Thursday, August 19, 2010

RE: Google/Verizon policy framework

Posting to NGC4LIB

I have just come back from a short vacation and am starting to go through some of the previous posts, so pardons in advance if I rehash some older discussions. This thread caused a lot debate and I can't find that my own opinions on this came out anywhere.

To me, it is obvious that this agreement is an effort to stop Net Neutrality and to "enclose the commons" as I mentioned in my latest podcast. To me, to argue the opposite simply does not make any sense, so any arguments can only be that either Net Neutrality is not a good thing, or that it needs to be "adjusted" for more "important" uses, such as the example I read of offering health services, like wireless cardiac monitoring. After all, Net neutrality could obviously get in the way if your doctors, who need your readings which will save you from a possible heart attack, have to wait while some unknown person out there downloads the latest burping baby video on Youtube. I also read the example of the streaming 3D opera performances from the Met, so that people should be able to get this "higher-class" offering before some lonely guy out there can watch his porno movie.

To me, these examples are simply inane.

Since I am not an expert in these things, I cannot say that a change *only in the last part*, that is, the ISP connection to the larger internet (which the agreement says will not be changed from Net Neutrality), will make much difference in how fast a 3D performance from the Met would came through, although the importance of this agreement seems to indicate that changes at that point would make that much of a difference. Nevertheless, it does seem to me that if some things will come through noticeably faster, then other things are definitely going to come through far more slowly and therefore, somebody, somewhere is going to have to wait. This is what I think is far more interesting and what librarians should concentrate on: not on the things that are easier to get, but everything else: what will be harder to get.

So, if I would have a Verizon account with Net Neutral access (which I imagine I would be able to buy) and another person has the one for the 3D opera, it would seem to me that I would still have to wait for the dude to watch his opera before I can read my news or my email, unless perhaps I were willing to pay more for faster access. Rupert Murdoch's materials will be much easier to access than Democracy Now. It's important also to keep track of reality and although it may be sad, it is nevertheless obvious that 3D porno will be vastly more popular than 3D opera. In this agreement, I ask: who are the people that will have to wait, and exactly what will they have to wait for? Is this what people want? How does this fit in with the traditional values of librarianship.

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