This week the growing discussion over the FCC ending net neutrality in the US has really been worrying me.
I truly believe that the internet has become a requirement for everyday life much like water, electricity and gas. Governments and citizens should treat the internet as they do utilities: a service we pay for regulated by policy to ensure that the highest possible number of people have access to it.
As John Oliver points out in his one of his 2014 monologues, the only reason for ending net neutrality is so that vast communications companies can build even larger monopolies and make more money.
Splitting the internet into two services- a slow service and a fast, more expensive, service- would mean an even greater divide between rich and poor in a nation which is already so divided that it feels like two separate countries. Not to mention the precedent it would set for the rest of the world.
As it’s such an important issue, I’ve included FOUR different videos explaining the current US regulations and the implications that ending net neutrality would have for Americans…and possibly Europeans.
The Vox video provides some information about current policies and possible changes, the Hank vs Hank debate video acts out both sides of the debate, which I found interesting but didn’t convince me that ending net neutrality is justified or beneficial.
If you want just a good all round explainer then I would go with TheNew York Times video listed last. Finally, the John Oliver monologue is from three years ago but it is just as valid and just as funny.
And now, to demonstrate just how incredible and full of potential the internet is, here are some amazing things I found online this week.
The video below, found via Swiss Miss, of Carolynn Hayman’s balloon costumes made me very happy. It combines three very important elements that I respect: determination, creativity and silliness.
Think about Carolynn’s first attempts to make the costumes- all the balloons bought, all the puffing and accidental popping. It must have taken ages. I’m glad she persevered; they are incredibly well done and they make everyone who sees them laugh. You can see more of her creations on her website Pop! Designs and Creations.
Also on Swiss Miss and Kottke this week, the awe inspiring video from MOMA’s documentary seriesAt the Museum which gives a behind the scenes look at what it takes to run the MOMA in New York.
Whether you’re an art fan or not, this ten minute video is worth watching. It’s always fascinating to see how large institutions work and what’s needed to keep them running smoothly every day.
Following my ode to Tofurky’s smoky maple bacon on Wednesday, I found this video by the always amazing Great Big Story about the original Tofurky and how it came to be.
Having lived in Brighton for a few years, I knew that there was a whole group of nomadic people who lived in motor homes, travelling from place to place.
I’ve often seen them parked alongside some of the main parks in Brighton. I’ve also seen similar motorhomes and converted vans in supermarket car parks in France and Italy, making use of the free parking and nearby conveniences for a while before moving on.
It makes sense that there would be a comparable even bigger community in the US- the land of giant RVs and Winnebagos. The New York Times published a piece this week drawing attention to this section of the population that live these nomadic lifestyles, either permanently or temporarily.
The two reporters- Mike Belleme and George Etheredge- focused particularly on motorhomes, cars and vans who use Walmart car parks as free spaces for them to stop awhile. Their photos are striking and strange. Really amazing work.
Finally, if you’d like to read a few really great articles with your Sunday coffee….
I thought this piece by Jaya Saxena for Taste about food trends aimed at men vs food trends aimed at women was really interesting. My favourite quote: ‘When men enjoy something, they elevate it. But when women enjoy something, they ruin it.’
With my sister pregnant with her first baby, I’ve been reading about anything and everything that discusses parenting. I enjoyed the honesty of this piece about trying to get pregnant on The Cut.
For a passionate plea about redistricting reform in the US, try this opinion piece by Eric Holder on Crooked Media.
And for a long read that is absolutely worth your time- the article ‘The Third Life of Richard Miles’ by Shawn Shinneman on Long Reads. Shinneman has written a stunning profile of Richard Miles who spent 15 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. The article looks at his incarceration but mostly focuses on how he’s dealt with life after prison.
When men enjoy something, they elevate it. But when women enjoy something, they ruin it.