Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I Don't Speak N00b...

"If you don't know what it is, don't put it in your mouth," reads a mural in Rochester Institute of Technology's tunnel system. It is a sentiment echoed by parents to keep their younger children from eating strange (and possibly poisonous) items, and to keep the older from messing with things they're not entirely sure about (like car engines and electrical sockets), lest they get injured or killed. Colleges remind students of these words to keep them from taking unfamiliar drugs... or, occasionally, to keep them from talking BS about things they don't understand.

Perhaps Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) should have listened to his mother.

It seems that everything we thought about the internet is wrong. It is not a massive network of computers spanning the entire globe via wired and wireless connections. It is a series of tubes. And if those tubes get clogged up with people watching movies, we might not receive some of the internets we are sent. At least, that's what Senator Stevens told the US Senate Commerce Committee late last month to argue why net neutrality was a bad idea.

Now, Senator Stevens, I don't come to your house to fix your car. I know about as much about cars as you know about the internet, probably more, and I certainly don't consider myself qualified to even change your oil. But see, changing your oil is not my job. My job is to write code, ficiton, and blog posts, which I do quite well. Your job, as a member of the Commerce Committee presenting information about the Net Neutrality bill, is to KNOW ABOUT THE INTERNET. Do some research, man! Figure out what the hell you're talking about! Seriously: "I just the other day got, an internet was sent by my staff at 10 o'clock in the morning on Friday and I just got it yesterday. Why? Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the internet commercially." Your staff sent you a whole internet? Holy crap, I didn't think that was possible! Trillions of terabytes of data, all sent to your computer? WOW! No wonder it took so long.

Quite honestly, I don't want someone who doesn't even know the term 'email' serving on any governing or decision-making committee, let alone one that's going to decide whether ISPs can limit what kind of content I can download via their servers. And I think that's something people shoud consider when they're voting for their congressman, not their looks or their charm or their position on gay marriage, but rather if they know a thing or two about what's going on in the world. I sincerely hope I will never again have to reprimand a senator, having BSed his way through a report to a committe, and ask him what Church once asked Tucker in an early episode of Red vs. Blue: "What the FUCK are you babbling about?"



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