[Beowulf] [tt] World's most powerful supercomputer goes online

Ellis Wilson xclski at yahoo.com
Sat Sep 1 20:57:04 PDT 2007

My own "solution" to this is pretty draconian -- a "final solution" of
sorts.  I would legislate an "acceptable use agreement" for the Internet
at the federal level (to be used for state models as well).  It would
not be worded to compromise the rights to free speech, it would leave
pornography mostly alone (tempting a prize as that would be to idiot
lawmakers) and would focus strictly on the issues above that are clearly
attacks and which clearly cost a fortune.

I personally feel that attempting to establish which actions online are within the realm of attacks is a job that will be unfortunately held (and run poorly) by human beings.  Perhaps in the beginning all will be well, and indeed free speech will continue to reign.  However, I would not at all be suprised if the entire system went awry and some federal body (I presume you are making this argument American centered, which also presents an interesting thought:  America filters "acceptable" action on the net; China anyone?) decides to waver from its obviously unbiased stance and attempt to benefit a company moreso than another.

Take this example.  Let's say such an agreement was established at the "beginning of the internet" (yes, I know, I'm young :).  One of the markets that seriously suffered (I'm talking billions here too) was term life insurance.  One of those pesky sites came along, simply presenting the rates of each of the many companies in a quickly rational table, making competition much more steep.  Previously, the haziness of truth had allowed these companies to avoid competition largely, but alas, the internet brought a swift and complete end to that.  Let's also assume that as this was coming together, someone in the federal governement of wherever decided that this action would "clearly cost a fortune" to certain persons he/she was in league with, and thus, it would "clearly" constitute an attack.  Thats the end of that site.

To us, clearly, the above would abruptly disrupt free speech.  However, it is of my belief that clarity is often viewed through a dollar bill (or other paper currency).  The clarity of a Duke professor or say, a college student such as myself, might be well estranged from a money hungry politician, and thus able to achieve fair objectivity.  Unfortunately, the "feds", run by politicians in large, I believe have an alterted slide rule to help them understand objectivity.

Call me an internet darwinist.  I certainly don't think taking over computers (even if they are largely unprotected) is awesome, and definitely don't make a past time out of it.  However, if that is being done, and those victims cannot defend themselves properly, that is completely due to the lack of security on the victim's part.  I don't care whether the code is "good" or "bad", if such things exist, I just cannot see (even the most well intended) restrictions on the internet ending up unabused.


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