 100% one day a quarter, or studying for one weekend a semester, is going to get you by, you might decide to do some fucked up things with the rest of your time.

        So I don’t think the correlation here is “smart people want to do drugs”. I think the correlation here is “smart people can dick around and still get by, and a certain percentage of people who dick around with dick themselves into drugs eventually by random chance.”

  10. Next month, if all goes according to plan, the Environmental Protection Agency will launch the most serious assault on American business since the 1970’s. New regulations governing the release of Carbon Dioxide will hit every corner of the economy, causing your electric bill to skyrocket (as promised by candidate Obama) and adding billions in costs to manufacturers and other businesses that generate CO2.

    1. countries like China, who are building a coal burning electric plant every month – are not subject to any mandated reduction in CO2 emissions. Ditto for India. For every molecule of carbon dioxide we don’t put into the atmosphere, someone else will do it for us.

      But we’re *better*, and perhaps they’ll follow our example!

      /hope of retaining control of Congress

  11. Aren’t the cell phone companies cable’s long-term enemy? Even more than satellite?

  12. I don’t expect to change any attitudes here, but the business goal of telecommunications companies is to extract the maximum amount of profit for the least amount of work.

    They will drag out infrastructure upgrades in rural areas for as long as they can do so, because profits from upgrading rural customers are not as stupendously hand-over-fist, as in the dense suburban and metro areas.

    We rural citizens need the government to regulate them, to force them to spend a fraction of their vast profits on actually improving customer service rather than just enriching shareholders, and force them to loosen their stranglehold on capacity increases.

    It is very likely that for many rural areas to finally get high bandwidth (50+ megabit) fiber to the home to replace the old copper twisted pairs, industry is not going to provide the solutions, because hooking up ranchers in Wyoming with fiber just isn’t as wildly profitable as their shareholders demand.

    We are instead going to have to see a repeat of the public-funded government-run service projects like the Tennessee Valley Authority, where electric power was finally delivered to rural farms (Rural Electrification Administration, in 1935) and rural phone service via the Universal Service telephone fund (Communications Act of 1934).

    1. People who have money want to use it to make more money.

      Follow this maxim, and you will in general understand the mind of the businessman.

      When a business is not willing to make money off of you, it is because someone else stands in its way.

      That someone else is the very same government you gleefully want to grant more power to.

    2. They will gladly provide broadband to rural areas.

      Evidentially just not at the price point you feel entitled to pay.

      Just use your cell phone as a wireless hot spot and quit begging for laws that affect everyone just to solve your personal problems.

    3. Javik:

      We rural citizens need the government to regulate them, to force them to spend a fraction of their vast profits on actually improving customer service rather than just enriching shareholders, and force them to loosen their stranglehold on capacity increases.

      Because, clearly, the fact that people who live out in rural areas cost more money to serve than the revenue they generate is the problem of every tax payer.

      I assume, then, if you all decided to pick up and move out to the Alaskan wilderness, it would be a different story, right? Or would taxpayers still need to provide power, water, heat, and high speed internet to you? Because you “need” it?

      You know, they don’t have huge grocery stores, shopping malls, and sports teams out in rural areas, either. One solution would be for taxpayers to subsidize all of these things. Another solution would be, if you think not having easy access to these things is bad, you could (gasp) move to where they are.

      Why does it seemed implicitly assumed that moving isn’t an option?

      Somehow, rural people were doing just fine without broadband internet 30 years ago. Why it becomes the problem of every taxpayer to make sure that living in a rural area means just getting more, cheaper real estate, with no other compromises, is beyond me.

      1. Your response is a joke because rural people that work on farms cannot by definition move to a metro area. What do you suggest they do with the animals? Get apartments for the cows and chickens? Grow the crops on skyscraper rooftops?

        In many cases people in rural areas cannot move from where they live, because their livelihood depends on those acres of open land to grow things, or to do jobs that support the people that grow things.

        Second, while it is true that rural people were doing fine without broadband 30 years ago (1984, the era of 300 baud modems and Compuserve), the fact is that everyone anywhere was doing fine without broadband 30 years ago. The concept did not even exist yet.

        We are rapidly moving to a point where traditional print media is going away, and where broadband access is assumed by default.

        Even two years ago, it was getting to be very difficult to use websites with video ads over a 53k dialup connection, and this assumption that people have bandwidth to waste on high-consumption background advertising is only getting worse.

        Why should people who play an important role in supporting and sustaining the food producers of this country, be deprived of the low-cost broadband access that is available to anyone in a metro area?

    4. I live in a rural area. My road is not paved. I am surrounded by farmers. And I have really good FIOS to my house. And it costs less than my internet did when I lived in the suburbs, with infinitely better customer service.

      How is this possible? A small telephone coop saw the writing on the wall years ago and has been incredibly aggressive about providing good service to their rural customers. They started with cable, added internet, and are doing quite well. I don’t think they would have been able to accomplish what they did if there were ridiculous regulations in place.

      And for the record, I accepted when I moved to the boonies (entirely by choice) that I would have to give up certain things, for the tradeoff that my husband could take a piss off the back porch and no one could see him. I’m lucky enough that a local company could manage to provide good service. I don’t believe that “the government” should force companies to provide a service to me, just because I like my solitude and my seven acres.

      1. Yes, and you having FIOS is only possible because of the small local carrier that serves only your area. If we too were served by a small local carrier that only served a 100-mile radius we might get the same attention that you are.

        As someone served by CenturyLink I am painfully aware that they do not care about providing similar service to their rural customers because they have far more profit to make in the dense metro areas they serve.

        I am in favor of government breaking up the big billions dollar statewide/multistate telephone conglomerates simply because they go where the money is, the metro areas… and the rural areas they are encumbered with, eh screw em.

  13. This from the same site where many of the members are mulling whether to ban (censor) folks who have other points of view – and regularly curse them out instead of actually addressing their points.

    You couldn’t make this stuff up.
    Fantastic.

    1. craiginmass:

      This from the same site where many of the members are mulling whether to ban (censor) folks who have other points of view – and regularly curse them out instead of actually addressing their points.

      Because expressing opinions and net neutrality are exactly the same things. To be for one, and not the other, is the height of hypocrisy.

      Whatever.

      Does this count as having your point addressed? Or am I required to embrace it, out of open-mindedness, for you to avoid feelings of a censorship attempt? Because we all know that’s equivalent.

  14. Genuinely sad to see Reason get this issue so wrong. Using AirBnB and Uber as examples of the health of the Internet misses the whole point that it is the case precisely because we have something like net neutrality, i.e. ISPs are not allowed to prefer one source’s packets over another.

    I don’t see how we get rid of monopolies — even with wireless — so “deregulation” is just more regulatory capture in this space.

  15. Using AirBnB and Uber as examples of the health of the Internet misses the whole point that it is the case precisely because we have something like net neutrality, i.e. ISPs are not allowed to prefer one source’s packets over another.

    If we already have net neutrality, what is the point?

    1. If we already have net neutrality, what is the point?

      That’s just it: the proposed rules will end net neutrality.

  16. So if a consumer electronics company is willing to pay your electricity provider an extra fee is it okay for them to provide more power to that companies brand of light-bulbs, television sets, and computers while providing less power to the products of their competitors who don’t pay?

    It could potentially allow the companies that get the “extra” power to produce new and different consumer goods since they wouldn’t be limited like the companies who don’t pay.

  17. Raise your hand if you have Comcast and like it.

    … chirping of crickets …

    You have Comcast because you have no other choice.

    I, on the other hand, have Fios. 15 Mbps down, 10 Mbps up. Always. Really.

    I am one of the few who has a choice, and when I had the chance I chose whatever was not Comcast because Comcast was that awful. Whatever the option it had to be better.

    And still, those douche bags Comcast come door-to-door every year telling me about what I am missing. When I say “get lost” it is like an episode of the Sopranos: they sneer and glare and I wonder when I’ll wake up with a horse head in my bed.

    There has to be choice in order for there to be competition. Simple as that.

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