Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community
There is a certain inescapable logic in our society to the effect that profits win. It does not matter what the people want, the people cannot match the steady stream of money profits provide to support legislation and litigation in support of more profits. We've seen it enough times in the past, and now we're seeing it with net neutrality. Witness the BT (aka British Telecom) "Content Connect" service, which provides premium streaming for a price. Presto: the end of net neutrality, and BT will pay whatever it takes to preserve its advantage here.

This is why Douglas Rushkoff writes "the fledgling Internet of the 21st century is being quashed by a similarly corporatist government that has its hands on the switches through which we mean to transact and communicate." It's why Chris Hedges writes, "There is no hope left for achieving significant reform or restoring our democracy through established mechanisms of power." Or as D'Arcy Norman cites, "rapacious greed fuels the plunge of tens of millions of Americans into abject poverty and misery." It's why we hope the Connective will work, but fear it probably won't.

Still, we carry on. We fight the good fight, even if only for the beauty of resistance.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Copyright 2021
Last Updated: Mar 30, 2021 10:50 a.m.