Thursday, June 17, 2010

Did Somebody Say Monopoly? (Part Deux)

"The Federal Communications Commission is scheduled to vote Thursday to begin taking public comments on three different paths for regulating broadband. That includes a proposal by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, a Democrat, to define broadband access as a telecommunications service subject to 'common carrier' obligations to treat all traffic equally.

Genachowski's proposal is a response to a federal appeals court ruling that has cast doubt on the agency's authority over broadband under its existing regulatory framework.

The plan has the backing of many big Internet companies, which say it would ensure the FCC can prevent phone and cable companies from using their control over broadband connections to determine what subscribers can do online.

"There is a real urgency to this because right now there are no rules of the road to protect consumers from even the most egregious discriminatory behavior by telephone and cable companies," said Markham Erickson, executive director of the Open Internet Coalition. The group's members include Google Inc., eBay Inc., Inc. and online calling service Skype Ltd."

From MyWay news. entire article here.

My Perspective:

Aside from the fact that we shouldn't even have an FCC, let alone one with any control over content, It is crazy to think that a governing body designed to manage limited resources (Radio Bandwidth) should be allowed to extend their power over the only resource on Earth that will never suffer from the problem of scarcity: The Internet.

The internet is quiet honestly the best invention for the common man. It is an infinitely expansive entity that can be accessed and added to by all. The government claims that they worry about service providers controlling what content people can and cannot access, and of course, they use the buzz word of discrimination.

This is obviously a massive case of projection and a red herring, for it is only government that can completely cut off access to content. If a service provider chooses to block certain content (i.e. a christian based web service that does not allow pornography or access to homosexual sites) then a person has the ability to go elsewhere until he/she is satisfied with the service. On the other hand, when the government has the power to control content, only what the government deems appropriate will be allowed. Under this scenario, anyone who seeks content that is not government approved will find him/herself on a wild goose chase at best and/or under indictment at worst.

In a truly free market, any service that is desired and not yet provided for is a de facto opportunity to create a new service and wealth. ISP's will be directed by market forces to provide that which is desired, or else they will risk loosing customers to a competitor and thus lose profit, which could ultimately drive them out of business.

This leads to another interesting observation. "The plan has the backing of many big Internet companies...[through the] Open Internet Coalition. The group's members include Google Inc., eBay Inc., Inc. and online calling service Skype Ltd."

Isn't it odd that in a world of greedy corporations who hate onerous regulations we find some of the biggest names in the game coming out to support more government power.

This is classic cronyism. Obviously these companies are already established and have a huge customer base. Obviously they provide a good service devoid of the problems they claim to be concerned about (problems that don't actually exist in reality, only in the minds of government bureaucrats). Yet they claim that we need this government protection. My question is, "from who?"

If these companies believe in the new government power to keep content open and neutral, then why wouldn't they do it themselves? the answer is, they will. And if "We the People" are truly outraged over content control by our ISP then wouldn't this drive us to switch providers, thus bettering the bottom line of the companies in the Open Internet Coalition? Yes, it would. But they aren't concerned about their own behavior, and they are certainly not concerned about taking business from sub-par companies. What they are really concerned about is possible new upstarts and increased competition, and they see this new government power as a way to stymie competition.

these Big Businesses are already working hand in hand with the Gov. to get this new power passed into law. If they can do that then it is entirely conceivable that they can and will use their lobbying power to make rules that protect their interests at the expense of you the consumer and free-person. (Don't believe me, check out what happened during the New Deal and how large established businesses used the NRA - National Recovery Act - to prop themselves up while using the rules, which they created, to keep their smaller competitors down).

These Big Businesses are using the government to protect their corner on the internet market. With increased regulation, it will be harder for new and small companies to compete against the established Big companies. "Did somebody say Monopoly?"

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Snapshot Fallacy

The desire for governmental fixes to our short term problems are always based on a common human mistake: The snapshot fallacy. In a picture you are given an infinitesimally small time frame with static information from which to draw all of your conclusions. This is another example of the knowledge problem. We look at the now and try to solve it as quickly as it happened. But that is in effect trying to pay for a 1 trillion dollar debt in one day. The debt accrued over a long time, yet it went undetected. Now that we can see the aggregate result and or consequences of our previous decisions over time we finally realize the folly of our ways, yet in cases where we borrow again against the future we are simply perpetuating the problem. Only long term solutions work for long term problems. However human ingenuity can create solutions that maximize the speed with which we can fix our previous woes, but if the solution is not based upon reality, then we again will cause even newer and by their very nature, more complex and thus more difficult problems to spot and fix (law of compounding action: All actions are based off of the altered perceived reality created by their results)

To combat this phenomenon we must first be honest with ourselves and accept things that are true even though we don't like them. Then we must seek the Truth out honestly. This will give us the knowledge to to fix problems, but then we must do the hardest part, and that is abide by these laws. If we do not follow them, then all our fixes will be flawed, and produce worse results.

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