Thursday, July 10, 2014

So long, Net Neutrality!

[Approximate Reading Time: 3 minutes]
[Mood: Resigned]



I suspected it will come to this based on the observation that a neutral internet is one that's not fully monetized. And relentless monetization of various aspects of the human experience has been one of the defining trends of technological civilization.

Over the last several hundred years, all sorts of things have been monetized that were previously only partly monetized or not at all... I'm using the word monetized to mean "has been assigned a monetary value by the market and those who control it." For instance, crude oil is monetized at around hundred dollars a barrel. The web has increasingly become privatized and fenced up by large multinational corporations, so scrapping net neutrality is only the next logical step in the growth process. Most of what we consume resides in private data centers and travels over private networks already. It's a matter of time for the so-called "dumb pipes" to be assigned their proper monetary value irrespective of democratic ideals such as free speech and net neutrality. I'm simply observing and commenting on the trend. If it's not clear, I'd rather have a neutral net than one where tolls are collected based on the kind of content we're consuming. I tend to look at a lot of alternative viewpoints which might be at increased risk down the line.

The market puts relentless pressure on assets to be monetized to the maximum. The role of the engineer over the last 150 years has been to render such monetization processes more efficient. Whether it is petroleum refining or the web, all assets will be monetized to the maximum extent possible. So certain cute cat videos will have to be slowed down to let that hollywood blockbuster video from Netflix pass through without interruption. Unless the providers of cute cat videos pay up, their content is of little value to the capitalistic processes at work. Not to mention independent investigative journalism, freelance work, blogs, etc.

1 comment:

  1. relentless monetization of various aspects of the human experience has been one of the defining trends. The role of the engineer over the last 150 years has been to render such monetization processes more efficient....even nuclear reactor safety is 90% about project funding for developing asset resources. (Safety applications for re-sale) The extreme dangers of reactor meltdown, cooling system failures, back-up generators..all of it still comes down to cost-profit values!

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