May 12th, 2006

Semiformalishmaybe

Cheerleaders for Inhuman Forces

I was thinking recently about Net Neutrality, and the efforts to reestablish it, and I recalled that it's really an issue that has very little to do with people. It's more about trying to be fair to businesses, which, given that businesses are not people to begin with, isn't nearly as coherent a concept. It is not completely incoherent in the sense that we might worry about being unfair to rain when we put up an umbrella -- businesses, perhaps a bit less than societies, tend to recieve some concern by nature of being composed (kind of) of individual wills striving towards some common goals. It's much easier to identify with small, privately-owned businesses this way, but even then, I don't think these intuitions are strong enough for serious moral weight. I don't think we should care about being fair to Google because we respect Google as an embodiment of some human will. Instead, we should care about Net Neutrality because of three other reasons: First, Google so far has been (mostly and comparatively) good for the people, an second, those who aim to end Net Neutrality aim to play kingmaker and reduce the influence of companies that are introducing changes in the marketplace and society that are (relatively) good for people. Finally, to the extent that we are going to keep Capitalism as a system, monopolistic Capitalism without significant public input is much more dangerous than managed capitalism or petit-bourgeoiis capitalism. The parts of Capitalism that tend towards monopoly by nature should be nationalised and managed/overseen more heavily by the people than things in the private sector, and the earlier that is done, the less would need to be taken into the public sector. We should care about Net Neutrality because it's good for the people and avoids dangerous concentrations of private power, not because it is fair, because given what corporations are designed to be, fairness to them is a distraction.

My sinuses have decided to wake up and make life unpleasant.

I wanted to take Russian again this summer, but the professor I wanted to take it from is offering it at the insane-early hour of 9am. Doing that would ruin my summer. Looking through the course catelog, oddly the only other two classes that stand out as interesting are history classes, also taught by him (I had no idea he's primarily a history teacher). They are, however, all monday-friday, and an hour and a half, which is a pretty large burden. I am left with four (or three, really) options:

  • Take Russian 1 at 9am every morning, not getting as much sleep as I'd like for the whole summer. Not very appealing.
  • Take Cold War in Documents and Film from 13:30-14:50
  • Take American Foreign Policy 1945-Present from 15:00-16:20. This might be difficult given that I tend to have meetings that overlap this
  • Take the summer off from classes, just doing work stuff, relaxing, and private projects
I am presently undecided on what to do. Feel free to advise me, understanding that I tend to take classes out of intellectual curiosity, not for any job-functional purpose.
Semiformalishmaybe

A Social Type of Magic

For the last few weeks, whenever I've gone to Giant Eagle, I've felt that what I wanted simply wasn't there. I was wondering if there was some undiscovered food group I was hungry for, or if it was just a bad interpretation on abstract hunger. Tonight, I finally figured it out. I want indian food, and Giant Eagle doesn't have it. This should not surprise me -- I eat indian-style food for most of the week, from Srees to India Garden, and so when I think about food, I usually think about samosa, chickpeas, and similar. Of course, Ethiopean food counts too -- the essential thing is that it has a lot of flavour, and outside of those cuisines, not much food seems to do that well (and pleasantly). Cajun food can, but I haven't seen any Cajun places in Pittsburgh.

My legs are still pleasantly happy from jumping up and down at the TMBG concert. It's one of those good kinds of bruisedness.

Today I went with L to get a new plant for my apartment, moving Herb to a bigger pot and placing a new smaller (not-yet-named) plant into Herb's old pot.

My sinuses are very unhappy.