Christ, What an Asshole

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Then take the internet away from him. (Or is he one of these guys who wants to be a leader of governing the internet but who’s never been online or sent an email?)


The antidote to these kind of assholes is Bernie Sanders:


+1 for the Vonnegut reference.


if he is that unaware of something over which he is the boss, why is he even there?


I read the quotes of what he said. Frankly it makes this post seem like click bate. He goes to some pains to define necessity and rights, and given the definitions provided he’s right, the internet is not a necessity nor should it be viewed as a right.

I get very uncomfortable with broad definitions of rights for the reasons he outlines, if you are going to claim rights they should be for fundamentals and not trivialised. People are very quick to claim ‘rights’ for all sorts of nonsense that then drive partisan debate. However I note they rarely claim the associate responsibilities which should go hand in hand with any claimed right.

The right to the same treatment regardless of gender, color or sexuality would seem to be a right, the internet… not so much.


We’re calling people making a decent argument assholes now, are we?

Edit: Big shoutout to Vint Cerf at the end of the article channeling his inner Pratchett.


" Human rights are standards of behavior that are inherent in every human being."

Huh? Is there any meaning at all in this sentence?


You mean this?

People can and do live without Internet access, and many lead very successful lives. Instead, the term “necessity” should be reserved to those items that humans cannot live without, such as food, shelter, and water.

I think that’s pretty weaselly myself. Only the bare minimum for life; that is too low of a standard for a 3rd world country. How about the necessities for being an informed citizen? or a participant in a modern economy?


Vint Cerf’s point is a good one: that saying “the Internet” is a human right is putting the technology in the center, rather than the humans. The Internet matters because it’s very difficult to be an informed citizen, earn a living, or participate in the lives of family and friends without it. These are the human rights.

So, the question for our FCC Commissioner is this: Do you think all Americans deserve jobs? Not essential. Not like water, certainly. But very popular with voters, employment is.


I note you use the word ‘should’, which suggests a wish rather than an actualité. Conservative politicians over here, in the UK, tried that one (the old ‘with rights come responsibilities’ trick) for a few years last century. Nope. It’s not negotiable. Rights are not contingent on responsibilities.

If you don’t like that conceptualisation of ‘right’ then, fair enough. But, regardless, you still need a term for those things which you get, without question and without condition, just by virtue of being a human being on this planet at this time.


Of course I mean this, well over 750 million people in the world live with out access to clean water. Please just stop and think about that before declaring your need to check Facebook to be such a necessity. If only all the people who spend so long thinking about how to get you to click on ads and spent a fraction of that time on solving the real problems we face globally then we’d have a much better world today.

If you feel a lack of information takes you to a third world level, yet it does, and that’s where the real necessities of the world are truly lacking.


Internet access may not exactly be a fundamental right, but it’s a way for many people to communicate, and speech, press, and association certainly are fundamental rights.


I don’t use Facebook. I do, however, need email access to apply for jobs.



I do use should because it is a wish for rights to be accompanied with responsibilities as it seems so many people claim a right without accepting any responsibility for the result of actions coming from it. I certainly do not believe rights are none negotiable they should be constantly defended, defined and negotiated. Enshrining rights as immutable when society is in constant flux makes so little sense. The right to bear arms in case of a marauding British army is a fundamental right? Is that a right you feel is not contingent on responsibility or one that must never be negotiated?

When it comes to rights I do not believe we get anything by virtue of being a human being. We only get what is agreed upon by society or that which we fight for. Any way what are the fundamental rights? A right to health? If so why has it been so hard in the USA to get the same level of health care seen in the EU. A right to free speech? Should that come without responsibility to take the consequences of what you say if you utter calls for hatred or call for acts of terror in the name of faith?

If you can define a set of rights that have never been breached then I guess those are the ones you get by virtue of being human. I think we need to define, refine and fight for any right.


Oh dear me


Based on the quote alone, I’d have a hard time using the term ‘asshole’ for someone who said it. What’s the counter argument – that we’re so addicted to our always on, technology-driven existence that life without it isn’t worth living? How insulting to everyone who chooses to prioritize other values and experiences over access to BoingBoing.

Now, if you want to argue that the Internet is the thing governments fear most because it is the greatest democratizing force for independence and free thought since the printing press, I’m right there with you. But news flash: we could live without the Internet just fine if need be.


Well, Mr O’Rielly and his entire staff should pass an entire year without internet access.

No email, no smartphones, no googlemaps, no Siri, no real time news, no access to any online service, nothing at all.

Maybe then he will understand that living in the XXI century without internet is like living in the XX century being illiterate: It may not improve your live, BUT IT MAKES IT MORE EASIER.


phones are not a right, either.

But trying getting any kind of any account without a phone. It is part of the the default ID system for corporations to deal with humans.

Now the web is the default vehicle for communication. How can that not be associated with rights and necesseities? Have you tried to get a job without internet access?