Saturday, June 10, 2006

Returned

I am returned. Let the insanity end.

I leave for 4 days, and I come back to madness. Jason Liu started a blog, we got rid of our big stick pile in the back yard, Nathan is engaged, and Microsoft is letting people download the vista beta. It's insanity, truly it is.

However, all that stuff is good news really, so I'm happy about it. The camp was really really awesome. It was not happy sunshine all the time though. For some of it I was just irritated, but I still learned a ton, and that's what it was about. I learned alot of really cool stuff that I'm going to apply. It was like a leadership training deal, and I really picked up alot of useful stuff. It's going to be good, I'm gonna go places.

But really, I don't wanna go too far into what happened, but here's some of the cool tidbits.

"Through adversity to the stars" -told by Al Cannaday

"Go big or go home." -told by Nate Burgess

"Who do you follow, and why?" -man in the orange jacket with the dog

"Bad habits are easy to form, hard to live with. Good habits are hard to form, and easy to live with." -Earl the Ax

"If you've never been frog kissin', then you don't know what you're missin'."

It really was a good experience. We had alot of fun, and learned alot. We also had alot of rain. It was dangerous business, we had hail up the wazoo, and that's a terrible place for hail.

Part of the deal was that we had to write a "flight plan," or 5 big goals you can accomplish in the next 3 to 6 months or so. I'm not very good at setting goals, but I definitely went for this one. Here goes.

1. Finish the personal management, swimming, and family life merit badges in the next 3 months.

2. Go to every cross country practice I can this summer.

3. Update my blog once a week for the next 3 months.

4. Go home teaching greater than or equal to 80 perfecnt for the next 6 months.

5. Get my eagle project done by the end of summer.

I can totally do it, I've just got to work hard. I'm excited for the future. I really wanna get my eagle taken care of. I've waited long enough, it's time to just buckle down and get it done. After all, I can drive once that's taken care of.

In other news, I have a really mean neckbeard. I haven't shaved for a long time, and it's just getting awesome. It's the best neckbeard I've ever had. For reals, it's mean looking. I love it so.

Frisbee is coming along great. I'm going to start working on project empire this next week, good things are on the horizon, you will see.

What to talk about? this is going to be different from my normal style, but tonight we talk about net neutrality.

~

The internet is big, we all know it. It is basically a giant network, where people from wherever can access data that is hosted wherever else. We're all connected. The problem that the country is now facing is the way in which we are connected.

Some of you might have been keeping up with the troubles going on in the recent weeks, but for those who haven't, here's the lowdown. Big communication companies are lobbying the legislature to pass a bill that will let them have a lot tighter rein on the internet. You think to yourself, "But that's impossible! The internet isn't some single object that can be held, it's the conglomerate of all the data hosted by everyone everywhere, it's giant, it's distributed, no one can control it!" This in a way is very true, you can't really stop up. The problem though, is that these big communcation companies control the pipes that we get our data through, and they're tired of being the nice guys.

Basically, the lines that our data travels through are owned by somebody. Let's just say that Bell owns this big ugly line that goes from Utah to Vermont. I get online one day and say "Hey, I want to get a file from gamespy. I go to the site, find the file, and go to download it, for free. My computer sends a request through the big line to the server in vermont to send that file over. The server in vermont then sends the data through this big ugly line to my computer.

This takes up something called bandwidth, it's sorta like the physical resources that data takes as it gets sent across lines. You can only throw so much current through a wire before it won't take any more. It's the same idea with data, since it's all ones and zeros.

So, Bell was previously just letting me do that just fine and dandy. Now, they want to start controlling their lines a little better. They're taking a big hit when I get a huge video file from vermont, that's alot of band width. It takes alot of resources. Basically, what they're trying to do is make it so if I want that video file fast, I'm going to have to pay.

If their crazy plan works, they can start tolling their lines. People who pay will get more bandwidth, will be able to download faster. People unwilling to pay will have to wait in long lines, and have very restricted bandwidth. This sucks if you're trying to get that big video file. Eventually, things could get even more out of hand. Say I want to check that blog from the phillipines. I gotta get data from over there. The big company in the Philipines payed the money to the big communications company, so they've got all sorts of bandwidth, people can come and visit their site as they please, they've got all they need. But, this poor blogger doesn't have money to buy bandwidth, so getting to his site takes forever, if it's even possible. Do you see the problem here?

It would take away the great equality of the internet. Here, I can say whatever I want and nobody can stop me. Bill Gates can't do anything more than me. He can say what he wants. But, in this new, scary world that might happen, Bill Gates could say what he wants, and I couldn't. Because I couldn't pay the price, nobody would see this. Bandwidth, curse you.

So that's what's happening. It could mean the end of the internet as we know it. But really, it won't. It's being voted on sometime soon, very soon in fact. I'll try to find more information. I was going to write my solution to the whole problem, but I've lost the desire to write, so I'll do some more tomorrow or something. Yay for getting tired all the sudden.

So, moral of the story is, there's big powers at play all around you. The important thing is to keep doing your best, and things will work out. Alrighty folks, g'night.

2 comments:

Holy_Roman_Nick said...

Yay! I can be not lonely now! In fact, I'm talking to you right now! It kinda sucks how you always manage to write a novel, and my posts are always just a pamphlet. I'll have to work on that.

Flamingo said...

nathan's engaged?! I'm a girl, I need details.