OldMugwump’s Techdirt Profile

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About OldMugwump

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  • Dec 12th, 2017 @ 7:50am

    Re: broken record

    I suspect you're not an intentional troll, and I actually agree with much of what you post (not all).

    So take this as well-meant advice:

    You'd get more respect (and less flags) if you didn't post as an AC.

    And you won't convince anybody by simply stating that they're wrong and foolish - you need to make a convincing argument.

  • Dec 12th, 2017 @ 1:32am

    Re: Re: "Who says roads would become more costly? Why wouldn't they become less expensive?"

    I think JohnG's idea is that current roads aren't free either.

    We all pay for them, thru taxes.

    I find it entirely reasonable to think that privately-provided roads might be cheaper, if there's competition to build and run them.

    But now roads are free to use. Of course if you have to pay tolls, that'll reduce demand.

    At rush hour, that'd be a good thing. And perhaps more fair, since free-to-use roads are a subsidy for drivers that makes mass transit less competitive.

    (This ignores the practical issues of the cost and trouble of tolling. I can see tolls on limited-access highways, but tolls on local roads seem impractical.)

  • Dec 11th, 2017 @ 12:57pm

    Re: When there's no competition...

    Or, better yet, change the rules that prevent competition.

    Of course, to do that you'll have to fight the crony capitalists who like the status quo, which is hard.

    But it's a job that needs doing anyway. Because regulators ultimately get captured by the regulated.

    The only long-term solution is real competition to serve the customers.

  • Dec 4th, 2017 @ 1:39pm

    Re: lawyers' bill comes to $91,775

    IJ did this pro bono, I believe.

    (Means - for free.)

  • Dec 1st, 2017 @ 10:52am

    Re: Re: Re: More lies

    Just look at how much trouble Google Fiber has had getting state and local permission to deploy service - and they're backed by the resources of Google.

    Imagine how much luck a smaller firm would have, let alone a tiny startup.

    That's why we have ISP monopolies, and that's why we worry about how those monopolies will abuse their power.

    The only real long-term solution is competition and free entry into the market.

    NN is a band-aid. We need an amputation.

  • Dec 1st, 2017 @ 10:44am

    Re: Re: Re: More lies

    You misinterpret me, AC. I said nothing about Federal vs. state or local regulations.

    I agree with you that the regulations that have created the ISP monopolies are mostly at the state and local levels (but the FCC hasn't helped any).

    I'd like to see the FCC prevent state and municipal governments from erecting barriers to ISP competition (state licensing, pole attachment rules, etc.), and make them remove the existing ones.

  • Dec 1st, 2017 @ 10:35am

    Re: Re: Re: More lies

    Not anarchy but the rule of law.

    The ordinary rules of fair dealing - promises must be kept, lying is not allowed (that's fraud), etc.

    But provided those are complied with, everyone is welcome to compete for business.

    There is an optimum amount of regulation. Too little and you have anarchy, too much and you have a system ripe for capture by those who know how to manipulate it. (Sound familiar?)

  • Dec 1st, 2017 @ 10:29am

    Re: Re: Pai is sincerely wrong

    Agree.

  • Dec 1st, 2017 @ 8:18am

    Re: More lies

    There is more truth to this than most here want to admit.

    (To be clear; I mean this particular AC post; don't know if this is the same AC who makes genuinely crazy statements, aka OOTB.)

    The more regulation, oversight, rules, approvals, paperwork, licenses, etc., etc., the less competition there will be - in any market.

    Because all of these things create barriers to new entrants, and make life easier for already-established firms, esp. big ones with political connections.

    As I've said many times, I support NN, given the broken state of the competitive ISP market.

    But there's a perverse tradeoff here - the more red tape you have, the worse the market distortions, and the more red tape you need to limit or partially correct those distortions.

    Those who want government to make sure everything works smoothly ensure that it doesn't.

  • Nov 28th, 2017 @ 1:59pm

    Re: Re: Pai is sincerely wrong

    I've been building datacom network technologies since 1979.

    And, so, I know that breaking the Internet is a lot harder than most people here seem to think.

    It's robust. There are a lot of ways to route data.

    Even the GFW of China is only a speedbump - data flows around it, for anybody in China who makes the effort.

    And I don't see anyone proposing a GFW of America.

    So, while I do support NN (at least as long as the ISP business is a semi-monopoly), I don't think Pai can break the Internet, even if he wants to.

  • Nov 28th, 2017 @ 7:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Pai is sincerely wrong

    Your point being what, Thad?

    That panic *is* appropriate?

    I favor NN. I just think people here are going overboard with hyperbole.

  • Nov 27th, 2017 @ 3:11pm

    Re: Re: Pai is sincerely wrong

    No, I'm suggesting that:

    a) The sky isn't falling, the world's not about to end, and the "Internet as we know it" is not going to disappear.

    The panic and hyperbole I see in the comments seems vastly disproportionate to the reality. People are overreacting.

    The world has far more important problems, and greater injustices, to get excited about.

    b) Public outcry is appropriate now, but it ought to be proportionate to the problem.

    c) Public outcry is completely necessary if and when ISPs start abusing the lack of NN. If and when.

  • Nov 27th, 2017 @ 2:48pm

    Pai is sincerely wrong

    I'll be the one to say it.

    1 - Pai hasn't been bought. He believes what he says. I think he's wrong (and Mike is right here), but he's sincere.

    2 - The whole Net Neutrality thing is way overblown.

    As long as we have protectionist regulations (federal, state, and local) that restrict entry into the ISP business, I support Net Neutrality.

    I'd rather get rid of the protectionism and have free competition - then NN would be unnecessary.

    3 - Even if Pai succeeds in dismantling NN, the damage will be minor and isolated to a few areas and special circumstances, and fixed pretty soon by either competition, public pressure/embarrassment, or legislation.

    So everybody calm down.

  • Nov 27th, 2017 @ 2:42pm

    Re: Linus Pauling

    Watson and Crick had tremendous respect for Pauling, and were terrified that he was going to figure out DNA first.

    They were convinced that Pauling was just weeks or months behind them. And stated so publicly, decades later.

    Pauling didn't screw up. He was just a little too late.

  • Nov 22nd, 2017 @ 9:55am

    The Russians should be careful...

    ...Google might win.

  • Nov 10th, 2017 @ 11:39am

    Wikipedia is not related to Wikileaks

    ...but I wonder how many on Capitol Hill still get them confused, and therefore will be happy with anything that might destroy Wikipedia?

    Sigh.

  • Nov 10th, 2017 @ 8:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Isn't kidnapping and slavery already illegal?

    I think, in fact, we're in agreement.

  • Nov 9th, 2017 @ 1:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Isn't kidnapping and slavery already illegal?

    So you're saying that women who voluntarily choose - for whatever reasons of their own - to work as prostitutes are "trafficked"?

    The old time moralist claim that "all prostitutes are slaves" was based on the idea that no woman would ever choose to be a sex worker.

    I thought feminism had blown that argument away decades ago - it seems not.

    If I understand your interpretation correctly, you're confirming my suspicion that this is a made-up moral panic.

    I think we're regressing here.

  • Nov 9th, 2017 @ 8:10am

    Re: Re: Isn't kidnapping and slavery already illegal?

    There's nothing new about that claim - moralists have been claiming that prostitutes are slaves for hundreds of years (at least).

    And maybe in earlier eras, when police would ignore prostitute claims, that was possible. I don't see how it is now.

    It seems difficult in any modern Western country to keep a prostitute enslaved. All she has to do is call 911, or walk down the street to a police station or police officer. Or just any random person on the street (everybody carries cell phones now).

    The only way to do it that I can imagine is to keep her literally imprisoned. But even then, she needs to see johns to make money - most johns are looking for sex, not slavery, and will cooperate in getting a plea to the police.

    So - is this real? Or is this a made-up moral panic?

  • Nov 9th, 2017 @ 8:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Isn't kidnapping and slavery already illegal?

    I confirm - I have never watched any of those movies.

    (I did see Quentin Tarentino's "Jackie Brown" - does that count?)

    And I think CSI is a TV show, not a movie. But I've never watched it.

    I suspect your comment was a jest, but I do wonder if I don't "get" this stuff because I haven't followed popular culture since the 80s...

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