A middle-aged man dreaming of the day when he can stop begging for scraps and write for a living.
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Friday, May 16, 2014
Thursday, May 15, 2014
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Friday, May 9, 2014
Tom Wheeler, the latest chairman of the FCC, shocked the Internet by calling for approval for a "fast lane" proposal for the Internet. Effectively, in order to avoid having your site and services downgraded by ISPs you have to pay an additional premium for preferred service. It's the proposal that AT&T suggested back in 2005 which sparked the entire Net Neutrality movement. Remember that you're already paying for your connection to the Internet, and sites like Google, Amazon and Netflix are also paying for their connection to you. This proposal amounts to triple-billing.
Of course, Wheeler's betrayal shouldn't shock anyone who knew who he was. An industry insider and lobbyist, he was always going to be sympathetic to ISP demands and ignore the consumers. So now he's trying to get a vote on new rules giving AT&T everything it wants and the backlash has been so severe that the FCC can't handle all the phone calls they're getting. Instead they're requesting that you email them your complaints instead. So I sent the following email to firstname.lastname@example.org:
I STRONGLY oppose Wheeler's proposal of approving "Fast Lane" internet access in direct violation of open internet standards. This is the proposal that AT&T wanted to implement years ago and sparked the Net Neutrality movement. We do not want an Internet where service runs to the highest bidder. We do not want an Internet where ISPs are allowed to downgrade traffic or decide what we can consume. They have been and must continue to be custodians, not traffic cops. I am extremely disappointed by this betrayal of our interests and I call for the immediate removal of Wheeler from his position with the FCC. SpaceGhoti Denver, COI invite everyone to do the same. Email the FCC and make your voice heard.
Update: Wheeler turned around and did the right thing. Consequently, I was wrong about Tom Wheeler. I freely admit it. In fact, I will go so far as to say I'm glad I was wrong about Tom Wheeler. I apologize to him.
Monday, May 5, 2014
One can, however, acknowledge what inside of themselves is a story, and have gratitude and mercy for the stories one sees in others. It's the really hard-headed ones who become so convinced that their way is the "truth" and deem those who don't subscribe to their story as the "truth," who can be a bit of a pain, but who also miss out on the grandeur and the majesty of the world and the universe it hangs in.The implication here is that everybody has their own perspective and they're all unique, beautiful and valid (except when they're not). I often see this Milquetoast defense of religious belief and superstition as religion is forced to concede more ground on the nature of reality. However, there are two claims being made here that I feel deserve attention.
"One can, however, acknowledge what inside of themselves is a story, and have gratitude and mercy for the stories one sees in others." This claims that religious beliefs are based on allegory about true fact regarding gods and divinity, a nod to Plato's Cave in which the god being worshiped is perceived imperfectly but is no less real because of it. The problem is that as I explored previously many of those beliefs are directly contradictory and can't all be valid. This god can't simultaneously reincarnate us endlessly until we all get it right and send us to hell or heaven if we reject salvation in this life. We can cherish these "stories" as stories -- fiction that we invent to amuse or comfort ourselves. However, the stories Deacon Duncan discusses in his essay aren't held as fiction, they're claimed to be accurate representations of reality with everyone's depiction of god a form of Mary sue characterization.
"It's the really hard-headed ones who become so convinced that their way is the 'truth' and deem those who don't subscribe to their story as the 'truth,' who can be a bit of a pain, but who also miss out on the grandeur and the majesty of the world and the universe it hangs in." Here the commenter makes the claim that sure there are some bad apples in the basket but they don't represent the vast majority of believers who keep their beliefs personal and don't take action on them. Do I really need to refute this again and again? Apparently I do. Maybe this overview will demonstrate my point.
Everyone wants to believe that their assumptions are correct and that even if they turn out to be wrong they're going to be ultimately harmless. When it comes to religion, I can't stress enough how the evidence shows that such beliefs are neither correct nor harmless.