During the month of September I have officially broke one thousand unique viewers here at AnthonyDeLorenzo.com. Although this is a tiny number (for instance the MID site this used to be received over 15K a month) I am still impressed what a small amount of advertising can do. This may just make me post something worthy of an audience, instead of usual rambling musings. Have a good night, I shall attempt to do the same.
It has been a long war. Our grizzled veteran lays down, stiffness overtaking his once youthful body. His apartment, filled with novelties of his past exploits which once gave solace to his chaotic mind were now only hollow reminders of the battles he fought.
The inevitable fatigue of a long day slowly closes his eyes. Two eyelids meet for a fleeting moment, and a vision passes through our soldiers’ mind. He recalls a recent battle, horrified by his surroundings.Two of his counterparts are being assaulted on all fronts, they are pinned down with no possibility of escape. Our soldier runs, hoping to help his friends but it is too late; they are lost in a bevvy of hostile fire.
His eyes open momentarily. His swirling mind focuses as he recalls his surroundings. The ceiling of his quiet apartment is no comfort for the horrors he has recalled. As the beast that is sleep drags his eyes shut again, he prays he shall not be faced with more visions of his past.
Again, our champion attempts to slumber. As his body lays still still his mind races. Another vision appears, another demon for his psyche to wrestle with. He is again back in the desolate plane where his mind always wanders to, where his nightmares play out. This time he is alone patrolling the long stretches searching for any sign of hostility, or perhaps more optimistically, friends come to rescue him from this hell. Turning a corner he sees a flash of a person, standing brazenly no more than 50 feet away. Our soldier approaches, follows his training and calls out asking if any assistance is needed. As soon as the soldier finishes his polite query the suspect bolts, grabbing something as they head for better cover. It is too late for our valiant and he sees what has happened all too late. The building he has worked hard to maintain and keep hospitable has been felled with a flickering wisp of a wrist. Our soldier survives this ordeal, but after this indignation, after his hard work for the community was destroyed with no other motivation but anger, does he have a purpose to continue?
Panting and sweating heavily our soldier wakes. His slumber provides no rest, only more pain. Numbly he suppresses the blaring alarm, and stands so that he may continue the struggle of existence. He opens his closet and pulls out his uniform, shuddering slightly. He does not know why he fights so hard, or why he continues down his path of self-apparent destruction. He just knows he must take one structured step forward, followed by another and report to a life he does not want. Perhaps the war will end. Perhaps.
Yes, it is a comcast rant. I am certainly not a pioneer in hating comcast, but I am furious nonetheless. Recently comcast won a case against the FCC, which ruled that the FCC does not currently have the authority to govern ISP’s ability to manage web traffic. This case was the result of Comcast and other internet providers throttling or shutting down subscribers use of any sort of p2p activity, regardless of if you were torrenting an entire install of hacked Microsoft 7 and Office, or your grandmothers carrot cake recipe with home video of her baking it. Present data suggests that facebook(and similarly trafficked sites) and porn account for only about 30% of total web traffic, and p2p accounts for nearly the entire remainder of web traffic. Throttling of p2p can be seen as removing 70% of the web from comcast subscribers fingertips. Lets say you really love your stylish 1953 Trabant:
You zoom along frequenting your favorite spots giving winks to all the pretty little things that flock to your pimpmobile, and finally head back home after a long day of being fine in that sexy auto. The next day you open your garage door and BAM you see your Trabant sitting there prostrate sans engine, seats and transmission:
That’s what the internet is without p2p. Facebook may have 400 million users, but only 33 percent of internet users even visit facebook daily (up from ~10% about a year ago), there are many more people who use p2p, even if they dont know it. Large video game companies need p2p to disperse large content patches. Think what would happen if the millions of people who play online games tried to access direct http downloads of the latest patches for their favorite games: they would bankrupt just paying for bandwidth. Nearly every video game you play is updated through bit torrent, just with a flashy game specific download bar.
Recently I have been attempting to torrent some I would call legal (I say this because the RIAA would probably call any download illegal, bought by you or not, as they say even iPods are illegal) material, and within 15 minutes my downloads are sub 50kbs/sec. Within 30 minutes my downloads stop entirely as does my ability to load a single web page. I have to reset router/modem just to get back online. I am not without my technical expertise when it comes to this sort of thing, and short of SSH tunneling or paying my way into a VPN there is nothing I can do. I genuinely hope that the FCC follows through with its plans for net neutrality, and is indeed granted the ability to oversee net traffic. Regardless of what the FCC is able to do, for this offense and a litany of others, I will be changing providers once the opportunity arises.
Today, I was confronted with someone who did not know who Stephen Hawking is. This person didn’t know of his books or his achievements, but more intriguingly didn’t know who he was after seeing a picture of him, or hearing his distinct synthesized speech. I attempted to rationalize how anyone could be so ignorant to what I would consider the most notable and recognizable scientist alive(perhaps I would call Niel Degrasse Tyson the most recognized from his seven visits to the Colbert Show and countless other tv appearances, but certainty not as notable as Hawking). The most damning piece of this story is that the ignorant person in question is a soon to be college graduate.
How is this possible? How can a seemingly academically successful individual be able to go through well over two decades of life, of learning, without so much of a whisper of Hawkings name floating through their ears. I can only speculate. If I were pressed to provide some sort of reason why, I would have to blame this persons k-12 education. I am now and have been a resident of Florida for quite some time, and I can I believe rightfully assume this person is indeed a product of the Florida public education system as well(abbreviated to FPES ). Although I started my experience in the FPES perhaps later in my academic career than this individual as I transferred down to Florida with my family in the year 2000, which put me into 8th grade middle school I think I can speak with some honesty about the k-12 situation in it’s entirety. Bluntly, it is dismal. I am by no far means an intelligent person whose intellectual status would elevate me above the median intelligence of my peers, but I coasted through my time in the FPES using the knowledge I had gained previously. That previous knowledge was attained in Vermont, in their public schools system from kindergarten to 7th grade. This accelerated start, only by comparison, lead me to see how gloriously stupid the FPES had made my peers. Memory willing, I cannot remember a time when I discussed contemporary literary, scientific, or really any astute mind in my time in the FPES. Of course it would be more than possible for a product of the FPES to not know you Hawking is.
I digress. My first post on this new blogging thing(I’m only a few years behind on the times) is a ranting post about Florida’s poor education system. It doesn’t help that I am personally connected to this system, as there are more than a half dozen people in my life that are, or who will be teachers in the not-too-distant future. I would like to believe that my pursuing posts will be a bit more focused, but that is no more than a fevered dream.
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