This marks the first of the final ten weeks of my Master’s program.
I’ve posted about it before, but for the uninitiated, I’m close to earning a Master’s in Information and Communication Technologies with an emphasis in Database Design and Management.
I’ll pause here while you swoon.
Ultimately, this means I’m sliding towards my final capstone (or thesis or what have you), and the thing is, even though I’m staring down the barrel of a fairly long paper, I’m pretty excited to continue blogging. I’m pushing hard to make my paper an analysis of the intersection of ICT and civil liberties — with a particular emphasis on the stunningly useless FCC — and I can’t wait to share what I find as I delve into this thing.
You see, it’s been a book-tastic summer. Between catching up on classics I never read the first go-round (Slaughterhouse-Five, Fahrenheit 451) and mindless fun (Robopocalypse), I read the superb The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What’s Wrong with America, and — hyperbole aside — few things have so buoyed my hope for the future.
We live in a world — this one right here — where until 1978, the Civil Aeronautics Board controlled every finite detail of air control, from means of entry into the marketplace to the food provided on the flights. But in this very same world, deregulation fanatics like Ted Kennedy and Jimmy Carter of all people got the idea that maybe regulation was holding things back.
If you were alive in 1978, the Airline Deregulation Act is probably not news to you. But in a world where the FCC not only exists but is essentially doing the same thing as the CAB, this came as a fascinating story to me.
This is the story I want to tell in my Master’s capstone: the idea that we can become more free. That the answer to a problem caused by government (artificially high entry barrier for new ISPs) is not more regulation. That we can have more choice, lower prices and better service when we stop passing stunningly useless legislation.
Ultimately, I guess, this post is a warning: I will probably care far too much about the stunningly useless FCC, Net Neutrality, and regulation over the coming weeks. I will probably quote from Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose. This pony may temporarily forget all but a single trick.
But hopefully you won’t mind. Because, even with that paper’s barrel in my face (to reuse my terrible metaphor), I’m excited again.