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Thread: So long Open Internet, and thanks for all the packets

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    the flying pig Capitalist Pig's Avatar
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    Thumbs down So long Open Internet, and thanks for all the packets

    FCC Responds to Critics of Net Neutrality Proposal—FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler says reports of end of net neutrality are "flat out wrong" exclaims the headline of an article I read today on Maximum PC.

    The problem? Tom Wheeler and the FCC are full of shit, not that I expected anything less from a bullshit alphabet agency. What I really enjoyed were the pithy and accurate observations by the commenter MaximumMike. Seriously, if you read the [first] article, keep scrolling through the comments and read his. He concisely summarizes all of the main points I've been harping about for years to anyone willing to listen.

    Anyway. . . apart from an earnest attempt at initiating open discussion of the clear and present danger to net neutrality in the United States, the real purpose of this thread is to get more exposure for my rambling monologue on the subject from the shoutbox earlier today. Hope you like transcripts!

    > eh, i figured the internet's days were numbered in the US
    > not that it's going away
    > but it won't be the internet as i remembered it
    > and it's not because of evolving web standards either
    > granting cable companies micromonopolies in broad regional markets was the first sign of the apocalypse
    > because without the competition, aside from the usual complaints of any monopolized industry (exponentially higher prices corresponding to noticeable downgrades in service quality and support), when filesharing became big ISPs saw this as a threat to their fragile infrastructure and decided throttling and data caps were perfectly reasonable practices in "punishing" the most bandwidth-hungry users and bandwidth intensive activities (as opposed to implementing long-term solutions to meet evolving demands)
    > many of which will soon affect legitimate services (e.g., Netflix) that are patronized by millions of users who are, at least in this case, enjoying a perfectly legal activity
    > so by destroying net neutrality, it gives ISPs another weapon that affects not only their subscribers but content providers as well
    > because it means that ISPs are no longer obligated to treat all internet traffic as equal
    > the packets we send and receive over the internet have no special privilege over those of our neighbors
    > extending to businesses as well
    > but the FCC's new proposal will change all that
    > "but why does an ISP like Comcast want to disenfranchise Netflix subscribers?" one might ask
    > who knows
    > maybe because nobody watches cable TV anymore
    > and Comcast is also a digital television provider
    > and since most US markets have only 1 cable provider to a region, and since hybrid fiber-coaxial infrastructures (HFCs) like those used by CABLE PROVIDERS are presently the fastest technologies we have implemented for transferring mass quantities of data over vast distances through the series of tubes that is the internet
    > Cable internet is the no-shit winner that appeals to every kind of "internet consumer" -- be they online gamers, file sharers, or media streamers
    > I'm sure there's plenty more angles to this than what I can imagine
    > What I've just said is only a thin slice of the big picture
    > but I think this is a line of reasoning that most people can readily assimilate and gain an understanding of how it affects them

    Oh, and one more thing; I normally shun petitions and flatly refuse to sign any (even if their ostensible cause seems agreeable), but in this case I've made an exception. This is a petition telling the FCC where they can stick their new proposal. Please sign it if you use the internet, especially if you are using the internet at this very moment. Thanks.
    Last edited by Capitalist Pig; 04-26-2014 at 09:30 PM.

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    the flying pig Capitalist Pig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capitalist Pig View Post
    > many of which will soon affect legitimate services (e.g., Netflix) that are patronized by millions of users who are, at least in this case, enjoying a perfectly legal activity
    Correction: Netflix is already preparing itself for a knockout blow by increasing their rates for new subscribers within the year.

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    the flying pig Capitalist Pig's Avatar
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    there really ought to be more outrage about this. so far i am disappoint

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    the flying pig Capitalist Pig's Avatar
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    I am bumping this thread to show you all a video, because I don't think any of you heard me when I was explaining why the end of net neutrality portends very bad things for us 'net junkies in the United States. This is really a VERY serious issue, and it involves ALL OF US [in America]. That means YOU.

    How do I know this?

    Because there's a pretty good chance you were using the Internet to access this website, and you're probably even using it right now to read this very post (on the Internet).

    So in case you haven't heard me the first eleventy billion times, here's a brief (3.5 minute) video -- hosted on YouTube, a website on the Internet, and streamed to your Internet-connected device (via the Internet) -- that will help explain it to you.


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    the flying pig Capitalist Pig's Avatar
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    NOW START GIVING A FUCK


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    I'd like to say this is an issue I find deeply troubling...




    but it would be a lie. It probably doesn't affect people in small, comparatively centralised countries, particularly those who don't often watch tv online.

    I just hope that everything will become rapidly wireless and that people will soon be getting their internets for free in many cases. Otherwise, I greatly pity people who are getting their internet throttled and who have to pay a premium compared to other countries like Americans seem to (shit's fucked up etc.!)

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    the flying pig Capitalist Pig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Subteigh View Post
    I'd like to say this is an issue I find deeply troubling...




    but it would be a lie. It probably doesn't affect people in small, comparatively centralised countries, particularly those who don't often watch tv online.

    I just hope that everything will become rapidly wireless and that people will soon be getting their internets for free in many cases. Otherwise, I greatly pity people who are getting their internet throttled and who have to pay a premium compared to other countries like Americans seem to (shit's fucked up etc.!)
    The problem as I see it is that streaming isn't gonna go away. Streaming has definitely taken over filesharing and P2P networks (except for those few aficionados who download everything in a lossless format with maximum resolutions and bit rates, etc) as a main source of content delivery, because it's instant, it's now, and for a small monthly premium (or pay-per-view) format -- or even FREE, as with (most) Hulu content and even the stuff you can find on YouTube, as well as other sites -- you have instant access to all this entertainment and you're not waiting for it to download, or praying for more seeds, and it's available on EVERY device.

    Not to mention you have social media and e-mail and a variety of other things that we depend on the Internet for (netbooks and smartphones, anyone?), this has the serious potential to fuck a lot of people over. Now maybe if there was more competition for broadband Internet in the majority of cable's biggest markets, this might not be such a big deal. But it's homogenizing the industry and the major corporations are beginning to eat each other up and gain even MORE of the territory (such as the impending threat of Comcast's potential merging with TWC) and service is becoming shittier because of it, and people are left without options the majority of the time.

    But like Google Fiber going out to select cities and setting up 1Gbps -- note that's a one gigabit data rate (which will soon be outmoded with the launch of DOCSIS 3.1 that has hypothetical capability of up to 10Gbps) -- meanwhile the rest of the industry is laughing at them because they're like, "There's no demand for that kind of ridiculous speed!"

    Yeah, well, there will be. And Google Fiber is Google's foray into the market, they're hedging their bets, they're futureproofing because they may not look like serious competition now (limited infrastructure, only serves a couple cities, they're slow to roll out, it's hard to negotiate the zoning and rights to dig up neighborhoods and lay buried cable, etc etc), but if Google continues to bankroll that effort and it turns out popular, then they will be a contender in the ISP game because they've already got the inlays to meet the evolving demands of the market for a lightning fast connection.

    Because eventually, within our lifetimes, there will come a day where we're telling our kids about the launch of 1Gbps Internet and they'll be like, "Holy shit, you're so old!" because who knows, maybe the norm by then will be 100Gbps, and that'll be the data rate for the low end discount service.

    Anyway I'm kinda rambling, and I'm a little tired, so I don't know if I'm making my points as cogently as I could, but you see where I'm going with this. The demand for faster Internet is just going to be there. It's going to grow, and evolve, and within our lifetimes (perhaps by middle age), that's where we're gonna be at.

     
    Personally, I would like to see a server in every home that replaces CD stands, DVD/Blu-ray racks, photo albums, bookshelves, etc with permanent digital storage and the same streaming capacities as an HTPC but different in the sense that it's where everyone stores their family photos and vacation scrapbooks and music collections, etc and so fourth. That might be a possibility, too, but I have a feeling I'll be at or near retirement age by the time I'd see it, assuming it catches on at all. We'll just have to wait and see.

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    Glorious Member mu4's Avatar
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    This is what you get for deregulation(aka corporate protectionism). Cannot treat infrastructure as mere commodity.

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    I wonder how this will play out in relation to NSA espionage. I'm guessing that loss of neutrality will reduce their ability to collect data from unprivileged sites which make up a bulk of the Internet. But government attempts to exert control over its citizenry may yet take on less importance if we're being force-fed propaganda mainstream entertainment on a regular basis via those fast channels.

    There's also the issue of marketing. Would corporations stand to lose out on market research by throttling large sections of the Internet?
    It was in the reign of George III that the aforesaid personages lived and quarrelled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equal now.

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    This is a kind of collusive monopolisation of the market that government is supposed to regulate to remove an externality.

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    the flying pig Capitalist Pig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hkkmr View Post
    This is what you get for deregulation(aka corporate protectionism). Cannot treat infrastructure as mere commodity.
    If the infrastructure wasn't commanded by government-enforced monopolies in the first place, this probably wouldn't matter. As it stands, however, most US markets only have a single company providing cable Internet services. And since cable is the only true option for broadband Internet, this is a problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Capitalist Pig View Post
    If the infrastructure wasn't commanded by government-enforced monopolies in the first place, this probably wouldn't matter. As it stands, however, most US markets only have a single company providing cable Internet services. And since cable is the only true option for broadband Internet, this is a problem.
    You are right here; net neutrality would be economically meaningless if there were 4-5 major providers running complete networks and forcing competitiveness; but if there is only 1 provider then they can distort the market. Unfortunately governments (local, national) have had a lot of fun licencing monopolies to build the first set of lines, but they haven't created a mechanism to remove these licences.

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    Glorious Member mu4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capitalist Pig View Post
    If the infrastructure wasn't commanded by government-enforced monopolies in the first place, this probably wouldn't matter. As it stands, however, most US markets only have a single company providing cable Internet services. And since cable is the only true option for broadband Internet, this is a problem.
    You just can't treat infrastructure as a commodity, it's fundamentally not private space because making it private means the concept of net neutrality becomes null and void. Private is private, i.e non-neutral. Private interest is fundamentally non-neutral.

    The idea of neutrality in a business is not mechanically functional because the basis of business is self-interest.

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    China has its own Internet. Some countries have plans to make their own: Germany, Iran.

    We can make ours. There's no reason some motivated people with knowledge in electrical engineering and rocket science couldn't manufacture their own satellites ( large undersea cables are impractical.. as yet ), esp. now that 3D printing technology is advancing by leaps and bounds. You can even copy from plans to assemble a satellite if you don't have the necessary skills.
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    i signed the petition. tl;dr:::

    What does that mean? It means we could be headed toward a pay-per-view Internet where Web sites have fees. It means we may have to pay a network tax to run voice-over-the-Internet phones, use an advanced search engine, or chat via Instant Messenger.

    http://www.savetheinternet.com/net-neutrality-101

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    This sounds too retarded to be true, the fuck is wrong with people.

    I'm interested as to whether this would only affect sites and services within the US.

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    the flying pig Capitalist Pig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ainfigur View Post
    I'm interested as to whether this would only affect sites and services within the US.
    For end users, it only affects you if you live in the US or access the web through a US-based proxy.

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    the flying pig Capitalist Pig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hkkmr View Post
    You just can't treat infrastructure as a commodity, it's fundamentally not private space because making it private means the concept of net neutrality becomes null and void. Private is private, i.e non-neutral. Private interest is fundamentally non-neutral.

    The idea of neutrality in a business is not mechanically functional because the basis of business is self-interest.
    And yet here we sit, with the "benevolent bureaucracy" threatening to take away the very thing you purport business and industry is incapable of achieving on their own. So clearly, neutrality isn't something achieved through regulation, either, because the FCC is threatening right now to make the concept of net neutrality null and void. If that is the case, then what is the harm of having privatized infrastructure? It would seem that someone in your position would have to admit at this point that we are fucked either way.

    See, under a privatized infrastructure, net neutrality is null and void because of competition. Not because of the tip of a policy maker's pen.
    Last edited by Capitalist Pig; 05-10-2014 at 09:00 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Capitalist Pig View Post
    For end users, it only affects you if you live in the US or access the web through a US-based proxy.
    I hope it stays that way, though what happens over there usually creeps over here after a decade or two, unless there is significant public resistance.

    It's another issue of massive bodies of power being able to do whatever the fuck they like unchecked, be that private or state. Please don't descend into some petty "muh freemarkets" vs "muh gubberment" argument because that's totally not the point. The system is fine, it's the way the system operates that needs reforming and that's where the solutions will lay. Imo.

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    the flying pig Capitalist Pig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ainfigur View Post
    Please don't descend into some petty "muh freemarkets" vs "muh gubberment" argument because that's totally not the point.
    No, it's precisely the point. Seeing as Comcast is at the focal point of all of this controversy for being a monopoly and the only way it's gotten there is through government enforcement of their monopoly status, despite having horrible customer service and one of the lowest customer satisfaction ratings of any other company in America year after year (see here, here, here, here, and here).

    Quote Originally Posted by Ainfigur View Post
    The system is fine, it's the way the system operates that needs reforming and that's where the solutions will lay. Imo.
    If that's the case, then the kind of reforms that would fix this problem would mean less government intervention in telecommunications and public infrastructure. It's the "system" that has gotten us here in the first place, and it has failed miserably. Therefore, the answer is less system, not more.

    That being said, fundamentally I am opposed to having the concept of net neutrality written as law. The government created this issue in the first place, and net neutrality as law represents further interventionism by the state in order to "fix" an externality that it created in the first place. Ideally, the government would back off the entire issue, permit competition for providing cable TV and Internet services in markets where it has been previously prohibited, and the whole thing would just go away. Unfortunately, my hand is forced in this matter to prevent an undesirable situation from getting any worse.
    Last edited by Capitalist Pig; 05-10-2014 at 09:46 PM.

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    crap, does this mean all the great innovations will have to begin in Europe now, or Asia?
     
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capitalist Pig View Post
    No, it's precisely the point. Seeing as Comcast is at the focal point of all of this controversy for being a monopoly and the only way it's gotten there is through government enforcement of their monopoly status, despite having horrible customer service and one of the lowest customer satisfaction ratings of any other company in America year after year (see here, here, here, here, and here).

    If that's the case, then the kind of reforms that would fix this problem would mean less government intervention in telecommunications and public infrastructure. It's the "system" that has gotten us here in the first place, and it has failed miserably. Therefore, the answer is less system, not more.

    That being said, fundamentally I am opposed to having the concept of net neutrality written as law. The government created this issue in the first place, and net neutrality as law represents further interventionism by the state in order to "fix" an externality that it created in the first place. Ideally, the government would back off the entire issue, permit competition for providing cable TV and Internet services in markets where it has been previously prohibited, and the whole thing would just go away. Unfortunately, my hand is forced in this matter to prevent an undesirable situation from getting any worse.
    What solutions would you suggest though? Sorry if I sounded condescending or whatever in that post it just annoys me when people make these things into these big ideological arguments which don't present any sensible solutions.

    Why can't the solution be restrictions on lobbying and big money, like we have in europe? That would fix so much in the US it's ridiculous.

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    Glorious Member mu4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capitalist Pig View Post
    And yet here we sit, with the "benevolent bureaucracy" threatening to take away the very thing you purport business and industry is incapable of achieving on their own. So clearly, neutrality isn't something achieved through regulation, either, because the FCC is threatening right now to make the concept of net neutrality null and void. If that is the case, then what is the harm of having privatized infrastructure? It would seem that someone in your position would have to admit at this point that we are fucked either way.

    See, under a privatized infrastructure, net neutrality is null and void because of competition. Not because of the tip of a policy maker's pen.
    It is business protecting it's own interest via government that is creating this issue. I'm not going to fantasize and imagine a world where power and power structures don't exist. They always form and always intervene in one's life. It is when individuals use their own agency and protect their interests thru their own power that things can be kept from the control of those who would use existing power structures maliciously. Infrastructure are mechanisms that operate not on a private level and having it be under the power of private entities is little more than under the power of dictators. Just because the state you currently reside in is threatening net neutrality doesn't mean anything. Anyways the business interest exact defense against net neutrality is private ownership. Anyways it's pointless to talk about this if you imagine how a world will be without power structures intervening in your life. All switching government for business is switching one for another, one chain for another.

    Anyways there is no competition for infrastructure, if you own a house, you can't change one road company for another, no more than you can change one cable company for another. The lines are owned by one group and not another. And in totally private world, you simply get what you get, which is how it is currently because private companies own the cabling and own the infrastructure of the internet. That's why they have a regional monopoly, because people can't easily move and well if you want to use the "road", you have to use the one that's constructed outside your house, unless you want to pay the price of cabling yourself to the nearest competitor of your choice. That's simply not an option for most people.

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    the flying pig Capitalist Pig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hkkmr View Post
    It is business protecting it's own interest via government that is creating this issue.
    Agreed.

    Quote Originally Posted by hkkmr View Post
    I'm not going to fantasize and imagine a world where power and power structures don't exist.
    I've never purported anything of the sort either.

    Quote Originally Posted by hkkmr View Post
    It is when individuals use their own agency and protect their interests thru their own power that things can be kept from the control of those who would use existing power structures maliciously.
    And what better way for them to do this than by voting with their dollars? All I'm saying is, if government services had to survive on a profit-or-loss basis, efficiency of service would improve dramatically for those agencies that can be expected to survive as self-sustaining commercial entities.

    Quote Originally Posted by hkkmr View Post
    Infrastructure are mechanisms that operate not on a private level and having it be under the power of private entities is little more than under the power of dictators. Just because the state you currently reside in is threatening net neutrality doesn't mean anything. Anyways the business interest exact defense against net neutrality is private ownership.
    The cable companies do have one compelling argument in favor of abolishing net neutrality: they do own the pipes. They should be allowed to create fast- and slow-lanes if they so desire. That ought to be well within the powers of ownership that they wield. That is why my advocacy for net neutrality is quite contradictory in light of my otherwise unwavering support for private property rights; though I have no illusions about my hypocrisy on this matter, and I'm surprised you haven't pointed it out yourself.

    However, since they have also been granted regional monopolies in numerous markets across the USA, the fact that they own the only pipes the local authorities have sought fit to approve, creates a bigger issue that mandates policies like net neutrality in the first place. In an ideal world, the concept of net neutrality would be null and void. The incentive for companies like Comcast to not restrict the bandwidth of the most popular content providers, be it Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, or what have you, would be the fact that another company -- say, Local Cable Services, Inc. -- will promise not to charge the end user more for the same access speeds to those websites, and slowly siphon away customers from Comcast for that reason.

    Quote Originally Posted by hkkmr View Post
    Anyways it's pointless to talk about this if you imagine how a world will be without power structures intervening in your life. All switching government for business is switching one for another, one chain for another.
    Perhaps, but we'll probably never know for sure, will we?

    Quote Originally Posted by hkkmr View Post
    Anyways there is no competition for infrastructure, if you own a house, you can't change one road company for another, no more than you can change one cable company for another. The lines are owned by one group and not another. And in totally private world, you simply get what you get, which is how it is currently because private companies own the cabling and own the infrastructure of the internet. That's why they have a regional monopoly, because people can't easily move and well if you want to use the "road", you have to use the one that's constructed outside your house, unless you want to pay the price of cabling yourself to the nearest competitor of your choice. That's simply not an option for most people.
    Really? Then I advise you to look up a copy of this book and ask yourself how,

    [s]ix electric light companies were organized in the one year of 1887 in New York City. Forty-five electric light enterprises had the legal right to operate in Chicago in 1907. Prior to 1895, Duluth, Minnesota, was served by five electric lighting companies, and Scranton, Pennsylvania, had four in 1906. [...] During the latter part of the 19th century, competition was the usual situation in the gas industry in this country. Before 1884, six competing companies were operating in New York City [...] competition was common and especially persistent in the telephone industry [...] Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis, among the larger cities, had at least two telephone services in 1905.

    Honestly, your lack of imagination is your own problem. Not mine. I don't pretend to understand how public infrastructure works, that's why I think it's best left in the hands of the entrepreneurs and engineers who do understand the business, and can reconcile their business model within the framework of private property rights and the interests of competing infrastructure companies.

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    Glorious Member mu4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capitalist Pig View Post
    Really? Then I advise you to look up a copy of this book and ask yourself how,

    [s]ix electric light companies were organized in the one year of 1887 in New York City. Forty-five electric light enterprises had the legal right to operate in Chicago in 1907. Prior to 1895, Duluth, Minnesota, was served by five electric lighting companies, and Scranton, Pennsylvania, had four in 1906. [...] During the latter part of the 19th century, competition was the usual situation in the gas industry in this country. Before 1884, six competing companies were operating in New York City [...] competition was common and especially persistent in the telephone industry [...] Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis, among the larger cities, had at least two telephone services in 1905.

    Honestly, your lack of imagination is your own problem. Not mine. I don't pretend to understand how public infrastructure works, that's why I think it's best left in the hands of the entrepreneurs and engineers who do understand the business, and can reconcile their business model within the framework of private property rights and the interests of competing infrastructure companies.
    In the begining of a market, there will be competition but over time consolidation will occur in a mature industry. Also the fact it's possible for competition to exist does not mean anything, the key to maintaining a structure is to ensure it always exists and that consolidation doesn't occur to a level where competition becomes price fixing or market manipulation. You've chosen a trivial sometimes for a necessary always and that difference is where all struggle begin. You can eat for a day or a century but if you don't eat for a year you will die. Competition is the same, you can compete for a day or a millennium but when you stop, game's over.

    I am a engineer and I work in a highly competitive market that is emerging and I work on a product that is in competition with multi-billion dollar corporations, consolidation is currently occurring and it's very likely my company will be bought out, go under, or become the sort of business that does the eating. How long will it be before the existing market is a bunch of elephants tossing legislation at each other is unknown, but it will likely happen before I die. Current how many people own the pipes today? Very few. Market forces will create consolidation in a mature industry which will create limited choice.

    Also you're talking about electricity in a era that didn't have wiring, they were wiring everything from end to end and is unlike the situation today where wiring already exist and it takes far more effort to add new wiring and it's not like neighborhood associations will allow construction without compensation. My brother's in-laws own a farm and they got a large amount of money when they were putting in cabling for various internet infrastructure since it was cheaper to place the units on their land. You think they're going to do that for every individual customer?

    It's not my failure of imagination but rather my experience in various mergers and acquisitions in my life in a market very similar to the emerging markets of the past.

    I'm probably going to get Google fibre if I can in the future, Atlanta is one of the markets, so I'm in luck and hopefully Google can offer a competitive service in the future to cable.

    You need to get it out of your head that "private" > "public", because there is no such Manichean property within this dichotomy. Private interest have policy makers you just don't see them or get to criticize them most of the time, they can stay hidden and secret or obfuscated. Private interests can mess with your life just as easily with the stroke of a pen, and not all private interest care about making money over whatever power games they are playing. Private/public are just different mechanisms in respect to the environment, a public organization exists to address the issues of all individuals within it's governance in its domain. A private organization exists to serve only the interest of the stake holders. This is the only difference between "public" and "private", everything else is power struggle and the games humans play within and with these organizations.

    I like business, but I don't think business should be involved in the public domain, whatever this happens to be. It does not have a right to make policy decisions for the sake of a few in the lives of the many within the environment that it has emerged. That situation can only occur if the business also owns the individuals within the environment in which it has emerged and that is a condition called "slavery". Private property rights are important int he US and was one of the founding basis of the US but the US as also a slave owning country, because private property at that time allowed for people to be enslaved. The same ideology being expressed today to protect private property was used to protect slavery. Your lack of understanding of history is sad and results in your overvaluing of private versus public. The power of private ownership can be taken too far as can the power of public control, it is only by managing the middle ground between the two and eliminating exploitation wherever it arises that some level of decency can be found.

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    the flying pig Capitalist Pig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hkkmr View Post
    In the begining of a market, there will be competition but over time consolidation will occur in a mature industry. Also the fact it's possible for competition to exist does not mean anything, the key to maintaining a structure is to ensure it always exists and that consolidation doesn't occur to a level where competition becomes price fixing or market manipulation. I am a engineer and I work in a highly competitive market that is emerging and I work on a product that is in competition with multi-billion dollar corporations, consolidation is currently occurring and it's very likely my company will be bought out, go under, or become the sort of business that does the eating. How long will it be before the existing market is a bunch of elephants tossing legislation at each other is unknown, but it will likely happen before I die. Current how many people own the pipes today? Very few. Market forces will create consolidation in a mature industry which will create limited choice.
    And yet you dare say I make unverified claims and that I'm misguided about the nature of man and economy? Would you like me to count the number of unverified claims contained in this quoted paragraph alone?

    How can you possibly know that "market forces" would tend toward consolidation in the same manner as we see it today? You, yourself, later on in your post, acknowledge the close bond between big business and big government. You acknowledge the fact that the rich and powerful, perhaps around the world but especially in this country, have manipulated the government in favor of their corporate interests! So how you can so naively assume the status quo is a reliable analog for what a free market on infrastructure would look like? Your cognitive dissonance is staggering. You realize the consolidation and monopolies, even if permitted to continue operating as essentially private entities, do so with a government-enforced franchise agreement? In most cases, these contracts between companies like Comcast and the local authorities are the only barrier-to-entry that exists against competing cable companies establishing service in the same regional markets. There's also numerous other factors at work here, such as intellectual property laws, antitrust laws, and so on and so fourth, but that is neither here nor there.

    The status quo can not be taken for an example of anything but the status quo! To infer that "this is how markets must work" is erroneous, and in my opinion, grossly dishonest of someone who would accuse anyone who dares to ask if there's another way, of the same critical error in judgment.

    Quote Originally Posted by hkkmr View Post
    Also you're talking about electricity in a era that didn't have wiring, they were wiring everything from end to end and is unlike the situation today where wiring already exist and it takes far more effort to add new wiring and it's not like neighborhood associations will allow construction without compensation. My brother's in-laws own a farm and they got a large amount of money when they were putting in cabling for various internet infrastructure since it was cheaper to place the units on their land. You think they're going to do that for every individual customer?
    How should I know what they will or won't do? Unlike you, I don't make claims about that which I can not possibly know for certain. All I do is play the Devil's Advocate and present people with alternatives and possibilities. I don't rightfully know what a free market looks like anymore than a staunch Marxist would know what an anarcho-communist utopia would look like.

    Quote Originally Posted by hkkmr View Post
    It's not my failure of imagination but rather my experience in various mergers and acquisitions in my life in a market very similar to the emerging markets of the past.
    My point was that just because you can not conceive of how privatized infrastructure, without restriction, would actually work in a laissez-faire economy doesn't mean that it can't. That's how markets work in the first place: someone gets an original idea, implements it, and if their ideas work, they're successful.

    I'm advocating a process here, not solutions. Only central planners pretend to be so omnipotent as to understand every possible factor when calculating the outcome of policy and legislation.

    Quote Originally Posted by hkkmr View Post
    You need to get it out of your head that "private" > "public", because there is no such Manichean property within this dichotomy. Private interest have policy makers you just don't see them or get to criticize them most of the time, they can stay hidden and secret or obfuscated. Private interests can mess with your life just as easily with the stroke of a pen, and not all private interest care about making money over whatever power games they are playing. Private/public are just different mechanisms in respect to the environment, a public organization exists to address the issues of all individuals within it's governance in its domain. A private organization exists to serve only the interest of the stake holders. This is the only difference between "public" and "private", everything else is power struggle and the games humans play within and with these organizations.
    I'm well aware of how deeply entwined private and public interests are in modern economies. In fact, it's one of the reasons why I am disgusted with the status quo.

    Quote Originally Posted by hkkmr View Post
    I like business, but I don't think business should be involved in the public domain, whatever this happens to be. It does not have a right to make policy decisions for the sake of a few in the lives of the many within the environment that it has emerged. That situation can only occur if the business also owns the individuals within the environment in which it has emerged and that is a condition called "slavery".
    Whatever the public domain happens to be indeed. That's the problem with the "public sector" that minarchists fail to realize, it will always expand its function and authority no matter the limitations defined at the outset. There is no common crtieria for determining what is a "public good" and what is relegated solely to the domain of "private" interest. Nothing is more telling of this trend than how rapidly the United States federal government exploded in both size and scope in less than two centuries of it's official grand opening.

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    There are some good analogues to this in the oil and gas sector in the North Sea versus in the US Gulf of Mexico.

    In the North Sea the fiscal regime is such that all oil companies (multi-national or small) essentially operate as a 6% above inflation return on yearly operating cost of the assets with a 15% IRR of ROCE. The result is that there are no financial incentives for an operator of infrastructure to allow a new entrant to use available capacity for a tariff, because this doesn't increase the operating cost but adds operational complexity and therefore central office costs.

    Therefore 1 barrel of oil of someone else oil was less valuable than 1 barrel of their own oil, even if for the macroeconomy the opposite was true.

    In addition the government had no power to influence the behaviour of the operators under the concession structure which gives full power to the operator.

    The response in the late 90s/early 90s was that the government changed the taxation system to incentivise tariffing of oil through existing facilities (effectively making tariffed oil tax free) which provided incentives for major infrastructure owners to handle other peoples fluids and makes the government more tax by connecting the additional value of more fields.

    This is very similar to internet bandwidth because net neutrality ensures that your own bits are not prefered over anothers bits; which in a concession system (one infrastructure provider rolls out in one area) is not truly the case.

    What should happen is that the government should change the taxation system to encourage the transfer of other peoples bits to make the monopoly holder want to transfer other peoples bits even if there is no net neutrality. This will then provide heavy incentives for the owner to be financial invested in granting a useful service to the users of the data and a fair business model between competitors.

    In this way the externality is eliminated, business receive maximum value and maximum competition which is both aligned with customers receiving a decent quality service and macroeconomic behaviour.

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    Glorious Member mu4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capitalist Pig View Post
    And yet you dare say I make unverified claims and that I'm misguided about the nature of man and economy? Would you like me to count the number of unverified claims contained in this quoted paragraph alone?

    How can you possibly know that "market forces" would tend toward consolidation in the same manner as we see it today? You, yourself, later on in your post, acknowledge the close bond between big business and big government. You acknowledge the fact that the rich and powerful, perhaps around the world but especially in this country, have manipulated the government in favor of their corporate interests! So how you can so naively assume the status quo is a reliable analog for what a free market on infrastructure would look like? Your cognitive dissonance is staggering. You realize the consolidation and monopolies, even if permitted to continue operating as essentially private entities, do so with a government-enforced franchise agreement? In most cases, these contracts between companies like Comcast and the local authorities are the only barrier-to-entry that exists against competing cable companies establishing service in the same regional markets. There's also numerous other factors at work here, such as intellectual property laws, antitrust laws, and so on and so fourth, but that is neither here nor there.
    I'm not making any unverified claims and it's pretty common to see market force consolidate business, this is simply something that is happening around you and is being described, it's not a hard rule of science but you need a way to describe existing reality. . I'm not a economist, and I have no interest in playing with economic terms to redefine things like market forces/etc so they are meaningless. I do not support the status quo, I put my money into changing the status quo instead of trying to prove a ideological argument. You think I represent the status quo but I'm far from that, I've likely put more money and effort into organizations like the EFF/ACLU then most people who I argue with have, yet they content themselves in the argument by saying I support the status quo. I'm telling you, that what is happening in the market I work in is market consolidation, big business is eating up small business, and happening for competitive reasons. Any market has a probability of this occurring, and in science any probability over time is inevitability, unless there is intervention, public or private. You can say there may be a situation where market consolidation doesn't occur or that market forces don't promote market consolidation, it's obviously not here today. The status quo which exists doesn't allow for it, I'm for changing the status quo, and I'm active in attempting to change it. What else is there to do? I guess you can complain and talk about some sort of magical place where the events which happen in my life don't exist. Unfortunately, I have to grind it out in the here and now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Capitalist Pig View Post
    The status quo can not be taken for an example of anything but the status quo! To infer that "this is how markets must work" is erroneous, and in my opinion, grossly dishonest of someone who would accuse anyone who dares to ask if there's another way, of the same critical error in judgment.

    How should I know what they will or won't do? Unlike you, I don't make claims about that which I can not possibly know for certain. All I do is play the Devil's Advocate and present people with alternatives and possibilities. I don't rightfully know what a free market looks like anymore than a staunch Marxist would know what an anarcho-communist utopia would look like.
    I know for certain market forces are consolidating the market that I exist in, you may not like how I'm describing it, yet it's happening today. There are 400 companies today, there will be 30 companies in a decade. You do the math. Do I know this for certain, maybe not 100% but the probability is extremely high for this to occur. I'm dealing with realities here, and even if there's only 100 in a decade versus 400, that's still 300 dead/consolidated businesses and I might be in one of them. You live in a vacuum where this sort of thing is beyond your imagination but I live where I have to deal with it daily and it's a threat to me daily to my future prospects. Even if this is not how market "must" work, this is how markets can work and you have to account for the "can" not the must, in any sort of engineering, you have to account for all the cans all the exceptions and all the musts. You cannot ignore anything in design that "can" happen, for merely account for what "must" happen.

    Quote Originally Posted by Capitalist Pig View Post
    My point was that just because you can not conceive of how privatized infrastructure, without restriction, would actually work in a laissez-faire economy doesn't mean that it can't. That's how markets work in the first place: someone gets an original idea, implements it, and if their ideas work, they're successful.

    I'm advocating a process here, not solutions. Only central planners pretend to be so omnipotent as to understand every possible factor when calculating the outcome of policy and legislation.

    I'm well aware of how deeply entwined private and public interests are in modern economies. In fact, it's one of the reasons why I am disgusted with the status quo.
    It's because people are not omnipotent that you have to account for the "can" of the world, how things can work governs what one must plan for not only certain musts. As long as things can happen, which is undesirable to happen, you have to account for it if you want any sort of sustainable design. This is the failure of ideological stances on the problems of the world, they speak in process and not in solution, where the "can" are ignored and unaccounted for. This is why none of that will ever work. Good engineering address more of the "cans" and as much of the "musts" as possible to the limit of human knowledge. If you want to solve the world's problems, the process is important, but you must also know more and better and see more and better than the people before you, and relying on the traditions or Manichean ideological stances leads to mere ritual and ignorance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Capitalist Pig View Post
    Whatever the public domain happens to be indeed. That's the problem with the "public sector" that minarchists fail to realize, it will always expand its function and authority no matter the limitations defined at the outset. There is no common crtieria for determining what is a "public good" and what is relegated solely to the domain of "private" interest. Nothing is more telling of this trend than how rapidly the United States federal government exploded in both size and scope in less than two centuries of it's official grand opening.
    Power structure grow, die and are reborn, this is no surprise, it happens today as it has happened in history, yet the concept of public and private are meaningless in this and largely determined by the ideology and thought of the time. A study of history tells you the tendencies and cans of states and markets, yet it tells you no mechanism to avoid the failing of either. You can eat well, don't drink, don't smoke yet you will still die. This is true of states and markets in the organizations that emerge in the environment, do I need to prove that it is certain to you, I don't know if I can, but I would not tell you that you can live forever no more than that your state/market will live/compete forever. History has show that any such claims to be quite meaningless. I certainly plan for a contingency should a civilization fall, but I also work in the civilization that will survive in my life time. This is not a contradiction, it's just hedging one's bets. There is some aesthetic vanity in boycotting cooperation with the world around you, but I don't see any value in it, but people can do as they choose.

    In my opinion, your steadfast acceptance of all property rights on a ideological basis is far more status quo and you don't even know that you're doing it. This net neutrality thing might be the first time you've bucked the system in a real way. The only real way to counter these private entities is to donate and work with entities such as the EFF/ACLU and other organizations which protect public interest, individual interest and enforce fair governance. It is always up to the people to make leaders do what they're supposed to do, by law or by force. Organize and prevent exploitation from government and business entities, this is a battle which is made difficult because sometimes it requires working with parties within the government and within business and Manichean dichotomies do not lend it self to pragmatism.

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    I agree with Cpig about true net neutrality being not fundamentally right as a legislation but it being better than Comcast monopoly. The following is a bit offtopic but there has been some talk about the necessity of government providing infrastructural neutralities. Well, Somalia didn't need any to become one of the best telecommunication providers in the world.
    “I tell you, freedom and human rights in America are doomed. The U.S. government will lead the American people in — and the West in general — into an unbearable hell and a choking life. - Osama bin Laden

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    the flying pig Capitalist Pig's Avatar
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    @hkkmr, I feel like we probably agree on a lot more points than where we disagree. Unfortunately, at the heart of our discord is just a fundamentally different mode of thinking that affects how we rationalize the world and reason through it's abundant complexity. It is for that reason that I have to bow out of this debate with you, because on each and every occasion whether past or present we've engaged each other like this, I rapidly burn myself out from feeling like I'm repeatedly running up against a brick wall. And by that I mean no disrespect to you or your intelligence. But from where I'm sitting, there always seems to be something deeper to our inability to reconcile our differences than a mere difference in ideology. I just can't put my finger on it (perhaps this is one area where Socionics actually proves itself useful, no? ).

    With that out of the way, I also wanted to say that I am insanely jealous that Atlanta is on Google's list of planned rollouts for Fiber. If they ever came to Denver, I'd be out there with a shovel and a hard hat volunteering my help in breaking ground for laying pipe. Then once that's complete, I'd be the first in line to open my account.

  31. #31
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    @cpig

    you might find this an interesting read...

    http://hustlebear.com/2011/01/05/why...et-neutrality/
    Last edited by bg; 05-17-2014 at 12:26 PM.

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    I'm out of beer.

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