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Another Point of View (Round 0)

  As I said in the beginning (Round 0), Bill consults to companies who take
  advantage of high LEC prices and, as he told me many times, these companies
  would likely abandon their efforts (and his consulting) if this pricing
  umbrella was dropped.  This translates into the "biggest longterm threat"
  becoming anyone who tries to hammer down prices at the PUCs.  Whatever
  apparent contradictions all this raises is then patched back up with
  libertarian rationalization about a perfect world just over the horizon
  after the
  dragon of big government is slain.  Sheesh.
  It's almost as bad as George Gilder rationalizing his support for greater
  concentration in telecom (particularly the telco-buying-cable scenario he
  thumps for at every chance) with his microcosmic musings about power to the 
  microman -- while he consults to Bell Atlantic and others.  How we get from
  multinational domination of global markets to dramatic increases in
  personal liberty never gets spelled out.  It's also shown by Gilder's utter
  inability to address the "death of the soul" argued by Tom Wolfe in the
  current issue of Forbes ASAP.  Gilder asserts that niche WEB publishing
  will wipe out nihilism but never explains why or how this will happen. 
  It's a convenient belief and, since it hasn't changed at all in the 8 years
  I've known him, I suspect that it is much more rationalization than
  rationality.   God knows the facts have changed and so have we.
  Rather than people trying to view reality through ideological blinders, I
  suspect that ideology, in many cases, is more of a psychological salve
  which sooths the otherwise nagging aspects of an all too real and personal
  reality.  True believers are, in many cases, hiding from something about
  themselves that they don't really like.  The belief system makes life
  bearable and, as such, is simply not open to discussion because of the pain
  which it masks.  Even those who claim to thrive on re-examination of "basic
  premises", are really using their "philosophy" a crutch, in my experience.
  And, yes for the record, the act that Bill accused Jamie of -- throwing him
  off this list for dising Nader -- is precisely what Bill did to me on the
  Digitaliberty list which I cofounded because I dised Hayek.  It is funny
  the way these themes seem to repeat themselves, isn't it?  
  I have suggested that the Net might have some anti-propaganda 
  capabilities when I contrast it to television.  Well, that might be asking a 
  lot but maybe we can deal with some more obvious forms of hypocrisy
  first and then get to the propaganda later.
  Mark Stahlman
  New Media Associates
  New York City