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  1. #21
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    We need food, water, shelter, and to exist free from molestation.
    - To secure these we need the rule of law as enforced equitably by a central government.
    - To secure this we need free, open and uncoerced political representation.
    - To secure this we need education and a free media.
    - To secure this we need the internet.

    It's all in service to the fundamental basic human rights. Right now our society is so hierarchically complex that the internet is likely the only open means of disseminating information.
    I get where you're coming from, but I don't think the Internet is the only way to get education and a free media. Nor necessarily the best way. Education in the United States hasn't been improving since the rise of the Internet. I would agree that digital connectivity is fast becoming necessary to interface with the world for other reasons, than the progression you present. Not quite to the point that I think it needs to be treated as a human right--but I'm happy to get a head start in preparation for that time. I can't help but wonder if there is some degree of self-serving interest in powerful western democracies considering denial of internet access a violation of human rights ... but I doubt that interest is at the fore of this push.
    I think of [the Internet] as a grisly raw steak laid out on a porcelain benchtop in the sun, covered in chocolate hazelnut sauce. In the background plays Stardustís Music Sounds Better With You. Thereís lots of fog. --tomeoftom

    You ruined his point by putting it in context thatís cheating -bull0

  2. #22
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    Actually, no. See, we've felt the effect of globalization for quite some time now, and you are competing with the world. The countries with 10% internet connectivity are very poor countries indeed, and likely have structural problems beyond.
    Yes ... but I think that's more agreement than disagreement with my point. You are competing with the world, just not as immediately as with your fellow countrymen. What matters is more that only 10% of your population is connected and thus able to interface with local and international Internet users/services/etc alike--not that 10% of your population makes up for 1% or 5% of the global Internet masses.

    edit: grammar errors
    Last edited by gwathdring; 27-07-2012 at 11:14 PM.
    I think of [the Internet] as a grisly raw steak laid out on a porcelain benchtop in the sun, covered in chocolate hazelnut sauce. In the background plays Stardustís Music Sounds Better With You. Thereís lots of fog. --tomeoftom

    You ruined his point by putting it in context thatís cheating -bull0

  3. #23
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    Education in the United States hasn't been improving since the rise of the Internet.
    The internet came into the public eye at most 16 years ago. Near-universal broadband's been here for maybe 9. It takes 12 years to educate a child. How fast do you think politics change?
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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  4. #24
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    The internet came into the public eye at most 16 years ago. Near-universal broadband's been here for maybe 9. It takes 12 years to educate a child. How fast do you think politics change?
    I'm not saying it's useless for education. But my mother teaches kids who grew up not knowing of a world without cell phones and Internet connections. They aren't much better off for it. They certainly aren't learning more.

    Maybe an improved educations system would have more potential with the help of the Internet than without. I'm inclined to think it would. Educated people with Internet access have so many ways to further improve their own knowledge and education. But we don't have a system that functions well enough for that to really matter, at the moment.
    I think of [the Internet] as a grisly raw steak laid out on a porcelain benchtop in the sun, covered in chocolate hazelnut sauce. In the background plays Stardustís Music Sounds Better With You. Thereís lots of fog. --tomeoftom

    You ruined his point by putting it in context thatís cheating -bull0

  5. #25
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    I'm not saying it's useless for education. But my mother teaches kids who grew up not knowing of a world without cell phones and Internet connections. They aren't much better off for it. They certainly aren't learning more.
    I come from a family of educators and spent the last four years working in NYC public schools. To kids without books in the home, who are disenfranchised in just about any measure feasible - the school system is segregated as shit - the internet is their only means of interfacing with the larger world.

    If you're teaching some middle-class suburban kids with computers in their rooms at home and smartphones attached to their faces, they don't need help. They're not going to see a big difference. But their rights are not being curtailed.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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    "His lack of education is more than compensated for by his keenly developed moral bankruptcy." - Woody Allen

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    I'm not saying it's useless for education. But my mother teaches kids who grew up not knowing of a world without cell phones and Internet connections. They aren't much better off for it. They certainly aren't learning more.

    Maybe an improved educations system would have more potential with the help of the Internet than without. I'm inclined to think it would. Educated people with Internet access have so many ways to further improve their own knowledge and education. But we don't have a system that functions well enough for that to really matter, at the moment.
    The problem is that our current education system has no idea how to handle the internet. And how could it, when most teachers didn't grow up with it and most likely aren't really technophiles (from my experience, people working in school age education are more often than not rather technic-sceptic). I'm sure most people around my age, i.e one of the first generations to grow up with computers from a relatively young age (man, that makes me sound old...) know the feeling of being miles ahead of most teachers when it comes to technology, and I'm sure that hasn't changed much for the current generation of students. Education systems are slow to change, and it'll take a new generation of teachers to do that.

  7. #27
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Hypernetic's Avatar
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    What is this shit? Seriously...

    How could anyone even attempt to argue that the internet isn't a useful tool for education or that libraries are unnecessary? How do you even say something like that with a straight face?

  8. #28
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Subatomic View Post
    The problem is that our current education system has no idea how to handle the internet. And how could it, when most teachers didn't grow up with it and most likely aren't really technophiles (from my experience, people working in school age education are more often than not rather technic-sceptic). I'm sure most people around my age, i.e one of the first generations to grow up with computers from a relatively young age (man, that makes me sound old...) know the feeling of being miles ahead of most teachers when it comes to technology, and I'm sure that hasn't changed much for the current generation of students. Education systems are slow to change, and it'll take a new generation of teachers to do that.
    This. I started as the only tech in my building, a building that was used as a pilot project for implementing technology into the classroom systemwide. Nobody really knows what's up - administrators are clueless, older teachers aren't savvy with technology and newer teachers aren't savvy at teaching - and the implementation is at best piecemeal. Furthermore, it's being hamstrung by huge budget cuts over the last decade.

    It will take a while before the engine gets running, and even when it does, it'll take a longer while yet to churn out a class of kids with it.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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    "His lack of education is more than compensated for by his keenly developed moral bankruptcy." - Woody Allen

  9. #29
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    I come from a family of educators and spent the last four years working in NYC public schools. To kids without books in the home, who are disenfranchised in just about any measure feasible - the school system is segregated as shit - the internet is their only means of interfacing with the larger world.

    If you're teaching some middle-class suburban kids with computers in their rooms at home and smartphones attached to their faces, they don't need help. They're not going to see a big difference. But their rights are not being curtailed.
    My mom's school isn't middle-class suburban kids either. 70 to 80 percent of the student body is below the poverty line and the school has a 50% mobility rate. Our district drew the lines in a way that basically kept all the kids like me or better off at one school and all the kids with generational poverty at another. A lot of her students don't have any motivation to work because they see parents who don't work and don't see their situation as a problem. Some of them still have cell phones and Internet at home.

    Point is the Internet != better education.

    Not that, to repeat myself, it can't be beneficial.

    The problem is that our current education system has no idea how to handle the internet. And how could it, when most teachers didn't grow up with it and most likely aren't really technophiles (from my experience, people working in school age education are more often than not rather technic-sceptic). I'm sure most people around my age, i.e one of the first generations to grow up with computers from a relatively young age (man, that makes me sound old...) know the feeling of being miles ahead of most teachers when it comes to technology, and I'm sure that hasn't changed much for the current generation of students. Education systems are slow to change, and it'll take a new generation of teachers to do that.
    I agree. Not quite about the new generation of teachers bit, though. The older generations? The ones that didn't grow up with computers? They've caught on to some things pretty fast. My grandmother does more on her cell phone and on Facebook than I do. My mom's boyfriend's mother uses her computer all the time. That isn't to say they can keep up with the current generation--but I think our system can incorporate a lot more technology into education before the teachers get outclassed by what they need to teach. There's no reason to wait for a new generation of teachers to spring up before making the changes--we have good educators who can start doing it now if given the funding and resources.

    This. I started as the only tech in my building, a building that was used as a pilot project for implementing technology into the classroom systemwide. Nobody really knows what's up - administrators are clueless, older teachers aren't savvy with technology and newer teachers aren't savvy at teaching - and the implementation is at best piecemeal. Furthermore, it's being hamstrung by huge budget cuts over the last decade.

    It will take a while before the engine gets running, and even when it does, it'll take a longer while yet to churn out a class of kids with it.
    That's fair. But I think there are also other things we need to tackle that are just as important in the process of fixing our education system. We're a ways off before the Internet is anything like a deciding factor in good vs. bad education. Or to me, anything like a fundamental right. I'd love to see all of it happen faster, and I'm not going to stand in the way of that. I just don't think we're at a point where it looks like a fundamental right to me.

    How could anyone even attempt to argue that the internet isn't a useful tool for education or that libraries are unnecessary? How do you even say something like that with a straight face?
    Did someone say that? Because that would be silly.
    Last edited by gwathdring; 28-07-2012 at 12:46 AM.
    I think of [the Internet] as a grisly raw steak laid out on a porcelain benchtop in the sun, covered in chocolate hazelnut sauce. In the background plays Stardustís Music Sounds Better With You. Thereís lots of fog. --tomeoftom

    You ruined his point by putting it in context thatís cheating -bull0

  10. #30
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Fumarole's Avatar
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    My hometown tried free wifi in the past, and is doing so again.

    San Jose tries again with free downtown Wi-Fi


    The California city of about 1 million intends to offer high-speed Wi-Fi throughout its downtown, covering an area of 1.5 square miles (3.9 square kilometers) in the middle of this year. But unlike earlier municipal Wi-Fi initiatives, such as a Google-sponsored network that would have covered San Francisco, the San Jose system will be able to pay for itself entirely by helping the government do its job.

    In the middle of the past decade, ambitious projects in several cities, including parts of San Jose, promised to blanket outdoor areas with Wi-Fi and provide built-in sources of revenue. Home broadband subscriptions, browser-based advertising or small-business use would help to pay for equipment and operations. But those complicated business models depended on assumptions that often proved unfounded.

    By contrast, San Jose's new plan is fairly simple. The network will cost about US$94,000 to buy and set up, and then about $22,000 per year to run and maintain, acting CIO Vijay Sammeta said. Benefits to the city will include better connections for city employees and for satellite fire station offices. It will also provide better connectivity for wireless parking meters, and for signs that guide drivers to parking garages using real-time information on the number of spaces available, Sammeta said.
    I think it's only a matter of time before it is a public utility, the same as water and gas.
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  11. #31
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    Did someone say that?
    You did.

    Twice.

    And no, we're not a ways off before figuring out if the internet is a human right. Have you tried to get a job without it nowadays? Or tried to teach a Regents class where textbooks were unavailable? Or even to get a straight answer as to what the fuck is going on with our political clusterfuck?
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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    "His lack of education is more than compensated for by his keenly developed moral bankruptcy." - Woody Allen

  12. #32
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    You did.

    Twice.

    And no, we're not a ways off before figuring out if the internet is a human right. Have you tried to get a job without it nowadays? Or tried to teach a Regents class where textbooks were unavailable? Or even to get a straight answer as to what the fuck is going on with our political clusterfuck?
    I specifically mentioned that I think it is useful for education. With qualifications as to the state of our education system. I also don't think anyone in the thread attacked libraries ... but perhaps I just missed a post somewhere.

    Hmm. That's a very good point about the job applications. I hadn't thought about that. I have a skewed perspective because I live in a relatively small town and there are a lot of jobs you can apply to with paper applications.

    You're right. I'm not really looking at the whole picture. I stand by what I've said about education; you seem to be misunderstanding what I was trying to get across there and I'm not sure if it's your reading of it or my writing of it that's causing that. But I agree--the Internet should be considered a fundamental right.
    I think of [the Internet] as a grisly raw steak laid out on a porcelain benchtop in the sun, covered in chocolate hazelnut sauce. In the background plays Stardustís Music Sounds Better With You. Thereís lots of fog. --tomeoftom

    You ruined his point by putting it in context thatís cheating -bull0

  13. #33
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Tritagonist's Avatar
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    The internet is obviously a very important part of a lot of ways in which we are expected to communicate with governments, colleges, (potential) employers, customers, banks, etc. You could probably still do without, but I think the online path has become standard in a lot of cases.

    That said, I'm not sure what declaring internet access as a human right will accomplish. Suppose a Frenchman runs into the three-strikes legislation and gets banned. He might appeal such a decision in a French court, and move on to a European court if he fails to get the ban retracted. But I don't think you can then take it to the UN? And besides, who would really care enough to make a point out of it. This, after all, is the same UN whose members regularly try to limit the ways people can use the internet, by proposing criminalization of "intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of … religion and belief" (LA Times) and limiting the acces to the internet "in cases where international telecommunication services are used for the purpose of interfering in the internal affairs or undermining the sovereignty, national security, territorial integrity and public safety of other states, or to divulge information of a sensitive nature" (CNET). It's perhaps also worth noting that the UN Commission on Human Rights consists of representatives of governments from, among others, Congo, Libya, the People's Republic of China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Cuba, and the United States of America.
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  14. #34
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tritagonist View Post
    The internet is obviously a very important part of a lot of ways in which we are expected to communicate with governments, colleges, (potential) employers, customers, banks, etc. You could probably still do without, but I think the online path has become standard in a lot of cases.

    That said, I'm not sure what declaring internet access as a human right will accomplish. Suppose a Frenchman runs into the three-strikes legislation and gets banned. He might appeal such a decision in a French court, and move on to a European court if he fails to get the ban retracted. But I don't think you can then take it to the UN? And besides, who would really care enough to make a point out of it. This, after all, is the same UN whose members regularly try to limit the ways people can use the internet, by proposing criminalization of "intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of … religion and belief" (LA Times) and limiting the acces to the internet "in cases where international telecommunication services are used for the purpose of interfering in the internal affairs or undermining the sovereignty, national security, territorial integrity and public safety of other states, or to divulge information of a sensitive nature" (CNET). It's perhaps also worth noting that the UN Commission on Human Rights consists of representatives of governments from, among others, Congo, Libya, the People's Republic of China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Cuba, and the United States of America.
    Saying I have a fundamental right to Internet access is different from saying I have the right to harass people with it or conduct international espionage with it. "interfering in the internal affairs or undermining the sovereignty, national security, territorial integrity and public safety of other states, or to divulge information of a sensitive nature" is not something I'm typically allowed to do without the Internet, either. That said ... the implications of that line in the context of actions taken by China and by the US and UK with respect to Internet freedoms and national security respectively are indeed worrying.

    While "intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of … religion and belief" is quite broad ... it is somewhat out of context. It is also, while broad in the extreme, not unlike harassment laws that restrict free speech.

    Now for that context. The quote comes from the resolution title: "Combating intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of, and discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against, persons based on religion or belief."

    The body of the document is made up of things like

    Strongly deploring all acts of violence against persons on the basis of their religion or belief, as well as any such acts directed against their homes, businesses, properties, schools, cultural centres or places of worship,

    Concerned about actions that wilfully exploit tensions or target individuals on the basis of their religion or belief,

    Noting with deep concern the instances of intolerance, discrimination and acts of violence in many parts of the world, including cases motivated by discrimination against persons belonging to religious minorities, in addition to the negative projection of the followers of religions and the enforcement of measures that specifically discriminate against persons on the basis of religion or belief,
    And the actual recommendations:

    6. Calls upon all States:
    (a) To take effective measures to ensure that public functionaries in the conduct of their public duties do not discriminate against an individual on the basis of religion or belief;

    (b) To foster religious freedom and pluralism by promoting the ability of members of all religious communities to manifest their religion, and to contribute openly and on an equal footing to society;

    (c) To encourage the representation and meaningful participation of individuals, irrespective of their religion, in all sectors of society;

    (d) To make a strong effort to counter religious profiling, which is understood to be the invidious use of religion as a criterion in conducting questionings, searches and other law enforcement investigative procedures;

    7. Encourages States to consider providing updates on efforts made in this regard as part of ongoing reporting to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights;

    8. Calls upon States to adopt measures and policies to promote the full respect for and protection of places of worship and religious sites, cemeteries and shrines, and to take measures in cases where they are vulnerable to vandalism or destruction;

    9. Calls for strengthened international efforts to foster a global dialogue for the promotion of a culture of tolerance and peace at all levels, based on respect for human rights and diversity of religions and beliefs, and decides to convene a panel discussion on this issue at its seventeenth session, within existing resources.
    Then the document is done (source). So they express concern over religious violence and intolerance, and then leave a series of recommendations that ... sound entirely reasonable. I don't see anything in there that criminalizes an individual's right to speak against religion.

    The second article you link to is genuinely disturbing to me, as I already alluded to. I wasn't able to find a more favorable context--or a more reliably complete one--so I'm forced to take it as-is. And it is worrisome. I guess we'll learn more as December gets closer.
    Last edited by gwathdring; 28-07-2012 at 06:25 PM.
    I think of [the Internet] as a grisly raw steak laid out on a porcelain benchtop in the sun, covered in chocolate hazelnut sauce. In the background plays Stardustís Music Sounds Better With You. Thereís lots of fog. --tomeoftom

    You ruined his point by putting it in context thatís cheating -bull0

  15. #35
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Tritagonist's Avatar
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    Interesting post, thanks. It's true that the final resolution was not as strongly worded as the original drafts, and this is also reported by the LA Times. Certain parts, specifically ''the phrase "the prosecution of"', was dropped from the final document. That is a good thing, obviously, but I'm not confident that has changed the intent and opinions of the representatives of the governments who introduced that phrase and are still in positions of influence within the UN.
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  16. #36
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tritagonist View Post
    Interesting post, thanks. It's true that the final resolution was not as strongly worded as the original drafts, and this is also reported by the LA Times. Certain parts, specifically ''the phrase "the prosecution of"', was dropped from the final document. That is a good thing, obviously, but I'm not confident that has changed the intent and opinions of the representatives of the governments who introduced that phrase and are still in positions of influence within the UN.
    Which countries in particular? Some members of the OIC seem to have a very strong, vocal agenda along the lines you imply. But I haven't been following these matters very closely and I'd be happy to learn more.
    I think of [the Internet] as a grisly raw steak laid out on a porcelain benchtop in the sun, covered in chocolate hazelnut sauce. In the background plays Stardustís Music Sounds Better With You. Thereís lots of fog. --tomeoftom

    You ruined his point by putting it in context thatís cheating -bull0

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    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Tritagonist's Avatar
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    I haven't either, and since their official statements are often made by the OIC rather than in the name of any one particular government, it's not easy to figure out from the regular headline news.

    However, the Canadian Montreal International Forum (FIM) - which describes itself as an international NGO, Global Governance, think tank - summarized it as follows in this document (which seems to be a few years old by now): "Influential governments in terms of political, religious, economic weight and activity in the OIC include: Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Malaysia, Turkey, and Iran. Other members that have a significant influence because of their budgetary contributions include: Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Libya." The document also includes a more detailed description of what it considers influential governments within the organisation.

    Anyway, steering back to the topic of internet access as a human right, one of the "the fathers of the Internet" Vinton Gray Cerf doesn't think the term is appropriate. In January this year he wrote an article for the New York Times titled 'Internet Access Is Not a Human Right'. He wrote:

    "Over the past few years, courts and parliaments in countries like France and Estonia have pronounced Internet access a human right. But that argument, however well meaning, misses a larger point: technology is an enabler of rights, not a right itself. There is a high bar for something to be considered a human right. Loosely put, it must be among the things we as humans need in order to lead healthy, meaningful lives, like freedom from torture or freedom of conscience. (...)


    The best way to characterize human rights is to identify the outcomes that we are trying to ensure. These include critical freedoms like freedom of speech and freedom of access to information ó and those are not necessarily bound to any particular technology at any particular time. Indeed, even the United Nations report, which was widely hailed as declaring Internet access a human right, acknowledged that the Internet was valuable as a means to an end, not as an end in itself."
    "He has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to
    the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free". ~
    Luke 4:18

  18. #38
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tritagonist View Post
    I haven't either, and since their official statements are often made by the OIC rather than in the name of any one particular government, it's not easy to figure out from the regular headline news.

    However, the Canadian Montreal International Forum (FIM) - which describes itself as an international NGO, Global Governance, think tank - summarized it as follows in this document (which seems to be a few years old by now): "Influential governments in terms of political, religious, economic weight and activity in the OIC include: Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Malaysia, Turkey, and Iran. Other members that have a significant influence because of their budgetary contributions include: Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Libya." The document also includes a more detailed description of what it considers influential governments within the organisation.

    Anyway, steering back to the topic of internet access as a human right, one of the "the fathers of the Internet" Vinton Gray Cerf doesn't think the term is appropriate. In January this year he wrote an article for the New York Times titled 'Internet Access Is Not a Human Right'. He wrote:

    "Over the past few years, courts and parliaments in countries like France and Estonia have pronounced Internet access a human right. But that argument, however well meaning, misses a larger point: technology is an enabler of rights, not a right itself. There is a high bar for something to be considered a human right. Loosely put, it must be among the things we as humans need in order to lead healthy, meaningful lives, like freedom from torture or freedom of conscience. (...)


    The best way to characterize human rights is to identify the outcomes that we are trying to ensure. These include critical freedoms like freedom of speech and freedom of access to information — and those are not necessarily bound to any particular technology at any particular time. Indeed, even the United Nations report, which was widely hailed as declaring Internet access a human right, acknowledged that the Internet was valuable as a means to an end, not as an end in itself."
    Hmm. Well put, that. After conceding the other day, something started bothering me--who decides that the Internet is appropriate for job applications? Some arguments that make the Internet out to be a fundamental right could be spun around so that requiring Internet connectivity to perform certain tasks is unduly coercive. The issue is not, then, Internet access but rather a right to seek employment and education. Whether the Internet becomes involved is less a question of rights and more a question of procedures.

    That said, the practical situation is that paper applications have all but disappeared in places. Many government institutions are making paper and phone access more difficult in favor of digital systems. Petitioning the US federal government through the most "approved" channel now requires an Internet connection. Nalano touched on this sort of thing while talking about education--Internet connectivity is the easiest way to get access to information in the modern world and whether or not it's the only way to get people reliable access to information media, it is becoming the channel with the lowest barrier to entry. Similarly, whether or not the Internet is a fundamental human right ... practically speaking? Giving people their fundamental human rights requires either that a lot of our systems step backwards by about a decade or that unniversal Internet coverage is sought.
    I think of [the Internet] as a grisly raw steak laid out on a porcelain benchtop in the sun, covered in chocolate hazelnut sauce. In the background plays Stardustís Music Sounds Better With You. Thereís lots of fog. --tomeoftom

    You ruined his point by putting it in context thatís cheating -bull0

  19. #39
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Hypernetic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    Hmm. Well put, that. After conceding the other day, something started bothering me--who decides that the Internet is appropriate for job applications? Some arguments that make the Internet out to be a fundamental right could be spun around so that requiring Internet connectivity to perform certain tasks is unduly coercive. The issue is not, then, Internet access but rather a right to seek employment and education. Whether the Internet becomes involved is less a question of rights and more a question of procedures.

    That said, the practical situation is that paper applications have all but disappeared in places. Many government institutions are making paper and phone access more difficult in favor of digital systems. Petitioning the US federal government through the most "approved" channel now requires an Internet connection. Nalano touched on this sort of thing while talking about education--Internet connectivity is the easiest way to get access to information in the modern world and whether or not it's the only way to get people reliable access to information media, it is becoming the channel with the lowest barrier to entry. Similarly, whether or not the Internet is a fundamental human right ... practically speaking? Giving people their fundamental human rights requires either that a lot of our systems step backwards by about a decade or that unniversal Internet coverage is sought.
    Who decides that literacy is appropriate for job applications? Some arguments that make literacy out to be a fundamental right could be spun around so that requiring literacy to perform certain tasks is unduly coercive. The issue is not, then, literacy but rather a right to seek employment and eduction. Whether literacy becomes involved is less a question of rights and more a question of procedures.

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    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hypernetic View Post
    Who decides that literacy is appropriate for job applications? Some arguments that make literacy out to be a fundamental right could be spun around so that requiring literacy to perform certain tasks is unduly coercive. The issue is not, then, literacy but rather a right to seek employment and eduction. Whether literacy becomes involved is less a question of rights and more a question of procedures.
    Except that's not an especially clever argument. It might have been relevant when writing was newer. When written communication started to be important in daily lives, perhaps the philosophical question as to whether or not it would be wise to proceed would have been valid. Maybe it never was. But right now we're still defining the role the Internet should play in various spheres of our lives and indeed how the Internet should be controlled and structured. Not so much with literacy--except in some parts of the world and there, again, we could maybe have an discussion about that if you weren't just being snide.

    The Internet is not as fundamental to society as written language. Not least of which becasue the Internet requires an understanding of written language most of the time. It's a cute hyperbole but it's so extreme is doesn't function beyond the initial chuckle.

    Then there is the entire second paragraph in which I mention that the practical implications trump the philosophical ones. And the third paragraph in which I attack libraries.
    Last edited by gwathdring; 29-07-2012 at 01:00 AM.
    I think of [the Internet] as a grisly raw steak laid out on a porcelain benchtop in the sun, covered in chocolate hazelnut sauce. In the background plays Stardustís Music Sounds Better With You. Thereís lots of fog. --tomeoftom

    You ruined his point by putting it in context thatís cheating -bull0

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