Class Warfare -Toll Roads and EReaders -Am I Now A Luddite? Somervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


Class Warfare -Toll Roads and EReaders -Am I Now A Luddite?

9 May 2009 at 11:27:14 AM

I have been thinking this morning about ereaders and wrote about them here. I want to say one more thing from a general overall standpoint. I have long believed that private partnership toll roads that require people to pay to drive on them, while the state decides to not fix up existing roads IN ORDER TO drive traffic to those PPPscreates a gap between the Haves and the Have Nots.  So if I dont' have as much money as the next person and must drive on a public road, it's not enough that I have to stop for short stoplights or be with crowds of people, but I also will deal with more potholes and poorer road surfaces... because TXDot and other entities want to reward their buddies. And it's not enough that that is double taxation, where I am already paying for the roads through a gas tax but I would also have to pay just to drive on a better road (I say better but that's not necessarily the case-183 north of Austin has dang stop lights on it, who wants to PAY to drive on THAT?) What that essentially says is that this country doesn't treat people equally, at least not when it comes to roads but caters to the better-off.

I drove down to Austin fairly recently when my father died. I accidentally, on 183, was on the road that said, basically, We won't Take Cash. So I guess 183 doesn't even have any type of entrance to warn you that you're frigging getting ON the toll road and frankly, the signs are more than confusing. I as quickly as possible got off that road and back on the road going to Leander, but figured I might very well get some kind of "Pay up" mailer from some camera taking a picture of my license plate... even though I had not expressly decided to be ON THE toll road. Allowing a camera to do the job of a formal process of on-and off and not allowing cash puts me, the unwary traveller, in the form of a technology throwback that not only doens't want to be on the toll road but doesn't fit the new society image of no-toll-tags any more.

And the same thing with the ereaders. Where anyone can go into a library and check out a book, or use the computer or other great library resources, because it was intended to be for EVERYONE, ereaders are designed to be for those who are better off. They are not egalitarian because they deal with books in electronic form as intellectual property (You're Renting it, essentially) rather tnan tangible property that you might pass on.

Whether you agree with me or not, particularly about e-readers, it occurs to me that for those of us that want to live in a world where people are treated equally and services are available to all, we will be cut out of technology advances BECAUSE of our desire to have the same principles exist as pre-technology society. I mean, suppose ereaders advance to the point where paper books are no longer manufactured. And the ONLY way you can read a book will be to buy the intellectual property rights and have it logged to an account tied to some vendor (I realize I haven't even touched the privacy concerns with this, with a vendor knowing exactly what you read and when you read it) . At least at this point I can't see how libraries play into this. Will libraries become well-lit tombs of old fashioned paper, where one might go look like one does at scrolls or monastary manuscripts? I'm not saying libraries won't alwo have electronic sections, etc but seems to me that the whole idea of libraries as Benjamin Franklin saw them will either not be a workable definition anymore or those who partake will be considered luddites and relegated to a limited future.

What do you think?

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