[NetBehaviour] How a Library Saved My Life

marc garrett marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Mon Feb 7 18:40:14 CET 2011

Hi Edward,

Thanks for reading the post,

I do agree with you that on-line communities offer resources which can 
help those who wish to discover others who are either thinking or 
creating in relational or similar contexts. like I said, the Internet is 
under threat.

"Large social-networking sites are walling off information posted by 
their users from the rest of the Web. Wireless Internet providers are 
being tempted to slow traffic to sites with which they have not made 
deals. Governments -- totalitarian and democratic alike -- are 
monitoring people's online habits, endangering important human rights." 

The larger sites/platforms like itunes is centralized and walled off. 
The Murdoch Empire News International have already made invenstments 
into walling off the Internet, specifically for Sky HD broadcasting. 
Taking up mass bandwidth.

"Giant providers want it privatized to "discriminate in favor of their 
own search engines (while) slowing down or blocking services by their 
competitors. (They're) spending hundreds of millions of dollars lobbying 
Congress" and the FCC to defeat Net Neutrality and jeopardize the 
Internet's future." The Struggle for Net Neutrality - 

Make no mistake: The free-flowing Internet as we know it could very well 
become history. What does that mean? It means we could be headed toward 
a pay-per-view Internet where Web sites have fees. It means we may have 
to pay a network tax to run voice-over-the-Internet phones, use an 
advanced search engine, or chat via Instant Messenger. The next 
generation of inventions will be shut out of the top-tier service level. 
Meanwhile, the network owners will rake in even greater profits.

To me, getting rid of libraries and closing off the Internet to 
independent or smaller communities are part of the same issue. A greedy 
and intrusive effort by corporations only allowing people access to 
information as paying consumers, rather than allowing people to have the 
right find information and knowledge for free and on their own terms. 
This is a neoliberal takeover...

Wishing you well.


 > Marc -
 > That's a great post.
 > I do think, however, that you can also get a sense of being in a
 > learning community through online participation - I can remember my own
 > sense of excitement and encouragement when I first started to join
 > communities like WebArtery and TrAce online about ten years ago, and
 > found that there were all sorts of other people out there interested in
 > the same stuff I was just discovering myself. Furtherfield itself is now
 > an enormously important resource in this respect.
 > We'd better hope that this is the case, anyhow, because the library
 > system is going to be decimated for sure in the next few years. One
 > theme which keeps emerging strongly from a whole sequence of recent
 > posts is the extent to which we are now re-living the experiences of the
 > 1970s. It's not just the cutbacks, which Labour would have made as well:
 > it's the extent to which the Tories are using the cutbacks as an excuse
 > to dismantle the welfare state. What's happening in the NHS at the
 > moment is really alarming. I keep hoping that an issue is going to come
 > along which will split the coalition and thereby force a general
 > election, but maybe it's not going to happen.
 > - Edward
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 > NetBehaviour at netbehaviour.org
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