Free and Open Internet

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          I make it no secret that the views and opinions on this site are wholly my own. I feel it is important to look at each issue in the micro and macro.

          I support a free and open internet. I NEED a free and open internet. This is the same for all independent entrepreneurs, start-up companies, or artists. The ramifications are vast if this issue, commonly under the banner of “net neutrality”, are left to the machinations of internet service providers.

          This will come as a shock to many people that know me, but I do not like being dependent on the internet. It is a wonderful tool. It is a personal failing that I get so hooked into my electronics that little else matters. For the sake of a career, I have to go where the people are. And we the people use the internet. Outside of WordPress, I have everything from Facebook outlets to Instagram. It is easy to cross-post my content and have it reach the maximum number of potential audience members. I have made some headway this year. Since becoming a Steam Curator a few months ago I have seen steady traffic to my blog. My fear is that when left to ISPs, my ability to grow will be locked behind more paywalls.

          I was probably a “cord cutter” before there was a word for it. The few times I had access to cable there were less than a handful of channels I’d actually watch. Cable itself was a hard purchase to justify. Spending a noticeable percentage of my monthly income for channel packages that I could never get full usage out it led me to save my money. With some patience, I could wait until shows came out and I could rent them back in the days of video stores. With the original incarnation of Netflix, shipping DVDs to ones’ home, this was made easier. And as digital distribution became ubiquitous acquiring media to watch has been easier than ever. Plus I can even do it legally. In my adult life, I have never paid a cable company for those services.

          For my business, I need open internet, to reach as many people as possible. For my entertainment, I need open internet, to draw from whichever source has the media I want. For everything in between, I need open internet. Being able to pursue new interests and curiosities is vital to my personal growth.

          I do not want to think that companies would simply cut off aspects of the internet. If I had a “Gamers’ Package” because that is my strongest leaning, they wouldn’t ban me from watching YouTube. But it may be so limited that doing so wouldn’t be feasible. I recently lived with a slow internet connection. In order to watch a video, I would have to let it play through once. This kept it loaded in the browser. Otherwise, I would have to contend with buffering every twenty seconds. A five-minute video took a half hour to get through. Running more videos slowed it down. Sometimes the best thing I could do was start a half dozen videos before going to sleep and viewing them when I awoke. Although if my browser or computer restarted, or the power went out for any reason, I was back to square one.

          Additionally, I am under no illusion that ISPs will not strong arm companies to get more money out of them. If put in control I truly think they would charge customers more money for more limited internet access. I think they would also charge companies (Netflix, YouTube, WordPress, Steam, whoever they could) more money to ensure they had swift connection speeds. If both sides don’t pay up, ISPs could keep traffic from flowing.

          At the end of 2013 and into the beginning of 2014 Comcast and Netflix were in negotiations. The cable company/ISP at one point limited bandwidth to Netflix. Customers complained and Netflix was forced to meet Comcast’s demands. Practices like this would become standard operating procedure were the FCC to allow it. Once that sets in, there would be no way around it. The companies at the top of the mountain would be able to stay there safely as the path for others to do so would be too arduous.

Solutions

          Going forward the only thing to do is to “play the game” as my father would say. It seems as though this issue will come up occasionally, and only with diligence can the present boundaries be held. Personally, it has become an issue that will be put on my voting checklist. Know the legal measures linked to this, and ensure that it is included in all correspondences. Namely, this would ensure oversight of internet service providers as outlined in Title II. Whatever you use the internet for, I feel it would behoove you to join me in ensuring it is free and open for everyone.

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Back-Up Plans

          I did not hop on National Novel Writing Month with the fervor I should have. I hold this failure to my inaction, as I should.

          I have this weird occurrence in my mind. Do you know the feeling you get when someone compliments you on a job well done? I get that feeling when people cheer me on regarding a plan. One the one hand, the encouragement spurns me on like little else. But if I can’t get around to a task I also feel no stress from it. As such, I tend to work in a void. I cut out all potential distractions, drop all communications, and just sit with my keyboard and my thoughts. Some of my friends have pointed out this pattern, citing that I disappear except for three-day intervals around when I complete an article. As I failed to uphold this months’ original objectives I will be committing myself to rounding out a few articles that I did not complete last month and a few important topics that have come up in the interim.

          What, then, did I spend much of my time doing? Outside of family gatherings later in the month, a great deal of time was spent catching up on shows that I had left hanging. So great was my drive to write that I let these fall by the wayside. All of these “distractions” worked wonders in relieving stress that I wasn’t even aware that had built up. I’ll be returning to my writing with a lot more pleasure than I would have otherwise, and that is invaluable.

          A message to anyone who is creative: Do not get too down on yourself if you suddenly take a break. Short of missing a professional deadline just get back to the headspace to craft and create. I know many friends who are now parents that feel they can’t indulge as they once did, and they are right. But there is a unique opportunity in creating with your children. As long as you feel the need, creation is at your fingertips.

          As is the way of the world, I have real life tasks and more face time to put in. to attend to. I do so happily. I look forward to December with a renewed vigor.

Meditative Focus: A Soul Defiant

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          I see myself as one of the worse types of people: One who buries their head in light of the ills of the world. Problems seem so massive. Corruption is rampant. Violence is as enduring a cultural trait as understanding is for others. This is a lack of respect, seemingly no desire to bridge gaps on a large scale. It has worn on me all my life and I feel diminished that it still stands.

          Even when I feel drowned by the tide I still myself. My resources are negligible. My reach is finite. But I do what I can. I show love, respect, and understanding to children in the hope that they spread it in the world after I am gone. If I have the means to help those that cross my path I do. I try to swiftly settle debts and problems that come my way. I feel it is… not enough. But it is what I can do.

          I scream. My heart breaks. But one cannot force peace. So I cultivate the fields as I can. Hope. Love. Truth. Balance. In the infinite darkness, I will be Light.

(originally written November 15, 2015)

Getting Started… Tomorrow

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          National Novel Writing Month has been in full swing. So have I, to be honest, which is why I didn’t jump right on it. I aim to average 2,000 words a day. If I can meet that I have just enough time for the 50,000 goal. Ordinarily I like to keep my buffer days spread throughout the month for when I need a break or for feasting. Such is life that they were used up front. I am not overly concerned with not meeting the goals. I have been writing consistently, and will keep at it. I do think I will change my monthly schedule up.

          For now, food and rest. Tomorrow will be the first of many busy days.

Meditative Focus: Resolution

I was not a good person in the past.

Many people remember me favorably, but I remember much in the way of poor choices that I have made. I have spent the past few weeks in a dour funk because of it. My dreams at night have been the ills and agonies I’ve inflicted.

          I think, in many cases, we cannot truly make up for the past. Wounds do not heal perfectly. All I can do is identify what I did wrong. As I hold those acts in my being that do not sit well with me. Due to this, I can ensure to greater measure that at least I don’t cause the same hurts again.

          I am not perfect.

          While I love a good redemption story, there is never really any end. At times the best thing I can do is to exit peoples’ lives and remove myself from situations. At others, I am obligated to fix what I broke.

          I was once pleased with myself and my life. Looking back at those periods now I see how much came at the expense of others. I am afraid that I owe more than I can repay, and I still must go through life hat in hand.

All I can resolve going forward is to be better, and to do what I can.

 

This, and Next, Month

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          I did not complete all the articles I wished to for October. So it goes. I will hammer them out as I can, and update hub pages accordingly. November marks the beginning of National Novel Writing Month. I have participated in years’ past but I am presently uncertain if I will be able to commit to it in full this year. However, I do need to work on my own fiction again, so either way something will be produced.

          For those that enjoy one prong of my work more than others, thank you for being patient as I hone in on other facets. It is my hope that starting in January I can have a few writing days a week. If I can manage that I think I can get caught up on much of my backlog and even make advances in other areas.

          In any case, wherever you read, I hope you do so happily.

Feelings and Civil Disobedience

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          “Never delve into the comments section” is an internet commandment I hold powerfully to. It has saved me a lot of headaches. The reasoning is that any arguments that ensue, which seem to be inevitable, go nowhere. Everyone has their stances. And like any beginner martial artist, people lock into their stances too rigidly. It is very rare that people come away from these exchanges any better off. Or, I should say, it is limited to particular communities in which growth occurs.

Recently I broke my rule. Continue reading