Two Tear

            This week, Google/Verizon unveiled the future of the internet. It was a short text. The specifics are uninteresting. The dialogue generated is. The corporate projection is for what factually becomes a two tier network with the distinction being on services purchased, not technological capability. Put crassly, one could possess the latest technological  marvel and receive the crappiest service, as well as the most out of date appliance and totally primo service. This definitely would be an additional marketing device to what has been, to date, a strategy driven primarily by the “latest” technological advancement (does it portend the eventual demise of exponentially expanding technological change?). It does signal the entry of politics into what had previously been the sole realm of engineering technology. I guess we are to believe that it is going to be like airline travel- everyone’s flight will arrive at the desired location, only some will have a better trip. Of course, the buzz word justification for all this is that consumers will now have “choice” and “options”.

            The dialogue generated is particularly worthwhile to note and follow. The political aspect of a two tiered hierarchy is totally elided. It is no surprise that the internet would evolve to reflect the two tiered hierarchy of the culture that spawned it. In this blog’s February 7 post, Communication Devices: Part II, we specifically looked at the two tiered functioning of culture and economy. That post concluded with a reference to Alenka Zupancic’s adumbration of a new “racization” based on economic conditions and status. The dialogue generated by Google/Verizon’s proposal likewise carefully disassociates itself from the recent covert Blackberry controversies in the Mideast as well as the overt political net control overtures in China, Australia, Pakistan, etc. The unabated obfuscation that our net, our culture, our government could be “like” these “other” cultures continues without shame within this dialogue. The ultimate obfuscation is the continued perpetration of our sacred “constitutional” mythology of separation; the separation of church and state, the separation of business and politics. Businesses, like churches, are to operate unfettered by government. Unlike churches, when they fail there is an assumed imperative that the government intervene in this vital social investment. Yet, as in the case of the Google/Verizon proposal, when dominant corporations brazenly flex their political muscle, by exposing their (in)vested interest in the organization of the social, the dialogue continues to perpetrate the myth that it is, after all, solely about business, and not about the social, the social state.

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