May 4th, 2010 23:03 EST
Watch the Internet; It's the Future of Humanity
Don`t be distracted by the apoplexy du jour, the big issue of our time, the one that will decide humanity`s destiny for a long time to come, is the Internet.
The people who hope you`re not watching are delighted for you to break out in rashes about the size of government, taxes, immigration, health care and the terrorist threat, because they know that the only issue that matters is your access to information.
There isn`t a vested interest in the world that isn`t worried about how much information you get and transmit. Information is power. And the monster is out of the box. The people who call the shots, whether it`s from Wall Street or Beijing or Moscow, are trying to put that monster, the Internet, back in the box.
Don`t go off half cocked. Don`t tilt at windmills. The Internet is where the action is. That is why the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia dealt the Federal Communications Commission a deadly blow on April 6, ruling that it lacked the power to require broadband providers to give equal treatment to all Internet traffic. This was bigger news than the entire health care debate, but it was treated routinely so you wouldn`t notice how important it is.
The court thus served the special interests of the communications giants that want to control the Internet, which was developed with tax money by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. These communications giants understand that there is no human endeavor on earth that is not profoundly influenced by the ability of humankind to use Internet information.
No hospital, no university, no insurance company, no researcher, no government, no terrorist organization is immune to the knowledge provided ordinary humans by the Internet. It is the most dangerous beast on earth, and it can be used to accelerate our evolution and guarantee our freedoms "exactly as it is now being used "as long as corporados are unable to hijack it.
No protest organization worried about government intervention in our lives has any credibility at all if it is willing to stand by and watch corporations take this power to speak with each other away from us. No organization concerned with corruption or gun rights or predatory taxation has any authority if it remains silent about this threat.
Never before in human history have we had access to so much information, so much data, so much research, so many opinions, so many countervailing viewpoints, so much reportage. That, and that alone, accounts for the immense popularity of smart phones, tablets, laptops, video games and reading devices.
The public knows perfectly well that it is on to something, something big. The public knows that this technology, which seems like a gift of the gods, is bigger than dogma, bigger than ideology.
All this pejorative language about nerds, geeks and techies disguises the fact that people the world over understand that the Internet has changed the course of human history, that they can check and double-check anything that is ever told them, that they can communicate with each other instead of letting politicians do it. We`re all geeks and techies, and that`s just what worries the Moghul Court on Wall Street and its summer palace in Washington.
The public is on to it, and anyone who moves heaven and earth, and spends millions, to put the DARPA Beast back in the box is your enemy. Count on it. The Internet is yours. You paid for it. And there is only one reason anyone would want to control it "to return you to the status of Roman serfs and galley slaves.
That is why the politicians, for the most part, are thunderously silent about it. They know the Internet is a game changer. You can count on them helping the corporados to limit your use of it. It should be as accessible as air to all, but the politicians and their corporate bosses know how dangerous that is to them.
The invention of moveable type in China or the Gutenberg press in Europe or antiseptic medicine in Arab Spain or the Model T Ford don`t even begin to compare to the potential for change inherent in the Internet. And the public gets it. That`s why Apple prospers, because Apple gets it. When critics said there was no market for the iPod or the iPad, Apple made a market. But it couldn`t have done so if the public did not instinctively understand the significance of the Internet.
Ask yourselves why the media have not made this an issue. Why all the foofaraw about immigration, health care and the nature of government and nary a word about the danger of the people losing control of the most popular segment of the economy? It`s because the media are owned by the very people who are trying to take the Internet out of your hands. Like the court of appeals in Washington, the media are doing the bidding of their corporate masters.
Djelloul (jeh-lool) Marbrook was born in 1934 in Algiers to a Bedouin father and an American painter. He grew up in Brooklyn, West Islip and Manhattan, New York, where he attended Dwight Preparatory School and Columbia. He then served in the U.S. Navy.
His book of poems, Far From Algiers, won the Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize from Kent State University in 2007 and was published in 2008. His story, Artists Hill, adapted from the second novel of an unpublished trilogy, won the Literal LattÃ© first prize in fiction in 2008. His poems have been published in The American Poetry Review, Barrow Street, poemeleon, The Same, and other journals. The pioneering e-book publisher, Online Originals (UK), published his novella, Alice MIller`s Room, in 1999. He worked as a reporter for The Providence Journal and as an editor for The Elmira (NY) Star-Gazette, The Baltimore Sun, The Winston-Salem Journal & Sentinel and The Washington Star. Later he worked as executive editor of four small dailies in northeast Ohio and two medium-size dailies in northern New Jersey.
Del`s book, Far From Algiers: http://upress.kent.edu/books/Marbrook_D.htm
New review of Far from Algiers: http://www.rattle.com/blog/2009/05/far-from-algiers-by-djelloul-marbrook/ Artists Hill, Literal LattÃ©`s fiction first prize: http://www.literal-latte.com/author/djelloulmarbrook/
His blog: http://www.djelloulmarbrook.com
His mother`s art: http://www.juanitaguccione.com
His aunt`s art: http://www.irenericepereira.com