Monday, July 7, 2008

The Internet and the Users Of It.

The Internet and the users of it. A lot of the youth would be included in this group. While I am not. (young that is. Lol.) So I’ll talk from my perspective about why I think the Internet can eventually be something that conservatives can and should use to their advantage.

For example, when I was little it was a big deal to get a long distance phone call from another city. The house would stop functioning, all noise would cease so nothing would interfere; as we would gather by the phone. If I was lucky I could say hello to Grandpa. What a marvel that seemed. An early taste of freedom. Second only to my bicycle.

I remember taking typing class in high school. What a misery it was. I could never get to the magic 40 words per minute. And oh the misery of mistakes. Take out the paper and start all over again, or have a Salvador Dahli like impression of a document splashed with White Out. For the next 30 years, I probably didn’t type over 5 pages. I totally lost the little ability that I had on a keyboard. Then came the internet. First I was astonished with the scope of the world wide web. I was able to research any topic I wanted from my home. When I got into the Tesla Museum in a far off little known country and was able to VIEW the exhibits and read some articles I was astounded. What a marvel it seemed. A larger taste of freedom. Second only to my car.

As the speeds went from megs to gigs etc. I found myself glued to the screen. I mean my first user name was 3 letters and my password was 4. AZO PAZO. That was awhile ago. Lol.
I was having a ball, I could search what ever caught my eye, go there then see what caught my eye and go there, kind of a free form search directed by some unseen power!! Towards what end I didn’t care. The journey was becoming the fun part. I was in my own heaven.

That seemed miraculous enough, but then came the interaction. First I was typing only in the search boxes. Then however, message boards came into play. Typing at a faster pace seemed to be a worthwhile thing. I started to re-teach myself. I’m glad that I remembered the basic position of the fingers. Now I type pretty fast without looking, and accurate too. The whole idea of asking a question from someone, whom I didn’t know, or where they lived. Well. What a marvel it seemed. What freedom it was.

The world soon was catching up with the Internet. Soon I was buying books and all sorts of things on the Web. I’d like to highlight a couple of those things here. Car insurance and stocks. I had previously bought Car insurance through a broker, a real person in town. I would make an appointment, drive over with my information, and listen to this guy’s sales pitch about a package he sold and all the benefits it offered. I was just happy to get out of there. It always seemed like only he had the magic knowledge and or solution to my problem. Let’s face it I was a captive audience. I really didn’t want to make another appointment, lose another half day, hear another speal to get basically the same thing. Then came GEICO and the whole game changed. They and others forced the industry to go internet. A middle man may have lost his job, but my guy is still there (not mine any longer). The good ones are still there, but they are all online. I can check out in minutes what would of taken me days. What a Marvel. What freedom. What transparency. I found the key to the “Magic knowledge”.

Second example. I had saved $500 a long time ago. I thought maybe I should invest it in stocks. I made an appointment and the fella did speak with me but it was obvious that he thought he and I were wasting my time and more importantly wasting his. The fees etc. would out weigh any gain I might make. Plus the fees were so small for him. He basically let me know that he had bigger fish to fry. From my previously mentioned use of the internet, I soon found online stock brokers. Do it yourself stock buying and selling with low enough entry points that I could qualify for. All that previously mysterious information jealously guarded by my previous broker was at my fingertips if I wanted to find it. From home at my leisure, 24/7!! What a Marvel, What Freedom, What Transparency.

What I was learning through the internet seemed great and glorious. I would savor each and every new little advance, each new little piece of freedom. The youth today, (as I see it in my children, now adults themselves) accept all this freedom as their right. While to a lot of people my age may tend to think they take it for granted, we might want to cut them some slack because the youth demand this new freedom as their right. Anyone or any party that for whatever reason threatens or appears to threaten to take away that freedom will face some fierce opposition if the internet users feel their new rights to the information and freedom are threatened.

Much as our forefathers once settled in this new country and away from restrictions on their freedoms, dediced to fight pretty hard to keep and enshrine those freedoms in our Constitutional Government. They too soon took those freedoms for granted so they could get on with their lives. But we saw what happened in WWII when those freedoms were threatened. We rose nearly as one and reminded the world that we remembered what Freedom was. What we had learned.

What does our freedom give us but the ability to make what ever choices WE decide? Not what the government or a certain religion decides is best for us. The internet allows the youth the tool they need to see just how bad the government in our names has done lately. How could any conservative who believes in Freedom of the individual be against the Internet and what the Youth is learning from it. Remember, the same internet that Obama used so well, now is starting to show that maybe he is not all he is cracked up to be. The Internet first wowed us then started to give us a tool to seek what we personally wanted, then set up whole new ways to get those things. In the free market, where we vote with our pocketbooks. Through our own decisions and actions we learn what actually works. Through trial and error sometimes. Our currency in the market place of politics is our vote. Trial and error will happen here also. That is not a bad thing, seeing how the internet is based on providing more information, we have a chance to use less trial and error. More trial and success.

If the youth is engaged in this election then I applaud them. If the Republican party, like the Insurance guy and the Stock guy above, keep trying to keep the knowledge cloistered with a few then we deserve to lose. Just as it may take the “youth” an election cycle or two to see and react to their decisions, it will probably take that long for the Republicans to act in a way that better reflects their slogans.

The end result will be good for the country. Can be good for the Republicans. Then we may all see What a Marvel, Transparency through the Internet can make of Freedom. What new heights of Freedom the Internet can allow us to attain.

I think Governor Pawlenty of Minnesota captured the essence of what the Republican problem is when he said and this may not be a direct quote. The Republicans have to start to merge the Country Club with the Sam’s Club or there will be trouble. Just as Obama is finding out with his elitist bordering on condescending manner. In my limited experience, we at the local level have to not only open up our membership, but open the way we function. Open up our minds.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

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