Thursday, November 17, 2005

why the revolution, or anything like it, won't be televised

Yo. I just read one of the hottest articles ever. you can find it at When i tried to read it a second time, the server was under attack. By who? i don't know.

Anyhoo. The article is about how the Net as we know it (or as most know it) will die if the telecoms and cable companies get their way. Basically they're doing what big oil and car companies did back in the day. You see, the big oil company used to be Standard Oil, owned by John D Rockefeller. One of the the richest men to ever walk the planet (he owned 35% of the American economy!- makes Gates look poor). I guess he was obsessive compulsive. Basically he had a little company selling gas. However, he'd get shaky kinds of gas and he didn't like that. So he bought a couple refineries in order to make sure that he had a good quality of gas. Then he didn't like how his gas suppliers were unreliable, so he bought them. His basic thing was to make sure that people got good quality gas on time. And from this singular vision, he created an empire. Standard oil used to be the combination of texaco, exxon, mobil and two other oil giants!!! You thought they were big.

Now the car companies. If you look at pictures of cities back in the 30's, you're bound to see lots of light-rail: trolleys, small trains etc. Back in the 30's, car companies started buying congress to make sure that these rail systems became underfunded and died. Why? because they didn't make trains, they made cars. So bascially they lobbied and bought national and local congresses across the country simply to get them to stop funding their competitors. If you notice, people argue about AMTRAK all the time, but nobody says anything about the billions that the oil, car and airplane companies get in government subsidies and write-offs. Why? Cars.

So what's happening with the Net? Well, the telecom services are basically acting like the car companies. They don't like giving people access that want it. They want to restrict access to the Net to specific ways: cable and satelite. However, there are new things like wi-fi networks and various other ways of choosing how to get on the net. They're trying to outlaw and restrict how people get on the net.

The article goes really deep into what the phone companies are doing, and why the people vying for a 'free net' are losing the battle, not only in the public domain, but also in the courts and committees of congress.

So basically the phone companies are doing what the car companies did: eliminating the competition. I'd go on, but just go read the article. It's long, but its hot.
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