I promised that I would make a more cogent and lucid effort and elaborating upon my thoughts as it concerns the matter of Nyms.
I will invariably not do justice to the tempest in a teapot that is my brain, ideas and thoughts disjointed and fleeting in their ephemerality.
Perhaps before we have a discussion of Nyms we need to talk about human rights, and how they differ in this cyberplace visiting all of our homes.
And to understand human rights, we must invariably refer to the Magna Carta, the basis and the core of any and all constitutions written thereafter; it established the notion that the king himself was not infallible, that he had to adhere to and answer for his treatment of the people.
And most essential to the Magna Carta was the idea that no free man could be punished except be it through the law of the land.
The idea was revolutionary. It meant that the king could not arbitrarily punish at whim for no other reason than the infallibility granted unto him by the Godhead itself.
The United States Constitution set out more specific rights and freedoms dictated to us as a populace as to how to keep those powers which govern us accountable to the people, and whether one or another agrees on the validity and interpretation of individual amendments and certifications, it is indeed inarguable that the Founders of the U.S.A. intended for their country to be a Republic by and for the People, governed and ordered for both the common man and the individualist themselves.
We were given a Republic, if we could keep it. I know that, perhaps, some of you readers and followers aren’t of the States, but the States served as a proving ground for most Constitutions written afterward, and many human rights conceived therein have been included from Germany to Australia.
And some may argue that the Founders of the States did not and could not foresee the corruption and invariable siphoning of wealth, power and influence into the upper eschelon’s of our society through corporatist culture, something which people from all walks of life can readily recognize.
Yet the East Indies Trading Company was an example of classism and the power for wealthy and affluent mercantile classes to affect the poor and common individual through their practices and positioning with the Royal courts of various countries.
These issues were again dealt with in the era of the Robber Barons and the Railroad Tycoons, seizing upon an opportunity that they noted would improve the common man. More importantly, though, an opportunity that they could profit from, and through that profit make their services a necessity that would cripple the common man unless they willingly paid the price of utilization of those services.
Just as the Robber Barons utilized the needed route of the Rhine river to extort funds from merchants shipping along the Rhine, the Tycoons of the 1850’s-1890’s United States utilized their positioning to extort funds from companies and businesses that had no other option but to buy, otherwise their competitors would have wider distributions because they were willing to pay the price.
This resulted in the Sherman Anti-Trust act, which is what even common people are unknowingly referring to when they refer to the idea of Monopoly.
And for a rather brief span of time, there was some amount of alleviation from disreputable practices from major companies who had few to no competitors. Though society soon learned that Monopolies were not expressly the domain of goods and shipping transactions.
The most notable and recent implementation of monopoly law was the 1984 break up of the American Bell Telephone System, or Ma Bell. Again, it was through ubiquity and general inability for people to implement other options that led to an abuse of the public by a corporate power.
While some may argue that Microsoft was the most recent implementation of Monopoly Law, Microsoft was effectively issued a warning and given guidelines as to how they were to proceed. American Bell was dismantled into separate companies.
At this point I would like to address one of the common arguments that are brought up by people who are chiming in on the Nymwars concerning Google+. For those who feel that Google’s + service is an option and that there are many others, if you might kindly consider the following;
When a trusted service becomes the method of use amongst a given populace and is name-brand recognizable as the entity to implement in a given situation, does this perspective influence the behavior of the majority of a populace into utilizing the service that is most recognizable? Also, does this impart a certain level of trust, even whereby there may be no further reason to trust?
Price-fixing is merely one of the easiest ways to implement a monopoly, agreeing with your competitors to set a particular price on a good or service and never to sell it for any less to anyone wishing to compete or utilize your service (See current Telephony, Internet Service Providers and the subject of Net Neutrality)
The United States does not even rank in the top 10 of wired countries, worldwide. This may or may not be a result of current collusion practices amongst the only handful of Internet Service Providers throughout the country, for that I will leave you to decide.
Monopolism does not require Price-fixing, though. In fact, you can get away with charging nothing and still have a Monopoly.
Which brings me to Google and its Plus Service.
A person is not required to use Google, by any means. You don’t have to use Google Plus, Gmail, Google Notebook, Google Bookmarks, Google Scholar, Google Checkout, Google Maps, Google Reader, Picasa, Youtube, Google Calendar, iGoogle, Blogger, Orkut, Google Earth or any of the other number of Google Services.
You don’t have to use Google. You can go elsewhere.
Let us examine for a minute; Youtube and Google Maps. Google Streetview.
We invent technology to make our lives easier, and by God, Google makes our lives easier. Having one place to find everything you could ever want is the vision, having one service with one account and one way of logging in. One site to Rule them All.
So yes. We can go elsewhere. And the internet would go on without us, as I am sure it invariably will. We are, after all, just another brick in the wall.
So now we come to it. This isn’t about Google. It isn’t about Google or its policy of utilizing real names and real people data to implement a more useful service. It is about not having a choice in the matter.
Now wait, you might say. You do have a choice. There is Diaspora, and Facebook, and MySpace and a number of other services you can go to be and do whatever your whimsy might fancy.
You can say that, and you can be both blithely correct and ridiculously false in the same breadth of space.
We are given but two options; Join or be Irrelevant.
“Resistance is Futile, your Cultural and Technological distinctiveness will be assimilated.”
And yet despite my hyperbolic paraphrasing of a popular cultural meme, I know inherantly I have not convinced you of this. Those of you who haven’t a consideration for Nyms cannot see how this might effect you, or how you could possibly miss us when we are gone.
And yet most of the memorable people in your lives, people whom your culture identifies and depicts in the movies and Television of the time, they are all Nyms. With fair and few exception do you find a person in the entertainment fields that do not utilize a nom de guerre or nom de plume.
Yet does this lack of identity reduce their influence or importance on your life? If they were gone, would you argue that your life was richer and better off from the absence?
But this is not about Nyms.
This is about Self Autonomy.
This is about you common people and your rights as human beings.
It isn’t about we faceless shells of opinion and thought, it is not about the unlabelled and unprocessed or our irreconcilable natures.
We are but mere conveniences in an ongoing struggle that has persisted throughout history, but implementations of example to serve for you, our common public.
As tools of the trade we serve a vital function to the functionaries and facilitators in federal and financial demesnes.
We are but paving on the road to a more acceptable future for the Controllers of the world, and who amongst you notices the cobblestones and wonder what their stories were or would have been had they voices?
This, our internet, is our last best hope for truly free humanity… and yet those amongst you who cannot see beyond wanting to know what Bob is up to this evening or if Mary’s kids have graduated yet cannot or will not see what you stand to lose if this place of ours is lost.
It does not belong only to us, the Nyms and Nons of the Net. It is YOURS too, and we fight to protect it for YOU as well, whether you recognize it as for you or not.
And to defend it for the best of you, we must defend it for the least of you.
“The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one’s time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.”
- H.L. Mencken
Mencken was a journalist and a thinker, and like Samuel Clemens who was his contemporary, he had a sharp wit and tongue.
We have reached a time in this age of the Internet where those old standards need be hefted again upon their pole and whereby some of us, even if not all of us, take it upon ourselves to fight for the least of you, so that the best of us may retain those liberties and rights that better men have died and bled for.
Corporatism is the new form of Divine Right, and Google is merely at the forefront of a bigger and more threatening attack against the common man; that the common man should choose to join or choose to die away from the web. Should choose to accept the price or choose to do without.
And Google is not alone. For safety sake, and for the comfort of our own menialities, we should swallow poison just for the sacred privilege of utilizing the services of great Multi-conglomerates and Super-nationals?
Yes, we may “CHOOSE” to go elsewhere… but rather than the broken down corner stand and the empty street where an abandoned newspaper and plastic bag rolls by without comment, is it really an option? Go and be elsewhere is what you would have of us, because we ask for BETTER?
This has been your Heresy of the Day. For those who follow me on Diaspora or Twitter, Feel free to share these thoughts where you might.