A question about net neutrality.

By “a question” I actually meant “two questions with opportunity for further elucidation”.

Since the advent of the internet, books, songs, movies, TV shows, and every other form of entertainment have become more accessible. Culture, whether pop or sublime, is more widespread. Friends and relatives can get keep in touch more easily than ever before. It’s easier to follow sports, or fashion, or science, or any interest you can think of. Businesses can advertise and communicate more easily. Political parties and interest groups can coordinate campaigns and build membership more easily. Religious groups can proselytize more. Atheist and agnostic groups can proselytize more. Mainstream viewpoints of history and current events receive more exposure. Alternative viewpoints of history and current events receive more exposure. People in different countries can communicate more directly and frequently. More journalists are investigating, questioning, and, when necessary, mocking the rich and powerful. Governments and businesses are under more scrutiny.

Simply put, information is more widespread and less expensive than at any point in human history. Communication is easier and cheaper than ever before.

Challenge my premise if you’d like, but otherwise please answer these questions:

1. Is there some brand new threat that is going to jeopardize the thus-far unfathomable progress of the internet?

2. Is there some pre-existing problem that has hobbled the progress of the internet, but we haven’t noticed because we’ve been hypnotized by glowing rectangles?

If the answer to either question is “yes”, then please explain to me how net neutrality (roughly put: treating the internet like a public utility) will help solve the problem.

If the answer to either question is “no”, then please explain to me the problem that net neutrality is supposed to solve.

I really hope to hear that net neutrality somehow protects property rights, or clarifies them, or removes pre-existing legal or regulatory barriers to internet startups. I don’t expect to hear any of that, but I’ve been surprised before.

If the answer to 1 or 2 is “yes”, is giving more control of the internet to the feds worth it?

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