11 March 2008
If we don't fight now, we will fight later,
and I wager it will be quite literally a violent fight to restore the values of free enterprise and the constitution. I don't know about you but all this rampant consolidation and monopolizing is getting quite scary to me. It is virtually impossible to connect to the internet without going through a server that is owned by at&t, a corporation that is the second largest political donor in the nation. I don't have to mention all the other controversy surrounding this corporate machine. If the people with the money get their way:
1. Network Neutrality will be defeated and the internet will be transformed into a tool for corporate endeavors, where bandwidth is prioritized for the corporations that have the most money/influence and if the internet is still available to the public it will be in the form of expensive "packages" with a cap of probably 3meg; it will look a lot like cable tv does now (which is not a good thing). Also, if you write any thing or do anything that violates the EULA and contract you sign then you will be prosecuted in some way or another and in the future the already strict EULA will undoubtedly be even more strict. P2P file sharing will be outlawed, and online gaming will be virtually impossible. This generation (18-24) has grown very accustom to a neutral internet that remains uncensored and untampered with, and for us to witness this beautiful medium of communication be taken away and completely destroyed by corporate interests, wouldn't that boil your blood?
2. Mass consolidation will lead to the complete abandonment of capitalism and the values of free enterprise, and no one will say a thing. We'll end up not having any choice but to get our phone and internet service from at&t, our television from comcast, our video games from EA, our software will come from Microsoft, and so on. Because of this you will see a dramatic decrease in the quality of your entertainment (I'm mostly thinking about EA when I say that), and the little guy, that independent film maker, television producer (do independent television shows even exist?), independent game developer, or the hobbyist programmers that contribute to open-source communities, will be voiceless. above, I said that no one will say anything about all this consolidation, and here's why: It seems to me that anti-trust laws and the spirit of competition are being downplayed just as long as a particular merger benefits a companies shareholders, and with the way the stock market is designed, consolidation (i.e. a bigger company, thus a more valuable company) is essentially encouraged. This is why the FCC relaxed it's media ownership restrictions, because it would make the shareholders of huge companies like News Corp, wealthier. anti-trust laws being abandoned in favor of a more valuable stock? doesn't that get your blood boiling?
3. More sensational "journalism", as a result of the, by now (remember this is in future tense), tightly knit relation between corporate america and the government. You'll see more fake news, more biased news with less opinion and more sensational babbling that will be curiously absent of government and corporate criticism. More Faux News (which is owned by the previously mentioned News Corp) channels pretty much. And (yeah, I know an "and" at the beginning of a sentence, I don't care right now, I'm kind of in a rebellious mood right now, if you couldn't tell) we internet junkies already know just how useless tv news is even now. doesn't that boil your blood?
4. Government regulation of the rating systems. The ESRB, and the MPAA will be government entities resulting in a very harsh rating system that will block the release of any thing that it finds inappropriate for the public (and that's a lot). The government will fine any retailer/theater that sales products rated M or R to minors, and if the government is in control you can bet they'll waste money on implementing a registration program of sorts to ensure that any consumer of films or games is registered in a database and their allowed purchases would be tracked. The already over powered U.S. government will become even more powerful and it will be the judge of what you watch and play. Doesn't that boil your blood?
5. Junk science will make the news, and present false, or half-true information to the public (a public that has no reasonable access to the internet or an independent paper source for an alternate perspective). This is already happening with the global warming issue, so expect to see scientific initiatives for cloning, stem cell research, alternative fuels or cures for cancer, covered up (and perhaps shut down) by government funded science. doesn't that get your blood boiling?
So, if nothing is done soon, we'll live in a nation where the internet is filtered, censored, prioritized to the corporations and no longer a source for unbiased news, and a few massive companies literally control our access to news, and entertainment, which will be sensationalized, biased, and inaccurate due to government ties to corporate america. It will be much, much more difficult to publish works of art because the bureaucratic process of government regulation will block anything that a few members on a committee don't like, and science will be completely demerited and used for political gain rather than improving society. Will the public see this happening soon or will it go even further than what I described before we fight?