[Reader-list] The death of the Internet as we know it

Rakesh Iyer rakesh.rnbdj at gmail.com
Sat Sep 5 23:33:09 IST 2009

Dear all

I think one must carefully distinguish between needs and wants. Wants are
basically privileges, and hence they can be taxed for, for even though they
do provide freedoms of various kinds, subsidization of wants will lead to
huge problems of unrestrained use of resources, without either giving any
thought to the legitimate rights of future generations to have the same
wants, or to the environment and nature, and the right of all human beings
and even creatures to live with dignity.

I can understand therefore, if someone is concerned about food prices and
therefore shouts about food being unavailable to the poor, primarily because
it's a need for every human being to exist. But the internet is not a need
because human race has survived even without it in the past. It has been a
great tool in enhancing freedoms of allowing information to move freely
across, to communicate with people, and also providing various kinds of
services. But in the end, it's a want and not a need. Therefore, if some
company providing such a service charges for it in some measure, I don't
feel it's a thing to be necessarily worried about.

The rich and the middle class can still pay for it, and others can live
without it in other ways. Probably this will bring back the time of letters,
greeting cards and love-letters as well, ensure greater personal interaction
amongst people living close but aloof thanks to internet usage,  and also
libraries and book functions will be important. Alternatively, as Pheeta
said, we could get newer technologies and solutions better than the
expensive Internet. And who knows, as Linux came as a counter to Windows, we
could also have the same possibility here as well.

Therefore, I don't think it's an argument to be heavily contested against.
Ultimately, if the internet becomes costly and loses too many users, it will
be a disaster, which is where I agree with Pheeta again.

Already unrestrained use of internet leads to huge consumption across the
houses of the economically forward people, as also institutions like the one
I study in. This has to be checked, so why not introduce such a principle of
payment itself? While basic needs should be fulfilled, excess consumption
must be discouraged as well, and we can keep some restrictions with the idea
of sustainable development as well, for the long run.



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