Rupert Thurner writes:

> while i love irony, and value your opinion a lot, i find the tone of this
> email a little harsh, not to call it unfair.

I'm strangely untroubled by "harsh," but I'm glad you don't call it
"unfair." I don't think I was unfair. Besides, when someone is as
insignificant as I am, especially in comparison to what the weighty
opinion-makers at what Andreas calls "prominent organizations," one
has to speak with a little more bite.

> You are well known for
> free speech advocacy, and beeing libertarian.

I'm not a libertarian, as those who know me personally can attest.
Many things that are "well-known" are untrue, and this is one of them.
Yes, I'm a *civil libertarian*, and I work with libertarians quite
often (I work with folks of other political views as well), but the
only people who know me to be "libertarian" are people who don't know
me at all. My politics, to the extent that they can be easily
characterized by people who don't know me personally, might be best
described as "reflexively pro-Labour" (to someone in the UK) or
"social democrat" (to someone elsewhere in the EU) or "yellow-dog
Democrat" (to someone in the American South).

> Per definition of this you
> are one of the last persons on this globe I d seek advise for antitrust law
> and net neutrality.

Perhaps you should reason less "per definition" and reason more from
actual facts about what my beliefs actually are. You don't actually
seem to know what my politics are. So I imagine you couldn't know that
I happen to think the FCC's Report and Order is pretty good, in
general, and, speaking personally, I'm pleased to see these network
neutrality obligations imposed -- with an express refusal to make
categorical judgments about zero-rated services, including Wikipedia
Zero.

> i cannot judge what happens in asia where indonesia looks better
> positioned than philippines, and africa, where eg ghana has 5 competitors,
> nigeria four [1][2][3] which both look in a better position than others.

Data costs in the Philippines are remarkably high, and penetration to
rural areas (and islands) is low. Indonesia does a little better, not
least because the problem of reaching higher percentages of the
population (at lower cost) is particularly pronounced in Indonesia
(every place in Indonesia is really far from every other place).

As for Africa: it's a big continent (as is Asia, of course). Nigeria
and Ghana are not typical.

Once the folks who preach about net-neutrality-with-no-exceptions get
out to developing countries and do some actual development work with
local NGOs, their notions about network neutrality and development may
change. But I'm perpetually bemused by individuals in developed
countries who imagine that the world is better off if would-be
Wikipedians have to pay extra for the privilege of reading and editing
Wikipedia articles (which is apparently what opponents of Wikipedia
Zero want).


--Mike

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