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Prepping for the Information Apocalypse

Net Neutrality

I picked a horrible time to start a blog, I really did.  Perhaps I should have started a decade ago, but to be honest, I was too busy being stupid then to have anything valuable to offer.  A decade ago, I was about a year removed from returning from Iraq and in fact had recently returned from teaching English in China in 2004.  Teaching English in China was my way of decompressing after returning from Iraq.  The transition from War to regular job was fairly abrupt for me as my contract was up by the time I got back.  So I took off to China, because why not.  But this article is about none of that.  Rather, it’s about the coming apocalypse. Let me explain.

Information

Information changes the course of history.  Champions of liberty love it and evil seeks to destroy it.  Whether it’s the literacy of ancient empires, the invention of the printing press, or even the internet, where information flows, freedom follows suit. And like a moth to a flame, tyranny is drawn to it for the purpose of destroying it. Now to be clear, I am not saying that my blog is a beacon of liberty and evil is out to destroy it.  No wait, never mind, I like that title beacon of liberty.  I’ll take that.  I am not sure how well my blog will do through the years, but I just hope I spoke the truth.  And if Westbro Baptist Church is there to picket my funeral, then I know I did it right.

However, what I am telling you is that the highway on which my information flows is under assault and my blog and many of your other favorite places on the web will fall careening into the icy abyss once the free bridge of independent thought is destroyed.  Sounds grandiose, I know, but it’s true and it’s coming.  It’s almost like a race between good and evil.  Can the forces of liberty adapt quicker than the forces of tyranny can destroy.  Again, I’m not saying my blog is Captain America, but, no wait, never mind, I like that too.  I am Captain America. With a blog. And a beard.

Net Neutrality

You may have heard a little bit about this off and on in the news and may be somewhat confused as to what this means.  So let me give you the unprecedented mediocre explanation as I understand it.  Currently, you can access my blog at the same speed as any major news site, entertainment site, or government site.  That’s net neutrality.  All information flows at the same speed and you the independent mind get to decide where to go. Get it? But what if I told you that was changing?

Net Neutrality

You see, big business has decided that this current setup is absurd.  What good is all their money if they can’t use it to control what you see? So that is the plan. They desire to allow those with money to pay for internet fast lanes and relegate me and your other favorite sites to dirt roads.  The consequence? You see what big money and power wants you to see.  When has that ever ended well for liberty? Let me put it this way.  How angry would you be if the only video on Youtube that loads fast enough to watch was Paris Hilton’s music video because she had the money to make it so.  Let us all shudder at the thought.

Current politicians have weighed in on it and I almost wish they hadn’t for it confuses the truth in the midst of partisan politics.  People think not about the merit of what is being said and just how much they hate the guy that said it. Tragic.  For I tell you right now, it’s not about politics, it’s about the money and control. You see, here is a history lesson for you all as the past can be complex and telling good from evil isn’t easy.  Whoever is trying to control and suppress the flow of information is always the bad guy.  Always.  It doesn’t matter whether it’s book burning Nazi’s or a corrupt religious structure.  If you are trying to suppress independent thought, then I want to be on the other team.  End of story. So as you evaluate modern politicians on this issue, let that be your guide.

Facebook

Now Facebook over the years has been a good way to spread excellent independent information.  I myself have a little less than a 1,000 fans at this moment.  Would it surprise you though that only a small percentage of those fans are actually able to see every post due to Facebook’s algorithms.  Moreover, according to Facebook it’s only going to get worse after the new year.  You see, once again, big money wins.  Those able afford paid post will get their information in front of you and guys like me will be writing to the audience of the wind I guess.

I understand Facebook is a business, but if it becomes just another route for money and power to dictate what you see then what a tragedy that will be.  There are greater sites than mine and more consequential information for you to miss than Unprecedented Mediocrity.  However, big money is on the move and it’s time to start prepping.  Don’t let it be too late before you realize all you have been seeing these past few years is what the elite want you to see.  Find the online version of hiding books under your bed.  Remember those things, real books with pages and everything? Sign up to receive post notifications by email and don’t bank that Zuckerburg is going to show you what you really want to see,  But most importantly, fight for your independent mind because it will be under assault.  For I leave you again with this quote from Winston Churchill, “The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.”

Keep fighting for truth and sign up below to receive Unprecedented Mediocrity directly to email.

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Jeff Edwards

5 Comments

  1. Great article as always. This one hits close to home for me.

    I wish more people were aware of the importance of this but sadly few internet users are active participants. Most are passive. Other than social media most users don’t create any content. Sure, a post on Facebook, a video on Youtube, some photos on Instagram… but they are not actively exchanging ideas with purpose. They mostly brag about their lives to their friends and social media sites are smart enough to continue allowing that. What they want to control is the ability for people like you and I to get our independent ideas out there without going through their gates – and paying the hefty toll that requires.

    Will the average person miss our content? How can they miss something they don’t know about? As for those who seek out alternative media and art they will be forced to pay more or dig deeper. Both are unlikely in a society that is losing it’s sense of value for ideas. On the internet all content is expected to be free so when it costs more for them to find us, they’ll probably just stay on HuffPost and Netflix and soon forget about all the sites and content they no longer see.

    As John Naughton of The Independent wrote a while back, “The spread of high-speed broadband connections did not liberate human creativity but instead created Couch Potato 2.0” and having the internet turn into a tiered structure like cable TV will not noticeably affect most users. It will just make it that much harder for us rabble-rousers to have our voices heard. Like those who are concerned about online security, it seems people like us may have to return to analogue means to get our messages out… yet, that too has it’s issues since fewer people read from paper, or in my case, few even have access to DVD players or any other hardware format for viewing video.

    I don’t have any solutions but I’m experimenting with ways to get my work onto mainstream platforms while retaining some artistic and intellectual integrity. But, pawning my soul i the hopes of being able to buy it back is risky. And, as another favorite writer of mine once put it, “It’s hard to build your soul when everyone around you is selling theirs”.

    Link to the John Naughton article:
    http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/oct/26/couch-potatoes-killed-internet-dream

    • Great insight Geoff. I agree. It’s almost as if it was a bait and switch. Everyone got addicted to quick easy information and traditional sources like books died away. Now that everyone is hooked in couch potato format like you mentioned, they change the game and there is no alternative to seek. I love that quote at the end about building your soul. One can only hope the worst doesn’t come true.

      • Thanks. Despite the nihilistic tone of my comment I too hope the worst doesn’t come true. I hear a lot of people discussing the need for change but none willing to get their hands dirty to create change. Some protests, some, letted, but nothing systemic. How can we expect the system to change if we’re not willing to change our own lives – devote our lives to changing things? It’s hard. People have families, jobs, relative stability; so it’s understandable they don’t want to risk those. But, like I said above, it’s about value. What do we value? Sure it’s cheaper and easier to buy from Amazon but we’re losing the traditional book. It’s cheaper and easier to watch movies on Netflix or stream music on Spotify but they’re starving the artists.

        It permeates all walks of life from culture to labor to ideas. The value of each is based on their monetary returns, not personal, social or cultural value. In a supply & demand system over-saturated in media, ours has little-to-no monetary value. So, we have to compete with the celebrity gossip rags, Youtube cat videos, and millions of other varied and vapid filler content that media aggregators post for cheap or free as click bait.

        For me, it’s about more than just the integrity of the internet, it’s about the integrity of our society. What do we value as a society? Have we totally become the pawns of marketing and only value that which is cheap and easy, or do we still value content and quality – even if it’s not easy and costs a bit more? Are we willing to pay our laborers a living wage or do we continue getting cheap food and goods provided by illegal immigrants, out-sourcing, automation and prison labor (or just let more of America fall into third-work status and have Americans working for under the minimum wage in sweatshop factories without labor protections)?

        If it’s all about the bottom line then it’s simple. The internet will be roped off and we’ll all have lots of cheap, vapid cogent to keep us occupied as everything of real value is looted from us.

        Ok, I’ve ranted enough. Sorry to clog your comments with my diatribes. Like I said, your post is one I take very personal and have a few opinions on. 🙂

        • hey, great comments man. you really offer a lot of insight. your sentiments echo a lot of what i wrote in my article,
          ‘The Pictures that Should Have Broke the Internet”. Your comments are welcome all the time any time.

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