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Comment Re:Never underestimate familiarity (Score 0) 1387

Kids of parents who learned both metric and imperial are now working.

The US has used metric to some extent for over a hundred years.

No country in the world uses only one system.

The reason people haven't switched to metric for some things, is because they don't want to, not because of some law. It's perfectly legal to use metric for anything.

The religious belief that one measuring system must be better than another is one never examined.

Comment Re:ownership of the spectrum (Score 0) 58

Radio waves for cell phones should be for cell phones. Radio waves for stereos should be for stereos.

That's a different problem than the very limiting licensure scheme we have now.

Although, I suspect if there were no regulation on which parts of the spectrum were to be used for different devices, technology would come about that mitigated the problem. That's more speculative, though.

Comment Re:ownership of the spectrum (Score 0) 58

>Exactly the same thing which enables you to own your computer: society.

But somehow nobody is able to own all the computers. There's a limited amount of materials for those.

Say that your worry comes true, and all the beaches are bought up by the rich. And they charge 10,000$ a day for admission. People will go to gym pools, their apartment pool, etc. There will be a huge gap in the market, though, for cheap, clean beach admission. Whoever gets to that market first will make a lot of money.

Comment Re:ownership of the spectrum (Score 0) 58

What keeps me from owning all the houses that wouldn't keep me from owning all the beaches?

Surely there are more ISPs than there were before. What regulation changed?

I should have been more exact, you're right. There has never been an instance of a free-r market doing worse than a more centralized one.

Comment Re:ownership of the spectrum (Score 0) 58

The beach has to have a lifeguard, yes? People to clean the beach, etc. Who pays for it? Who do they pay to? Who sends the lifeguard a check?

The government doesn't pay it. The beach doesn't pay it. Only people can pay. The question is, under which system will the costs be lowest for the best service.

Compare how often your library is open to how often Barnes and Noble is open. Their return policies, about the same. Reading conditions, about the same. Barnes and Noble is cheaper if you want to keep the book, and they're nicer about it. The library surely has a higher budget, which is paid by people whether they use it or not.

Comment Re:ownership of the spectrum (Score 0) 58

Radio waves are of course produced by people. The laws of nature aren't, but that's not what's being sold. The auction would be particular frequencies over a particular area. Man invented these frequencies as much as we invented any cut of stone.

How would anyone have gotten to be a legitimate owner, under your principle? Should any new resource not be appropriated? All that is happening is people are deciding to release the use of a particular wavelength over their land, in order that it be used at all.

The guarantee would be the same guarantee that anything gets to benefit anyone. Nothing is different in this case. Do dairy farmers make milk for people in Seattle because they love the people in Seattle?

Government tends to create things when they have a competitive need to create something. In the case of long range communications, they were competing against other militaries. How will the government innovate with regard to the domestic market?

The reason that you'd think privatization would make things improve is by looking at a history book. Invention tends to come from the desire to make money. The desire to have more tends to force people to create desirable things.

For ships and airplanes, traffic is only a problem at ports. And an employee of a company can surely manage those signals. No different are the appropriations of who will handle any other kind of signal. If someone has built an undersea line in the path of your planned line, such that it hopelessly blocks yours, surely you'd wish the option to buy the line rights was available.

Price fixing schemes never seem to last. Each of the members would gain by under-bidding his associates, as long as his place in the market is not secured by a license (which could be threatened by cronyism). The only thing that keeps competition from occurring is a government intervention keeping the barrier to entry out.

As I've just written, a competitive market would be much better than one planned by friends of the government.

People tend to ask "which singular, central plan should we implement?" It's like the question "which God created the universe?"

Comment Re:ownership of the spectrum (Score 0) 58

So there's more people enjoying the beach without anyone being taxed to fund it.

I don't see the problem.

Why should property rights suddenly be suspended for beaches?

It's much less efficient to decide things by popular vote than to divide the spectrum up and allow numerous competing companies to provide the best service possible. It sounds plausible to just put an angel in charge, but there has never been an instance observed of a central authority doing better than a free competition.

Why do we bother with sports matches? I'm sure a very accurate estimation of each player could be formulated, and then these numbers ranked from highest to lowest, and we'd never have to bother. Everyone knows that models always do great at predicting reality.

Comment Re:ownership of the spectrum (Score -1) 58

How does a hotel make money off a closed beach?

Should everyone be made poorer because beaches are fun?

Who decides what the best use is? Inevitably, history has shown that the deciders tend to make friends with people who bribe them. If there's open competition, there's no one to bribe and everyone plays by the rules.

Comment Re:ownership of the spectrum (Score 0) 58

I think policies that desire to limit natural monopolies in the short term, tend to extend the life of natural monopolies in the long term.

Say a company was introducing broadband for the first time into a community. They want to charge 10x the rate in the neighboring town. Why not let them? Their business will be tinier than if they charged a comparable rate. Competitors would be flooding to the relatively fertile market; the first company having done a lot of marketing work for them.

After a tedious amount of time, the community will have lots more companies doing broadband than there would be under a forced duopoly. And prices will be the lowest around.

Comment Re:ownership of the spectrum (Score 0) 58

Your position follows, I hope I don't seem to be stretching, the same logic of limiting contraceptive options to that of abstinence.

Could not people be induced, via a simple profit mechanism, to be creative?

Wouldn't an auction that allowed anyone to participate get bidders from far and wide? Licensure is surely the most the abstinence of the telecom world. It only ever seems to work for the higher-ups.

Comment Re:ownership of the spectrum (Score 0) 58

Haircuts services are one commodity. Frequencies are another.

Indeed if someone were to be sold a true range of frequency, then they'd have an incentive to invest in technology that increased the accuracy of receivers. Of course we have more radio waves available, in an economic sense, than we did in the past. Technology improves.

There's no exclusivity like licensure. Appropriate the spectrum and it will be traded much more freely.

As far as the free market goes in general, I should be able to defer to Michael Shermer of Skeptic magazine: "the freer the better." I hope this will at least get you to reconsider.

Radio technology as humans can use it was made by people. There will be a lot more drive to improve and expand technology when the pieces belong to someone.

As a general note, I think there are certain things commonly believed on Slashdot with very little evidence. I would love to be convinced otherwise, because that would make things easy. But competition and rigor are never easy, of course. Competitive markets just happen to be the best thing we know of to create prosperity across the board.

Comment Re:ownership of the spectrum (Score 0) 58

What is need? I need a haircut - in fact I need one every week, as long as someone else is paying.

The radio ranges are not invaluable. In fact, lots of people have gotten rich by getting politicians to tip the rules in their favor, allowing them to get a license while excluding others. They have a particular value, which should be set by the highest bidder.

It would be difficult for the FCC to monopolize the market more than it already has. Let the market operate like it always has when people have let it.

Yes, there's a limited amount of wave lengths. There's a limited amount of everything.

Comment The Argument Against Net Neutrality (Score 0) 420

You've seen the image where a non-neutral internet service is selling cable-like tiers, as if the costs of uploading content to cable TV were in any way comparable to the costs of uploading content to other PCs. Even the busiest web sites operate on hardware budgets of four or five figures, while a TV studio will end up with five or six figures of equipment.

This means that internet content will be inherently more diverse than TV content. If the concern raised by a non-neutral internet was one of centralized content providers, then I would say that net neutrality has done more harm than good.

Where do we see the most monopolies? The internet. Why should this be?

I think it is because half of Google's bandwidth costs are paid for by internet service customers - all of them, all of us. Since every bit has to be priced roughly the same, with only monthly volume taken into account, business models that depend on high bandwidth tend to flourish.

In a way this is good, since popular opinion tends to win out. But in a way this is bad, since that opinion is not allowed to change very fluidly. Amazon's and Ebay's costs are scaled such that theirs are very low compared to those entering the market. Therefore they can charge much lower royalties on items advertised on their pages.

The reason that internet monopolies are particularly bad is because of privacy concerns, and the unilateral data collected from people. When one company is providing a given service, it's not just creepy, it's a system that tracks current preferences and depends on them. New services will be very slow to emerge when all of the data suggest that people like old services.

I think if you want a more dynamic internet with more options, vote against net neutrality.

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