Farewell to Net Neutrality

Legal Insurrection points out that Monday, Net Neutrality ended. Maybe what I was feeling that day was the angst of a million unsatisfiable liberals screaming out in silence? At any rate, this is great.

Net Neutrality was an incredibly dumb idea; it took the misbehavior of a few companies and then used that to force all ISPs to comply with more regulations or face actionable lawsuits. You know what happened, of course. Investments in ISPs fell. Innovations slowed. Smaller companies were hit the hardest, because they are least able to handle increased regulatory burden, while the large companies (Comcast, etc) hardly felt it. So the law that was intended to punish big companies made them stronger and made their competition weaker, as regulation always does.

Now we will see more competition. Will some companies abuse it? Sure. Will they suffer for it in the marketplace? Sure. Will their bad actions bring about competitors? Absolutely. That’s the way it’s supposed to work.

Yet some still think that government and government alone is the answer; I have written on that before, but if you want a world full of guarantees and other people doing things for you, then no amount of laws will ever be enough, and no government will ever be big enough.

Net neutrality is dead. Let’s feast on her grave.

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Steam as a Platform not a Courtroom

Valve gets it right. The best services are those which either have clear and consistent standards, or those which are frameworks. Valve has opted for the latter. Rejoice, gamers everywhere! This means that Valve won’t be SJW-ing us. Again, I don’t have some prurient desire to play sick stuff, but I know that once you get the SJW people involved, then nothing is safe; they are the camel’s nose of enforced perspectives.

The only niggles I have with Steam is that the ratings system is hit-or-miss. Yeah, I don’t like playing games with profanity, and I refuse to play games that use Jesus’ name as an epithet. I would like to know if a game has this stuff before I play, and the tagging system isn’t 100% accurate.

Anyhow, I salute Valve and their honesty. Does Steam have stuff on it that I hate? I’m sure it does. It has stuff that is immoral, stuff that is poorly made, and stuff that’s offensive, but I haven’t come across things I really truly despise yet (although Portal II comes close, but for non-moral reasons). You know what? As a Christian, I’m totally ok with that. As long as I can filter out things that don’t appeal to me, then as they say, game on.

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Desire Alone is Not Enough

A simplistic theme used in many movies, songs, and stories is of the all-consuming desire for another person — sexual passion. Yet once you consummate your love, you have to have a relationship with this person, and that’s an entirely different matter than simply discovering the bliss of inserting tab A into slot B. It’s like people don’t understand that once you climb the mountain, there’s other mountains to climb. Sex is not the end. It’s just the beginning.

For some, those words are words of doom, because primarily they have put all their effort into simply getting some, with no thought of the other person except for that one goal. They know how to sparkle and appeal on the surface, but what happens when that goal is achieved? On to the next person, following the will-o-the-wisp of desire? Doing that is death and nothing more than a blueprint for sorrow. People forget that sex is unitive, that is powerful (30x more powerful than cocaine), and it exists for a purpose — to bind man and woman together through the difficulties of a life together. Yes, the uniting you experience will help you when little Tommy wakes up at 2 AM — every day for a week. However, that desire, and the memory of desire, is not enough. To it, must be added care, self-sacrifice, understanding, gentleness, protection, support, and love. Sex is merely a bright flower among other flowers in the garden of love; it fades quicker than the other flowers, but each one is appealing in its own way, and all must be considered together. We all have known the sensual girl who was not kind; we have seen the intelligent girl who was shy but fascinating. There is so much more to relationships between men and women than simply sexual desire; but if you do not understand the other flowers, and all you can see is this one, then you will be doomed to wander the earth looking for just that, and you will leave behind you a trail of the broken and the empty; you will die, unfulfilled and despairing.

Desire alone is not enough.

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To Rid Themselves of Pests

Someday we will be free again; then, and I hope soon, people will speak without having to agree about everything. Then we will know what freedom truly is when people do not feel like they have to coddle and kiss every group of people but especially groups who will sue or murder them. I am looking forward to the day that people who cannot understand how to get along with others will simply opt-out and move somewhere else. I tire of putting up with the endless demands of conformity. Isn’t it time to live and let live, at long last? Isn’t it time to give up on the futile and failed hope of bullying everyone into your position? Isn’t it time to taste the irony on the tongue in trying to stamp out something you abhor, and becoming twice as bad in the process? The reality is that nobody really wants to know much about someone else’s disorder or pet peeve. Nobody cares. The more you speak, the less people care until you eventually create the mobs that you have been imagining all along. But make no mistake — people eventually rise up to rid themselves of pests. That is the truth, not a revelation of hate, not a map of persecution, not a martyrdom, but simply weariness with the obnoxious.

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The Invisible Crouching Overlord

In the annals of dichotomies, allow me to contribute one more — those who wish to live free and those who want the government (or someone else) to handle their responsibilities. The latter group of people have many things in common, but one of them is a lack of sensitivity. Meaning that they cannot perceive spiritual matters much, nor are they sensitive to the needs of others. The latter is why they place their self-righteous feeling (I pay for welfare; therefore I am holy) ahead of actually helping others or thinking of the recipients of their pretend-mercy as fellow-citizens.

Their spiritual and relational dullness has another manifestation: they do not feel the absence of liberty. They think of themselves as free because rules are for others, not themselves; they are tiny tyrants or the concubines of them. Thus they never feel the breathing of the invisible crouching overlord whom they feed to rule over others. They never think of the possibilities choked out, the potential jobs, the possible inventions, the acts of mercy left undone because of regulation or the threat of it. Yet, the breathing, the rasping of this hungry hellhound steals over every move, especially when regarding one’s future.

They feed the beast, thinking that it gains them special exemption. “Oh, you may devour the poor, stifle innovation, and obliterate charity, but you love me, don’t you?” Too late, as always, they will find that the overlord consumes them as well. Such is the fate of all slaves to evil — in the words of a great song, it destroys after use, and then itself is destroyed.

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Gwen Graham is Political Herpes

Gwen Graham, officious finger-wagger and mommying former representative FL-D is back, in another outbreak of hectoring, tut-tutting, and vague politicking. This time, she’s running for governor. I cannot think of a situation where a “Yay?” is more apt.

This time, she’s striking out further to the left, hoping that will appeal to the people that have steadily been electing moderate to semi-conservative candidates to the FL governorship for at least twenty years. Now she’s complaining about education and Medicare. As usual, her Democrat mantra is “More government good!” I’m sure she’s got the self-righteous vote already locked up. You know those people, right? The ones who think that forcing everyone to pay for something they wouldn’t lift a finger to help on their own is progress.

So, “we’re gonna take it back” huh Gwen? Spare me. I don’t need or want more government interference with education. Nor do I think that accepting more federal control of my state is smart (Medicare). Go peddle your dependency elsewhere.

Go DeSantis, go.

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Marketplaces into Courtrooms: Big Tech Gets it Wrong Again

This is worrying. Not that Amazon has to do business with anyone at all, but that Amazon, like other big tech companies, is talking out of both sides of its mouth. It wants the ability to restrict service based upon its beliefs, but not only does it refuse to support others who argue such, but it behaves as though it does have such rights, and then issues excuses as a defense. How can they get away with this while a sole proprietor Christian baker (with more justification) cannot? Amazon has the pockets to fight any brushfire legal battles like this; Amazon can grease the palms of state governments to look the other way and threaten to pull its business. Amazon, and big tech generally, have a lot more leverage than the individual, and in a “post-truth” society of laws enforced upon whims, that is all they need to do as they wish.

Amazon, like Google, Mozilla, and other big tech companies, have evolved from marketplaces into private courtrooms. Once they provided simply a platform or a marketplace, but increasingly they want to make their services available only to those they esteem. The more this happens, the more public dissatisfaction with them grows. Do they think that they are indispensable, so people can suffer any train of abuses, no matter how long, and no matter how objectionable? That’s the curious thing. In a country founded by those willing to sacrifice for freedom, why does anyone think that Amazon must be around tomorrow or next year? As Amazon challenged, weakened, and ate up traditional retailers (like K-Mart), another business could do the same to them. They are not invulnerable, and they also face the threat of regulation the larger they grow as well.

An exemplar of the marketplace to courtroom phenomenon is Target. Target is a company that is suffused with leftist positions, which they have chosen to promote despite incurring losses and bad press. In order to do business in many states, they choose to accept the positions mandated by leftist states as a cost of doing business in that state and then has pressured other states to go along. They wish to deal with all states the same way to keep costs low. Thus, Georgia ends up suffering agitation and lobbying by leftist corporate lawyers because Target had to accept certain positions from New York in order to do business there. When a moral issues arises for the state, Target threatens to pull its businesses out unless Georgia thinks like New York. States often fall for this blackmail because they fear losing any income stream and they fear the ridicule of the leftist press.

Amazon is proceeding down the trail to failure burned by Target. We haven’t seen any content restriction from them yet (except Nazi memorabilia), but that will come. Pride goes before a fall and Amazon’s pride is just now starting to show its ugly flowering.

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