Overhead electrical rails, Centraal Station, Amsterdam.
"He who would travel happily must travel light".- Antoine de Saint-Exupery.
Between a family concern and the Google-Verizon attempt to undermine Net Neutrality, it feels like I'm traveling with the weight of the world on my shoulders. The companies' proposals would maintain both a "public" and "private" Internet, effectively giving telecoms more control over speed and access.
In 1999, I worked with a group of academics, engineers and tax specialists in San Francisco and Berkeley to determine how the Internet could remain a level playing field for all. What Google and Verizon propose would make Internet access - in many cases - subject to payment, similar to cable television. Such a plan clearly is aimed at lining the pockets of the corporations involved, not any altruism to keep the Internet free for all. President Obama needs to honor his pre-election promise to support Net Neutrality.
Reactions to Google-Verizon pact
“The agreement between Verizon and Google about how to manage Internet traffic is nothing more than a private agreement between two corporate behemoths and should not be a template or basis for either Congressional or FCC action,” said Gigi B. Sohn, president and co-founder of Public Knowledge. ”It is unenforceable and does almost nothing to preserve an open internet. Most critically, it sacrifices the future of the mobile wireless internet as this platform becomes more central to the lives of all Americans.”
Progressive Change Committee co-founder Adam Green: "Google, a company that I've long admired and currently hold thousands of dollars of stock in, just "went evil."" ... "There is no reason in the world for Google, which has made smart investments in the future, to find common ground with Verizon on the issue of Internet openness. None. Zero. Zilch. Today's deal was unneeded, uncalled for and incompatible with Google's "don't be evil" mantra. Google's decision to cut a deal with Verizon wreaks of either impatience or fear."
If you missed this article about our collapsing empire, I urge you to read it. As we pour money into wars, schools are closing, streetlights are turned off and our infrastructure crumbling. Some cold, hard facts simply can't be avoided.
So much angst: visit my friend Christina at Soul Aperture to be instantly cheered by her lovely photos and tales from her day.
Off to the Netherlands by train. See you later this month.