Friday, November 21, 2014

Two Tier Internet the Johnson-Reed Bill of its day : plenticiding "digital plentitude"

Modernity (1875-1965), the mean-spirited ideology that was a panicky response to all the plentitudes that global modernization and advances in science had thrown up , has a lot of faults to its credit.

One of the most infamous was the 1924 Johnson-Reed Bill, an Act that shut New York City's Golden Door for over 40 years.

Republican Albert Johnson ,along with fellow Republican David Reed, had foundationed that Bill's restrictions upon their racist cum social Darwinist cum eugenic cum anti-black, anti-Jewish, anti-catholic philosophy.

Why did they fear the new plentitude so much ?

Perhaps because an expanded plentitude of choices and voices and decisions seems to overwhelm as many people (something about their brain chemicals ?) as it inspires many others.

As a result, they seek artificial ways to restrict Natural Plentitude.

Immigration restrictions and eugenic measures in general was one of them.

Rejecting ballot box and work place democracy because it gave everyone a voice to argue and debate the actions that past elites were used to have simply obeyed, was another.

Today, digital has many many things once so expensive and difficult , easy and cheap - even free.

Today the democracy of digital plentitude has made writing an e-book, blog ,web petition , even a science or academic article, much easier than ever.

More importantly, waving the results in front of people all over the entire world - thanks to the digital internet - is instant , easy, free  and effective.

Because already 40% plus of the entire world has some access to the internet.

That figure will soon rise to become near universal.

It will even be higher in the poorest most rural parts of the world than it is in the richest precincts of Manhattan .

If we can judge by the history of radio and TV , poorer rural people will crave mobile phone internet , even over cars or better homes, as the substitute for all the big city music concerts and first run movies they will never see.

The same sort of moral panic that led to 1924's Johnson-Reed Bill is already underway, fermented by the same sort of people : once-comfortably powerful white middle class professional males.

Who are they ?

Editors - like Johnson - this time fearful that anyone can write a better piece of journalism than their journal-degreed selves can , amateurs writing news reports from on the spot locations and with local on the spot insight.

Only by demanding that the only accurate news is that coming from the limited page output of our traditional print media can we Old Guard create a gatekeeper to hold the voice of journalistic democracy at bay.

Top line tenured professors ,used to having their names and university's status get their articles into the higher cited journals , now fearful that OPEN ACCESS will destroy all that.

They eagerly resist the OPEN ACCESS threat offered up by more junior, more productive, colleagues by demanding tenure still requires publishing hardcover books in the humanities and pre-publication peer view in prestige print journals for the physical sciences.

Why 300 very expensive copies (the usual print run today) of a scholarly book is better value to scholarship than an OPEN ACCESS e-book available in endless numbers world wide is left unsaid.

After all 300 copies does not go very far when the world has 300,000 libraries of higher learning !

But enough about the restrictive practises from cartels of old university professors and even older newspaper editors.

Business CEOs , old pros at cartels restricting trade to raises prices and profits, also fear new digital rivals destroying their comfortable lives.

They eagerly support the big telecoms who seek a two tiered internet - where money talks once again and the poor and foreign voices will once again be free to sleep under the digital highways's bridge ---- that is once again shut out.

Once again ,locking the digital Golden Door ....

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