It seems to me that the internet is getting slower, more buggy and more downright frustrating. It’s gotten to the point where it’s almost unusable. In my daily life, I use various computers, at home and at work. They’re all slow and the internet connection on all of them (each one supposedly “high-speed”) reminds me of the dial-up connections of yore.
It goes without saying that, as more and more of the Earth’s teeming billions get online, there will be more traffic, more demands on already strained systems, more malicious software, more spam and more mistakes at all levels. This is to be expected.
But let’s face it. There are powerful forces that view the internet as a rival, as a dangerous force and as something that needs to be contained – or even controlled. The leftist media, though it uses the internet itself, does not like the freedom of speech that comes with it. It does not like the proliferation of unorthodox, unapproved, opinions. It fears the challenge to its own monopoly on “news” and entertainment.
Government uses the internet, but there can be little doubt that some government entities view it with suspicion and loathing – at least when others (who view those same government entities with suspicion and loathing) have equal access to it.
Conservatives and religious groups also use the internet, but they’ll do anything in their power to prevent others from viewing material they consider “offensive”. For some of them, the internet is a tool of Satan to infiltrate the minds of our young with pornography and all sorts of deviance and decadence.
Lots of powerful people have secrets and sometimes those secrets get leaked – usually through the internet. Witness Wikileaks.
Until recently there has been (we think) a balance of power between the various foes of the internet. The rest of us benefit from this balance, because the result is our own freedom of speech. But would I be particularly paranoid if I wrote that there might be some willful sabotage involved with the recent slowness? I don’t think it’s very far-fetched at all. Perhaps the balance of power is giving way to some sort of unholy alliance. Maybe religious conservatives are working together with government officials and leftist ideologues in order to curb the power of the internet – or at least make it gradually less attractive for the average joe.
I apologize for the lack of links in this post; I’m away from home and working on my very small travel laptop.