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The power to communicate and the power to transform society belongs to everyone

George Garza • Dec 16, 2010

There is something awkward about the way we as a society view communication. Perhaps the lack of comprehension is due to the business surrounding the idea.

We live in a world where communication is taken for granted. We waste words without any real attention to their meaning, let alone their value.

We see communication as a career path. We don’t fully embrace the notion that it is inherently human to communicate, or to want to. Communicating with others makes us feel connected. In fact, our whole development, from prehistory to now, is communication-based.

From the first clans to modern nations, all of the systems in place are products of communication. We don’t often reflect on the concept as a whole, though, or its impact in the way we live and the way we can use it for progress. We discuss situations and we make decisions on how to deal with them.

It boggles my mind how we have come so far through advancements in technology only to devise a tier system for global communication; telecommunications to be more specific.

Get this:

We live in a world where anyone with access to a phone line or the Internet can connect and communicate with someone half a world away. In this simple action, we hold the power to transform the planet. Still, we generally fail to realize the potential impact these tools can have; tools that were invented not for financial gain, but for communication on a grander scale.

Telecommunications has changed the world… AND, it will continue to change the world.

The problem is that the average person likely has no clue about why this is important. Furthermore, even those who do find some sort of value in these networks can’t seem to relate to the dire situation at hand.

Let me break it down for you:

Telephone companies have already convinced us that telephone usage is a service that must be ruled for profitability. More so, it is a privilege, something no one deserves or has the right to, but is granted because of priority over others. And so we have a tier system run by a multitude of companies competing with each other to delegate who can speak to whom, where, for how long, at what time, and even in some cases about what.

We have already accepted this, surrendering the ideal that EVERYONE should be entitled to the “privilege” regardless of whether or not they can afford the “coverage”. That’s just the way it is, right?

We are about to surrender the same ideal about the Internet. Telecommunications companies are about to implement a tier system through the world’s most viable network; the network that took us to the future.

This tier system is not just about who your service provider is. It’s about the gatekeepers; the entities that make the rules.

I can only speak for myself in identifying the problem with these rules. I simply don’t like what these rules say. The rules say that some deserve, and some do not. They say that those who can pay the price can play the game, or rather, manipulate the game. The rules say that those in power can stay in power and continue stacking the odds in their favor. As usual, it’s about money.

Not to go off into a rant, but THIS IS A POWER ISSUE, and if it is a power issue, then THIS IS ALSO A CLASS ISSUE. Therefore, IT IS ALSO AN ISSUE OF RACE, GENDER, AGE, AND CREED. For me, this is that complex of an issue because it really does play that big of a role in shaping society.

I for one am disheartened by the fact that we are still running in circles, continually fighting, trying to put people in their place, defending status, denying progress, and undermining the importance of  inclusion. I hope that soon we finish these class wars and work towards a holistic future.

In the meantime, maybe we can spread the word and preserve the Internet as it is.

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