Thursday, November 30, 2017


During his years as a city magistrate and JP, Bob Scriver had developed a few short aphorisms.

People will do whatever they CAN do, until other people stop them.

If a crime is outrageous enough, no one will realize it’s happening.  (The model for this is the genocides by the Nazis during WWII.)

Geraldo Rivera, Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose, Harvey Weinstein, Garrison Keillor, Al Franken, John Conyers, Glenn Thrush, John Lasseter, Louis C.K., John Besh, Mark Halperin, Lockhart Steele, Michael Oreskes, James Toback, Chris Savino, Roy Price, Ben Affleck, Kevin Spacey. George H.W. Bush, and Trump.  More today and tomorrow.  What an assortment, what a range of offenses all focused on sex, what a stampede of mostly women determined to at least identify them.  

The women are often highly dramatic, in tears, claiming serious life consequences.  It’s easy to believe this about Roy Moore, who probably is demented judging by his history.  But that has little in common with Charlie Rose walking around naked like John Gielgud in “Prospero’s Books.”  Clearly, environment has a lot to do with it.  Context.  What people are reluctant to criticize.  Picking up girls at the mall barely old enough to be sexual is one thing.  Arts that use the human body as it is, unclothed, is another thing.

We are so confused in this country about what sex really IS, what it means, what is an extension of it, or even what cultural context we as individuals find coherent enough to claim.  Relativism, defended by history and anthropology, is now considered a maladjustment.  “Treatment” is quickly offered as compensation.  Can you imagine trying to “treat” Harvey Weinstein?  Make sure the door is open and someone is stationed just outside.  By now Trump has been explained and analyzed publicly in very convincing terms.  Intractability, failure to grasp, is the main part of the problem.

Some of this is left-over Christian patterning:  terrible offences, confession, absolution, conversion to the prevailing Truth, pledges of obedience to a higher authority.  Because this is the pentimento under everything we do, if “we” is Euro-genetic.

I’m going to my favorite strategy here, based on science, which also came out of Euro-genetic thinkers, but augmented by others of quite different origins.  Primally, sex is the evolved system of germinating new humans.  The delivery system that gets sperm over to the ovum’s cradle in the uterus has evolved to be very pleasant, though there is a continuum of individuals from those who really would rather not over to those who want it, want it, want it.  The mechanism is spongy tissue that can become stiff and hot by filling with blood, then men are the key, women are the lock, the rest of the body turns on codes of molecules, and the tissues swell and swell, exquisitely sensitive, until a paroxysm is reached.  Then the blood leaves.

The pleasure of the tissues is augmented by a tide of serotonin and the activation of the organ/brain mechanisms and neurons of addiction.  “This was good.  Mark for return.”  The same brain patterns as for heroin, pain, and power.  Sex is addictive and meant to be but like any drug, it can be abused.  It can be seen on an fMRI screen.  No need for Freud.  At this level, a sheep is good enough.

Our sexual standards are so cattywampus that it’s hard to tell how to compose a law.  But in the case of these men, I want to suggest that the sex is a distraction.  It’s obvious that they’re dealing in power and control, trying to prove to themselves and others that they can grab a woman by whatever parts.  This is a boundary-baiting, boundary-riding strategy that kicks adrenaline into the cocktail.

I thought this conversation linked below was interesting, though NPR has become so middle-class bourgeois vanilla that they would seem the last context for abuse of women.  But they are the home of Charlie Rose and Garrison Keillor.  Too outrageous to be believed.

The sly covertness of most of these harassments, private as footsy under-the-table that everyone pretends not to notice, is part of their turn-on value.  It’s a finger in the eye of propriety, all those people who are shocked, SHOCKED, though they knew it all the time.  Would do it if they could get away with it.  In fact, it’s not just the acts that offend us but also the knowledge that if we tried that, we’d be arrested or at least called out.  

Quieter voices have mentioned that many offending men — or even those who restrain themselves — believe that they are wanted, even invited.  They mistake polite attention or even enthusiastic understanding into a true desire.  Partly because of doing law enforcement and partly because of ministry, I come closer to people than some are used to.  I ask questions that might be personal.  

Some men start the machinery of approach/avoidance, which I recognize and sometimes makes me step back.  Others start talking about their mothers.  (I’m almost eighty.)  Around here, it is assumed that all older single women are looking for a man to take them in, provide a house to clean, do escort services, and help with things that require muscle.  Everyone pretends sex is involved, and maybe it is.  Maybe.  The men think this makes them irresistible, able to step over onto a woman’s territory, which includes her body.

In the case of the powerful and wealthy men who are being accused here, I think the situation is worse.  Women ARE territory, nothing more, not fully human.  Add to that the idea that women are often the face of enforcement for institutions, which builds up resistance from very early school years.  That’s got to be a strand in the dynamics of violence.

And women are decoration, endorsement.  An elegant secretary, a pretty wife, a prom-queen-level date — men are judged by the women who find them worthy.  And women can use that for control.  Some are doing their boss’s jobs for them.

Desire, yearning, attachment, bonding, are potent mixtures of molecular interaction, physical acts, and behavior both in and out of social standards, thrilling or reassuring accordingly.  But social standards for people whose lives are governed by great numbers of people — like government or entertainment — can be tempted out of step with the rules, underestimating them, mistaking them.  They don’t have time to be normal.

Disaster ensues.  And a great need to be more explicit about what we expect.  We’ve made sex far more public, far less outrageous.  It’s not so much that we’ve gone too far, but that the rest of the stuff that comes with sex is not keeping up.  No one wants to be just a teddy bear.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017


So what’s this “mommie” thing I keep throwing around?  It is a metaphor for a female role that makes me angry and resistant but I haven’t figured it out.  Mommies are a bit of a paradox.  They are “other-directed” — taking their orders from the larger culture without question.  That’s fine.  Not everyone can be “inner-directed”, marching to their own particular drummer.  But a mommie, in my usage, feels that she must make everyone conform the way she is conforming.  She is an “enforcer.”  Nurse, teacher, therapist, usher, attendant.  She's where the authority meets the individual.

First, here’s a little refresher for folks too young to have known where the terms “other-directed, self-directed, tradition-directed” etc.” came from.  Who invented the terms?  It was David Reismann and 1950 was the year that began a discussion that persists.   Autonomous was the goal, but then it turned into narccissism by our times. 

“First published in 1950 as a sociological analysis of American life, The Lonely Crowd became a surprising bestseller; its authors, David Riesman and his collaborators, had expected it to be of interest only to fellow academics, and yet the book touched a nerve in the American public, resonating with a concern many felt about the changing character of the country.
  In the book, Riesman sets forth three types of “social character,” three mechanisms by which people conform to the society in which they live: tradition-directed, inner-directed, and other-directed.”

Then the ideal is described as a fourth kind, the autonomous, a person who is able to move from one source of direction to another, as is appropriate in his or her own judgment.  Mommies hate the autonomous, because mommies are often attached to Big Daddies who wish to be the only director of Mommies, using them to keep order.  Kellyanne Conway and Sarah Huckabee Sanders are good examples.  They treat us like children.  We do not feel they are authentic.

When women were relieved of involuntary child-bearing and “liberated” to earn their own livings, there was no reason anymore to attach to a man for survival.  The Fifties pretended that this would mean people could and would marry for love or remain single in happy independence.  Papa would no longer “supervise” to make the best bargain for his daughters.

The dark side of this was that in this new world of offices and advertising, the women became the supervisors.  But always under supervision themselves.  Back on the family farm, mom had territory of her own.  In the office of the bureaucrats, everything is owned in hierarchical, caste-system style.

In the office advertising media standards reigned.  Women wore the latex in those days:  Playtex girdles were such firm control that being patted on the bottom was imperceptible.  A friend of mine used to speak of the “Windexed” world, where all blemishes were wiped away.  This was particularly desirable when television showed us women in gleaming kitchens doing the cleaning in full skirts and high heels.  Their unmarried young sisters were out leaning against cars, scantily clad to ensure the sexiness the men seemed to appreciate.  A shadow version of prostitution.

These days women have their first child later in life, but the ones on our clean screens are pretty young and that’s lucky because the burden to be perfect is heavy.  Perfection is a prom queen’s goal.  She will lecture the rest of us about how to be perfect.  “Sit up straight.  Exercise daily.  Eat your broccoli.”  

Anyone resistant or less than perfect is out the door.  First all the disobedient sons, then the fathers who drink too much, and finally the fat and pimply daughters.  Mommies love pink and bows and ruffles but you’d better not touch them without specific permission for each step.  “May I twiddle your left titty?”  They choose churches according to how pretty they are and insist that all their weddings be perfect, which they must study magazines to achieve.  They dress their little girls as princesses, out playing in the sandbox while wearing tulle and rhinestones — they’d better not get dirty.

It’s not that mommies are shallow.  They do a lot of work to try to correct all the bad stuff God has dumped on us.  But mostly they ignore it in order to get through the day.  They are very willing to discuss with their sister princesses all the faults the men have.  That’s my bill of accusation.

But there are all kinds of mommies.  The Urban Dictionary  describes these variations:
Sexy attractive female, someone you wanna just back up against a wall and kiss.
Someone who is always forgiving. Someone in which whom you know that you can always rely on. Mommy will always come back, and Mommy will never leave for long. A mommy always wants the best for their child, and will always put a child first in any circumstance. A mommy is a child's best friend.
A term of irony used for a very self-serving mother with very little inherent nurturing instinct and often a victim of psychosis and/or bipolar disorder. Her ugly and abusive behaviors often include but are not limited to: name calling, tyrannical micromanaging, violent rages, insensitivity, blaming her mistakes on everyone else,
Mommy issues is actually the exact opposite of being a momma's boy. Just like having Daddy issues is the opposite of being a daddy's girl. A guy who didn't have a mother (figure) or that hasn't had a close relationship to her, lacking motherly care.
A mother who is sanctimonious about her parenting choices. Looks down at and/ or judges parents who don't make the same choices. A combination of the words "sanctimonious" and “mommy"
One who is a worthless mom in real life but posts photos of them with their kids like; #lovemybabies #kidsaremylife 2) A mom who spends 5 hours a night at the club, 10 hours a day asleep, 4 hours a day working, 2 hours a day shopping/ eating/drinking coffee with her girls, an hour and a half showering ..
mutha. (offensive, taboo, slang, mainly US) short for (offensive) motherfucker..

ma’am, marm, mum:  “I am not the queen.”

This is not a good post.  I’m squirting smudges when I want to be breaking glass.  I’ll return when I have a better grip.  


Wednesday, November 29, 2017


Former resident donates valuable Robert Scriver bronze to local museum.

The word bronze can mean a couple different things. It can mean the color of your skin after basking in the summer sun. It might also be referring to the color of a medal received by a third place finisher in the Olympics. Then again, it could mean a fabulous sculpture created by Bob Scriver. It's the last definition Glacier County is excited about.
In December of last year, David Withers' sister, Pegge Dallum, made a decision to donate a fabulous bronze sculpture she had in her possession. She hadn't quite made up her mind where to donate the bronze, but she did have a couple ideas. One of the places she was thinking about was the C. M. Russell Museum in Great Falls. Dallum was just about ready to start the paperwork for the Great Falls museum, when another option came to mind.
What about donating it to Glacier County? After all, she used to live here and still has family ties in Cut Bank. The more she thought about it, the more she liked the idea. This time when she started the paperwork, it was to donate the bronze to Glacier County.
The bronze is entitled “Too Late for the Hawken.” It depicts a fur trapper who has obviously been surprised by an Indian on horseback. The Indian, with his spear-like javelin in hand, is ready to impale the trapper. It is obvious the trapper, whose rifle is in plain site, will not be able to reach his weapon in time to save his life. The piece is magnificent and much like all the other creations designed by Scriver gives incredible attention to detail.
Scriver, a world-renowned sculptor, is credited for creating thousands of outstanding bronze sculptures. The pieces vary in size from tabletop to full-size and each one is remarkable in its own right.
Much like Dallum, Scriver had deep roots in Glacier County as well. He was born in Browning in 1914 and lived and worked there most of his life. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in music and for 17 years shared his love of music by teaching it.
In 1951, Scriver changed careers and became a taxidermist, opening up his own business in Browning. It wasn't long before his talents and abilities as a taxidermist made him well known throughout Montana. It was this foundation that ultimately led to his calling as a sculptor in 1956. For the next 34 years, Scriver would continue to sculpt, receiving worldwide fame for the fabulous pieces he shaped.
His life ended in 1999 at the age of 84, but his work is timeless and will continue to be shown in galleries, museums and exhibitions throughout North America. Scriver's work truly speaks for itself and explains why he has been called American's foremost living sculptor of the west.”
"Too Late for the Hawken” has been certified at $15,000 by Cut Bank attorney Darrell Peterson. This is a pretty major piece,” said Peterson. He agreed Glacier County was lucky to have been the recipient of this fantastic piece of work. Peterson knows what he is talking about as both he and his office have a number of Scriver bronzes, making him a good authority on their worth and beauty.
Peterson said a number of Scriver pieces are currently on display at the Montana Historical Society Museum in Helena. With more Scriver pieces in storage than they currently have room to display they have begun preparations to construct a new showroom designated specifically to Scriver bronzes. It is estimated this exhibit will hold approximately 1,100 pieces crafted by Scriver.
If you didn't think Glacier County was fortunate to receive this generous gift before, here's betting you do now. Glacier County would like to offer a huge thank you to Pegge Dallum for this wonderful donation. It is proudly on display at the Glacier County Historical Museum.


Around here men will sometimes rest their hand on my shoulder.  They like me, I’m patronizing their business, and on some level they want a physical connection but shaking hands is a little too formal.  If I were a guy, they might slap me on the back.

I was sitting in a church pew when a former employer who double-crossed me came up the aisle and put his hand on my shoulder.  He’s a recovering alcoholic, a little too virtuous.  It was dominance, “I-control-you” behavior.  Knowing, of course, that in church I was likely to be docile.

A friend alerted me to an evening program about Bob Scriver’s work.  I had been neither notified nor invited, but I went, sat way in the back, and only observed.  Men who expected to profit by their purported connection to Bob’s work were answering questions.  People in the audience, well-heeled aficionados, were asking questions the men, lawyers, couldn’t answer.  Art and foundry questions.  I spoke up loudly to give the information.  Heads swivelled.  I announced who I was.  A woman said,  “She should have been on this panel!”  

One of the lawyers — a man who habitually drank in a bar every evening and leveraged the proprietor to allow a high school boy to come with him “to drive him home” — walked back and stood beside me.  He put his hand on my shoulder, a little too firmly, pressing down.  This time I made a face and shrugged off his hand, knowing that the group was paying attention. I think they saw that he was trying to shut me up, and also to signal some kind of alliance.

Which one is sexual harassment?  You can’t distinguish by the behavior per se.  What it means depends on motive, the occasion, the perp, the victim.  Sometime a gesture normally seen as innocent can be invasive, insulting, and inappropriate.  And when drunks fool around it's almost impossible to be innocent.

At Animal Control in Portland my boss and I shepherded a citizen group through the writing of a new ordinance (which has since been rewritten several times more as the customs and demographics of Portland have changed).  Burgwin’s idea was that a continuum of social behavior from the least offensive to the most atrocious was always challenged at both ends.  On one end was the idea that pets exist just above humans and barely below angels.  On the other end was the belief that pets were dangerous, uncontrollable and evil.  Also dirty.

The object of the task was to get to a consensus and a raised consciousness that could represent the community of Portland and Multnomah County.  Burgwin’s idea was that anything that could push people toward a constructive position on that continuum was enforcing the law by making it part of the culture.  Didn’t have to be punishment, didn’t even have to be purely reward, but just nudging opinion along works.

Sex and behavior between the genders are like that.  Esp. now that we still haven’t assimilated the sexual revolution exploded by the pill.  And some have still not figured out that all genders, all ages, all roles can be gamed as harassment from both ends, both as victims and as offenders.  Many do not believe that any vaguely sexual behavior is innocent, and maybe that’s right.  But most people try hard not to think about the far end of the spectrum where kink shades into torture and then into mutilation and death.  I’ll repeat from the last post in case you missed it:  

“I think the only way to approach [this issue] is through method:  on the one hand the method might be an awareness of the continuum of harassments from distant catcalls on the street to the inconceivable intensity of throwing acid, murdering, capturing and mutilating.  The core of the current discussion seems to be high profile men accused by aging white glamour girls.  (I’ll get killed for saying that.)  It’s a trope, a gropetrope.  

“So I’ll go the method of my old animal control boss, which is to define a continuum and then figure out what will make social behavior move towards the desired end.  Figuring out what that desired goal might be is likely to be the hard part.  Because we do not want the same ends.  Context dictates which end should be kept in mind.  Boundaries abound.  But nice ladies who are upset that a geriatric president would pat their bottoms are not at all the same thing as kids impounded like dogs at the southern border of the country — with the difference from dogs being that the kids are fucked and beaten by guards.  The difference between ordinary kids and nice ladies?  I’ll try to figure it out.”

Social clout.  Culturally endorsed.  We're obsessed with tall skinny blondes with big painted eyes. 

Much of social life is devoted to sizing up others in terms of how we measure up.  Esp in terms of power and control, we are aware of — if not obsessed with — who can “take” whom, who is a deserving equal partner, and who we can dominate.  Who will consent to be seen with us?  High school stuff.  Some of us actually act on whom they think they can trick, out-maneuver, beat up.  It’s a pattern established in adolescence when we run in packs and then find partners.  It’s also about families and towns and teams — who can buy you out, who can deny your political aspirations, who is gonna beat your ass again this year.

When we talk about sex, and note that some people — mostly powerful men with control over others, power-mongers who think they can do anything to anybody — we talk about “moral relativity” as though that were bad.  When it is individuals who write their own rules and think they are better than everyone else, that is unfortunate.  

Moral relativity between groups is quite different.  It only means that people manage their behavior according to the rules of their cohort, whatever they think their cohort to be.  Trump thinks he’s acting according to the normal behavior of real estate gamers in Manhattan and wherever the third-world rules are loosey-goosey, and he is.  He doesn’t KNOW that the rules for political leaders are not the same.  He’s not even good at succeeding in the rules of his own category.  He thinks of his family as his only true cohort, to the extent of sexualizing his own daughter.

An accompanying problem is that too many senators and representatives think they are in a production of “House of Cards.”  And they are.  The cohort norms are broken.  They understood — evidently not well enough — that the values that make the Rule of Law work have eroded, so the name of the game has changed.  Partly it’s bad cynical law, partly its constituents who think of government in corporation terms, so their civic values are also eroded.  

Corporation rules of behavior, military rules of behavior, civic rules of behavior are morally relative to each other as categories, but not within the cohort.  The most lawless-seeming drug cartel or street gang has rules of behavior that are consistent and enforced within the group.  Part of success and survival is knowing what your context is.  Religion teaches us that we are all humans, but now science teaches us that our context is all animals, and most of our literature/media teaches us to be individuals.

The most respected and high status “classes” must have the strictest standards because they have the power to do the most harm, both to individuals and the group.  In a classically “professional” context (doctors, lawyers, clergy, professors, therapists) no one is allowed to touch anyone else without permission.  In a law enforcement situation, no adult should use sex or violence (force beyond that needed to preserve order) on anyone younger than eighteen.  In America we don’t kill kids, in other countries they do, and they teach kids to kill.  That’s their norm specific to them, not transferable to us.  Or has it already come to us?

Though most youngsters these days think of sex as something physical, only about desirability and maybe a "skill set".  (Another sad story on Twitter was a guy who was picked up in a bar, taken home, found inadequate, and abandoned while the woman went back to the bar to look for someone better.)  No thought to any of the Jane Austen stuff like protecting each other, thinking of the future (something beyond checking for diseases), enjoying conversation, even checking out earning power, sharing an aesthetic.  

Prince Harry is royalty, a small social category that was once based on national relationships and alliances, as well as hereditary succession.  So now that we have gotten to the point where we can admit that the English queen is actually German, and that marrying cousins is not a good idea, Harry can choose someone who is dusky, an actress, divorced, and (gulp) American.  He is charming and courageous enough to change his whole category, though his mother paid with her life for doing that.  

What I’m trying to get at in a roundabout way is that sexual harassing in one context might not be at all like it is in another social group.  I recall a basketball game between the townsmen of Heart Butte and the faculty (white) in which the townsmen (enrolled) put the basketball up under their shirts to imitate pregnancy and said mocking things about the faculty’s wives and mothers.  Was that sexual harassing?  Sure it was.  And they knew they could get away with it, given uneasy racial tension.  Consider all that bottom-smacking of big old athletes.  Trump would call it “locker room” and it is, quite literally.  Only fairly robust women would tolerate it.

There is another dimension of entitled familiarity that we accept in our dominant culture, and that is the willingness to let people of both sexes fondle and kiss babies and toddlers.  It’s considered innocent, but I’m not sure it is.  Powerful men who kiss and fondle young girls are sexualizing that same behavior.  When they do it to mature women, they are trying to push them back into being children while they play fond grandpa.  It makes really mature women retch and reach for the bear spray.

As for ways to push behavior back towards a more constructive place on the continuum of behavior for the country’s leaders, I think we’re seeing it happen now.  And we're finding who the real sex object is.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017


Cartoon by Lisa Benson

Two issues I don’t hardly know how to tackle.  One is this preoccupation with sexual harassment and the other is the loss of internet neutrality.  I think the only way to approach them is through method:  on the one hand the method might be an awareness of the continuum of harassments from distant catcalls on the street to the evidently inconceivable (no one connects this) intensity of throwing acid, murdering, capturing and mutilating.  The core of the discussion seems to be high profile men accused by aging white glamour girls of offences, the high end of which is rape and the low end of which is goofing around.  (I’ll get killed for saying that.)  It’s a trope, a gropetrope.  

So I’ll go to the method of my old animal control boss, which is to define a continuum and then figure out what will make social behavior move towards the desired end.  Figuring out what that desired goal might be is likely to be the hard part.  We do not want the same ends.  Some just want to be left alone and others want hookup culture that's under control.  Control is the key -- both genders want it. 

Context dictates which end should be kept in mind.  Boundaries abound.  But nice ladies who are upset that a geriatric president would pat their bottoms are not at all the same thing as kids impounded like dogs at the southern border of the country — with the difference from dogs being that the kids are fucked and beaten by guards.  The difference from nice ladies?  I’ll try to figure it out.  It has something to do with ownership.  Owning leads to trafficking.

The other big issue that I can’t really address very effectively is that of internet neutrality.  I’ve been a long-form blogger for a very long time.  I grew suspicious of Facebook early on and have been confirmed on most suspicions, while adding more.  I just think they run a dirty business.  This means the others probably are working from that book, though they might not be such Godzillas.  I’ve pulled way back from email contacts and automated newsletters.  I’m on Twitter, but wary of what I read.

Regularly I check Google Images to see what they are attributing to me, and it is insane.  I have no connection to most of the images.  Suddenly old attachments sent with private emails long ago will appear.  I used to put many images in my blog posts — now, unless there’s a point to be made — I don’t.  One for a header — that’s it.

Many times I google to pin down the parameters of some major grand philosophical concept that I sort of skimmed in seminary, and it turns out to be a rock band.  That’s not Google’s fault exactly, except that the rock bands pay to be high on the list and that means I either have to scroll deeper or figure out some way to ask for what I want that doesn’t trigger the paid entries.  It’s redundant to complain that money has become everything.

It occurs to me that the internet/government/corporation mesh has developed a split something like Snow’s famous science vs. arts split that preoccupied us all for a while back in the Fifties, and is still useful.  This is also related to the idea of Kuhn that our whole framework of meaning is effective until the evidence and the reality of experience begin to move away from it.  The distressing malfunction eventually means a new framework will form, in spite of efforts to preserve the old one.

I’m going to get into trouble for saying this (which I why I don’t write for Medium where everything is monitored — they call it “curated”), but we’ve split into two cultures, one of which is Asian in origin, and based on survival through wealth, regardless of the loss of freedom, managed by authoritarian means.  Or devious strategy.  I put Russia in Asia.  It’s more culture and environment than genetics.  The tougher the place, the easier to get control by dominating necessities of life en masse.

The other half of this binary is the European-based (going back to the Greeks and influenced by the French) notion of ideals — principles of the Enlightenment and Rules of Law that protect the individual, raising up ideals of heroic behavior in which deservingness gets confused with meritocracy, which then means that the meritocracy begins to think that the others don’t deserve consideration.

At their worst they both suck.  And neither really understands what the Internet is or can be or even that it will be replaced by something even more effective.  I keep seeing ads asking for investment in something forecast to be staggeringly beyond the effectiveness of the Internet.  All while some people are still trying to manage their cable TV package.  I have no idea how to imagine something beyond the Internet.  I've never spoken on a smart phone.

What I do grasp is that the sexual revolution has meant sex and drugs have led the way when it comes to the gray areas of communication.  Designing apps for access to porn is the kernel of Wikipedia and the Dark Net may be the way into the future.  People who handle the edges of culture by denying and avoiding them can't prevent progress. The original idea of the internet was to scatter pathways, to avoid monetizing “pinch points.”  The same principle comes to bear on the idea of co-existing parallel internets as explained in this article:

The article prompts me to realize that the invention of hand-held computers -- that used to occupy entire rooms -- is probably as much of a change-maker as the original invention of console desktop machines.  Free-ranging handhelds power a million CSI plots, everyone in voice range of everyone no matter where they are can create a hive mind.  Sub-networks, local networks, special interest networks — where are the programs?  Probably already sprouting.  We’ve got the gizmos, we’ve got the apps, we need to think about the transmission lines, even though they aren’t wires.  And CSI reminds us it is all recorded.

What ties the corporation to the internet is advertising, buyer research, and fast, covert in-house messaging, though hacking affects all of them.

What ties the corporation to the government is the level of financing and organization that puts communication satellites in the sky and runs optical fiber through towns.

This article linked below argues against centralized Internet.  (He has a Chinese name Richard Chen and writes on Medium, which pretends not to centralize by keeping people in boxes.  Medium drove me nuts with their insistence on popularity and rigid business-document understanding of what options work for writers.  I left.  But this article crosses my prejudices.  History is the bridge.)

Chen cites 4 dangers identified by the MIT Media Lab in terms of a centralized system:  top-down direct censorship, curatorial bias, abuse of curatorial power, and exclusion.  The first and fourth are pretty obvious and demonstrated in various nations who black-out what they don’t like.

Here’s a vital paragraph about curatorial bias:  “Google and Facebook rely on advertisers for revenue.  Their business models create an “attention economy,” in which maximizing user engagement incentivizes the platforms to favor virality over veracity.”  It’s the old “made-you-look” game.  Click bait supports paywalls.  Medium does it: read the first paragraphs free, then get the rest AFTER you pay.  PBS does it:  you need an internal additional fee “passport” to get the special shows.  Advertising is gaming and that’s politics.  And that’s money.

Among the many long-game sneaky rules is the 1979 Supreme Court case Smith v. Maryland which rules that any data or other material that passes through the hands of a third party is no longer protected by privacy laws.  That means everything on the cloud belongs to the owners of the giant turbines that must be built along waterways in order to cool their cores, just like nuclear generators.

Read the article to get Chen’s description of IPFS and HTTP.  It just means everything can be hacked and worked-around.

So we move farther and farther from each person’s labor and creativity belonging to them, closer and closer to third-party hostage takers.  None of the commentators I’ve read so far has talked about block-listing or black-listing, the practise of providers to sub-contract the blanking out of email messages that don’t meet certain criteria.  It has been used for extortion, but to do that it needs to let you know it’s happening to you.  Usually it’s imperceptible until your grandma wants to know why you never answer her emails.  You have to use the email to find out what’s happening.  Providers are not helpful.  They shrug.

Algorithms are another related dilemma.  Even the Big Kids are beginning to say that they feel they have lost control.  It's the sorcerer's apprentice all over again.  Watch and learn, Zuckerberg.