Broadband, sports! go sports!, dirty writers, illiberalism, human flourishing, and more!

* “FCC on verge of killing state laws that harm municipal broadband,” file this under “great news.”

* What life is like for non-sports fans; a shockingly good metaphor.

* “American Schools Are Training Kids for a World That Doesn’t Exist.”

* Another unhappy University of East Anglia (UEA) Student opines.

* On Andrew Jefferson Offutt V, who you probably haven’t heard of and I hadn’t until this article, who was a writer of more than 400 books and is now headlined as “My Dad, the Pornographer.” Article goes to the NYTimes.

* Secret Confessions of the Anti-Anti-P.C. Movement, which contrary to the sound of the title is hilarious, and which demonstrates a massive inability to closely read and interpret an argument.

* “The internet is full of men who hate feminism. Here’s what they’re like in person,” a topic about which I’ve often wondered. See also “Confessions of a Pickup Artist Chaser — Clarisse Thorn.”

* Let’s Talk About Sex—in English Class.

* “Legal Weed Is Making Colorado So Much Money The State Has To Give Some Back;” all drugs should be next.

Links: Divorce court, Comcast is evil, Derek Parfit, math, Peter Watt, and more

* On the role of divorce courts and government incoherence, which is my title and I think better than the alternative; interesting throughout. Compare it to my footnote in this Grant Writing Confidential post.

squirrel with nut-1717* Former Comcast employee explains how horrible Comcast is.

* The shift from “analyzing” to “creating.”

* “Reason and romance: The world’s most cerebral marriage,” which is (unintentionally?) hilarious throughout:

He eats the same staples every day. For breakfast there’s muesli, yoghurt, juice and an enormous cup of instant coffee, industrial strength and often made with hot water from the tap because boiling it would require putting on the kettle. In the evening he has raw carrots, cheese, romaine lettuce and celery dipped in peanut butter. Food has to fulfil two basic criteria: it must be healthy and involve the minimum of preparation.

I tried to read Parfit but he “is proudly a philosopher’s philosopher,” which may explain why I couldn’t figure out why I or anyone should care about what he argues. Contrast that with Jonathan Haidt’s The Righteous Mind, in which every page feels relevant and actionable.

* Global income inequality is falling, but do the dominant media narrative creators care?

* A Mind for Numbers.

* Peter Watt’s Echopraxia is coming; mine is pre-ordered and yours should be too.

* Derek Huang on Old Masters vs. Young Geniuses.

* Comcast’s worst nightmare: How Tennessee could save America’s Internet.” Maybe.

Links: Broadband, sex and culture, France, lifting, science, beauty, and more

* Big Cable says broadband investment is flourishing, but their own data says it’s falling. It will no doubt come as a shock to discover that Comcast and Time Warner are lying.

* “Tina Belcher’s Sexual Revolution,” which sounds stupid but isn’t.

* “Zac Efron Bros Down To Grow Up: Our teen idols are ‘all heart, no libido’ — so what happens when they grow up? Ricky Nelson, Rock Hudson, Zac Efron, and the impossible contradictions of masculinity,” which also sounds stupid but isn’t, primarily because it’s actually about the history of Hollywood.

* “University of Washington researchers: Polar ice sheet doomed, but how soon?

* “Why Comcast and other cable ISPs aren’t selling you gigabit Internet.”

* Clarissa: “I Don’t Want to Hire Women,” which is an interesting companion to “It’s Different for Girls.”

* “Are the French Better at Sex?” Usually I would say no. I am surprised none of Maïa Mazaurette’s work has been translated and published in English.

* Everything You Know About Fitness Is a Lie. Short version: use heavy barbells and focus on free weights.

* “What If We Admitted to Children That Sex Is Primarily About Pleasure?

* The remarkable Neal Stephenson interview.

* “Check out the parking lot: Hell in LA.”

* “Kathryn Schulz on the Harmonious Contradictions of Geoff Dyer,” which makes me want to read Dyer.

* “‘…it’s fair to say that the presidents and administrators of these institutions are bringing it on themselves.’

* “Thank You for Being Expendable;” I think the painful truth is that men have always been expendable from a society’s perspective, per Roy Baumeister’s book about “How Cultures Flourish by Exploiting Men” (though I do not endorse everything or even the majority of the book), but no one tells soldiers that before they enlist, and no one tells them that modern American generals don’t get fired for incompetence.

Another Public Service Announcement on Clearwire

Someone at Clearwire must be monitoring blogs, because a representative from them named Michael called me, presumably in response to this post. Since I have no idea how else he would know about my displeasure with Clearwire, I would like to say “hello!” to the Clearwire person and also warn readers about the company.

Earlier I commented on the appropriateness of Clearwire’s name: “I say “aptly,” though I mean that rather than having a “clear” meaning “free of any obstructions or unwanted” connection, you’ll have a “clear” as in “frequently does not exist” connection.” Now I at least have a stated reason: Clearwire says they will throttle your bandwidth if you download or upload enough information. My problem turned out to be BitTorrent, a relatively common protocol that is used to transfer large files across the Internet. If you use your Internet access enough enough, Clearwire will begin paring it back to the point that it’s no longer broadband. They appear to do this almost punitively, as though they perceive BitTorrent or other users as parasites. This seems odd for a company that sells, you know, Internet connectivity, but there you have it.

On the “About Clearwire” FAQ section of the company’s website, a question asks if Clearwire is as reliable as cable or dial-up. Their answer: “Yes. With Clearwire, you’ll enjoy an always-on, always-secure connection that never ties up your phone line.” They do not, however, mention that they can restrict your service without notice and without telling you about the restrictions in their advertising. Instead, they lie by omission and bury whatever restrictions exists in a long contract of adhesion. Perhaps cable companies and other Internet service providers do the same, but if so, I at least haven’t noticed. The most pernicious aspect of this is the lack of notification about what was happening or what would happen. The website appears to have a variety of user complaints similar to mine, many of them also centering on BitTorrent and downloading issues.

Bandwidth throttling wasn’t a noticeable problem with my last provider, Millennium Cable. Now I wish I’d stuck with them, since I’ve spent far more money in the form of time just messing around with Clearwire than I’ve saved by switching. When my contract ends, I’ll go back to cable or DSL.

To be fair, Michael, the Clearwire representative, reset the restrictions on my account. But that such restrictions exist at all sucks, as the “” website puts it. In short: don’t buy Clearwire’s service because they’ll restrict your bandwidth just for using the Internet. You can read more about the larger debate from this Ars Technica post on Comcast’s bandwidth throttling. The best part:

“There a single fact here that [Comcast] cannot deny,” [Columbia Law Professor Timothy] Wu explained, “which is that the Associated Press and EFF [[the Electronic Frontier Foundation]] which are users of the Internet, sought to use an application a certain way, and they were blocked… Now [the Comcast representative is] saying that they weren’t using the Internet in the ‘right way.’ They weren’t using these applications in the ‘right way.’ Well the whole problem is that Comcast shouldn’t be telling people how they’re supposed to use applications.”

I agree, and Clearwire shouldn’t be telling me how to use my Internet connection. And if they are going to tell me how, they should at least tell me in advance instead of waiting for me to discover the issue on my own.

In other news, I’ve been unusually quiet because the energies that I usually devote to writing posts are now going into an academic article. Expect more on that subject as well as the resumption of normal posting soon. The academic article has been harder to research because of the above Clearwire problems, which explains some of the vituperation I express.

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