Creation is every thing


  1. Brett Glass’s avatar

    Some people seem to think that the greatest joy in life is taking or destroying others’ creations. I’ve been seeing a lot of that lately.

  2. Doc Searls’s avatar

    Are you implying that I’m doing that here, Brett?

  3. Brett Glass’s avatar

    You’ve been hanging out with a lot of folks who do, Doc. Advocates of harmful “network neutrality” regulation and destructive muni broadband initiatives, both of which are targeted at destroying or taking the hard work of people like myself.

  4. David Scott Williams’s avatar

    Hey, Brett …

    How do muni-broadband initiatives destroy or take your hard work? Are they getting in the way of you and yours providing better network build-out? When is it scheduled for rural NC? I’ve been a Bellsouth customer pretty much since I moved here … I don’t think I’ve seen your truck drive down my street (so to speak) — although I’d personally welcome not being ignored the way we have …


    PS- As far as network neutrality … the whole thing is so confusing … maybe you can clarify your point on that as well?

  5. David Scott Williams’s avatar

    Are you the Brett Glass in Laramie, WY?

    Does Laramie have a municipal broadband initiative that hasn’t made the news? I personally am for citizen-powered and, if necessary, municipality sponsored broadband buildout — IN ABSENCE OF AN ALTERNATIVE. I was pretty sure that was the scenario that Doc was considering …

    If not, forgive the mistake.

  6. Doc Searls’s avatar

    Brett, you’re imputing motives that aren’t there.

    It would have been great if a WISP had fired up in Wilson, NC. But, to my knowledge, none did. So citizens got together with their city to do a fiber build-out.

    I would hope this would be good for WISPs. In fact I know from talking to NC folks that the hope in all the build-outs that they would be better for business than the duopolies.

    Can there be *no* synergies for WISPs and muni fiber utilities?

  7. David Scott Williams’s avatar

    Does this link sum it up for you?

    And this one is you, too?
    {You trademarked “your mileage may vary” and “as far as I know”?}

    Then I have to revise my last comment, and then bow out, I guess…

    I don’t want ANY ISP restricting protocols on the internet that are vital to the Conversation. I DO want them to be “just the bits”, at least at the core. Added on services are nice — but crippled services are just that, crippled. The Conversation is why I came here (the WWW) to begin with, and it why, after a hiatus, I came back. I think modernization of your business plan may be in order … If I were in Laramie, WY, {and here is the revision}, I would be PUSHING to get a municipal broadband initiative going — it seems you have a little isp-opoly going there … but, I welcome thoughtful and well supported corrections .. I am always interested in hearing the other side, and in learning something new.

    And of course, I can’t speak for Doc.

    PS- And if you are not THAT Brett Glass, accept my apologies.

  8. Brett Glass’s avatar

    Mr. Williams: Municipal networks harm private businesses by competing with them unfairly, using taxpayer dollars and the government’s bonding authority to drive out private business, killing jobs and innovation. What’s more, municipal networks which are wireless commandeer spectrum, leaving none for private providers.

    Fortunately, there’s no muni broadband effort here in Laramie. Why? Because it would be illegal. We have a good state law that prohibits government competition with private providers. Alas, there was one muni effort that slipped through prior to that law’s passage; it is now on the rocks and costing taxpayers plenty.

    As for WISPs in North Carolina: lists 35. (There are likely more; the site’s lists are not complete.) Want to drive these job-creating local providers out of business? If you support muni broadband, then you do.

    There are no synergies between private enterprise and government efforts to destroy it.

  9. Doc Searls’s avatar

    Brett, I don’t buy that muni fiber puts WISPs out of business, that local government build-outs are business-hostile, and that no synergies are possible.

    So I hope we can just respectfully disagree.

  10. Brett Glass’s avatar

    Muni broadband providers engage in predatory pricing. They don’t have to make a profit. They’re subsizidized by taxpayer dollars and frequently sell services below cost. And you can’t compete with them for what is often the most important customer in the area: the municipality itself. That’s fatal. My company would be foolish to deploy in any place where such a network existed. Private business can’t compete with an entity which can use taxes as a source of revenue.

    This is an incredible business. As you know, I founded the WISP industry, and there’s nothing like the appreciation I get from my customers. They love my service and are the only reason I am suffering the slings and arrows that you and your colleagues are hurling at me. Yet, every day, I fight a hundred threats to my company’s existence and counter a hundred nasty, undeserved personal attacks. They include hostile messages like those delivered by you and Larry Lessig and Dan Gillmor (and that fellow “Williams” above); anticompetitive tactics by the incumbents; dysfunctional regulation; people trying to take my services for nothing and telling me bluntly that they think they “deserve” them. That’s bad enough. What I and my company don’t need is government actively using its powers to kill us.

    Doc, I saw your speech at PDF, and you — perhaps fired up by the business-hostile atmosphere of the entire event — joined the chorus, denigrating ISPs and likening us to slave holders. Worse still, you falsely claimed that ISPs can’t compete in a free market. That’s simply not so. We can compete in a market that’s free, but small and local businesses like mine cannot compete in a market which isn’t free — in which government has set itself up to stomp out competition via predatory practices.

  11. Doc Searls’s avatar

    Brett, I was talking about telcos and cablecos, neither of which I consider ISPs in the original sense, even though they’re called that now. I don’t lump you or WISPs in with those guys.

    One of these days, or weeks (I have less than zero time right now) I’ll unpack in a blog post what I said in that talk. Until then, let’s try to chill, and take it offline.

  12. David Scott Williams’s avatar

    What I really want to know is… did you actually copyright AFAIK and YMMV?

    I don’t want service for free. I want decent service that doesn’t cost me 5 – 10 times more a month than it does elsewhere.

    I don’t want “your services” for free, I want services that deliver the internet uncrippled to my doorstep.

    I think it is quite an achievement, though… having the first WISP on record… It must have taken a great deal of innovation, and thought. I think that innovator could find a way to make peace with ubiquitous broadband initiatives… could find a way to adapt to the growing need of the marketplace.

    I will look at the one WISP that is <200 miles from me on the list (the link you provided) in NC … but I am pretty sure they went out of business. Other than that, I have BellSouth (slow DSL), or a local cable company (not fiber-optic) to choose from. I would welcome any initiative that could bring me the kind of connection I could get in Raleigh for <110/month (and that would be EXPENSIVE in the areas it is available easily in).

    I have to confess that I, personally, did not think of someone such as yourself when I heard the term "ISP". I read in an article that you trim down many protocols to save money {good for profits, and that is, I imagine, why you are in business.} If that is still true, I would not be pleased were I one of your customers — but I would be pleased with the efforts that you made to bring broadband access to an area of Wyoming that would otherwise have been ignored.

    I think of AT&T, Verizon, the big cable companies, Cox and such, when I hear the word "ISP" .. that is an assumption I will check in the future.

    However, I still wonder if there is not some way to work with these initiatives to both provide greater access, without destroying your business model.

    I learned something today, and from a post on "poetry", no less 😉

  13. David Scott Williams’s avatar

    Brett — I looked up the WISP that is close to me (all of the others are FAR away)…it re-directs to what looks like a spaceholder internet page–guess that means they went out of business — and I can guarantee it wasn’t MUNI wi-fi here.

    How do I get fast internet, in your world?

  14. Brett Glass’s avatar

    Mr. Williams, before you irrationally and rabidly attack me, learn something about intellectual property law. Hint: A good place to start might be learning the difference between trademarks and copyright.

  15. Brett Glass’s avatar

    Doc, while you say that you do not “lump me in” with Cox, or Cablevision, or AT&T, you support policy agendas that do. And carry with them the full brunt of the hatred expressed at that conference. Despite the fact that what would merely sting the big guys would destroy all remaining small and local competitors.

    Ready, fire, aim.

    What’s more, around every corner there seems to be an ignorant lout like Mr. Williams, above, who cannot even tell a copyright from a trademark and yet is ready to attack and kill all ISPs — regardless of size.

    It’s getting to the point where it’s not worth having to deal with the hate.

  16. David Scott Williams’s avatar

    I noticed this (namely that I had blurred the two):
    >>learning the difference between trademarks and copyright.

    ..after I had already sent my post through…

    I suppose that you ignored the rest of my post means that you are not up to innovative challenge of re-creating your business model.

    It is a shame–you do seem like you work very hard at this, and I wish you and your business the best of luck in the future.


  17. David Scott Williams’s avatar

    >>What’s more, around every corner there seems to be an ignorant lout like Mr. Williams, above,

    Is a bit inflammatory. On … you say the following:

    YMMV, “Your Mileage May Vary,” “Brett Glass to the Rescue,” AFAIK, “As Far As I Know,” and “Tapping the Zeitgeist of Cyberspace” are trade and service marks of Brett Glass for his publications. All other trade and service marks appearing on this site are the property of their respective owners. All photographs used with permission. See the tags of photos for credits and copyright notices.

    Aside from a slight lapse of thought (copyright vs. trademark) .. I suppose the same presumptive ass principle applies:
    You actually claim a trademark to YMMV and AFAIK?

    AFAIK, the phrase “As Far As I Know” and AFAIK both predate your use of them. YMMV on enforcing said trademark.

    Maybe (hopefully) that site is a joke, or meant to be some form of sarcastic slap at the broken state of IP law in this country? If so, I applaud you.

    And I repeat: You seem like you have invested a lot of yourself in bringing wireless to a potentially otherwise ignored area. That effort is a good one. And I do wish you the best of luck skiing the avalanche of the change coming to broadband in the near future.


  18. Brett Glass’s avatar

    Again, Mr. “Williams” shows his ignorance of what trademarks are and how they work. (Hint: “Noodles, Inc.” did not invent the word “noodle,” but the name is still a valid trademark.) Typical, alas, of the hateful business-bashers that ISPs encounter daily.

  19. David Scott Williams’s avatar


    The first rule of the internet is don’t feed the trolls.


    I hope dinner was enjoyable.


  20. David Scott Williams’s avatar

    Doc (as in, sorry, didn’t mean to fan any flames on your poetry thread ;))

  21. Brett Glass’s avatar

    Just keep on “trolling,” Mr. Williams. The more you do, the more you make my point.

    These ISP-bashers are ignorant haters.

  22. Dominik Bjegović’s avatar

    Is that one of your poems Doc? (one that you mentioned in your last post).

  23. Dude’s avatar

    Something that might dovetail off of what you’re thinking (this is akin to what you always shouted from the mountaintop: Creativity Matters!).


  24. Doc Searls’s avatar

    Thanks, Dude. I agree with Ken Segall on the iPad ad.

    It is very very hard to do what Apple does, if you’re not Apple. CEOs and others in high places at large companies are neither artists nor chance-takers. Apple, for all its faults, is an art project. Dell, alas, just makes stuff.

  25. Matt’s avatar

    nice poem. any more of them that you would like to share.

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