This is a collection of stories that, when considered together, can help inform you on my perspective of Race in America.
I make it no secret that the views and opinions on this site are wholly my own. I feel it is important to look at each issue in the micro and macro.
I support a free and open internet. I NEED a free and open internet. This is the same for all independent entrepreneurs, start-up companies, or artists. The ramifications are vast if this issue, commonly under the banner of “net neutrality”, are left to the machinations of internet service providers.
This will come as a shock to many people that know me, but I do not like being dependent on the internet. It is a wonderful tool. It is a personal failing that I get so hooked into my electronics that little else matters. For the sake of a career, I have to go where the people are. And we the people use the internet. Outside of WordPress, I have everything from Facebook outlets to Instagram. It is easy to cross-post my content and have it reach the maximum number of potential audience members. I have made some headway this year. Since becoming a Steam Curator a few months ago I have seen steady traffic to my blog. My fear is that when left to ISPs, my ability to grow will be locked behind more paywalls.
I was probably a “cord cutter” before there was a word for it. The few times I had access to cable there were less than a handful of channels I’d actually watch. Cable itself was a hard purchase to justify. Spending a noticeable percentage of my monthly income for channel packages that I could never get full usage out it led me to save my money. With some patience, I could wait until shows came out and I could rent them back in the days of video stores. With the original incarnation of Netflix, shipping DVDs to ones’ home, this was made easier. And as digital distribution became ubiquitous acquiring media to watch has been easier than ever. Plus I can even do it legally. In my adult life, I have never paid a cable company for those services.
For my business, I need open internet, to reach as many people as possible. For my entertainment, I need open internet, to draw from whichever source has the media I want. For everything in between, I need open internet. Being able to pursue new interests and curiosities is vital to my personal growth.
I do not want to think that companies would simply cut off aspects of the internet. If I had a “Gamers’ Package” because that is my strongest leaning, they wouldn’t ban me from watching YouTube. But it may be so limited that doing so wouldn’t be feasible. I recently lived with a slow internet connection. In order to watch a video, I would have to let it play through once. This kept it loaded in the browser. Otherwise, I would have to contend with buffering every twenty seconds. A five-minute video took a half hour to get through. Running more videos slowed it down. Sometimes the best thing I could do was start a half dozen videos before going to sleep and viewing them when I awoke. Although if my browser or computer restarted, or the power went out for any reason, I was back to square one.
Additionally, I am under no illusion that ISPs will not strong arm companies to get more money out of them. If put in control I truly think they would charge customers more money for more limited internet access. I think they would also charge companies (Netflix, YouTube, WordPress, Steam, whoever they could) more money to ensure they had swift connection speeds. If both sides don’t pay up, ISPs could keep traffic from flowing.
At the end of 2013 and into the beginning of 2014 Comcast and Netflix were in negotiations. The cable company/ISP at one point limited bandwidth to Netflix. Customers complained and Netflix was forced to meet Comcast’s demands. Practices like this would become standard operating procedure were the FCC to allow it. Once that sets in, there would be no way around it. The companies at the top of the mountain would be able to stay there safely as the path for others to do so would be too arduous.
Going forward the only thing to do is to “play the game” as my father would say. It seems as though this issue will come up occasionally, and only with diligence can the present boundaries be held. Personally, it has become an issue that will be put on my voting checklist. Know the legal measures linked to this, and ensure that it is included in all correspondences. Namely, this would ensure oversight of internet service providers as outlined in Title II. Whatever you use the internet for, I feel it would behoove you to join me in ensuring it is free and open for everyone.
“Never delve into the comments section” is an internet commandment I hold powerfully to. It has saved me a lot of headaches. The reasoning is that any arguments that ensue, which seem to be inevitable, go nowhere. Everyone has their stances. And like any beginner martial artist, people lock into their stances too rigidly. It is very rare that people come away from these exchanges any better off. Or, I should say, it is limited to particular communities in which growth occurs.
Recently I broke my rule. Continue reading
My move finally happened. With it came the inevitable slow down of my work. But I am set up and comfortable, and I’m already about done with two articles with a series in the works. This will be on the series side, speaking on real life issues. But I think I’ve found a few good highlights to finish on as well. With National Novel Writing Month imminent, I have a lot of work to do in a little time.
To be fair in any proceeding I try look with as fresh of a perspective as I can. I then try to gain every iota of information I can. I listen to every perspective, and whatever decision I come to I accept as temporary until I discover more information. After that I put it in my brain with all the other informed decisions I’ve made. There comes to be a problem when I open that box and find that many issues hold more similarities than not.
I am going to be expounding my views on this topic, at length, while I hone a working framework for my social commentary writing. Out of all the headlining topics of the day I have the greatest foothold in issues concerning Race. Due to all I have lived, it is “easiest”. I want to be past this issue more than most people. I am not going to do that in seclusion. As such, I will share my thoughts here.
One of my hang ups with all social discussions is context. Even though we live in a time where news cycles run ceaselessly, it does this with clips, soundbites, and excerpts. As such, I will aim to provide as much context as I can. If I can share what has added to a given Truth, that can be balanced out rather than just nebulously debated.
This may sound strange to many but I find that the Truth simply Is. It is stranger than fiction because it does not need to make sense. Two facts can exist in opposition and still be true and equally valid. There will be times I contradict myself. There will be times I am not at all cohesive. I’ll have the good sense to go back to editing until sense can be relayed. I will give you this; I will ALWAYS be honest. It is the only way I can look back with pride.
A mistake I have made in my societal commentary writings in the past is that I have tried to write a definitive article. I wrote in such a way that I aimed to not go over the topic again. This put strain on me as I tried to cover all facets at once. If my articles seem open ended this is why. Realistically, no solution will take root AND bear fruit all at the same time.
This is not going to be comfortable for me. However, it is necessary for me I think. If this matter concerns you personally I hope that you will see that you are not alone. If you are able to stand apart from such discussions, I hope me relaying my experiences will show where the collective angst comes from. For myself, I aim to find a greater peace and actionable solutions. I also want to find some joy in this series too.