Jens writes:

> (I'm still a little bit irritated by your rhetoric trickery,
> Mike, when calling the usual and established understanding of net
> neutrality repeatedly "absolutist". This cheap rhetorical maneuver doesn't
> fit you.)

I suppose at this point I could declare that its "rhetorical
trickery," Jens, for you to declare my honest expression of my opinion
regarding network neutrality to be "rhetorical trickery." (It's
actually a reflection of discussions I had with my colleagues at the
Internet Governance Forum in Istanbul earlier this year.)

I frankly don't see why you need to understand my beliefs regarding
network neutrality as "cheap rhetorical maneuver" when in fact there
has always been variation among net-neutrality activists as to what
"network neutrality" might mean. I've been writing about the subject
for eight years now, and my writing on the issue is publicly
available. In general, a "cheap" maneuver is one that takes little
investment, and I've clearly invested more than most people. As for
"trickery," it hardly seems to me to be a trick when I'm not
concealing anything.

I want to suggest that if your first impulse is to criticize my
motives rather than to Assume Good Faith, you may want to consider
that I get nothing personally out of (a) advocating Wikipedia Zero, an
initiative that post-dates my tenure as WMF staff, or (b) talking
about network neutrality in a way that recognizes the particular
issues that mobile platform providers invoke.

As I pointed have pointed out, we *already* qualify network neutrality
with exceptions. These exceptions have not been ones you've noticed
before now, as far as i know. Should Wikipedia Zero be an exception? I
think so, for the reasons I've stated, as well as for the general
proposition that people in developing nations need unfettered access
to Wikipedia content now, and should not have to wait until the
Promised Land of generally unmetered access to mobile platforms is
created (which may not occur in our lifetimes).

>It would be good for WMF to admit that with the best intentions a
> mistake was made which scale wasn't really thought through before.

It would be better if one didn't begin with the assumption that no one
at WMF thought hard about these issues before Wikipedia Zero was
launched. And still better, in terms of effective persuasion, if you
didn't begin by assuming bad faith (e.g., "rhetorical trickery" on the
part of those who disagree with you. After all, I don't assume bad
faith on your part.


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