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An acknowledgment of inadequacy

2 min read

Do you ever just realize you are responsible for all of the suffering not only in your own life but in those around you? I know it's melodramatic. I know it reeks of illusions of grandeur if not textbook narcissism but I just can't help but reflect on the human carnage that I alone am responsible for. Tonight, I didn't have the good sense to stay out of three separate occasions of interpersonal conflict. While there were overlapping individuals and groups I remained the constant. I spend so much time vilifying my own friends and their motivations. I dance between their sole companion and The Devil's Advocate far too naturally far too swiftly. And what has it done for me? What has it done for anyone?  I think I am the monster in this story and there are no heroes because that was the role I had arrogantly assigned myself. All there is- is casualties.

 

Why do I do this? Why can't I be the quiet one that everybody likes? I honestly can't comprehend the confidence it probably takes to simply be a good friend. I feel inadequate, incapable of being the quality person that these people deserve. Maybe I never deserved these friends in the first place. I do worse than project my own shortcomings onto others, I corrupt everything around me. I am the common denominator And with that knowledge comes the responsibility to do better.  To be better. And I guess that's what I've been seeking in my friends. I learn well by example so I surround myself with better people and somewhere in the process of  minimal validation I convince myself that I can help them; When I need their help. 

 

#stealmyidea Individually packaged Clorox Towelettes

1 min read

A handful in the drawer. A couple in your purse. Messy table for your lunch? Bam. Random bout of germaphobia? You're covered. Don't make me carry a whole tub, the people will buy boxes of the small stuff.

 

Funeral Arrangements for Kabeia Rineaki Brock Sutton Allen

1 min read

4/27/2020 10:40 PM

  • Donate as many organs as possible to sick people who need it
  • Offer all other organs to science
  • Cremate everything else. This is not optional.
  • Ashes are to be scattered or buried in Kiribati, Hawaii, Washington and/or Arizona over large bodies of water or at cemeteries of family's choosing.
  • Keep everything cheap.
  • Make sure there's plenty of food.

Written after watching Season 1 Episode 11 of Zoe's Extraordinary Playlist

 

Trump Did Not Call the Coronavirus a Hoax

2 min read

https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4858025/user-clip-history-hoaxes

Let's look at actual footage-

He called the Democrat's criticism of his handling the coronavirus their new hoax amidst a history of partisan gambits to discredit/dismantle his presidency. [Skip to 0:15 of the C-SPAN​ clip]

Transcript:

“Now the Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus. You know that right? Coronavirus. They are politicizing it. We did one of the great jobs, you see- ‘How's president trump doing?’ They go, ‘Oh not good, not good.’ They have no clue. They don’t have any clue. They can’t even count their votes in iowa. They can’t even count- No, they can't. They can't count their votes! One of my people came up to me and said, ‘Mr. president, they tried to beat you on Russia, Russia, Russia. That did not work out too well. They couldn’t do it. They tried the impeachment hoax. That was on a perfect conversation. They tried anything. They tried it over and over again. They've been doing it since you got in. Its all turning. They lost. it is all turning. think of it. And this is their new hoax.”

But you'd never know this if you relied on the media headlines: 

  • TODAY Show​ "Trump Calls Coronavirus The Democrats' ‘New Hoax’ As Potential ‘Community Spread’ Cases Rise"
  • MSNBC​ "Michael Moore: Trump Calling Coronavirus 'Hoax' Is 'Dangerous'"
  • Even the least biased video from The Telegraph​  edited out the Russian/Impeachment context. Despite the title "Trump: Coronavirus is Democrats' 'new hoax'" they tried to cover their bases with a more honest/explicit description "Donald Trump has lashed out at Democrats who have questioned his handling of the coronavirus threat, calling it their new 'hoax'." As of this writing the video had more dislikes than likes and the comments have been turned off.

So to recap the Democrats politicize the Coronavirus. The President references this in a rally as their new hoax. With zero self-awareness or shame, the Democrats pump out false or misleading headlines framing Trump as a Coronavirus denier. Which in self-fulfilling prophetic irony- is a hoax.

 

 

 

P.S. snopes.com​ PolitiFact​ and all the other self-appointed fact checkers- DO YOUR DAMN JOB.

 

The Sun and The Eagle: Addressing The Possibility of American Abandonment

4 min read

Written from the Japanese Perspective for US Foreign Policy (USU POLS 3400)

In recent history, we have enjoyed the protection of the Great American Eagle. The position of the US State Department is clear, “The U.S.-Japan Alliance is the cornerstone of U.S. security interests in Asia and is fundamental to regional stability and prosperity”.1 Since the great war, our former opponents have deigned to take us under their great wings.

But there can be no mistake- the American Eagle finds its burden heavy. While we can still expect academic and private partnerships to continue to flourish, the great bird will be expected to fly slower when called to our aid.2 Their current President continues to clamor for less involvement in the outside world. Even his critics acknowledge the reasoning and precedence that inform the reluctant protector,

“There is some reason in Trump’s frustration with America’s allies. We have allowed the United States to accrue a disproportionate responsibility for others’ security outcomes...Trump’s reason rhymes with the Obama administration’s “leading from behind” in that both foist onto others primary responsibility for outcomes”.3

So despite deep-seated, historical, and stated intentions, the Emperor across the seas may have revealed unsustainable assumptions that our foreign policy has over-relied on.

This hasn’t been for a lack of trying on the part of those under him, “Yet for two years, largely thanks to the initiative of Congress and the Pentagon, day-to-day relations with NATO remained relatively steady… This progress, however, was largely dependent on the presence of committed, pro-NATO officials in the American bureaucracy. Those officials are becoming scarcer by the day”.4 Yet while the wings of the American Eagle pull at different directions the distance between our two nations still grows. This disconnect between the head of the state and its apparatuses would vindicate previously unvoiced concerns that American support would not ultimately be limitless or unconditional. Nonetheless, such contradictory interests (even if temporary) necessitate a fuller reprioritization of our national resources. The framework has already been laid out but through both radical and disturbingly familiar means.

Just as Eagle questions its loads, we too are left to ask what has Japan gained by embracing its occupiers. We have paid the debt of ancient aggressions twice over. Deferring all honor we have silently stood behind America in the international community, contributing the second most to their United Nations even supporting their abominable nuclear policy.5 We had no business but we were there in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Gulf of Aden.6 And all we have gained in return is 50,000 troops; their troops, that they expect us to harbor and pay for.7

And now as generations have become accustomed and expectant of its protection, the American Eagle sets to turn its back on us. Fortunately, America provides both the problem and the solution. We must take our place as the regional leader amongst the allies. Korea, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and even Australia, the collaborators gained under America’s heavy hand will look to our leadership in its absence.8 Amidst the power vacuum left by the Eagle, only the Rising Sun can disperse the shadow cast by the mighty China giant.9

This why we have been pushing for the reintroduction of the Imperial Rescript on Education to our children, for JSDF Propaganda Anime.10 Remain calm. It's all part of the plan.

Notes


  1. “Japan.” U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of State, 17 July 2018, www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/4142.htm. 
  2. Ibid. 
  3. Schake, Kori. “Donald Trump, Barbarian Emperor.” Foreign Policy, Foreign Policy, 4 Mar. 2016, foreignpolicy.com/2016/03/04/donald-trump-barbarian-emperor-japan-china-defense/. 
  4. Brands, Hal. “Can U.S. Alliances Withstand Trump's Venom?” The Japan Times, 30 Jan. 2019, www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2019/01/30/commentary/world-commentary/can-u-s-alliances-withstand-trumps-venom/#.XFzxplxKhPY. 
  5. “Japan.” U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of State, 17 July 2018, www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/4142.htm. 
  6. Schake, Kori. “Donald Trump, Barbarian Emperor.” Foreign Policy, Foreign Policy, 4 Mar. 2016, foreignpolicy.com/2016/03/04/donald-trump-barbarian-emperor-japan-china-defense/. 
  7. Ibid. 
  8. “Japan.” U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of State, 17 July 2018, www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/4142.htm; Schake, Kori. “Donald Trump, Barbarian Emperor.” Foreign Policy, Foreign Policy, 4 Mar. 2016, foreignpolicy.com/2016/03/04/donald-trump-barbarian-emperor-japan-china-defense/. 
  9. Schake, Kori. “Donald Trump, Barbarian Emperor.” Foreign Policy, Foreign Policy, 4 Mar. 2016, foreignpolicy.com/2016/03/04/donald-trump-barbarian-emperor-japan-china-defense/. 
  10. Osaki, Tomohiro. “Imperial Rescript on Education Making Slow, Contentious Comeback.” The Japan Times, www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/04/11/national/imperial-rescript-education-making-slow-contentious-comeback/#.XFzywVxKhPY; Baseel, Casey. “Anime-Themed Japan Self-Defense Forces Recruitment Campaign Makes Odd Poster Boy Choice.” Japan Today, 10 Sept. 2017, japantoday.com/category/features/lifestyle/anime-themed-japan-self-defense-forces-recruitment-campaign-makes-odd-poster-boy-choice. 
 

Novanesia Manifesto I: A Call to the Driftwood

3 min read

By Kabeia Rineaki Brock Sutton Allen

As We Are

It feels different for everyone, but it is always felt. We may hide it under our legendary sense of humor but the laughter never lasts. Underneath the smiles that curve all the way to our eyes, there remains an unspeakable sadness. It sinks within us to depths no amount of shallow mirth can ever fill. The Seaborn are all cursed with the Disconnect. The crushing sense of loss when separated from the great waters of our birthright. We know who we are but cannot manifest it fully where we are.

The devastation of this disease remains constant, even internationally. The oceanic communities are fragmented. Adrift on the waves of distant seas; cast about in a diaspora of tragic, biblical proportions.

Such is the state of the Islander. While old tribes and new nations guard our ancestral lands it means little to the modern son of the sea or daughter of the depths, when they have been carried away from the source of identity. Our greatest minds have been robbed from us. And still every day, another family seems to disappear. On a boat. On a plane. Another house once occupied for generations, now empty.

And thus it is by force or forgetfulness, our people have been driven to settle on foreign continents, far from the sands of our homelands. Stripped of our soulpairing. Kept from the spiritkindling until the chill of complacency sets in.

But despite the distance, even the ones born across, far away from their cousins, their aunties, and their uncles- their souls remember. Ancient songs still bend their ear and a small flame, the genetic memory of the warmth of a tropic sun; It still burns. As if in contempt of the solid ground they now find themselves trapped on, a wave crashes within them. They know. Home is not here. We, all of us, born of the sea and brought to the land- we’re only visitors. We may speak the tongues of these cold lands, we may even walk as equals on their streets, and find warmth and waves that remind us of the home we were supposed to have. But were we destined to settle as peers with the earthbound? Are we destined to be landlocked? You know the answer. It roars within you like Ocean itself. We were meant to sail the seas. And not just the seas. But skies and stars themselves.

 

As We Might Be

It was once said that all roads lead to Rome. And while we islanders may not have such a storied capital to return to, we are reassured with the hope that all rivers run to the sea. And so must we. Despite the distance I know I can still reach out to my siblings, cousins, aunties, and uncles- the we who share the citizenship of a driftwood nation. To you I say this, let us gather. Let us speak as we are, family and friends. Let us remember, retell the stories, and sing again the songs of the sea. But let us grow so that we will be immortalized in such memories. The ocean calls to us, but now with the warning. Its strength threatens to turn on our beloved islands, to swallow our distant relatives still on those islands... And so it falls to us to build the boats that will soon sail to the redemption of our drowning forgotten.

 

To be continued in Novanesia Manifesto II.

 

 

A Legacy of Competition

4 min read

While international apologists might cite a myriad of unfair factors, of the six complexes Niall Ferguson proposed in his seminal work “Civilization: The West and the Rest,” likewise, only one rises above the rest. [Niall] It is the adamant resolve of the author that unbridled competition, with all of its strengths and flaws, gave birth to the other components that ensured the success of Western civilization. This naturally cuts the other five ‘killer applications’ down to size as mere progeny or symptomatic benefits but also implicates other civilized regions as insufficiently or improperly capable of competition.

Just as Ayn Rand taught that “the smallest minority on earth is the individual” it is essential to understand that pure Competition’s “decentralization of both political and economic life” was fundamentally embodied and applied at the ground level between people.[Niall, Ayn], So while it is easy to focus on the macrocosmic systems of communities, nations, alliances, and regions all of them were ultimately driven, directed, and fueled by the contained people; competing to fulfill all matter of desires. This continues to be a theme repeatedly explored by the author:

“Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs when simplified (as all unnecessarily complex things can and should be) reveals the triarchic natural needs of man as first physical survival, emotional desires, and then the intangible fulfillment of self-actualization… Alvin Toffler found these ideals informed our major revolutions and subsequently the forms of power and political structures built to contain them. First physical needs are fulfilled by the Agricultural Revolution that gave birth to civilization with farming and warfare.”[Kabeia Rineaki Brock Sutton Allen “A Noble Theory”]

Viewed through this lense, what might have humbly started as a survival instinct and later developed into resource extraction at international level is in its purest form competition, expressed by individuals; individuals who form communities and society. It follows then, that society and all of its machinations, namely- the other five complexes of Science, Property Rights, Medicine, Consumption, and Work Ethic are but by products of the cataclysm of Competition.[Niall] It is, in a sense, the granddaddy to all others.

The tempting conclusion that Niall (and admittedly the author) are drawn to is that the success of the West is indicative of the failure of individuals in counterpart civilized regions of the world, as they would normally be held responsible for success. However, additional analysis reveals that this false dichotomy is but the misapplication of the subject material- Competition. “The West and the Rest” as they are referred to by Ferguson are not parallel experiments operating vacuums but intertwined peers.[Niall] While the West has undoubtedly emerged as the location for the greatest developments in civilization (and the application thereof) its success was not earned independently and one might even argue that its cohesion required the existence of a competing, external world. Furthermore, such geographic distinctions, while objective, are historically whimsical. So if individuals are seen as the final units most responsible the decentralized nature of Competition could ultimately lead to the rise of a new world powers; be they certain regions, empires, nations, businesses or even a single person. As the author expressed before:

“Even if it is as a pathetic peasant, an apathetic citizen or haughty noble this gift endows all with the ability to impose order on the frontiers and civilize nature or to strengthen or upending the existing social order. In this sense, each individual acts as a carrier of the current conquering ideals, ethics, collective cultural knowledge. No matter what is decided, one is either propagating or improving civilization.”[Kabeia Rineaki Brock Sutton Allen “We, the Conquerors and Conquered”]

From individuals interacting, competition was born and from competition was born society and all other complexes. So while Niall obsesses over where it happened best, one must understand that the success that came from all of those complexes was ultimately the fruits of the labors of individuals. And individuals can be found anywhere.

 

Sources Cited

Ayn Rand, Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal (New York: New American Library, 1966)

Kabeia Rineaki Brock Sutton Allen “A Noble Theory” (paper, POLS 2300, Utah State University, February 9, 2018)

Kabeia Rineaki Brock Sutton Allen “We, the Conquerors and Conquered” (paper, USU 1320, Utah State University, September 19, 2018)

Niall Ferguson, Civilization: The West and the Rest (New York: Penguin Books, 2012), 13.

 

We, the Conquerors and Conquered

3 min read

In the subdued halls of academia the very word “conquering” disquiets the self-important intelligentsia. While ultimately the greatest recipients of such efforts, modern scholars remain disconnected from the concept. It is the opinion of the author that conquering is the state of civilizing which has gained and actively sustains modern life. Thusly, conquering is no longer the domain of empires, kingdoms, or nations but memetic, transcending time and space.

To fundamentally understand conquering one needs merely acknowledge the unassailable, synonymous nature of the ideas of conquering and civilization. Civilization justifies conquering firstly by sheer power of will- if it were not destined to conquer then it would have never been able to. Equally incontrovertible, conquering defends civilization with the weakness of the conquered. Conquering is justified by the greatness of civilization and civilization is justified by the swiftness of conquering. Together they are self-referential and validating.[David Munk, “Military”]

When understood with such metaphysical terms it is then natural to view all of human history as a cosmic struggle between order and chaos. Order is repeatedly applied when competing civilizations conquer each other. Despite brief periods of unrest and the occasional counter-cultural movement every inch of this chaotic planet has been divided amongst victors, who in turn provide the most basic and essential form of personal order, identity within the system. [Kabeia] Even if it is as a pathetic peasant, an apathetic citizen or haughty noble this gift endows all with the ability to impose order on the frontiers and civilize nature or to strengthen or upending the existing social order. In this sense, each individual acts as a carrier of the current conquering ideals, ethics, collective cultural knowledge. No matter what is decided, one is either propagating or improving civilization.

It is noted with irony, that in essence despite any honors of privilege, personality or physical traits- all exist simultaneously as conquerors and the conquered. All exist as products of, in the active state of, and justifying conquering. If one is satisfied, what has been done thus far is validated. If one is unsatisfied then civilization may be due for an update, that if successful will conquer the rest of the world. Each wight is swept up validating the wave of the zeitgeist or provoking change as a “Great Man.”[David Munk “Leadership”] This leads the other to conclude that regardless of the relentless sacrifice of entire families, cities, and nations it is the oft abandoned individual who exists as the grand epitome of conquering. All who have emerged victorious from the seemingly chaotic stew of civilization are tainted and cursed with the noble burden of its maintenance.

Sources Cited

David Munk, “Military” (lecture, USU 1320, Utah State University, September 12, 2018).

David Munk, “Leadership” (lecture, USU 1320, Utah State University, September 10, 2018).

 

Kabeia Rineaki Brock Sutton Allen “A Noble Theory” (paper, POLS 2300, Utah State University, February 9, 2018)

 

Net Neutrality By The Numbers

14 min read

Net Neutrality Explained

In one of the earlier articles covering the first of the Net Neutrality battles a 2008 Macworld article explained,

“Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) acts as a gateway between you and the Internet. It’s the pipeline that allows you to access everything from your e-mail to remote file servers where you back up your important data—not to mention browsing the Web. But what happens if, instead of a pipeline, your ISP instead acts as a filter? In some cases, that scenario is beginning to play out as ISPs increasingly seem to be moving toward favoring some types of traffic over others. The idea that all Internet traffic should be treated equally is known as network neutrality. In other words, no matter who uploads or downloads data, or what kind of data is involved, networks should treat all of those packets in the same manner. To do otherwise, advocates argue, would amount to data discrimination.” (Honan)

 

Simply put, the internet when understood as an essential service the ability ISPs have to interfere with this critical flow is understably concerning. Net Neutrality (henceforth at times to be referenced as NN) is the principle that the internet is too important allow the people responsible for transporting it to be allowed to touch it. The major flare up hit headlines with the 2015 classification of Internet as a utility, allowing it to be regulated by the Federal Communications Commission, tearing it away from the Federal Trade Commision (Ruiz). This classification and other Net Neutrality standards were rolled back in February 2018 (Brandom).

While it may seem fairly straightforward the debates have brought to the forefront a wide range of issues involving crony capitalism, monopolies, public corruption, free market policies, and consumer rights. As the dust settles with each battle, most voices return to two distinct camps: Net Neutrality Advocates determined to keep legislation protect the internet from predatory ISPs and Net Neutrality Opponents arguing for decreased regulation for increased competition and better service. Leading the charge for Net Neutrality is the Progressives, championing Internet as the human right threatened by rampant capitalism. Unsurprisingly their foil is found with Libertarians, dissenting with their unyielding faith in the market and distrust of government.

 

Progressives

Intrinsic to the Progressive argument for NN is the access to Internet as unquestionable and sacrosanct (“32nd Session of the Human Rights Council (13 June to 1 July and 8 July 2016).”). Immediately with this divine purpose they are justified in framing the struggle as a war between good and evil, between the corporations and the people. Constantly cited is an increasingly slick Freepress article documenting the various “Net Neutrality Violations,” proving that ISPs can’t be trusted to run their own businesses. It boldly declares,

“For years a lineup of phone- and cable-industry spokespeople has called Net Neutrality “a solution in search of a problem.” The principle that protects free speech and innovation online is irrelevant, they claim, as blocking has never, ever happened. And if it did, they add, market forces would compel internet service providers to correct course and reopen their networks.In reality, many providers both in the United States and abroad have violated the principles of Net Neutrality — and they plan to continue doing so in the future. This history of abuse revealed a problem that the FCC’s 2015 Net Neutrality protections solved.” (Karr)

 

It goes on to list about 10 instances of companies have attempted to cheat consumers of fair and unencumbered internet service. To the NN supporters, the motivation is clear: ISPs have realized they can profit from restricting competition and blackmailing customers with services they are already paying for. To stand as a Progressive against such injustice follows the precedent of fiscal progressives like FDR and the communitarianism of Sandel. Economic equality and democratic participation are both threatened when livelihoods can be destroyed and hearts and minds can be swayed with a couple lines of code inserted by corporations into the backbone of the internet. A more recent yet equally if not more effective appeal was made by popular comedy voices like CollegeHumor,

“You should not trust ISPs to do the right thing. You should never trust Comcast, Time Warner, or any other internet provider to value you as a customer and respect your consumer rights. Anyone who's ever had to deal with their customer service will attest to that. And if they had the opportunity to, say, slow down all connections to Netflix unless you paid your ISP a "Netflix access fee," they would absolutely do that.” (Staff, CH)

 

Libertarians

For the Libertarians, the rising voice of opposition to the Freepress claims came from Richard Bennett, an original contributor to Ethernet hub and Wi-Fi standards with a thirty year background in network engineering. Tearing through each example, he offers a point for point refutation concluding,

“The horrors the Free Press claims to have unearthed are, for the most part, simply insubstantial fear-mongering. Lists like this may be good for fundraising, but they contribute nothing of value to policy discussions. Whatever comes next in the net neutrality debate needs to be rational and fact based. And we’re clearly not there yet. Net neutrality was meant to be fast path to anti-trust enforcement. Rather than relying on a slow and complicated factual inquiry over anti-consumer and anti-competitive processes, net neutrality originally meant all packets had to be treated equally. The belief was that a ban on differential treatment would make monopoly abuses impossible… Most alleged net neutrality violations didn’t happen, were quickly resolved, or were outside the FCC’s jurisdiction. Perhaps we should ask what the net neutrality campaign hopes to achieve.” (Bennett )

 

From the onset, Libertarians have been wary of the false juxtaposition presented to the public with capitalist fat cats on one side and defiant common people on the other. While many buy into the narrative a closer look reveals a startling massive legion of corporate NN supporters. Last year July, Wired reported,

“Tomorrow, sites across the web will place alerts on their pages encouraging people to send letters to the FCC asking the agency not to jettison net neutrality. Hundreds of companies and organizations plan to participate in this so-called "Day of Action," from giants such as Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Netflix to Reddit, Etsy, PornHub, Spotify, and even some smaller internet service providers like Ting and Sonic.” (Finley)

A Bloomberg piece explained the problematic nature of these NN Allies,

“The internet will be filled today with denunciations of this move, threats of a dark future in which our access to content will be controlled by a few powerful companies. And sure, that may happen. But in fact, it may already have happened, led not by ISPs, but by the very companies that were fighting so hard for net neutrality... Our experience of the internet is increasingly controlled by a handful of firms, most especially Google and Facebook. The argument for regulating these companies as public utilities is arguably at least as strong as the argument for thus regulating ISPs, and very possibly much stronger; while cable monopolies may have local dominance, none of them has the ability that Google and Facebook have to unilaterally shape what Americans see, hear and read. In other words, we already live in the walled garden that activists worry about, and the walls are getting higher every day... The fact that these firms were able to cement their power at the moment when regulators were most focused on keeping the internet open tells you just how difficult it is to get that sort of regulation right; while you are looking hard at one danger, an equally large one may be creeping up just outside the range of your peripheral vision.” (McArdle)

 

Libertarians: (Finally) Winning A Numbers Game

For many, like the author, the choice while unpopular is reasonably that of the Libertarian stance. Net Neutrality’s purpose is the protection of consumers from predatory ISPs and the greatest silver bullet for an ISP that might misbehave is the constant pressure of competition. So if an ISP does abuse data for the consumer the easiest and most economically devastating blow they can deliver in response is to simply switch providers.Yet when NN Opponents offer the market supplied solution of competition it is only shot down as unrealistic. With the Pro-NN Electronic Frontier Foundation, Kate Tummarello writes,

“Those advocating for Pai’s rollback often accuse the FCC of overreaching in 2015 and applying unnecessary regulation on the broadband market. But that argument ignores the unique lack of competition in the broadband market. According to the FCC’s 2016 data, 51 percent of Americans have access to only one provider of high-speed Internet access. That means slightly more than half of the country has no other option for high-speed Internet if they don’t like something their ISP doing. Only 38 percent of Americans have access to more than one ISP. The remaining 10 percent doesn’t have access to a high-speed Internet at all.” (Tummarello)

 

The essential question then remains, what killed competition? To understand this, one must understand when exactly Net Neutrality came in to play because the dates presented by NN advocates are as frenzied and inconsistent as they are misleading. While some obsess only with the Title II Rules set in 2015 (“FCC Adopts Strong, Sustainable Rules to Protect the Open Internet.”), others prefer 2003 when Tim Wu first coined the term (Wu, Tim. “Network...), and a small but vocal group insists that such principles have guided the internet since its creation (Wu, Tim. “How...) (a claim does that does not go undisputed (“Internet Architect Suggests 'Futures Market' to Avoid Policy Disputes.)). The author has been entertained by the mental gymnastics of Pro-NN disciples trying to leap back and forth between these dates: blaming the poor state of things on the ISPs (by citing later dates) and taking credit for everything great about the internet (by alluding to the earlier ones). Whether or not this is done intentionally or out of ignorance remains a mystery merely because one cannot be brought care enough to clarify; For neither speaks favorably of the Net Neutrality movement.

Thus, for the sake of simplicity and fairness one should center their focus around the idea that Net Neutrality’s origins lie in the middle of those extremes (being the dates between always/2003 and 2015 as referenced above). Specifically, one should approach the cluttered timeline of this argument with the understanding that NN came into being in 2010 with the FCC’s Open Internet Order being given (FCC 10-201.).

One of the least contested sources of information shared by both sides is the data provided by the FCC. In 2009 the FCC’s Standard for Broadband Internet Service was “approximately 4 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream, with acceptable quality of service.” [emphasis added] (Broadband Performance OBI Technical Paper No. 4.) That same year the Internet Access Services: Status as of December 31, 2009 noted that 76% of the population had access to 2 or more ISPs offering this standard (Internet Access Services: Status as of December 31, 2009. ). I like to call this percentage Competitive Coverage.

[See Figure 1]

7 years later the State of the Internet (Internet Access Services: Status as of June 30, 2016.) report noted only 42% of the population having 2 or more providers offering the approximate of the 2015 FCC Standard of “At least 25 Mbps downstream and at least 3 Mbps upstream” (Singleton).

[See Figure 2]

 

Government- The Problem Not The Solution

Even by the admittance of Net Neutrality supporters like the high profile Electronic Frontier Foundation, the villain is clear:

Thanks to policies at the federal, state, and local levels, as well as some careful planning by the major ISPs, there is no meaningful competition in the broadband market in most parts of the country. Instead, consumers are stuck with government-backed monopolistic ISPs that can get away with anti-consumer business practices.” [Emphasis added] (Tummarello)

 

Now, ignoring the fact that most people have an uninformed definition of monopoly (Ebeling) (usually tinged by such socialist biasing against even the slightest hint of it), the EFF gets to the root of the issue- Government regulation got us into this situation and the only reasons why ISPs are able to continue to operate in that way is because they’re propped up by that same government. This is not capitalism, this is unnatural. It’s textbook Crony Capitalism (Orlowski).

So to summarize the timeline:

  • 2009 76% of Americans had access to competing Internet coverage

  • 2010 Net Neutrality happens

  • For another 6 years additional Net Neutrality rules and standards are installed

  • 2016 Only 42% of Americans have access to competing Internet coverage

The Moral of the Story: Increasing regulation leads decreasing competition.

[See Figure 3]

Thus given the clear data showing that Net Neutrality had the opposite effect of its stated intent, the need for its repeal (in all of its forms) becomes apparent. As Bennett reference in his response to Freepress the FCC standards created additional barriers of entry for potential competition and ended up stifling existing players. He succinctly put it “this ban has harmful side-effects: it keeps certain types of novel services off the Internet and makes it hard for small, rural carriers (such as Madison River) to achieve profitability.” (Bennett) Market meddling got the US into this mess so it’s not too far of a stretch of the imagination to believe it won’t be able to get the US out of it.

Figure 1

Figure 2

Figure 3

Sources Cited

“32nd Session of the Human Rights Council (13 June to 1 July and 8 July 2016).” Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, United Nations , 1 July 2016, www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/RegularSessions/Session32/Pages/ResDecStat.aspx.

Bennett , Richard. “Fact-Checking Free Press Net Neutrality Violations.” High Tech Forum, 13 July 2017, hightechforum.org/fact-checking-net-neutrality-violations/.

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On the Shoulders of Leviathans

5 min read

By Kabeia Rineaki Brock Sutton Allen

The 1990’s film adaptation of Lord of the Flies is, from the onset, a difficult piece to use to prove either Hobbes or Locke because the individuals already come from pre-established civil society (Locke) but the failure to maintain civil society/Jack’s success would vindicate Hobbes. That is to say, the source material examined could easily be waved away as impure, which could be said for all fiction- even ones that aren’t the 3rd in a line of cinematic interpretations of a book that was written specifically to parody the Lockean themes of R. M. Ballantyne’s The Coral Island.

Conversely, this might be fitting as it seems Locke and Hobbes, despite existing in the same timeline and partaking of the same stream of evidence have chosen to examine different segments of history. While both of their seminal work deals with the organization of society, acknowledging some flavor of anarchy that defines the State of Nature, where they diverge is at the differing points of focus on that timeline.

Writing for The University of Tennessee's IEP, Alexander Mosley’s entry on Locke highlights his lynchpin. “On the whole, Locke’s anarchic state of nature is a benevolent condition of anarchic individualism, rather than Hobbesian brutality and mutual suspicion, in which conscience guides actions and reason (reflecting the law of nature) highlights the wrongness and counter-productivity of aggressing against one’s neighbour.”

Born 44 years after Hobbes, Locke’s data is suspect because of its distance from humanity’s origin. The benevolent individual his arguments rest on is one privileged to live in a society already secured by the Hobbes’s brutish savages. While he criticizes Hobbes for failing to distinguish the State of Nature from the State of War, Locke seems to ignore the primordial state of the individual, the selfish babe, and the state of society prior to civil organization. When left to their own devices, man is most inclined to behave as the indolent or violent as Jack’s boys did in Lord of the Flies.

As culture is accepted by anthropologists to be accumulative then it follows that the condition of society would follow an equally natural tendency for increasing complexity. As was alluded to by the author in the previous paper this irreverent unilineal view of mankind is supported by likes of Maslow and Toffler. “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs when simplified (as all unnecessarily complex things can and should be) reveals the triarchic natural needs of man as first physical survival, emotional desires, and then the intangible fulfillment of self-actualization…  Alvin Toffler found these ideals informed our major revolutions and subsequently the forms of power and political structures built to contain them… Internationally, the nationstates of the world struggle to keep up. While 3rd World Kingdoms and Empires with their conscripted armies still offensively expanded their power to in order to enforce their Rule of Sword, we’ve already seen the worst of them topple.”

Whereas Locke’s source material is rooted in the assumption of the preexisting conditions of civil society, Hobbes is concerned with the state of nature leading up to the formation of that society. The Leviathan (xiii) cites the violent relationship of the first brothers Cain and Abel as examples of Pre-civilization society (or lack thereof). So although Locke seems to focus on his Three Inconveniences as rationals for actually staying in society, Hobbe’s anarchic State of Nature (or War, if you’re nitpicking like Locke) is pacified by that period’s most dominant tyrant.

Thus Ralph’s failure to secure “the kingdom” is stems from his lacking charisma and inability to effectively rule with the Sword. While he was successful as the Colonel Cadet prior to the plane crash, back in a civilization populated by public institutions and adults- his qualifications don’t mean anything in conditions that call for a village Big Man or Chief . Meanwhile Jack is able to effectively sustain his followers with a barbaric but effective organization structured around his constant state of war (as policy not theoretical condition). Ralph’s 2nd tier concerns for being rescued and maintaining his stale version of civil order can’t compete with exciting (and seemingly spartan) existence Jack’s tribe offers. While this distinction is lost in the films, as noticed by critics, when viewed with through the lense of the grand scope of humanities timeline, as Hobbes would, the incongruities become more pronounced.

Simply put, Hobbes is right because he had the more comprehensive understanding of humanity, drawing his data from the headwaters of humanity. Consequently, it is the author’s opinion that this is accomplished despite the heavy handed nature of Golding's novel (Lord of the Flies) and that Hobbes should not be misunderstood as cold-blooded fatalist but as a holistic realist. As the IEP’s Williams concluded, “We will probably interpret Hobbes as a psychological egoist, and think that the problems of political order that obsessed him were the product of an unrealistic view of human nature, or unfortunate historical circumstances, or both. In this case, I suggest, we might as well not have read Hobbes at all.”



Sources

Lord of the Flies

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMBoYBapi8g

 

Lord of the Flies Origin Info

“New Perspectives on British Authors: From William Shakespeare to Graham Greene”

 

UTM IEP Entry on Locke

http://www.iep.utm.edu/locke-po/#SH6a

 

UTM IEP Entry on Hobbes

http://www.iep.utm.edu/hobmoral/

 

Author’s Previous Work

https://tyltk.withknown.com/2018/the-noble-theory

 

Criticism of Lord of the Flies Film

 

https://www.crisismagazine.com/1990/on-screen-a-lord-for-the-lite-generation