Why isn't Internet free for everyone yet?

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Dream, Aug 31, 2012.

  1. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    As much as we like to think the Internet is essential, it is not. It's not a right, like health care is.
     
  2. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

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    It's extraordinarily important for the modern world, so it may be beneficial for it to become a government provided service (much like the postal service), but it still costs money to provide.
     
  3. Mr Silver

    Mr Silver Commodore Newbie

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    A person could always become their own provider, although it's incredibly complicated on the legal front to be your own ISP, but it's not something that the public are prevented from doing. The costs of setting up your own service have the potential to be so great, that it makes more economic sense just to pay the corporations like BT, Comcast, AOL, etc.

    Do I think Internet should be available free across wide areas? Yes and no, I imagine the only way to fund such a project would be an increase in government tax (only slight, but still an increase) or the diversion of funding from an important sector such as healthcare or education for the endeavour.

    I think many people don't realise the sheer amount of hardware, cabling and regular maintenance required to provide high speed internet access across even rural areas.
     
  4. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    I think you'll find some ISP's do upgrade the network. i.e in the UK, BT who own and operate the bulk of the telephone network are in the process of upgrading the network to support faster speeds. (True they are one of many ISP's in the country)
     
  5. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Health care is a right?
    A lot of countries on this planet give you access to health care if you can AFFORD it - otherwise you have to steer clear of it unless you want to be charged ludicrous prices (to that end, how many people were admitted in US into the ER and 'saved from death' only to find themselves with a medical bill they cannot hope to pay off... ever?).

    Here's what I would constitute as 'rights':
    Free and unrestricted access to basic necessities:
    Clean air, clean water, food, shelter/housing, electricity, transport, education, health care, and basic technological amenities (a decent computer system and internet) - all of those (and most wants) can be provided in abundance several times over for every person on this planet.

    Internet is a huge part of global communications today.
    So yes, I could easily classify it as 'essential'.
    But not in a business or profit based sense.
    More to the point that there's an immense potential in its usage for extremely high levels of automation (in terms of economy), coordination, sharing ideas, etc. (of which the latter is used rather well).

    Oh and Alidar Jarok... my apologies if I was a bit insulting - wasn't my intention. I should have structured the first sentence a bit better, however, it was correct in a sense that the bandwidth issue is a technical problem which we can easily overcome with proper maintenance and upgrades - but even without them, they ARE artificially limiting users not because they lack the space, but because they figured they can cap numerous services due to a lack of competition and charge you hefty price tags.
     
  6. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Like in China? :devil:

    Is there actually ANY place on earth where that's the case?
     
  7. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    Biggest reason why it's not "free" is because, well, nothing is really free. But most things at least are very cheap when it comes to getting it.

    Compare cell phones with land-line phones. Cell phones still tend to be more expensive than a basic land-line phone because cell-phones actually use up a resource. Land-line phones don't. On a land-line phone there's something of a physical connection between the caller and the callee. (Even if that physical connection is a bit more muddy than it was in the past.)

    You're not really "using anything up." You being on the phone doesn't prevent someone else from being on the phone and the infrastructure for the system is fairly easily and cheaply built and maintained.

    Cell phones, however, actually use something up. Air waves, bandwith, capacity of towers and servers, etc. etc. One person on a cell phone means one less person somewhere that can be on the same system. Now, sure, the system has greater capacity than it has in the past but it still is limited. Cable internet is the same way, you've probably noticed "down times" when a lot of people in the same system are on-line.

    Internet isn't "free" because it takes a lot of money to maintain the system and the system can only handle so much at once. Were it free the internet would be useless because it wouldn't be able to handle the demand.

    Cable TV isn't free because it takes systems and equipment for it to exist. Satellites have to be used/maintained, dishes, personel, wiring, equipment. It's much different than a basic TV station where a signal is sent out and anyone in the area with the right equipment can simply just pick it up out of the air. What infrastructure there is is maintained by ad revenue.

    Someday we may get there. Someday the expense of building and maintaining the infrastructure for the internet will be much cheaper, someday that infrastructure will be vast enough to accommodate high demand. And that day may be soon but it'd require investment and some sort of supplement to the costs which would mean more advertising on the internet. Because no matter what it won't be so cheap to run/maintain that it can be handed out without any income whatsoever.

    Cell Phones may get there someday as well, prices on them have already came down pretty good over the years but they still tend to be high especially with internet.

    But we'd need a much larger infrastructure and even then some other way for the companies to make money, meaning something being charged or ad revenue.
     
  8. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

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    I am unfamiliar with the services provided in China. Although I do understand it to be night and day between big cities and rural areas - not that this is different from the United States, where quite a few places still don't have access to high speed internet.
     
  9. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    In the manner I described, I don't think so (I could be wrong though) - because, even though we had the ability to produce abundance since 100 years ago in material needs, energy and most wants (along with highly sophisticated technology), and money back then became irrelevant (didn't represent resources anymore), living in a monetary (debt) based economy (which includes socialism, communism and fascism btw) overrides that - because profits come first (not human beings) and those rely on (artificially induced) scarcity and outdated (not to mention inefficient) technology to function.
     
  10. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    This is exactly what I'm talking about.
    People focus on 'money' or 'how much it costs', yet it has nothing to do with actual resources or out technological ability to, for example (and I'm just naming 1 thing out of many), provide bandwidth in abundance to everyone today (which is more than possible).
    Instead of using outdated technology in towers and materials that limit bandwidth, efficiency, not to mention upgrade-ability, we should be using best/superior synthetic (man made) materials that we can produce in abundance, along with best possible technology and efficiency (which is simply NOT done within Capitalism) - not to mention recycle (instead of extracting new resources) everything.

    You may see some companies upgrading here and there, but they are still using (mostly) outdated technology and effectively provide 'revisions' instead of actual 'innovations' or 'technological evolution'.
    Instead of using humans to do the work, use robots/machines (which can be done btw).
    75% of the global population can re put out of work tomorrow by robots/computers.
    No one is 'irreplaceable' for that matter because there are millions of sophisticated algorithms running on servers right now learning everything we do in record time - which is something humans cannot compare with.
    Money is an obstacle - a nuisance that has to be grinded into dust (which only persisted for as long as it did because the general population lacks relevant general education).
     
  11. gturner

    gturner Admiral

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    So in your utopia, nobody has a job and nobody has any money. Admittedly, we're getting there, but people don't seem to like it very much.
     
  12. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Utopia is a misconception that doesn't exist.
    It implies 'perfection' (which again doesn't exist) and stagnation.
    You may think it's 'perfect' because it radically differs from what we have right now, but its not.
    We are transitioning into an 'emergent society' and will end up eventually in a resource based economy (its not 'perfect' or 'utopia' by any stretch of the word... just a lot better than what we have now).

    The only reason people might not be satisfied with automation NOW is because we still live in a system where money is used as means of survival (let alone doing anything else) and they were brainwashed by Hollywood to perceive technology as something bad that will turn on us and destroy us (this is the single most ludicrous thing I've ever heard in my life - Arthur C. Clarke also mentioned something along the same lines).

    Within our current (capitalist) environment, we require jobs in order to live - without them, you are as good as dead.
    Point is, it doesn't have to be like that.
    We can free humans from this stupid idiocy for work (we had the ability to automate a great deal of things a century ago and need humans for few operational purposes and maintenance).
    We can focus on creative tasks and actual problem solving.
    Unleash technology for betterment of mankind (instead of to its detriment like it has been done).

    Eliminate money from the equation, provide every person on the planet with relevant general education, and access abundance, and you will see a radically different attitude.
    Also, with a global population which is exposed to relevant general education (critical thinking and the tendency to question everything and be problem solvers), the prospect for being used or manipulated dissipates, as does a moronic tendency for 'people in positions of power' or 'governments' - and in turn you can effectively have an entire global population being comprised of 'renaissance men and women'.

    Projecting failed systems of the past into something new is a manifestation of fear - nothing more.
    Opposition will occur once Capitalism crashes.
    Its up to us to choose something better that will benefit everyone (and not just the select few).
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2012
  13. scotthm

    scotthm Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    This won't help anything. People will still want to live better than their neighbors and be able to purchase the favors of others. You can't change human nature by changing an economy.

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  14. gturner

    gturner Admiral

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    Hrm... So who stocks the shelves at your grocery store, and why would they bother if they get resources whether they work or not? Who builds your house, and again, why would they bother? Who wires it up, and who repairs the powerlines after an ice storm? Who hauls your trash away? Who spends their day behind the desk at a hotel and who cleans your room when you leave? Who does all the things to support your existence and who builds and maintains all of the automation that's producing the raw materials?

    Secondly, since you're nothing but a drain on the system, not paying or contributing anything, wouldn't it make more sense to divert all the resources going to you to someone who's a bit more productive?

    Money is a place holder that sends the market (ie people) signals about the value of various products and services so they can allocate time and resources productively, as opposed to some communist countries where nobody had toilet paper or feminine hygience products and factories sometimes paid their employees with crates of dildos.

    What you describe is more of a cargo cult. Nobody builds anything and they just sit around waiting for magical stuff to arrive.

    Hrm... Here's a question. Do you know what the "capital" in capitalism is, and why it works?
     
  15. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Human nature doesn't exist.
    Human behavior on the other hand is a different story (and that can be changed - if it couldn't, we'd still be living in caves).
    What you are talking about are wants - those are a mere byproduct of society you live in - and capitalism distorts values on a massive scale encouraging consumerism which is wasteful (planned obsolescence and cyclical consumption) for the sake of profits which also damages the very planet we depend on to live - coupled with a broken educational system which doesn't promote critical thinking, problem solving or sustainability - nor does it provide people with RELEVANT general education (because if it did, they wouldn't be prone to being manipulated, used - and they would be able to govern themselves, effectively eliminating governments in the process).
    We have the ability to produce abundance for every person on the planet to such a degree where they can live 2 to 3x better than the richest person on the planet today.
    People often forget that money provides nothing more than access to something.
    Creating a system based on access abundance (usership, instead of ownership) is possible - and no, not everyone would want to use a villa, a mansion, a car, yacht or even a penthouse (so please don't project).
    To top it off, is it efficient or viable for everyone to 'own' 1 of everything? No. And its unnecessary because not everyone wants the same things in the first place.

    First off, were you NOT paying attention when I mentioned automation?
    Robotic arms have been invented in 1958 and we have robotic 'servants' TODAY.
    However, since not everything is fully automated, some degree of physical labor until full automation can be brought in might be required (but not nearly as much as you might think) - and I need not remind you that there are numerous people who do various things because they WANT to.
    Money is not the only motivation, and the purpose is to maximize automation wherever possible and remove humans from these aspects because they SLOW THINGS DOWN (machines do the same jobs hundreds/thousands of times faster, more efficient while not requiring sleep, breaks, pensions or health plans - among other things).

    Second... 80% of the global population are in the service industry contributing nothing to society in the process.
    The world economy is based on mere movement of money (that's how money is made today).

    Those kinds of notions are vestiges of outdated/limited thinking that doesn't take into account our technological development or automation.
    Money stopped representing resources a century ago when we had the ability produce abundance via technology (which is what humans have been doing since the industrial revolution).
    Informing yourself of our history and technological breakthroughs over the past 120 years alone would be prudent.

    The very same system that resulted in 1% of the global population controlling 40% of the worlds resources today?
    The system in which 50% of the global population lives on less than $2 per day?
    The system that produces artificial scarcity and results in close to 1.3 billion people who are currently starving, even though humanity has been producing enough to feed 10 billion annually for over 30 years?
    The system that causes 15 million children deaths every year?
    The system which doesn't tend to human needs and keeps basic necessities of life from you just so you would be subservient to the system and generate profit for someone else (slavery)?
    The system that says we have an energy crisis even though we could have globally transitioned to geothermal and wind for baseload production by 1929 (at the latest) along with Tesla's wifi power transfer technology (which he made/demonstrated in 1891)?
    The system that gives an illusion of a democracy even though it never existed?
    The system that uses war as an excuse to attack other cultures for the purpose of obtaining their resources, killing people in the process, creating propaganda and intolerance - and also heavily profiteers from the said conflicts heavily?

    Oh yes... I can see how the system 'works'.
     
  16. scotthm

    scotthm Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    No, of course not. It's just an amazing coincidence that throughout the various cultures of Earth people laugh when they're happy and cry when they're sad.

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  17. gturner

    gturner Admiral

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    And they all nod their heads up and down for yes and side-to-side for no. Purely random chance. Purely.

    I'm not sure whether to touch that whole comment with a stick or not. It would be like trying to explain broadband frequency hopping to a hunter-gatherer. I can do it, but it would be a lot of work and time, and time is money.
     
  18. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Last edited: Sep 2, 2012
  19. gturner

    gturner Admiral

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    I might as well wade in.

    Human nature definitely exists. It's genetic (clue - cats don't build amusement parks and monkeys don't build banana farms) and many of the same patterns appear in all societies and cultures.

    For example, all humans build tools to build tools, something never observed in other species, even species that use tools. All humans shake their heads up and down for yes and side-to-side for no, even though that should be a random and arbitrary behavior, and even though head shaking isn't logically connected to the truth or falsity of a proposition, nor to desires. Laughing and crying could likewise be flipped around, but aren't.

    All human societies display vengeance, jealousy, compassion, greed, ostracism, etc, and these some of these social emotions were hardwired into the brain by grafting perceptions to our existing circuits that respond to physical pain, parenting, etc.

    Most police calls are the result of innate behaviors (vengeance, jealousy, rape, gang warfare, murder, theft, looting, rioting) which are often beneficial to members of primitive hunter-gatherer tribes, but cause severe problems in modern society. We haven't had a society that encourages or rewards those behaviors in centuries, in many cases for thousands of years, yet the behaviors beneficial to cave men are still stubbornly with us, waiting to be triggered in the right circumstance.

    People who've never stolen anything in their lives will line up to loot big-screen TV's during a riot (two innate behaviors), and people will honk horns, bang pots, and get out of their cars to form a packed mob that screams at a large predator threatening a human, even if they've never seen a large predator attack anyone before. Monkeys do the same thing, minus the car horns.


    All humans have innate social behaviors, tuned for tribe sized groups that were sometimes competitors with other tribes, sometimes attacked by predators, and always hunting.. From these come our intuitive sense of fairness, sharing, mutual exchanges, suspicion of strangers, hierarchies, and really odd behaviors like lynching and hanging dismembered bodies in trees (one of the few ways to send a message to large cats and other predators).

    Fairness and sharing have recently been traced to the need to maintain a strong tribal hunting party, because well-fed hunters make the entire group more successful in subsequent hunts. Like many of our social behaviors, it breaks down when the group size passes about 150 people, which is wear more advanced behaviors like profit have to step in, otherwise the free-rider problem becomes unworkable. Hundreds of attempts at utopian socialism over a century and a half have slammed into the wall of group size.

    When an actor bawls like a baby for a scene, thinking of the dog that was run over when he was six, the only external stimulus is his smoking hot co-star in a night gown. Human's think, and thoughts can produce emotions.

    Then how come people all over the world can watch each others' movies and understand exactly what's going on internally to the characters? When we watch wildlife documentaries we have no idea what the gazelle is actually thinking and feeling, or the lion, or how it feels to be either. Yet everyone understands characters written by Homer, Aristophanes, Shakespeare, the Brontes, Kurosawa, and Chuck Lorre.

    That's simple in-group/out-group familiarity. Hunter-gatherer's go through the same process in learning to trust adopted or captured members of other tribes. It's also a fluid system that can run the other way, such as during a civil war when people who used to be "one of us" become "one of them." It's not retraining human behavior, is taking easy advantage of its immutable existence.

    Homer's Illiad is full of in-group/out-group dynamics, along with rage, jealousy, greed, pride, arrogance, vengeance, courage, shame, and fear. Thousands of years later, and thousands of miles away, we still read it because, like Shakespeare, he described innate human behaviors and emotions in a way that an audience of humans, all humans, can well understand.

    If it weren't for our innate behavioral and emotional wiring, we'd react to something as old and alien as the Iliad with perplexed astonishment, like a person trying out a computer operating system with a horrible user-interface built on a completely different an unfamiliar paradigm, where we play with it like a Rubik's cube until we give up in frustration. Our reaction to the Iliad would be "WTF? That doesn't make sense. Why doesn't Achilles play jumping jacks with Hector? Why isn't Agamemnon talking about casual Fridays? Why doesn't Paris do a stand-up comedy routine while juggling sea turtles?

    And you'd greedily hunt, then share the game with your hunting party, try to catch the eye of the chief's daughter, fly into a rage when someone steals your favorite clay pot and hunt them down and beat them to a pulp. Then you'd get married, have kids, and teach them how to hunt, and someday be in charge of trade negotiations with the neighboring tribe. If you wrote a good poem about your life with the tribe, the translation might hit the New York Times' bestseller list.

    Yes they do. Sarah Palin's husband is an eskimo, as are NHL hockey players, singers, painters, sculptors, and a film producer who was at Cannes. Some of them hop on a snowmobile and go bear hunting with a Remington, and some prefer a pickup truck. Many of them work in the oil and gas industry.

    If the cultural differences were so vast, I don't think the US would've had a Kaw Senate Majority Leader and US Vice President who grew up on a reservation, spoke Kansan as his first language, French as his second language, and English as his third. I don't think we'd have had Indians and immigrants serving as military commanders from the Revolutionary war on.

    Just as an example, in WW-II a Cherokee who'd grown up in a log cabin commanded many of our aircraft carrier task forces, including the one that attacked Okinawa and sank the Yamato, and later commanded the US 7th fleet, with 225 warships and 70,000 men. He retired a full admiral, and became chief of the Cherokee and Sioux nations.

    Cherokee values and Navy values must not be all that different or the admiral and his captains wouldn't have understood each other's thinking, or the Cherokee and Sioux couldn't have figured out what the chief was talking about when he told them about his fast carrier air-support strategies for ground troops in Korea, which the Army called "Cherokee strikes."

    Getting back to economic behaviors, why do lions defend a kill if they're not greedy? Why won't they share with hyenas and vultures? Why do human hunters do the same, having a precedence of who they'll share with, never sharing with lions and vultures, and trading food for status in the tribe?

    Why, under Soviet communism where free-trade, market capitalism, and material want weren't supposed to exist, did a worker have to haggle with a coworker over the black-market price of a bottle of vodka? They hadn't had a market ecnomy in generations, yet it stubbornly refused to die, even among people who'd never grown up with it and were taught from childhood that it was inefficient, evil, and wrong.
     
  20. darkshadow0001

    darkshadow0001 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    There used to be some free Internet services back in the day. NetZero used to offer a free service and I used to use a free service called Juno. I'm sure there were others, but those are all I can remember. I think a lot of it has to do with greed, once people realize they can make money with this.
     

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