Davey D House Rejects Net Neutrality The First Amendment of the Internet — the governing principle of net neutrality, which prevents telecommunications corporations from rigging the web so it is easier to visit sites that pay for preferential treatment — took a blow from the House of Representatives Thursday. Bowing to an intense lobbying campaign that spent tens of millions of dollars — and held out the promise of hefty campaign contributions for those members who did the bidding of interested firms — the House voted to for the disingenuously-named Communications Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement Act COPE. That bill, which does not include meaningful network-neutrality protections creates an opening that powerful telephone and cable companies hope to exploit by expanding their reach while doing away with requirements that they maintain a level playing field for access to Internet sites.
This is not to say and indeed the just-mentioned finger or two would not say that I am by any stretch of the imagination a Luddite even in the bastardized, hyper-stultified sense in which that word is now understood—viz. There have been, I would argue, several great falls although there is only one Great Falls since the dawn of the so-called industrial age: The movies were bad enough, but one could escape from them at home; and the radio, while domestically inescapable, was mercifully apictorial [one has only to do the arithmetic: Compared with the televisual plunge, the descent collectively catalyzed by the WISYWIG operating-systemed personal computer, the internet, and the mobile telephone has, according to my lights, been a mere physiologically untraumatic down-jump, like the one one has to perform in alighting from a bus or train.
I am heartily offended by such polemics because I remember quite vividly what a sorrily moribund horse the practice of letter-writing was in the later pre-email days. To be sure, I myself then corresponded regularly and not-unlengthily with several friends indeed, almost a full handful of them!
The idea of exchanging letters with people to whom I was bound by ties that I did not aestheticize—for example, my parents or my younger brother—never crossed my mind. If I needed or wanted to say anything to them, I gave them a phone call.
And as near as I could tell, it was solely by telephone that the vast majority of my contemporaries and elders transacted the entirety of their non face-to-face business with all other people, from total strangers to those supposedly nearest and dearest to them.
Perhaps even in the most intellectually fertile and socially integrated ages, the default attitude of one human being to another—whether friend, stranger, or foe—is mild to severe hostility.
When other people are present, the most efficient medium of expression of this hostility is verbal abuse; when they are absent it is silence. In the meantime, the mobilephonetablet and the various proprietarily named fripperies it has engendered and facilitated will join company with Justin Bieber and global warming as mild but constant vexations visited upon the would-be civilized person via the mouths a.
But the would-be civilized person cannot take these ephemera seriously in any fashion, and least of all a polemical one. One had after all known for decades that the mimetic sector of the phenomenal world was becoming ever- more digitized.
Whence I can only conclude that quasi-paradoxically it was the early saturation of so many subsectors of the mimetic sector of the phenomenal world with digitized things that left me unprepared for the digitization of that final or is it perchance only the penultimate or even the antepenultimate?
Obviously, in hindsight though, movies and TV programs have always been manufactured by means of industrial processes relying on lightning-fast image-registrations with which the producer by which I term I mean not only or mainly the person bearing that job title, but also the director, cinematographer, script-writer, et al.
Once the digitally produced moving image was technically not only equivalent but superior to the best-generatable analogue one, the supersession became a foregone conclusion.
And on the score of this superiority I am under no illusions. The reader may rest assured that the balance of the present essay is not going to be one of those willfully ill-informed or disingenuous tributes to the rich, lanolin slathered Corinthian leather-like, life-bearing organicity of the older medium, of the sort that one associates with, say, the lovers of gramophone records.
In the case of a televisual image, the digitization-worthiness has always been intuitively obvious even to the naked eye. One had only to come within a foot of the television screen to see that its picture was composed of a finite and in principle countable number of indivisible squares of light specifically red, green, or blue lightsuch that any computer-generated televisual image, however egregious its limitations, would never be falling short of a standard that one believed to be perfect.
Of the wartsandall-ishness of movies, on the other and more prominent hand, one was blissfully ignorant: But one assumed that these were aberrations, no different in kind from out-of-focus shots or wear-and-tear induced scratches on the celluloid, neither of which impugned the mimetic prowess of the medium itself.
Little did one know that the intrinsically, infinitely analogic properties of film were likewise an illusion. I have not investigated the chemistry or physics behind this phenomenon at any length or in any detail—or at all as a matter of fact—but I have been told or led to believe by people in the habit of crediting only creditable sources that these analogic properties break down at a dispiritingly coarse resolution, that conventional celluloid film stock, be it of even the most recent laboratory standard i.
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