To all those who dare to write fan letters, a new bar has been set. This from a recent email:
"It could very well be going too far to say that what you have done is nothing less than capture the very Human Condition in your work..."
The new rule, for those interested, is that all flattering emails must be full of bombastic speech and well-placed capital letters.
Also, I saw "The Da Vinci Code" last night. My review does involve spoilers. So, to protect those who plan on seeing it, please highlight the invisible text below.
The final word on NET NEUTRALITY:
Alright, so I first found out about this whole ridiculousness from Scott. Subsequently, Chris asked my opinion. I said I needed to do more reading. On further review, I discovered nothing made any sense. Further further research revealed that the bulwark of the online campaign in favor of Net Neutrality came through a site called Save The Internet, which has ties to MoveOn.org. I'm not necessarily for or against MoveOn.org, but they ARE a political action committee, which means that if one of their members asked me to help save a baby from falling off a cliff I'd be dubious of their intentions.
So, I went to Marty, who manages our Quake server and knows all things electronic (killed him a robo-bear when he was only 3), and we had a brief IM conversation during which we scaled the mountain of misunderstanding by way of the ladder of metaphor.
For those of you out there who find yourselves encumbered by clarity on this issue, prepare for ennervation at the mighty hands of DIALECTIC:
WizToast (3:59:49 PM): explain to me the Net Neutrality argument, preferably in the form of a batman analogy
(MARTY) (4:00:59 PM): so, suppose Batman is trying to buy weapons for his utility belt
(MARTY) (4:02:12 PM): he can go to Gotham Weapons, Weapons R Us, Bat Products, or Holy Weapons
WizToast (4:02:24 PM): right
(MARTY) (4:03:09 PM): and it just so happens the Riddler has placed a device on the Batmobile that makes it much harder to get to any place but Weapons R Us (which is owned by the riddler's nephew)
WizToast (4:03:37 PM): Melvin Riddler.
(MARTY) (4:03:39 PM): then the riddler has now killed the equal ability of all of these stores to compete
WizToast (4:04:43 PM): but now, wouldn't allowing the various weapons stores equal opportunity to booby trap batman's car also allow for competition?
(MARTY) (4:05:51 PM): nobody should booby trap the batmobile.. the stores should only be able to offer better buys
WizToast (4:07:02 PM): so, the issue then is
WizToast (4:07:32 PM): the stores should be positively reinforcing batman by offering superior batarangs, batcopters, batphones, and the like
WizToast (4:08:01 PM): rather than punishing him by jacking the batmobile
(MARTY) (4:08:34 PM): yeah, or by punishing the other stores by jacking the batmobile
WizToast (4:08:50 PM): now the second part of this is
WizToast (4:08:59 PM): is it the business of congress to regulate what can and cannot be done to the batmobile
(MARTY) (4:11:20 PM): yeah, that's the issue that's tough.. can they tell these stores they cannot jack the batmobile
(MARTY) (4:11:58 PM): i hate the government tell anybody to do anything, but this is sort of like walmart putting glass all over the road that leads to target
(MARTY) (4:12:15 PM): .. err.. the road that leads to Gotham's General Store
WizToast (4:12:19 PM): so
WizToast (4:12:28 PM): is the batmobile public property?
(MARTY) (4:14:46 PM): no, the roads are
(MARTY) (4:15:03 PM): i guess it'd be better if the riddler were screwing up the roads
(MARTY) (4:15:08 PM): not the batmobile
WizToast (4:15:28 PM): so, if the roads of Gotham are public property
WizToast (4:16:11 PM): how do the weapons stores have any authority to place clever traps in order to direct the batmobile
(MARTY) (4:17:02 PM): because they lobby the Gotham officials to do so
(MARTY) (4:17:39 PM): they say, Congressman Joker, can I have permission to destroy the road leading to Gotham Weapons (or hell, could you do it for me)
WizToast (4:18:06 PM): i read one argument, which said essentially
WizToast (4:19:22 PM): that allowing gotham weapons to direct the batmobile to only certain locations would mean that certain routes would be far faster than the previous ones. i guess the idea is that, in exchange for placing traps on the way to the smaller weapons stores, batman would eventually have a flying batmobile
WizToast (4:20:42 PM): and the flying batmobile could get you to all locations faster
WizToast (4:21:43 PM): because unfortunately, the smaller weapons outfits will never be able to afford the r and d for such a craft
WizToast (4:22:16 PM): but to me, that sounds like something the penguin is fond of - extortion
(MARTY) (4:24:42 PM): yeah.. and, the bigger problem is that there is no way to create a flying batmobile because the only medium is road in this universe
(MARTY) (4:25:29 PM): i dont see how this will enable competition.. all it does is allow verison, say, to extort money from Yahoo
(MARTY) (4:25:59 PM): so now, Yahoo pays them $ 5000/day to make their route faster than Altavista, which is only paying $ 3000/day
Now, at this point he completely lost me. What the hell is "Yahoo?"
Well kids, despite my best effort I seem to have won at Sketchbattle.
In MORE EXCITING NEWS, I'm going to be starting another comic soon. I'll still be doing SMBC on the same schedule, however I will also be regularly (probably tri-weekly) be doing the Chason! comics as a separate entity.
Here's a glimpse of things to come:
Loyal SMBC fans will go vote for Reva at Sketchbattle. I'm only winning because I have a bigger audience, and in any case she deserves it more than I.