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Friday, December 15, 2006


by PopeRatzo (965947) Alter Relationship on 21:24 Friday 15 December 2006 (#17256102)

"Zhang also says it should be possible to label P2P traffic so that service providers can track it and decide how much of it to allow through their networks."

We have lived in such a rare time. We had access to a communication tool like no other in history. And for a brief moment, it was free - totally free. Unencumbered by the dictates of rich and powerful, it was without parallel in history. Anybody who connected to this great web of systems had just as much chance to make his message heard as anyone else. My email of undying love to my wife-to-be received the same access and dispatch as the advertising messages of multi-national corporations. Anybody with a good idea could put it out there for the world to see and if it had merit, it would gain in popularity. Google sprang from this freedom. So did Slashdot. And goatse. And it was the unusual confluence of public money and free enterprise, along with some very smart and generous folks, putting energy into something new and unprecedented that made this happen. Take one bit out of the equation - say the taxpayer-financed Department of Defense, or a Linus Torvald, or a Netscape or the many other pioneers who contributed to this vast project - and it doesn't happen, or it happens in a way that prevents the kid in the basement in Des Moines the opportunity to play.

But people who have acquired wealth and power don't like it when any old slob can do what they do. I mean, what good is being rich and powerful if it doesn't let you move to the head of the line? Now, a race is on to crush the experiment in liberty that has been the Internet. I guess it was too radical, too much of a danger to tyranny and concentrated wealth, to last very long.

We should all feel privileged for having seen the rise of this rarest of creatures - the fully open agora of information and ideas - and we should all feel sad that it couldn't be defended from the greedy and power hungry.
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