Tuesday, May 02, 2006

More Important Than (Normal) Life

Wow, can it be so long since I ranted at y'all? OK, let me quick get the personal stuff aside 'cuz there are important things afoot.

First, yes I found and bought a house. It's nice -- and looks like a tornado hit it since we finished moving in this week. Photos to come soon, I promise. We now live in Springfield ("Spring-tucky" as they call it in Eugene, and yes it's pretty much the one on "The Simpsons"... You guys can decide what character that makes me. (Though I recently realized that my family was a pretty close correlation to that one when we were little kids. I was Maggie.) New address will be in my profile momentarily...

Second, you will soon be seeing my skiffy series "Racing History" online, thanks to Digital Pulp Publishing (www.dppstore.com). I'll let you know when the first novel goes up -- and shall expect to see some support. The only way digital publishing can work is through word of mouth, etc. More on that later this month.

Third, I'll be appearing as a panelist/guest at two skiffy cons over the coming months: Orycon in November (Portland, OR) and RustyCon in January (Seattle/Tacoma). Hopefully I can make that happen for Westercon 60 next year in San Jose. Be there or be a cube. Not even one of those cool colorful Rubik's ones, either. (For you younger kids, those were what we had to play with at home back when you had to go out of the house with a pocket full of quarters if you wanted to play videogames.)

Now, on to more pressing issues. Ladies and germs, the very concept of free speech is in jeopardy. Now, as most of you well know, it's a supposed freedom of the people that was guaranteed by a particular amendment of our country's Constitution. One that hasn't been a reality since the price of printing and distribution went so high that you had to have investors and/or advertisers to do it. Radio and TV made it worse by allowing companies to control the airwaves (that was legislated around the middle of the last century). And cable TV took it to the absurd -- which is why you can watch any one of half a dozen home shopping channels, but you can't find a decent movie on when you're sleepless at 3 a.m.

But the Internet made it possible for anyone -- smart, stupid, educated, ignorant, good-looking or hideous, you name it -- to make their opinions and knowledge known to the world. It's the first time in human history that total nobodies on opposite sides of the planet could find and communicate with each other on any sort of human level. It's a beautiful, beautiful thing. And AT&T can't stand it anymore.

The DotCom boom showed that it's damn hard to make money off this stuff. Especially when you're a media company that believes money ain't worth making if it's not measured in 6-digit numbers. Now some marketing geniuses have figured out a great way to make money off the Worldwide Web: Don't charge the users; charge the web sites themselves! Treat 'em all like advertisers! If you "own" the bandwidth, then shouldn't you be raking in the bucks when people use it for selling their goods and services? Sure.


The bandwidth is not owned by AT&T and Comcast, etc. It's owned by the people who built it: the US gov't, the military, and most of all you. And me. All of us who paid for it through our taxes, who've contributed to the evolution of DARPAnet to the Internet, we all own it... and we say Net Neutrality is and should always be the order of the day.

Don't we?

Look, someone else has written much more clearly on this issue than I could here. Go read it: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/adam-green/mike-mccurry-hurting-t_b_20216.html

Then join the fight. Never mind corporate greed. Never mind taxpayers rights. What we all really care about here is the true democracy of the Web. Remember that website where we all posted apologies to the rest of the world when Bush won his second term? That's real foreign relations, people. We are the world. Blah blah blah. Don't let them turn this place into just another media outlet that's beholden to the advertisers and the whims of owners like Ted Turner and Rupert Murdoch. Keep the Net free!

Save the Internet: Click here

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