The Internet Is The Internet Because Of The Inter Part

from the just-saying dept

The original idea of the internet is that it connected all of these networks. Hence the “inter-” part. However, as it’s grown up, and we’ve seen things like China’s “Great Firewall” and other countries trying to limit aspects of the internet, there’s an increasing fear that the internet will get broken up into a series of separate networks, often country-based. It’s certainly possible (if not likely), but it’s not clear that it should really be a huge concern. Cutting yourself off from the larger internet seems like a strategy that’s destined to cause problems long-term for those who choose to separate themselves from the larger network. Just like globalization is a pretty much unstoppable trend, so is a connected internet. You can cut yourself off from the world, but it doesn’t make much sense to actually do so. It does a lot more damage to those who cut themselves off than to the rest of the network — and should eventually lead to pressure to reconnect to the larger internet. Countries smart enough to recognize that they need to trade with the rest of the world, should also realize that communications networks are a part of that process and are unlikely to completely cut themselves off.


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Comments on “The Internet Is The Internet Because Of The Inter Part”

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26 Comments
nullbull (profile) says:

Re: What?

Actually, it has slowed their economic growth. They rigged stock market, state sponsorship and other hallmarks of China’s not-quite-capitalism are other elements that slow growth in that country. Of course, if they really let capitalism do its work, they would be dealing with out of control inflation and even greater income disparity, not to mention much, much more foreign ownership of Chinese business. In other words, the manner in which they have chosen to grow their economy and the manner in which they choose to regulate the internet spring from the same philosophy. Perhaps it is even DESIGNED to control the growth, but controlling (by slowing) is what it is doing.

Internet Economy says:

Re: Ahem

Shohat, you are a Pragmatist (yeah, go look it up).

Just as the PC has become an integral part of the “real” economy, so will the internet. I work for a software startup that is on the bleeding edge of what has been termed “Office 2.0”. The natural progression of such markets is called Hypergrowth. Whereby the first set of users is technology enthusiasts, the second set is the visionaries of the industry being served, and the third are the pragmatists who demand obvious practical application before taking the plung and are the main buyers int eh world. Right now, the internet economy as a whole is still only selling to Enthusiasts and maybe some visionaries, but the pragmatists is where the real money is. When they begin to see the value of ditching thier old tools and moving to web-based ones, the internet will be an essential economic tool for the US as well as globally.

Cris says:

This is an opinion that doesn’t always apply to every situation. If the people in China cut themselves off from the ones who are trying to censor and instead go with another group who isn’t trying to censor, how is this a negative thing for them?

Cutting yourself off from those who seek to oppress and silence is the exception to your rule and such situations do exist.

I am personally cutting myself off from a group of people who were preventing me from communicating so I can’t see how you could possibly tell me that’s a bad idea.

I can now communicate.

What did I lose exactly?

Nothing.

Yet another Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

BS alert on TechDirt

OK, let’s break down the layers here. The basis of the Internet is IP packets. The only issue in the article that affects this is packet prioritization (aka Net Neutrality, the political name). This entire deal is a ploy by the big telcos to exploit money from Google, et al. Just ignore it. If B wants to charge A for it’s packets getting to C, then A can connect directly to C and bypass B, or use D, E, and/or F instead.

The other layer is about the latin letter basis of domain names. Big whoop. Let me put this simple: DOMAIN NAMES ONLY POINT TO THINGS ON THE INTERNET. If China wants to put up an independent DNS root and domain system based on their pictograms, fine. If the web site wants to be seen outside China, then register it on the domain system there too. By the way, which pictogram system is China going to use? Is Korea and Japan going to follow suit? Why don’t we setup a Klingon DNS character system too? What about Arabian characters (we use their numbers)? Or … nevermind.

What I read here is another whining, powerless UN entity that was created to whine.

mousepaw says:

Rights

I admire the people who started the ‘net. It was a great idea. It started out with a fairly noble goal: to connect the world. Do you remember when we had to pay by the minute?

Lately, it seems that the more power we give over to governments (to do our thinking for us, as in: what’s best for us) just seems to lead them to wanting more. Give ’em an inch and they’ll take a mile. It’s all about power and it’s so out of control that people don’t want to even be bothered voting anymore. There isn’t anyone or any party who’s worth taking the trouble vote for because they just aren’t listening anyway. They do pretty much what they want and what we want hardly ever seems to fall under their [hidden] agenda.

I wonder if there’s any way for the people to take back what’s theirs and tell the PTB’s to get in the back seat?

As another “aside” to this, during an Art History class, the teacher voiced the opinion that the government’s involvement in the lives of the people of Rome, were directly responsible for the fall of the Roman Empire. When Ceasar told the people that they couldn’t be artists anymore (unless so appointed) but that they had to pay taxes despite losing their jobs, he was forced to build the Colluseum to avert civil uprisings. Watching the Christians being eaten by the lions was his way of distracting the people by giving them an outlet for their outrage. It obviously didn’t solve the problem, but are we headed that way again? Anybody remember the movie “Metropolis?”

Bottom-line: We probably won’t have any “say” as to whether they cut themselves off. If they do, maybe they shouldn’t consider coming here or trading with us either? It would be like one of those mirrors that you can see through into the next room, but they can’t see you, only with us in the room and them watching. Or is that too paranoid?

Sorry. I never seem to be able to keep it brief.

Anonymous Coward says:

One can only wonder, as China’s economy grows stronger and stronger every day due to international recognition and business practices, how long the people of China will continue to put up with all the government’s censorship. I predict that at some point in the future, there will be a breaking point, the government as it stands will be overthrown, and the “People’s Republic of China” will actually become a republic, meaning basic human rights for all. A government should not be in control of the people. The people should be in control of their own government.

Faz says:

They can Try

Anyone can try isloated internet but i think it will crumble like comunism did, meaning human nature will kill it.

simple useless example.. a person wanting to watch some “international p**n” or listen to “international music” will not be willing to take it…

either they will not use the service anymore because there is nothing out there (hence no ISP revenue) or EVEN MORE LIKELY
if it is the “amish internet”, where there is one connection to the outside world, hackers will come in to open holes in the wall to let the internet thorugh

enough rambling

ps….
Cutting off the nose to spite the face is an expression used to describe a needlessly spiteful or self-destructive overreaction to a problem. “Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face” is a warning not to act out of pique or pursue revenge in such a way as to damage yourself more than the object of your anger.

Anonymous Coward says:

Ther Berlin Wall came down because the people were in the streets and their Govt. decided not to stop them.

The Chinese were in the streets and their govt. decided to roll the tanks.

Anyone that thinks that they can understand all cultures, all motivations and the limit to what a govt. will do to retain power is just nuts.

Anonymous Coward says:

What?

Maybe a bit off topic, but what does Shohat mean “I’d aslo like to remind that the general global goal is to slowly move toward communism , space exploration , etc….” ???

Since when is the global goal to be communistic? Every time I hear someone has a global goal, another war breaks out.

And if you think we’re supposed to be working towards waiting 6 hours in line for bread with no butter, you’re crazy!

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