We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

Everything on [the Internet] is changing minute by minute, and the idea of establishing a level playing field, as if all bandwidth is homogeneous, is just ludicrous.

George Gilder

13 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Paul Marks


  • John Galt III

    Level Playing Field = Fairness

    I soon as I hear that, I know the Socialists, Fascists and Obama voters are out for my blood, my liberty and my money.

  • Julie near Chicago


  • The playing field level? It is up hill in any direction I run. And then there is death.

  • Regional

    Bourgeois Liberal Socialism is a greater evil than Fascism and Marxism.

  • Regional

    Now that Astraya has dropped the soap can the Englanders avoid throwing in the towel and not snatch defeat from the jaws of victory?

  • Mr Ed

    Regional, you win… the most shameless crowbarring in a topic of the year award. The answer is that nothing is beyond England’s capacity in that department, they coukd probably miss the Earth’s surface on a parachute jump on a good day.

    As for this ‘level playing field’, we know who would be doing the levelling, and by its very nature, that would call for a tyrannical mindset. This sort of proposal should be called tyrannical, and labelled as censorship, and cut the debate down to that simple point.

  • Watchman


    You may be a bit off the mark with one of your comments – although I’m with you on the idea of confusing our US readers with cricket references.

    But liberal socialism is hardly a greater evil than ideologies that actually inter and kill political opponents – it might be equally damaging, but (other than a few of its ‘supporters’, who are like the guy who advocated Pinochet’s regime as a model the lunatic fringe) it does not advocate killing those it disagrees with; indeed, one of its actual strengths is disdain for the death penalty.

    It is also quite a bit easier to live freely in a liberal socialist country than one run by proper totalitarian idiots.

    They’re wrong and stupid, but to call liberal socialists worse than some of the extreme ideologies in the world risks appearing wronger and stupider…

  • Johnathan Pearce (London)

    When Gilder is good, he’s very good. Wealth and Poverty, even if you don’t buy the idea that “entrepreneurs are altruists” stuff, is one of those books that really affected how I think about business, competition and monopoly. He is one of those writers who really gets to the heart of why Silicon Valley and all the other tech centres have thrived as they have. He is also a strong defender of Israel not so much for religious reasons, but for ardently pro-capitalist ones.

  • The Sanity Inspector

    Gilder was a notso hotso futurist in the 90s, but he’s right about this.

  • Alec Muffett

    Is this a net neutrality thing? If so, it’s off-kilter. All bandwidth is homogeneous, all ones and zeros with an overall quality of service which you pay for – eg: lower latency for gamers. To say that some bits at the IP level are better than others on the basis of where they come from – as opposed to on a basis of what you are paying for – is an attempt to introduce artificial scarcity and seek rent for it.

  • Alec Muffett

    The scarcity being, obviously, gated access to “customers” from the perspective of providers, or vice versa. A flat infrastructure with net neutrality allows the person in the house next door to provide services to you on par with Netflix, and for people to participate in the network as nodes rather than as data-sinks. 🙂

  • Thailover

    Alec wrote,

    “A flat infrastructure with net neutrality allows the person in the house next door to provide services to you on par with Netflix,”

    Well, the average between my next door neighbor and Netflix = my stream from Netflix sucks. Truly competetive markets makes commodities more abundant and cheaper. (Which is why “the poor” families have refrigerators, stoves, ovens, floor carpeting, even ball point pens, all of which only the rich owned in abundance 50-70yrs ago.)
    Anyone who falls for “net neutrality” is truely clueless because it’s the same tired, old, rehashed MO collectivists use on everything, including “climate change”, i.e. a gov power grab for control over allegedly static resources and a demand for a ransom, er I mean a “charge” for said “regulation”.

    …to save us from ourselves, of course.

    Think of the children! LOL