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Google’s Fiber Optics, A New Age of Zulu Style Control on the Horizon?

Posted by: | November 8, 2011 | No Comment |

Is Google trying to own the internet? We can draw great parallels from today to the past.

Before the bringing of written communication to the plains of Southern Africa, the Zulu tribe had already developed an organized system to get the news out to its people. The chief employed criers who reported each morning to his tent for their assignments, their instructions, and where they were to go. In this way, the chief of the tribe controlled the news by controlling how his people were exposed to it, and how much of it they were exposed to.

In this age of complete freedom of the press, and with the advent of free markets, we would like to think that this manner of subtle press control was over. We all know that anyone can say anything on the internet, and have become aware of volumes and volumes of knowledge and spin that we could not have found otherwise in our entire lives.

What happens, however, when we are all being given our internet by one “Chief”? This future reality is not as far off as one might think. As you read this weblog, the company Google is laying fiber optic line in Kansas City to start providing internet at unheard of speeds for monetary nothing. While this provides huge opportuities for the internet revolution to meet people that have never experienced it, there is an inherent conflict of interest in accepting your hardware from the same company that makes your software.

Since distribution was owned by the monarch, they could decide what they wanted the general public to see. This idea goes back to the Edict of Worms, and farther to the Forums of the Roman Empire, and the Agoras of Ancient Greece. Governments have long sought to control what you see. In the modern world, we generally accept that any message can make it to us through some medium; especially the internet.

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