I’m not an internet expert, or particularly technologically adept. Chat still blows my mind. Honestly, phones–not smart phones or cell phones, but just the technology that transforms the thoughts in our head and the vibrations in our throat into signals that can cross continent-spanning wires and then transmogrify themselves back into speech–still make me dizzy. I don’t understand anything.
But I do know that net neutrality is a good thing from a liberal and a libertarian and a “get off my land” point of view. There is little counter-argument save for deception, misdirection, and flat-out lies. Do you want the internet to be democratic, or do you want it to be ruled by capitalism? That’s the only question.
And tomorrow is the last day for comments before the venal dork Ajit Pai tries to strike the final blow to the promise of the internet.
At one point, the internet was the home of libertarian weirdos and liberal dreamers. It was Thomas Pynchon’s fantasy world, this strange conspiracy-driven non-land, this battle ground where the lines that defined this country were broken and made jagged and impossible to follow. The lines always won, but we still tried to break them. We fought for the ideals that first imagined a new land out of unbroken forest. The internet was where the crushing waterwheels of conformity were overwhelmed by the floodwaters. It was the weirdest place, and it was a non-place.
And now it has been defined and delineated and emasculated by the worst of our capitalist dungeon-masters and our need for cheap entertainment. It’s been subsumed by the worst of our culture. In what seems like the final days, we realize something terrible and permanent: the internet didn’t change us. The internet amplified us.
But goddammit, it is still early. The battle has yet to be won. We can still fight. The sexless creeps that make up the Trump admin want to give it all away. They’ll probably win. But they don’t have to. Comment. Fight. Keep things weird. Weird isn’t always great, but it beats the goddamn alternative.
We await silent Tristero’s empire. Or, at least, I do.