History Most Don’t Know, Instances of Future History in the Making, Talented Kids, and other Interesting News

This entry is part 20 of 100 in the series Today's Tidbits

Today’s been another mixed-bag, newsfeed-wise. There’s a lot going on in the world right now and it seems most people don’t even come close to grasping just how much things will change, depending on which way some of it goes.

The big one, of course, is the ongoing Net Neutrality fight. But that’s running parallel to the continued fallout from all the revelations about how the NSA (and other agencies) have been spying on pretty much all of us. Both of those current events have some of the biggest players in the information game at one another’s throats. In the first case, it’s the content providers against the infrastructure owners. The the second, it’s companies like Google against the U.S. government.

Both of these fights are going to get a lot more messy before they get better. There are indications that there’s some heavy corporate influence shifting the sands of the Net Neutrality battle in ways that I (and many others) think will be very bad for the public in general. In the domestic surveillance case, a number of companies are trying desperately to regain the trust of their users (and their foreign business partners) by pushing back against gag orders and, apparently, gearing up for a drawn out fight with intelligence agencies and law enforcement.

There’s more than a little overlap in the “good guys” and the “bad guys” in these two arenas. I find myself rooting both for and against some companies (like Verizon, who stands a lot to gain if there’s no mandate for Net Neutrality, but is also in a position to fight against the government overstepping it’s bounds in the surveillance arena). It’s… problematic, to say the least.

All I know for sure is that the world has been changing really quickly over the past 30 years or so. For decades, we’ve been in a period of transition where out reach has extended beyond our grasp. Waters have been further muddied and vision blurred by high emotions and secret dealings. Even now I doubt we have anything near the full picture of everything going on in these two major battles.

This could go on for years. But I worry that the bulk of the public is either ignorant of the importance of these fights or already growing bored with the legal wranglings and semi-obscure technical specifications. Without the support of an knowledgeable public, the big players are free to do whatever they want, regardless of whether it’s good or bad for the rest of us.

Can’t say I care much for that.

But I don’t have any good solutions, either.

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About Kier

I've been on the web since about 1994. I have a background in a lot of things, including a five year stint as a journalist and over a decade of helping people get their message out to the world.

I write on a number of subjects--everything from relationships to personal development to politics and every day life. I hope you get something worthwhile out of it.

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