Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Birthday Party -- Net "Neutrality" Analogized

© 2015 Linda McKinney All Rights Reserved

This is the tale of a twin brother and sister and their birthday party. They were turning fifteen and their parents promised them a birthday party – one that was going to be grand and held at a nice venue. The sister and brother were told that they could each invite twenty friends that only they knew and that they could each bring one parent as a safety precaution, plus they could each invite five friends (and one parent) that they both knew. So a total of 100 people could be invited to the party. All invitees had to RSVP no later than five days prior to the party.

The daughter, who was very popular, invited her eighteen BFFs and their mothers, plus two BFs and their mothers. She was thrilled about being able to invite so many and just knew that she was going to have a very fun birthday! She was so excited she could barely stop texting about the party for the next three weeks.

The son -- whose idea of a good time was reading Plato, Aristotle, Homer, etc. – thought of only three people to invite, but with his parents’ help, he got the number up to seven (including parents). He didn’t want anyone there for him since he disdained the company of people who were not as intelligent as he (which disqualified most people alive in his estimation), but he cooperated just to please his parents. He’d rather not have a party and spend his birthday reading in his bedroom instead.

Two days after the invitations went out, the word about the birthday party had gotten out and some of the daughter’s other friends wanted to come, too. Unfortunately, she had to tell them that it was a limited party. She was rather upset that she couldn’t invite more people, and when she told her parents about that, she was surprised to find out that she could invite several more: eighteen more, to be exact; plus their parents. Happy day!

Ten days prior to the party the parents sat the twins down and told them the way it was going to be. Since the daughter had been so popular and had so many respondents RSVP in the positive and the son had only two, the parents had decided that, to keep it fair, the extras that the daughter had invited would now be considered friends of the son and they would be relegated to doing things with the son.

“But that’s not fair!” pouted the daughter, “They’re my friends, not his!”

Their parents said they understood, but they had to be fair. After all, they were both their children and they loved them equally and wanted this party to be fun for them both. The daughter stormed out.

A week prior to the party, the parents called another meeting. It was explained that because the daughter had more friends and because they had to assign some of her friends to the son’s portion of the festivities, those people would be buying gifts for the son and the parents were going to assign dollar amounts to the guests and tell them how much each guest should spend on the gifts.

“But that’s no fair!” the daughter loudly proclaimed, “They’re my friends who should be buying gifts for me!

The parents explained that they understood but that because they were both their children and they loved them equally, they decided that it would only be fair to make sure both of their beloved children had the same amounts spent on them.

The daughter stormed off.

Three days before the party, as the family finalized the arrangements at the venue for the party, the parents mentioned that the daughter would have the veggie platters in her area while the son would have the soda, chips, candies and cake in his area, and that would increase the amount of time and attention his area got since he didn’t have as many friends coming to the party.

“But that’s not fair!” screamed the daughter. “They’re my friends and they want to spend time with me! They’re coming for me!”

Her parents explained that they knew that her friends were coming for her and that they appreciated her friends coming to acknowledge and celebrate their children. But they had to make sure that their wonderful son got the same amount of attention at the party so they were going to put the fun stuff on the table for the son.

The daughter slammed the door on her way out.

The day of the party, the parents and their twins set out for the party venue well ahead of party time. The twins looked at their respective decorations and both were unimpressed. The son just didn’t care and the daughter was jealous that her brother had the better decorations – to “make it fair and so that more people would spend time in his area”. By now she’d heard it all before and was just tired of it.

The party guests started arriving and as they entered, the parents grilled each guest as to which twin they were there for, how much they had spent on the gift and then they assigned each guest to whichever twin was “in need of more”. The guests, definitely surprised by the system, nevertheless obeyed and went to their assigned areas, greeted their assigned twin and proceeded to try to have a good time.

The daughter started enjoying her part of the festivities until the parents came over and said, “I’m sorry, daughter, but we must take from you some of your guests because your brother is not having as good a time as you. We hear much more laughter and happiness from this part of the room than from his side.” The parents started herding her guests to the other side of the room where people were basically sitting quietly, munching on fruit, chips, candies, cookies, foreign goodies and every kind of non-alcoholic drink you could want.

This made the daughter reach her breaking point and she started to cry. When her parents heard her crying they came back to her and asked her what the matter was. She sobbed out, “In your efforts to be fair to both of us you have always taken from me and given to my brother. What is fair about that? Why is it fair to take my friends and put them with my twin for my birthday party? Why is that fair?”

The father replied, “But, Daughter, you know that we love you both. You know that we love you equally. You know that we only do this with the best intentions. You know that we want what’s best for you and for your twin brother. What is wrong with that? Is that not fair?”

“It’s fair to want both of us to have the best,” she sobbed, “but it’s not fair to take from me my friends and put them with my brother for my birthday. They don’t even know him, have anything in common with him, nor do they want to be with him because they came for me! How is that fair?”

“It is fair because we love you both and that is fairness. Fairness makes sure of equal outcome without regard to how it came about.” Her father stuck out his chin, “If you are ungrateful and cannot see the fairness in that, then you are ungrateful.”


What do you think? Was the daughter treated fairly? How about the guests: were they treated fairly? Or even the boy: was he treated fairly having the party hoisted upon him instead of not participating at all?

This, my friends, is what Net “Neutrality” does. Liberal/progressive/leftie (LPL) websites and the big businesses pushing for Net “Neutrality” (a lie within the name is still a lie) is the twin brother. LPL websites don’t get as many visitors as they want, so they will be making sure that the Conservative websites are either taken down, or that traffic is routed to the LPL websites instead of to the Conservative site they wished to visit.

Replace the parents in this story with the government. Does it make a difference? Replace the daughter with the decisions that the consumers in a free market, capitalist system get to make. Replace the brother with the largesse of the welfare/equal results. Yes, he was a hapless “victim” of the largesse, but it’s the illustration of the upcoming largesse of the government’s involvement in the internet that shall happen if Net “Neutrality” happens.

Now, consider this: The parents’ (government’s) decision to decide how much was spent on each child is unfair to the children because they may have received much nicer gifts if the parents hadn’t decided to set a dollar amount for each guest to spend. However, in Net “Neutrality” it won’t be the consumers (the “gift givers”, i.e. guests) deciding how much to spend. That will be up to the government, the parental equivalent.

The parents’ choice to make the guests spend time with the son instead of the daughter they actually came to see (in most instances) is the government deciding where we can go on the internet. This, too, shall happen in Net “Neutrality” because we all have to be equal and we all have to have the same outcomes. That’s what the government wants. If it can have that, it will have control.

The whole thing would have been better for everyone concerned – yes, even the parent (government) -- if they had let things play out as they would have without parental interference. However, the government (parents) had to try to show that they loved their children equally. That love, in reality, was not love but controlling outcomes. They wanted to prove that the world loved their children equally, too. Their interference only led to misery all the way around. The daughter was miserable, as was the son. The guests were miserable and uncomfortable, confused and frustrated; those guests are “We, The People”. The only people at the party not miserable were the parents (government) who were in total control of everything and everyone. That’s just how the government likes it.

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