Tag Archives: Netflix

Net Neutrality Is Still Retarded

It’s the calculation problem. Always has, always will be:

By arbitrarily changing existing markets for internet service, regulators risk corrupting the fragile preconditions necessary for firms and consumers to calculate rationally, and the incentives necessary to lure investment and risk-laden innovative enterprises. The result could be excess demand in the market for internet service if regulations force prices too low, excess supply if regulations force prices too high, or stilted innovation in ISP technology altogether.

tl;dr version: Corporate stakeholders spend their lizard-brain lives nailing the range of right price(s) at any given time. They don’t know much, but bureaucrats know even less. I would even argue their knowledge of right prices is always approaching zero, since their knowledge is downstream from price determination; they know what corporations are doing only after stakeholder calculations are complete, and how markets (aka: consumers) react to them.

Therefore, all policy regarding prices is arbitrary, and given a long enough duration and holding all else constant, policy will cause higher prices or massive supply shortages—probably the latter. If you though the gas shortages in the 1970’s were bad, wait until millennials can’t post a drunk selfie to Instagram during SXSW, or binge-watch the latest edgy one-hour drama on Netflix, because of inevitable bandwidth restrictions.

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Ebook Sales Trend Downward

Due to screen fatigue…at least in the United Kingdom:

“I wouldn’t say that the ebook dream is over but people are clearly making decisions on when they want to spend time with their screens,” says Stephen Lotinga, chief exeutive of the Publishers Association, which published its annual yearbook on Thursday.

“There is generally a sense that people are now getting screen tiredness, or fatigue, from so many devices being used, watched or looked at in their week. [Printed] books provide an opportunity to step away from that.”

You can’t Netflix the latest edgy one-hour drama or search for Caitlyn Jenner’s eyebrow waxing routine on a static, printed book. Amazon might do well to keep up with pre-fourth generation Kindles, where it was an actual e-book reader and not an iPad clone.

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I Don’t Know What This Is

I can hear my heartbeat in my left ear. A heart can go at any time, and you’re gone. If you’re lucky, you expired on the sofa and your corpse can binge watch the next eight seasons of the Gilmore Girls Netflix revival. Spoiler: Rory will have a few dozen more babies out of wedlock and live off the (coerced) kindness of (taxpaying) strangers. But she’s still st Continue reading

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Dancing Mechas

While doing research for Pale Blue Scratch, on ballet and dancing in general, I came upon this video while following rabbit trails on Google. It’s the intro for a series I had watched a few years ago on Netflix, before one of their anime purges. I have no reason for posting it, other than I remembered how realistic the machine (called a “rideback”) looked and “felt”—probably just as realistic as the mech from District 9 (extremely nsfw). Japanese art direction in anime tends to be ridiculously detailed, so it makes sense that creators would want to match real-world physics for further effect.

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Net Neutrality is a Bad Idea

I normally pay no attention to legislative news because, as Michael Corleone said, politics and crime are the same thing. Inordinately fixating on the schemes of social deviants does not reside in the realm of the sane. But since the issue of net neutrality has some personal impact as a software engineer, I have some level of interest in it.

Gary North has some good thoughts on it.

What if an Internet Service Provider wants to charge Comcast or Netflix more money, because it’s hogging the available bandwidth? The FCC says no.

This is the fundamental law of economics: “At zero price, there is more demand than supply.” The FCC denies that this law exists. So, it wants to slow everyone down by making sure that the big boys don’t get charged more.

Here is the law of bandwidth: “Bandwidth gets cheaper.” So, the growing pie will keep us all well-fed. If buyers are sellers of bandwidth want to negotiate, so what?

The telecom industry is, at many levels, very free from artificial regulation*, but by its very category, corporations—ISPs included—are regulated and enjoy artificial regulation in their favor. We don’t know what ISPs, both large and small, would be like if they didn’t benefit from government’s helping hand. The best we have are guesses and conjectures, some better than others.

I’ve heard that net neutrality is to ensure that “all information is treated equally,” which is a sentiment of beautiful nonsense. No one in the history of humanity in forever has treated all information equally. It’s impossible, and passing a law is not going to change fundamental human preference and behavior.

* I say “artificial regulation” because everything is essentially regulated, i.e., I buy one thing and not another when I go to the grocery store. What matters is who is doing the regulating and how they are doing it. Using the “artificial” qualifier is a way to conceptually separate a non-market, invasive regulation, as opposed to a market-based, spontaneous-occurring regulation that happens in the absence of central planning.

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