Why is the site black right now?

The United States of America is confronting—again—the reality of both systemic racism and police brutality, which is disproportionately directed at people of color.

Along with many other sites, we have turned this site black to point to the importance of black lives, and to express our solidarity with the people of color in this country, who have continually experienced racism in forms both subtle and overt for many centuries.

We know that this kind of visual gesture is often just performative, and that too often it stands in for actually doing something. We make this small change as a visual symbol of our stance—but we’re also working in our own ways in our own communities to make things better, pursuing justice and peace. In our podcast, we will be discussing a book by a black feminist in July—a decision we made well before this latest moment of horrific injustice. Racism is a problem with deep and structural roots in American society, and we could not reasonably talk about the ethics and epistemology of technology without technology’s effects on racism and racism’s effects on technology in America and beyond.

Episode 5.09 Regulate All The Things!

Negative / Visible / Legal:
regulations and the open internet

Tagged: ethics, politics

(download directly)

Show Notes

We look at internet policy and regulations as a view into the broader question of the relationship between government regulations and markets. Are all regulations harmful to the free market? Is a free market always the best? How do ideas like net neutrality and local loop unbundling play into it?


Chris said, wrongly, that the North Carolina state government prevented Charlotte from building its own municipal fiber. What actually happened was the state passed a law preventing cities (like Wilson, North Carolina, which with the FCC sued the state but ultimately lost in a federal appeals court) from building out infrastructure to other communities (including rural areas outside the incorporated area of the city). The laws claimed to be in defense of competition; but there is notably no rush to build higher-speed internet to those rural areas.

The Winning Slowly Internet Platform

What do we think is necessary for a well-functioning internet?

  1. Consistency and Reliability: or, you should be able to get sufficient speeds to learn or do your job on a normal basis.
  2. A Free/Functioning Market for Content: or, a level playing field for all the bits.
  3. A Competitive Market for Internet Service: or, enabling (1) and (2) by making internet service providers earn customers.



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The Hosts

Chris Krycho is a software engineer, podcaster, writer, and occasional composer. He lives with his family in Colorado.

Stephen Carradini is a digital media scholar and professor, writer, editor, and songwriter. He lives with his family in Arizona.


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