Jon Stewart Explains Why Lottery, Ponies Are Good For The Internet's Tubes

from the hide-the-women-and-the-internets! dept

Okay, this one is just a fun one that ties together nicely some of the topics we’ve been discussing lately. Jon Stewart, whose Daily Show just upset some folks in Congress for highlighting the absurdity of their views on video games, has decided to take on a couple of stories we’ve been focused on: network neutrality and online gambling. In fact, he specifically focuses on Ted Stevens’ amusing explanation of how the internet works, and wondering why someone who clearly doesn’t understand the internet gets to regulate it. He then explains why betting on horses and the lottery is okay, even though online gambling is not. The two are related, you see: the horses and the lottery are needed to keep those internet tubes clear (the explanation begins around minute four). It involves a nice diagram, courtesy of Ted Stevens’ brain. Stewart, on the “delay” Stevens faced in the delivery of the “internet” his staff sent him: “Maybe it’s because, you don’t seem to know jack s*** about computers or the internet. But, hey, that’s okay, you’re just the guy in charge of regulating it.”

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Comments on “Jon Stewart Explains Why Lottery, Ponies Are Good For The Internet's Tubes”

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PopeRatzo says:

Yeah, this is funny as hell, but afterward, I started to think about how powerful this turd Stevens really is.

And it reminds me just who the Republicans who are currently running this country are.

Jon Stewart is one funny guy, but after a while the laughs turn to anger, and make one realize how much trouble we’re in.

Rod T says:

Re: Re:Ted Stevens -- and his Left Wing Tendencies.

First, my friend, all the “regulators” are anti-American — and the Dems are number one. They want to regulate your kids, prescribe and proscribe what is taught in school, control your money through the IRS and a complex progressive tax system, control your medications through a power mad and destructive FDA, continue the ATF which should’ve been disbanded long ago, make everyone submit to the searches at airports rather than profiling and improving security, keep taxes high so that we have to ask permission to keep our money and play their games, cause schools to operate under quotas regulated by them, support an FCC that wants to regulate free speech and keep the broadcast licenses in the hands of mass media, regulate election campaign financing — remember it’s called McCain/Feingold — two liberal, lefties from different partis, etc. etc. Freedom is where it’s at. Liberal Democrats pose as freedom loving but they’re socialists which proves where they’re actually coming from. Republicans are only about 1% better.

But what idiocy to think these mean old Republicrats are the oppressors. The BIG GOVERNMENT guys like Kennedy believe it’s their right and obligation to control everything you do, and everything you think. Who, after all, came up with the communist idea of “hate crimes?” Who came up with “political correctness?” Who forces everyone from corporate types to students to soldiers to take “sensitivity training?” which is really just another way of them coercing you into thinking the way they want. WHO? The Left, that’s who. Wake up. You’re under their control. Get Free. You were created as a sovereign being. They have NO RIGHT to regulate anything concerning your basic freedoms. In the name of justice and equality they steal your life. Fight back.

Jon M says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:Ted Stevens -- and his Left Wing Tenden

He wasn’t defending hate crimes. He was referring to the idea that it makes no sense to give a harsher punishment to a criminal for committing a crime against a victim of another race or gender preference than the government would give to that criminal for committing the very same crime against a victim of the criminal’s own race and gender preference.

That is to say that it should not be considered any worse for a white man to kill a black woman than for a white man to kill a white woman. Not everyone believes that state-mandated inequality is a remedy for social inequality.

MrPaladin says:

I dont think it's a Rep/Dem issue

I think its more of a sign of the times and the baby boomers issue, old folks just dont understand computers because they were never taught them and arn’t inspired to learn… I go out to their houses all the time, and its like I’m talking a different language that I have to repeat 5 times for them still not to get it… trying to explain the computers file system like a file cabinate only to get a blank stare and the question ‘So thats why its called a folder?’

I went out to a guys place resently because he had purchased nortons Big software package for his older machine and could not install it because he had an older 2002 version already installed… after installing and uninstalling everything to get it right he then went back later and tried to install his older 2002 version ontop of the 2006 version beccause the 2006 version ‘didn’t look right’…. so I had to go and do it all again because of incompatibilitys causeing the whole thing to mess up…

Sure some older folks (Boomers) out there might be reading this and cussing me out, but let me ask you guys this, if it came down to it could you format your machine, and reload your operating system without help? Without pulling statistics I would probably say that 70 percent or more of 20 yr olds could, without having taken any sort of class in it… the other 30 percent would only have to call for driver issues…

nunya_bidness says:

Re: I dont think it's a Rep/Dem issue

The only reason 20 somethings are so good at reformatting and reinstalling is they constantly screw up thier machines and have to do it all the time. Other than that they know little about computers and what makes them work. Proof being the file cabinet analogy, where I come from we call it the directory structure. Had to go there.

Station says:

Re: Re: I dont think it's a Rep/Dem issue

I think that the file cabinet analogy is perfectly valid, especially when trying to explain what a directory structure is to my 90 year old grandfather. The best way to get the message across is to relate it to something the “student” iunderstands, or in this case, a file cabinet. Hence “analogy” and not “literal definition”.

Also, I don’t think the point was that all 20 somthings could do is reformat and reinstall, it was an example. First, you are going to have a hard time telling me I screw up my machine therefore I SHOULD know how to reformat and reinstall. The arguement is equally valid when using a different example, such as installing a new hardware device (made easy by windows and linux nowadays, but still beyond my father) or the basic understanding that Internet Explorer is NOT THE INTERNET.

The problem really is just the same problem that every generation has with the previous one, which is rediscovered and thought to be something completely new but in reality is as old as generational differences. If you grow up with it, its easy to learn and understand. People stop learning about new things as they get older, which is why the term “newfangled” is still around and why older people can seem out of touch talking about something new unless they are in the industry. My grandfather was a marine, a mechanic, a HAM Radio specialist/repair man and completely interested in new things for his entire life. The best he can do on the internet is email and websites. Is that because he is dumb or incapable of learning? No, its because he didn’t grow up with it. Much like the generation previous to his didn’t all grow up with cars, or television, or airplanes, or even electricity. Older people have a harder time learning about new tech since it isn’t just there for them to learn, but instead they would have to go out of their way. Plus, kids learn a lot faster, mainly because there is less in there to start 😉

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: I dont think it's a Rep/Dem issue

It isn’t that they stop learning. We learn by building relationships on what we already know. We solve problems by culling our working knowledge base to derive answers. Your grandparents send letters instead of emails because the post office is fast enough and what they are accustomed to using.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

nunya_bidness says:

Re: Re: Re: I dont think it's a boomer issue

Firt of all 90 year olds are not baby boomers, dos used the term directory structure too, I did not say you should reformat and reinstall and, most 20 somethings think Internet Explorer is the internet. My point was that reformatting and reinstalling is done by people who know little about computers, because if they did they could maintain it rather than start over every time something goes wrong. I work with people like this everyday and I do run many different OS’s. Oh yeah, plus I am full of my own self worth, who’s sefl worth are you full of. LMAO dude chill out.

MrPaladin says:

Re: Re: I dont think it's a Rep/Dem issue

Hey, I’d prefer if the Guy in charge had reformatted his machine several times because it had screwed up…. because this would give him insight into two things…

1- computers get screwed up royally by malware found on the net…

2- he has the power to regulate the net…

I think everyone should reformat their machine as soon as they get it, that way they know no matter what comes allong they can fix any software issue… hardware is another story…

Louis. says:

Re: Re: I dont think it's a Rep/Dem issue

The only reason 20 somethings are so good at reformatting and reinstalling is they constantly screw up thier machines and have to do it all the time. Other than that they know little about computers and what makes them work. Proof being the file cabinet analogy, where I come from we call it the directory structure. Had to go there.

(Rollseyes) Whatever you say grandpa.

Yes, yes, we know, when you were a kid, there was only four channels on the TV and you had to cycle to school every day.

Chana Campos says:

Re: Re: I dont think it's a Rep/Dem issue

I agree that most 20 year old users haven’t a clue as to how computers work. As a 55 year old woman – compute that – I teach developers and consultants all over the world in software architectures, languages and security issues. Most of them haven’t a clue as to how to use a command line, look for security breaches or even know what services should be running in a typical Windows OR Linux environment. How many 20 year olds can interpret a register or reverse engineer a binary??? So give me a break – I agree that lots of computer users are clueless – but I get the same blank stares from some 20/30 year olds that you’re getting from the 50-guys. Also, learning to spell when you’re going to criticize a group would be a good step, don’t you think?

Dam says:

Re: I dont think it's a Rep/Dem issue

I go out to their houses all the time, and its like I’m talking a different language that I have to repeat 5 times for them still not to get it.

Format and install my OS? I’d beat your butt off. Have you installed Linux yet?
So, because you service a few clueless people, we’re all clueless? Listen up junior.

I am 54 and have been building and administering PCs, servers and networks since 1985. My 48 year-old wife is a high school teacher who, among other things, teaches intro to computers to HS students – and many of them haven’t got a clue either. Your 70/30 stats would have to be reversed, because that would be closer to reality

You don’t call on people who understand the technology because they don’t need you. Operation of TVs has confounded the clueless in our society for decades, but they still use them.

It’s true, many of the older people don’t understand the PC and are frankly intimidated by it. But that’s also true for many younger users too.

Don’t make broad generalizations based on your limited experience. It’s boomers that created the PC and Mac and about 80% of the OSs out there. Yeah, even Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak are in their 50s now.

Old John says:

Re: I dont think it's a Rep/Dem issue

I’m 72 and help other seniors learn to us their computers with a course at our Condo complex. Most only want to manage their assets, read emails and look up medical facts on the internet. The don’t download music, play action games or want to watch TV on a little screen.

All of the recent developments in computer technology are to allow media “improvement”. These additions usually effect the basic uses of the computer and require continual re-installing and updating of programs they use daily. They have investments that require records for IRS purposes. These are not short term investments (3 to 6 months), but long term (5 to 10 year) investment. They were backed up to floppies which don’t exist on new computers. The CD’s they switched to will probably be gone in a few years and un readable. The on line back up resources provide no responsible safe and secure records, as the companies providing them go in and out of business daily, or have poor security. They don’t live to maintain their computers and have learned not to trust most computer services. It appears that they exist only to sell this weeks “Gee Whiz” technology.

I’m a retired engineer, and I don’t believe that a product is useful, unless a consumer can use it without reading a 200 page on line manual on-line while starring at a compute screen and making notes. Take some time to de-bug programs with real users not programers. Take responsibility for the products you create and repair the problems before they are offered for sale. To para-phrase Bill Gates “The old model T still runs and can get you from on place to another, using available gasoline, oil and parts, which was its purpose”. I wish you could say that for the computer industry. The computer industry would move the ignition key slot to the trunk, the gas pedal to the rear seat and call that an improvement version II.

Concerning the youthful knowledge base you mentioned, I get at least one call a day to remove the spyware, virsuses and tracking programs put on Grandma’s computer by their children and grandchildren who have no idea what they are doing. They just press buttons, agreeing to anything without reading the fine print, if it is there, because it might be “neat”. Grandma gets a new computer with different programs, different terms for operations, and features they will never use. Most of the young “educated” computer user are nothing but data typists without knowledge of how the computer works.

Before dumping seniors, realize they have money, not debts, always buy quality and are loyal to suppliers that back up their products.

Orton says:

Re: I dont think it's a Rep/Dem issue

I disagree – not only with your estimated stats but with your point altogether. I doubt highly is 70% of kids 20 and younger could attempt bring a system online from scratch. I know a lot of teenagers and none of them could pull it off. Such things are still left up to a much smaller margin kids included to bother learning such a thing. Computer construction will likely never be absorbed as a “common knowledge” thing like say, using cable TV or the internet.

I’ve be working on computers since I was 12 and I wouldn’t expect anyone to know how to format anything on a computer. People shouldn’t have to. I don’t format my TV or refridgerator. I certainly do not perform all the necessary maintenance on my car myself. Sure, you might change your oil but the percentage of car owners willing to replace the transmission themselves would be quite low I’m sure.

A computer that is useful won’t require the user to know much about it’s internal workings – digital for the most of the Earth’s population is synonymous with magical and that perfectly OK.

I’ve been tinkering with computers for over 20 years, but I’d never expect the average consumer to know or even care about how a computer works, much less be able to put one together. Geeks brought these things out of data centers and to our homes inspite fo the fact that they are largely a quirky gizmo that until recently, didn’t have a great deal of value in the average home. Don’t blame the boomers, it just isn’t quite there yet. My parents love computing and my dad has built a few computers on his own – even though he’s pre-boomer. It’s not impossible for boomers to learn this stuff – it’s just that they do care to and nobody should be bothered by that.

spittin' madboomer says:

Re: I dont think it's a Rep/Dem issue

So what your saying is without “Boomers” you’d have no job?

And yes, I can format a drive and install an OS all by myself. I can also partition drives, build RAID arrays and figure out that there is no “ANY” key.

Now a question for you, can you go to your garage, buiild a computer from scratch(with no help), market it and revolutionize the PC world?

Oh wait, theres no need…A couple of “Boomers” already have.

BTW, I bet more boomers vote and that is why people like Stevens are in offi….errr…nevermind

Yarmar says:

Re: I dont think it's a Rep/Dem issue

if it came down to it could you format your machine, and reload your operating system without help?

Duh…yeah; my kids, on the other hand, nope. They learned on Windows while I learned on a multitude of platforms, all without a pretty GUI sitting on top of them.

To further bust your stereotype, I am female.

I’ve had a concerned salesMAN refuse to believe that I understand the difference between a USB and a parallel port. He frowned and gently informed me that it was not the “regular printer cable” that I needed. He seemed pretty certain that I was confused and would be back because my cable wouldn’t fit.

I’ve had my son’s friends nod condescendingly at me when I advise them that they are headed for computer headaches by installing a truckload of crap. Do they listen? Of course not! Folks like you have informed them that I am an idiot. Many end up running systems that barely function and whine all the time about needing new computers.

What’s more, the older folks I know who do not like to learn on their own by trial and error are not going to jump in embrace any type of learning that requires them to deal with people who treat them as if they are a “hopeless cause”. The attitude of many young geeks is so smug, and their demenor so rude that technology is uninviting to the uninitiated.

JonJo says:


“It reminds me who the republicans who are currently running this country are”.

Sure, Stevens doesn’t know what he’s talking about. But don’t smash the GOP. Dems just sit around complaining. They don’t DO anything, ever. They just complain about the current situation never providing a solution.

Wolfger (profile) says:

Re: none

Dems just sit around complaining. They don’t DO anything, ever. They just complain about the current situation never providing a solution.

Not to defend Dems (I hate both of the major parties), but don’t you think, just maybe, the “never providing a solution” stems from the fact that they are a minority voice in a majority-rules government? I mean, seriously… do you even pay attention to politics? Dems propose lots of solutions. They just can’t get the Republicans to approve any of them. All blame must go to the party in control.

Andy says:

Re: none

“They don’t DO anything, ever. They just complain about the current situation never providing a solution.”

Well partly true. The real problem in this country is the majority of people (who share a liberal view) don’t vote. If everyone voted in the last election, we wouldn’t have these clueless asses elected by clueless Christian groups running the country.

Seriously, I have voted every election since Bush has been elected. To the people complaining about the Republicans, did you vote the last 4 elections??

Brad Eleven (profile) says:

Re: laughs turn to anger

I thought about this earlier today. The Dem’s only chance, really, is to harness satire to nail the GOP leadership on what a poor job they’ve done.

Seriously. Wouldn’t it, at least, be more interesting to have LOL-funny satirical attack ads? It’s an unfair advantage, though:

a) Satire doesn’t work for the people in charge (e.g., GOP majority + incumbent Executive)

b) The GOP has demonstrated, over and over, that they just do not understand how to use humor

Anonymous Coward says:

We need a geek to explain this to the politicians

Here’s an idea, let’s get a clear, plain language explanation of how the internet works, then, get a huge email campaign going to send the explanation to all of the politicians- local, state and federal since even states are making these misguided laws. Perhaps a demonstration to help them “learn” how well the internet can handle mass quantities of data and still get the email through the “tubes”. Or, perhaps we need one of the big-boy tech companies (Bill Gates should have some time), to go explain things on Capitol Hill.

Mau (user link) says:

It's all about knowledge

I mentioned it before, and I think that if you are going to be brave enough to publicly explain how the internet works… 1. you must know how to speak in public. 2. you really really should know how the internet works.

On the link provided, Amanda Congdon gives an awesome explanation on Net Neutrality… without getting into details on how the internet works… which is not really needed to understand how bad it is to vote against Net Neutrality…
I don’t think he should have gone by explaining the internet (or on how to send internets)…

discojohnson says:

goes to show

this is why there’s such a stereotype of politicians. in this case the stereotype is that it’s all about back scratching–and never having to actually know anything about your job/responsibilities. this transcends party lines, even politics. obviously the guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about and will be flamed in every venue until someone else notices that he’s making them look bad…and he’ll be replaced with someone who can read a powerpoint on how “the internets” work. same shit, another day.

I, for one says:

attitude not age

Let’s face it, age isn’t an issue here. Attitude is.

There’s plenty of 10-30 year olds around who are boneheaded idiots when it comes to computers. Sure they know a few buzzwords and can give you a vague handwaving explanation of how things work – they are just a bit more plugged into the culture, but don’t mistake that for knowledge of any depth. More than anything they have the confidence to tackle a reinstall, and let’s be honest, if you’re reinstalling Windows you don’t need much else except good luck. The myth that “young people know about computers” is rubbish.

The “computer generation” afaik started being born in about 1950

through 1970. Those are the people who grew up with computers being new, exciting, almost sci-fi things. At two ends you have a couple of groupings, the oldies who missed the boat and always remained “scared” of computers. They aren’t dumb people, they are just the unwilling who cast their opinions of computers in stone decades ago as “things other people know about”. At the other end you have a new generation of the blissfully ignorant, young people who are utterly passe and passive about computers. For this group computers are something they use as second nature, but couldn’t care less how they work.

The idea that old people don’t get computers is also rubbish.

Attitudes shown by “old john” above are commendable. I hope I still have a grasp on technology when I am in my 70s, an engineers level head to view it as a tool, and make intelligent comments about it’s reliability, function and utility.

The really important group worth mentioning though…

When it comes to computers and the internet there is a group of people across all age groups who cannot and never will understand computers. They are not stupid either. They choose not to. You see, psychologically it’s no surprise to me that politicians, lawyers and certain others – let’s call them “people people” (to be kind) can’t understand them. Computers are based on logic, on truth. A politician or lawyer cannot handle this stark relief. They immediately start wondering not how to “use” the computer, but how to manipulate it. They are used to getting what they want by making threats. But threatening a computer doesn’t work. Experience has usually taught them that they can more easily use their people skills to manipulate other people into making computers do what they want, a situation they deeply resent if probed.

So, it’s no surprise that people in congress haven’t a clue about computers, it goes against their very nature.

Nobody of a political mind should ever have anything remotely to do with technology or its application, regulation or deployment. Ever.

There is an old saying by political stuffed shirts which is a slur against every brave man who ever fought for anything, it goes “War is far too serious a business to be left to the Army” Of course armys fight wars not sad old chickenhawks who would fill up their trousers if you popped a paper bag.

We have the same arrogance in the air right now in 2006. So let it be said by us, the technologists, the other way round this time….. Technology is far too serious a business to be left to politicians. Right now they are poking their noses in much too far. They finally had the brains to see that technology has the potential to change everything and they are shit scared of it all. Their immediate reaction is “if I don’t understand it, it must be shut down”

In my more optimistic moments I see a future without politicians of any kind at all. They have been shut down. Obsoleted by technology which has built a society based on truth and logic not lies and manipulation. And even if that turns out to be a tragic dystopia, I’d rather see that come to pass than more of the last 2000 years bloodshed based on the lunatic rantings of a few bags of meat that got ideas above their stations.

The whole of American politics could be replaced by a very small shellscript. And those corrupt bastards know it.

Lewis Salem says:


I think that the government should BUTT OUT. The current success of the Internet can be attributed to average everyday people like us. The government may have laid the pipeline, but we provide the water.

This is not a Right vs Left issue. It is up to us to encourage members of congress to consult with technology minded people to teach them about these things. Otherwise we may wind up with some downright wacky laws and only ourselves to blame for not doing anything about it.

Yakov (profile) says:

Off the mark

Come on guys. The arguments of if and how much 50-60-70-90 year olds know about computers are pointless, there are exceptions to every rule. My mom is 50 and is a computer programmer — you think she doesnt know how to install XP? My grandma is 72 and she wouldnt know how to turn it on. Does that mean that every 50 year old knows how to write a sql query and how to performance tweak an oracle database, no, nor does it mean that every 70 year old would be lost in front of this newfangled machine.

The point here is — Ted Stephens has the finger on the off switch for these “tubes” and DOESNT HAVE A FRIEKING CLUE!!!. He has been paid off by the telcos and have been fed a bunch of gobelty gook by some 20 year old trying to explain to him how the internet works. I am sure the used the word pipes, he just substituted tubes. How to you convince someone that we need tiered internet — well the pipes will get filled up and we need to make sure normal people can get their e-mails– ohhh messages. where he go dump trucks, I have no clue. In either case, the point is the man in charge or the interent knows as much about the internet as my 72 year old granmother, or my 2 year old niece. And that scares me. This is the same man who built a bridge to nowhere while the very same good people of Alaska he represents said they would rather have the money go to New Orlense, this shmoe kept his prok barrel. This is not about age and who knows what. This is about one man, and the fact that each and every voter in Alaska should be ashamed of voting for this ass.

Zossima says:

Re: Off the mark

Come on guys. The arguments of if and how much 50-60-70-90 year olds know about computers are pointless, there are exceptions to every rule. My mom is 50 and is a computer programmer — you think she doesnt know how to install XP? My grandma is 72 and she wouldnt know how to turn it on. Does that mean that every 50 year old knows how to write a sql query and how to performance tweak an oracle database, no, nor does it mean that every 70 year old would be lost in front of this newfangled machine.

Truly well said!

Wifnoteef says:

Is this for real?

Are you people really arguing over which generation is more computer savvy? Why would age even have anything to do with that? No matter how old you are, if you’re willing to learn the ins and outs of computers, you’re going to learn. If not, then that’s what the Geek Squad is for. This is really a pointless argument that was no doubtedly started by an IT guy, because no matter what age you are they think they no more about computers than anybody.

Mike says:

Re: Is this for real?

Ha Ha Ha! You are SO right!

A lot of techies just don’t have the ability or choose not to understand that there are a lot of people who don’t know how, don’t understand, or choose not to learn about what goes on inside the box.

Often I see a post by a novice asking a question on some forum somewhere, they don’t get an answer they can understand. They get ridiculed, insulted, and flamed for not being a geek.

To many, computers ARE rocket science.

Bill says:


So… after reading a bunch of the comments I have to laugh. It seems that there’s a rift between the younger people and the older people commenting on this article. There’s something you’re all missing:

If you’re 40+ and you’re reading this article you’re a huge Minority. You are obviously going to be at least somewhat computer savy, or you wouldn’t have the care to visit this site. However, just because you and or your wife or friends understand computers does not mean that even 1/10 40+ adults understand their computer. It’s not something you can dispute, your generation does not have the skills that the younger generations have. you want proof, ask any college student to find information on something. Odds are good, they’ll default to the internet. Ask a 40+ and odds are good, they’ll try to find a book.

to address the people my age:

If you’re 40- and you’re reading this article you’re a slight Minority. You are obviously going to be at least somewhat computer savy, or you wouldn’t have the care to visit this site. However, just because you and or your wife or friends understand computers does not mean that even 1/2 40- people understand their computer. I know my 14 yr old brother and many of his friends couldn’t give a rats @$$ about linux, unix, programming or anything. But they all can find and download music (damned little pirates) or they can look something up on the internet. They understand how to IM people, and how useful it can be.

My point is this:

The problem’s between society and understanding is not caused by the people reading this article nor is it meerly an age issue. However, it is our responsibility to either solve the problem, or preventing society from ruining our stuff.

The same principles apply to congress and video games. The horrible part of that issue is that there is currently no voice for video gamers in congress. That issue is an even better example how a little information can be catastrauphic. Congress loves to trump a study that says that video games increase violent thought, but omits the statistical evidence that since video games have become more popular, youth violence has decreased.

thedevilyouknow says:

the whole damn thing

you all seem to be forgetting (senility?) that at the time that gates and jobs and woz created all of these great things they were in their 20s, hardly boomers and to expect them to be coding now is i think slightly unrealistic they have teams of hundreds of 20 somethings to do that for them admittedly old people are potentially as skillful as anyone else but the previous generalisations do work for the majority. now can we please quit the squabbling and get back onto the subject if you old fellas can remember it

Ninepoundhammer says:

People who make grandiose statements about one gro

are the problem with politics in this country. Does anyone honestly believe that their opposition is truly evil? Stupid maybe…misguided certainly…but evil?

and more importantly to make sweeping generalizations about an entire political party or group seriously detracts from your credibility.

Revolution! says:

This Entire Comment String is Rediculous

The truth of it is, it doesn’t matter whos in charge, our government was bought and sold long before you twenty-somethings could use a toilet and those who protested in the 60s let it happen. Shame on all of us!

What we want doesn’t matter and won’t as long as the politacal system in the US isn’t completely cleaned out. I believe it was Jefferson who recommended each generation should start clean with a new government.

There has always been and will always be smart and dumb people. If you want something to be concerned about start paying attention to how many people these days even care one way or the other. The american can now be sumarized by saying “As long as I have mine, I don’t care about you!”

nunya_bidness says:

lighten up

Sorry if some of you think I was off topic, but Mike said this was one for fun. All I did was respond to someone who said “old folks just dont understand computers” and then proclaimed that 20 somethings know computers because they can format and reinstall, blah blah blah. I was just making fun of his obvious inexperience with computers, and not knowing what a baby boomer was. Experienced computer users come in all shapes and sizes and ages, I know that, and most of you know that. I just hate to read someone’s generalizations aimed at an entire group of people.

elise says:


“The same principles apply to congress and video games. The horrible part of that issue is that there is currently no voice for video gamers in congress.”

And here’s the other issue – no one under the age of 40 gets a voice in congress! No wonder these people are wasting their time on MySpace and gaming – they don’t use or understand them. Let’s focus on the shit that’s important, like the fact that the majority of americans don’t have insurance and health care, or that there is no middle class anymore!! What about the rest of us, hmm?

I can’t wait until the next generation gets to start cleaning up the mess the boomers have left behind!

Brad Eleven (profile) says:

It's not a Meritocracy

…unfortunately. The people in charge are not there because they deserve to be. They are, for the most part, there because they either spent the most (invested, one might say) or their opponent(s) knew that they could spend the most if they wanted to.

I don’t see much hope for an egalitarian Internet, any more than I see hope for any other technical issue turning out the way “we” want it to.

The proof of this assertion is left as an exercise to the reader. Hint: focus on what was going on 100 years ago (trusts, power & money concentrated in the hands of a few, labor/immigration problems…) and consider that government isn’t there to solve problems, only to get re-elected.

Ron (profile) says:

Tubes and Trucks and Things

I listened to this guy’s comments.

Yeah, he’s not the best public speaker and neither is he really good at creating coherent sentences. But, what he is saying actually has some sense to it. “Tubes” may not be a good analogy for a wire or a fiber but, give it a chance. And “truck” may not be the best comparison to use, but …

What he’s getting to is that the current infrastructure is not something you can just keep tossing content on to (I’m using the “on” part to kind of work with his “truck” analogy) and expect everything to just keep working. Eventually, there is just too much content and the infrastructure becomes overloaded. In the truck analogy, I guess the shocks, then the springs, and eventually all the suspension would just break down. Using the “tubes” analogy, well maybe it works better as garden hose, there come a point where you just can’t get more water through a hose. After all, a fire hose gets a lot more water through than a garden hose.

And, you all know the analogy works. How many times have you noticed your LAN slow down when the art department (or, whatever) at work all start streaming music videos?

So, the solution is to increase the infrastructure available to carry the additional content.

That’s where the telco’s and the cable providers want to get that tiered thing going. If they can continue to keep the government believing what they are told, they will be able to successfully argue that these large content providers (movies, music, etc.) will need to have their own, larger “tubes” so that all this stuff can get through. Of course, that will require additional “work” to lay those tubes (probably actually activating dark fiber, but …) and additional revenue to do that work so a different rate structure, etc.

There’s a lot of lying, deception, idiocy, sheep-like behavior, etc. going on around this. The good senator has not helped matters by being a poor spokesperson for the government. With luck, though, there may actually appear one intelligent person who may shine enough light on the situation to expose it as the money and power grabbing exercise it really is.

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