One Step Forward, (Insert # Here) Steps Backward


I remember being debriefed by a senior agency partner in 1998. I had just returned from an interview assignment in Latvia. An “interview” is where a low-level nube gets to go out into the field and collect as much information as possible regarding assignment subject matter. In this case, the subject matter was trying to figure out how it was possible that such a small country in the outskirts #eurowasteland could have the best interwebnet connect-ability in the world. With a briefcase full of notes, spreadsheets, presentations, local newspaper clippings and two full 36mb camera memory cards I presented to the senior partner how the little country in the north did it.  I also brought with me a few hundred megabytes of web data (on disks) that I downloaded in order to measure network speeds, encryption methods, server performance, etc. Whether in a hotel in Riga or a fancy bed & breakfast on the coast, all I had to do was plug in an ethernet (lan) cable and the digital world was mine. In contrast, in Germany–where I was based–I was still plugging into the Interwebnets using xx-baud modems and waiting for every world wide webpage to download as though Kingdomcum was impotent. But that’s neither here nor there. And it was a long time ago.

Spring forward to someone’s future. The interwebnets is practically ubiquitous these days. Yet, consider the time between when I investigated Latvia’s advancements and the current state of computer hardware. If you ask me, things have gone rather slow. Most of the western world has caught up to what Latvia did. Yet something is missing. There’s obviously many fronts on the war of human freedom. The main fronts though are about how an individual can actually practice his/her freedom. And it is here where the apparatus of government and capital interests intersect in a stealthy, corporate healthy way. It would seem that recent judicial rulings and infrastructure outcomes regarding the interwebnets prove that freedom is winning the war against corporate control. The net neutrality rolling by the US FCC is most encouraging. Yet, in another article, on a completely different subject matter, something else lingers under the war that is being fought. On the one hand government has ruled against capital interests by not allowing ISPs to control my internet access. On the other hand that same government is using the interwebnets to overtly spy on people, which obviously goes against the 4th Amendment.

So I guess what we’re dealing with here is simple. While one front in the war for freedom seems to be won there are other fronts that creep-in to show the battle must rage on. Or maybe not. What the fuck do I care.

Rant on. -Tommi

Links that motivated this post: