Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
 

Author Topic: The Political Thread  (Read 1286286 times)

Frank

  • New Arrival
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 8607
  • Bad Boy
    • View Profile
Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #16395 on: 15 November, 2019, 06:15:06 PM »
I feel, though, that "free broadband" today opens the door for "internet driving licenses" tomorrow. That's a great way to control access - getting points on your license for visiting the wrong site or posting the wrong thing until you get banned from surfing.

The State (hiss!) can already ban you from specific sites and (in the case of terrorist offences) the internet in general, in the same way they can ban you from hanging around outside your ex's house or put you on a no-fly list.

Choosing Richard Branson as your internet provider doesn't make anyone any more or less free. Despite what Ayn Rand and Rees-Mogg might have said, there's no direct, causal connection between capitalism and essential liberties.



The Legendary Shark

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 9716
  • Tip: Sharks only attack you if you're wet.
    • View Profile
    • The Sharkpool Blog
Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #16396 on: 15 November, 2019, 06:34:43 PM »

But surely the right to trade is an essential liberty?

~~~^~~~~~~~

Be excellent to each other. And party on!

https://www.giffgaff.com/orders/affiliate/the_legendary_shark


Blog.

Tjm86

  • Member
  • Battle Hardened War Robot
  • ****
  • Posts: 2890
    • View Profile
Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #16397 on: 15 November, 2019, 06:39:37 PM »

Free broadband's a good shorthand for the news, but what's actually being proposed is funding broadband access through general taxation, in the same way as motorways and rail infrastructure. Or the NHS.


The media do seem to have been quite lazy in how they are portraying the announcement.  On the talking head radio shows lots of folks are talking it down.  The thing is though, it raises quite an important point: considering how vital digital connectivity is to accessing basic services, should the infrastructure be in public or private ownership?  Who are best able to deliver to the whole nation? 

To me this should have been linked in with starting a debate about the TV license.  This funds a technology that is slowly fading out.  More people are viewing without a TV (or a license).  Should we still have a license that is solely for terrestrial broadcasting or should we transform it to a 'digital access license' that spreads the cost equitably across the population, covers all access modalities, and is primarily for the upkeep and development of infrastructure?

Everything in this election is about how we should pay for it rather than what should we be paying for.  It's a bit like May's disastrous 'dementia tax' of the last election.  It spoke to a massive issue that needs to be addressed since it has massive ramifications: what sort of care support do we put in place for an ageing population with increasingly complex needs?  What was the focus though?  Who would be paying and how.

Frank

  • New Arrival
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 8607
  • Bad Boy
    • View Profile
Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #16398 on: 15 November, 2019, 06:54:05 PM »
But surely the right to trade is an essential liberty?





Professor Bear

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 7432
  • "Why, Black Dynamite? WHY?"
    • View Profile
    • Your Friends and Neighbors
Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #16399 on: 15 November, 2019, 07:06:13 PM »

But surely the right to trade is an essential liberty?

I mean, I can guess based on the anarchism, but do you mean in terms of use or exchange value?

Funt Solo

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 7047
  • CONSUME!
    • View Profile
Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #16400 on: 15 November, 2019, 07:21:11 PM »
But surely the right to trade is an essential liberty?


But surely the right to change topic is an essential liberty?
++ logos ++ stages ++ coma ++

Frank

  • New Arrival
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 8607
  • Bad Boy
    • View Profile
Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #16401 on: 15 November, 2019, 07:21:25 PM »

Nobody's talking about stopping anyone trading.

The Shark household would be free to pay Richard Branson to provide internet services in the same way they are currently free to pay for private healthcare alongside the taxation-funded healthcare provided to everyone in the UK*

It would be up to Branson to provide a service the Sharks considered to deliver the extra value and quality of service that made it worth paying an additional premium, thus driving up quality and choice (according to capitalist doctrine).


* free at the point of access

The Legendary Shark

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 9716
  • Tip: Sharks only attack you if you're wet.
    • View Profile
    • The Sharkpool Blog
Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #16402 on: 15 November, 2019, 09:12:31 PM »

I could sit and type a(nother) long and boring post about Austrian economics and its advantages over corporatism, but the truth is that it would do no good and just annoy people.

Austrian economic theory is the natural economy for an anarchist society and I don't think either one can properly exist without the other, so by giving an Austrian perspective I'd be asking people to accept a more anarchic society - which is a big ask.

For the record, however, in a more anarchic society there might be thousands of little ISPs, some of them run by private companies, some by local collectives, some by private and personal individuals, some by charities, some by institutions, some by ingenious means yet to be devised. There'd be no government interference and the ISPs would all be bound by common law, maybe with reputability indicators such as a shared, voluntary code of conduct and public liability insurance, which would evolve over time in line with the needs of users and providers.

But, all this requires society to have changed in other ways as well, some of them quite fundamental. So, in the end, I guess I'm just another peace, trust and love kinda guy. A prophet of boon. But I'm fully aware that there is no Utopia waiting for us just around the corner. Ain't gonna be one in the future, never was one in the past, and we sure ain't in one now. We'll always have problems, and opportunities, let's just hope we can take the best ideas from as many systems as we can and network the problem - then maybe tomorrow might not be quite as shit as today, and the day after a little bit better again.

So, in conclusion, government's there. It might be an illusion, but it's a powerful one and has a measurable effect. Let it provide broadband, then, but hold it to account for doing so. Don't let it abuse its power.

~~~^~~~~~~~

Be excellent to each other. And party on!

https://www.giffgaff.com/orders/affiliate/the_legendary_shark


Blog.

Frank

  • New Arrival
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 8607
  • Bad Boy
    • View Profile
Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #16403 on: 15 November, 2019, 09:30:44 PM »
... in a more anarchic society there might be thousands of little ISPs, some of them run by private companies, some by local collectives, some by private and personal individuals ...

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-37974267


It all began when the trees which separated Chris's neighbouring farm from its nearest wireless mast - their only connection to the internet - grew too tall.

Something more robust was required, and no alternatives were available in the area, so Chris decided to take matters into her own hands.

She purchased a kilometre of fibre-optic cable and commandeered her farm tractor to dig a trench. "We dug it ourselves and we lit [the cable] ... It wasn't rocket science. It was three days of hard work."

She now claims to have laid 2,000 miles (3,218km) of cable and connected a string of local parishes to her network. Each household pays £30 per month and must do some of the installation themselves.

The entire infrastructure is fibre-optic cable right to the property, rather than just to the cabinet, offering fast one gigabit per second broadband speeds.

The service is so popular that the company has work lined up for the next 10 years and people from as far as Sierra Leone have attended the open days it holds a couple of times a year.

The bulk of the work is done by volunteers and one of the conditions of service is that profits must be ploughed back into the community.

There are other independent fibre broadband providers out there, like Gigaclear which serves around 50,000 customers based in several UK counties and Hyperoptic which is active in 13 cities. They all claim to offer 1Gbps speeds.




The Legendary Shark

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 9716
  • Tip: Sharks only attack you if you're wet.
    • View Profile
    • The Sharkpool Blog
Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #16404 on: 15 November, 2019, 09:34:28 PM »

Garlic bread!

~~~^~~~~~~~

Be excellent to each other. And party on!

https://www.giffgaff.com/orders/affiliate/the_legendary_shark


Blog.

Professor Bear

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 7432
  • "Why, Black Dynamite? WHY?"
    • View Profile
    • Your Friends and Neighbors
Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #16405 on: 15 November, 2019, 10:58:50 PM »
"A lot of benefits claimants are really embarrassed that they struggle with computers. You can tell people are quite proud and don’t want to have to ask for help with things they’ve been told they should be able to do."

I'm probably being a naive woolly-headed lefty but this description from a librarian of their having to walk benefits claimants through the application for Universal Credit (a digital-only process) reads more like someone describing their encounter with an adult illiteracy crisis in the making than some freeloading teenagers being hooked-up with free Xboxes.

TordelBack

  • Member
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 26479
  • Thunder Chops is dragged off, gnashing...
    • View Profile
Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #16406 on: 15 November, 2019, 11:47:11 PM »
If I wasn't already a lifelong pinko, I'd be seriously swayed by the concept of quality internet access funded by general taxation. I genuinely couldn't work without the internet, all my contracts are posted to and tendered for solely on the internet,  my licence for each job is applied for by email, and the datasets I rely on are now only accessible online within anything approaching a commercial timescale. Internet access is every bit as essential to me as roads or sewerage.

The Legendary Shark

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 9716
  • Tip: Sharks only attack you if you're wet.
    • View Profile
    • The Sharkpool Blog
Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #16407 on: 16 November, 2019, 06:26:38 AM »

In another 27 years there'll be outrage over the suggestion that the Tories want to sell our internet but Labour plan to fund it with an extra £3bn per year saved when Earxit (the UK's bid to leave planet Earth) goes through.

~~~^~~~~~~~

Be excellent to each other. And party on!

https://www.giffgaff.com/orders/affiliate/the_legendary_shark


Blog.

Tjm86

  • Member
  • Battle Hardened War Robot
  • ****
  • Posts: 2890
    • View Profile
Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #16408 on: 16 November, 2019, 07:57:26 AM »
But surely the right to trade is an essential liberty?


But surely the right to change topic is an essential liberty?

You could always have death ....

IndigoPrime

  • Administrator
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 9325
    • View Profile
    • http://www.craiggrannell.com
Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #16409 on: 16 November, 2019, 10:13:33 AM »
From reading a lot of stuff written by learned colleagues, by reading of Labour’s plans is that they are unworkable, but I’m glad they kickstarted a conversation the UK’s not had at any meaningful levels since Thatcher’s days. And, remember, Thatcher fucked UK broadband. She tied BT’s hands and said the markets would sort it. They didn’t. Now we have some of the worst broadband provision of any remotely comparable nation.