Archive for May, 2014

Net Neutrality

May 4, 2014

Alison Levine is this amazing person whose bio reads larger than life. One of only a few persons to have completed the Adventure Grand Slam (scaling the highest peaks on all continents along with skiing to both poles), she has done it while encumbered by some pretty debilitating ailments. She has leveraged her ability to overcome both outward and inward adversity into a lucrative enterprise as a motivational speaker/business consultant. This capitalizes on the analogy drawn between extreme business environments/conditions and those she conquered in her adventures. Strategies, tactics, actualities center around thinking and knowledge coextensive with summiting and polar conquest.

The end of net neutrality is inevitable no matter what candidate B. Rock repeatedly promised regarding its inviolability. His own appointed FCC commissioner is already drafting plans to make it otherwise. The fly in the ointment of Alison Levine’s ultra-heroism (or should we say heroine-ism?) is the speculative (and theoretical) possibility of the end of mountains. OK so mountain topping in West Virginia immediately springs to mind, but also Mt. Washington in New Hampshire where one can scale it by a well-trodden path if one chooses or one can just drive to the top on a paved highway. Then again there’s Dry Branch Fire Squad’s Ron Thomason’s “Testosterone Poisoning”. What if all the challenges and discoveries have been made? Folks today maybe have to make things up like who can hold their breath the longest or eat the most sushi or hot dogs. The motivation is all still there only entrepreneurial leverage of the accomplishment might require a bit of selling. Thomas Picketty’s “Capital in the 21st Century” has supposedly made common knowledge of another disparity to meeting the challenge (hot dogs or Everest). It seems that increasingly folks are earning their money the old fashioned way, as in the Victorian era of “Testosterone Poisoning.” They are inheriting it. Capital gained without inconvenience is much like ascending Mt. Washington by car. The unspoken underbelly of all this is the recent tragedy that befell the sherpas who make the ascent on Everest not only a possibility but an actuality for so many thousands. To say “convenient” would disparage the legitimate overcoming of physical duress (and disease in the case of Levine). Just the same, convenience, expedience, and immediacy usually always trump challenge for most, save die hard adrenaline junkies. Which brings us back to net neutrality and some of the reason’s its days are numbered. On the one hand folks expect it to be there like gas, electricity or water. On the other, by its very nature, it is composed of what once conquered must ever be created anew – literally as something new. It is located within a cosmogony of expected and anticipated change, development, upgrade, and planned obsolescence. Unfortunately this is at complete odds with regulated, specified and monitored fundamental public utilities like gas, electricity, or city water. Any change there is a huge undertaking. The siren’s irresistible entrepreneurial call of folks being willing to pay (and pay handsomely) to get to the top of the summit the old fashioned way – immediately, conveniently and without hassle – makes net neutrality’s end loom larger than life.

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