What Do Sex and Gender have to do with Net Neutrality and Climate Change?

Garry Knight Climate March in London September 21, 2014 Flickr/creative commons

Garry Knight
Climate March in London
September 21, 2014
Flickr/creative commons

I have often been asked why VenusPlusX, and its mission to help bring about to the coming New Age of Sexual Freedom, has been so concerned in the last couple of years with the two issues of Climate Change and Net Neutrality. Some of my friends asked me to explain what these issues have to do sex, after all.

Dan and I set out to help change the world. Maybe you did or will, also. Each of us can envision a better future world, free from racism, poverty, and militarism and the constant interference by the overreach of governments and religious hierarchies and the greedy exploitation by corporate elitists. We chose the New Age of Sexual Freedom to connote that lofty goal, the day when respect for personal autonomy and bodily integrity will at last realized. That future we are co-envisioning is real: what is old and useless will be gone; what was old but useful will persist because it has value; and, new and humane ways of doing things emerge to replace all of the inhumane and coercive systems that enslave all of us but a few.

The work of rescuing civilization from those who would corrupt it proceeds by setting priorities. A long time ago, I appealed to my fellow social and economic justice activists to reserve at lease some of their time to advocate for a strong worldwide response to climate change. But will that be enough?

Climate change deniers like to call themselves climate change skeptics to make you think they are capable of absorbing new information when they have made themselves mentally unable to do that. These annoying deniers are trying to get in the way of taking immediate and historic action. The number of deniers in power to interfere may be high or low but that doesn’t change the fact that the effects of climate change are already upon us, and the urgency is increasing expodentially.

The ravages of climate change and our ability through a free and open Internet to respond to this crisis, are inexorably linked. Climate change is not just threatening our very existence, the very ground on which you now stand, it is rising quickly with some dramatic outcomes (mass migrations, violent weather, rising sea levels and salinization destroying water sources, etc.). When will these outcomes get the attention of those  going through each day blissfully unaware of this world emergency? When will these outcomes directly affect you and your family? Or have they already?

Improvement in all other areas of social and economic justice will depend on our success in responding to climate change, starting with fostering new ways of getting energy without using fossil fuels. In short, we need the Internet to accomplish everything.

You can see more about Net Neutrality and Climate Change, here and here. Also, here is a good summary of the issues, just out today.

BREAKING: According to tonight’s Wall Street Journal, the Federal Trade Commission that protects and regulates utilities like the Internet seem poised to do the right thing. We may be able to celebrate a huge victory after fighting so hard for Net Neutrality.

The Federal Communications Commission is about to fundamentally change the way it oversees high-speed Internet service, proposing to regulate it as a public utility.

Chairman Tom Wheeler is reaching for a significant expansion of the agency’s authority to regulate broadband providers, according to multiple people familiar with the matter.

The move would fully embrace the principle known as net neutrality, and if enacted, would bring a new definition to the economics of the Internet industry: Rather than regulating broadband firms lightly, as has been its practice so far, the FCC would treat them like telecommunications companies and subject them to more intrusive regulation, especially in areas relating to how they manage traffic on their networks.

A central element would be a ban on broadband providers blocking, slowing down or speeding up specific websites in exchange for payment, these people say. Supporters of the FCC’s position say allowing some websites to pay for faster access to consumers would put startups and smaller companies at a disadvantage.

The proposal, expected to be unveiled by the FCC on Thursday, is a victory for a host of Silicon Valley firms and liberal activists who have championed it. Many of these companies lobbied the White House seeking such an outcome, and were rewarded in November when President Barack Obama announced his support for “the strongest possible” rules for net neutrality, the principle that all Internet traffic should be treated equally.

If we have the Internet and the ability to communicate rapidly across all sectors in the world, we will have a fighting chance in meeting the tremendous security challenges presented by climate change, and change the world in the process.



TODAY: Take Action for Net Neutrality

Last night, President Obama, in his State of the Union speech, made clear that net neutrality is important to everyone throughout the world.

“I intend to protect a free and open internet, extend its reach to every classroom, and every community, and help folks build the fastest networks, so that the next generation of digital innovators and entrepreneurs have the platform to keep reshaping our world.”

Flickr/creative commons

Flickr/creative commons

We already know that if we don’t continue to have unfettered and free access to this most important utility, the voices of so many people will be unnecessarily silenced, bringing us further under the corporatized, enslaving stranglehold by a small group of elites who lack any empathy for the rest of us.

As the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) seems poised to put all (or at least some) protections of net neutrality in place, powerful lobbyists representing corporations who wish to exploit this utility for their own financial gain are gaming the U.S. Congress in an attempt to circumnavigate the FCC.

[This was Comcast’s big play all along] . . . if they lose the FCC, get Congress to do the dirty work. Now it’s happening. There are two fake net neutrality bills in motion that wouldn’t stop cable companies from discriminating against certain sites, but would block the FCC from enforcing real rules. — Holmes Wilson of  Fight for the Future

We can’t wait until President Obama has to veto attempts by Congress to do the dirty work of the corporatists, or for a possible Republican president in 2 years to allow this travesty. Click here to call the committee members, right now and tell them to stop standing in the way of real net neutrality. We need *everyone* to do this.

So take a few minutes now to call as many of them as you can.

How awesome would it be if while they’re at these bogus hearings, they get panicked texts from staff about the HUGE number of pro-net neutrality calls? 

Many of you have been active all year in making sure the FCC hears your voice. The FCC acknowledged the millions of calls and statements in favor of making the internet a public utility, like water, electricity, and your phone, as it should be. We were heard, and up until this unnecessary interference to neutralize the power of the FCC, it’s been looking good.

We can’t give up, we won’t give up. Make your voice heard, today especially.



Anti Net Neutrality Lobbyists Will Stop At Nothing

Why Phone and Cable Companies Want to Kill the Internet’s Most Democratic Right

Flickr/creative commons

Flickr/creative commons

Lobbyists representing phone and cable companies have now reorganized and doubled down on disinformation campaigns. They are crying censorship against advocates who want to preserve the built-in democracy of the Internet that guarantees everyone a voice.

After all, corporations are people, folks. Therefore, net neutrality advocates are interfering with these large companies free speech rights.

Industry-funded think tanks have argued that any enforceable effort to protect the open Internet denies phone and cable companies their First Amendment right “by compelling them to convey content providers’ messages with which they may disagree.”


This specious argument asserts that these large companies are de facto editors of Internet content and in that role they should be able to delimit the free speech of the rest of us. News flash: they are not the “owners” of the Internet.

Flickr/creative commons

Flickr/creative commons

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will soon announce its new rules. Will the Internet be re-established as a common carrier, like all other public utilities, or will it allow large corporations own the Internet, charging more for privileged “fast lanes” (a cost to be passed on to consumers) and relegating the rest of us to wobbly “slow lanes” or no lane at all because your content has been censored?

Here is what you need to know . . .

Returning the Internet to the widely used common-carrier standard is what these industry types fear most. It’s a fear that has reached a fever pitch after an overwhelming majority of the public urged the FCC to protect real Net Neutrality and reclassify broadband providers as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act.

“Are your phone lines censored? Are enterprise lines censored? Are mobile voice services censored? All of these are common carriers. We need the same assurances with our Internet communications.” (Marvin Ammori, a First Amendment scholar and Internet policy consultant, Washington, D.C.)

Any two-way communications network that serves the public is not supposed to block, degrade or otherwise unreasonably discriminate in the transmission of the content it carries across its networks.

Why do we so often champion net neutrality? Believing as we do that all oppression and coercive systems by governments, corporations, and religious hierarchies stand in the way of economic and social justice (and peace), it is important that the powerless always have an unhindered voice. Human rights deserve, need, our active protection whether pertaining equality rights, sexual freedom, the environment, immigration, etc., and the end of all war and racism. For more, check out our related manifesto.

What’s your issue? What do you feel passionately about? Let us know what you are doing. If you are just going to sit there, get up and get busy, okay?



TODAY: Actions You Can Take to Assure Net Neutrality

Courtesy of Free Press

Courtesy of Free Press

We may be experiencing the last few days when we can be sure that the Internet will remain free from the control of mega-corporations at the expense of the little guy. Sites such as Comcast and AT&T could be getting fast lanes, the cost of which would be borne by you the consumer. Other websites, the ones you love, would be relegated to die on the vine in slow lanes.

But there are things you can do over the next few days to make the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reclassifies broadband providers as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act.

Tomorrow there will be a world-wide “slowdown” for websites large and small to urge end-users like you to take action in the next few days by submitting comments up until midnight (EST) this Monday, September 15. If you want the Internet to remain the global free marketplace of ideas it has always been, where those without a voice are guaranteed a chance to be heard, then please do one or more of these things.

Besides tomorrow’s slowdown, you can call for net neutrality by . . .

Don’t sit on your hands.

##### and, thank you for all your work!



Obama Speaks Up for Net Neutrality

Obama Contradicts FCC Chief on Fast Lanes, Net Neutrality Backers Say

Net neutrality is the idea that the Internet should be an open platform, and broadband companies shouldn’t be able to interfere with your right to access content and services on line. — Sam Gustin for

President Obama made a strong and clear declaration supporting net neutrality during his remarks on Tuesday to the US-Africa Business Forum since the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced plans to make new rules governing the Internet.

“I personally, the position of my administration, as well as a lot of the companies here, is that you don’t want to start getting a differentiation in how accessible the Internet is to different users,” Obama added. “You want to leave it open so the next Google and the next Facebook can succeed.”

Free Press Flickr/creative commons

Free Press
Flickr/creative commons

Besides allowing for innovation by maintaining net neutrality, any restrictions on free access to the Internet will make it more difficult for organizations and others to be heard, essentially destroying the inherent democracy intended in the first place.

Instead of treating it like any other utility as it should, the FCC is seriously entertaining a proposal to allow certain big corporations such as Verizon and Comcast to pay more for broader and faster access, costs which consumers will ultimately bear, and overpowering the service that others get.

The period for public comments, variously estimated to be 677,000 to more than one million, ended in mid-July, and the FCC has promised to read and consider each one. These comments are now available to analysts, journalists, and consumers, and early reports have them running 99 to 1 in favor of no special interest regulations.

But because monied corporate power seems to have no bounds these days, we have keep paying attention to this issue until the FCC formally rejects the very notion of these pay-to-play regulations.





The Sexual Freedom Project: Let’s Talk About Sex

We are taking a second look at this video which asked a lot of basic questions. Many of you contacted us privately with your answers, and often with questions as well. So what do you think?

Who taught you about sex? Were you able to talk with your parents about it? Do parents have realistic expectations about the sexual activities of their children?

How does a person know when they’re mature enough to begin having sex? How can we ensure that young people have the relevant facts they need to make the best decisions about their sexual behaviors?What role does the Internet play in sexual education today?

Does more sexual information equate to more sexual freedom?

Let’s hear your voice. Make a video, write a poem, song, or an essay — or even create an original work of art — and express your thoughts on these topics. If we feature your contribution on the site, we will send you a free VenusPlusX t-shirt to thank you.

More videos.

Jurors: Researching online? Go to jail!

(También en Español)

News of Note: Jurors: leave the information age—or go to jail

An English court has sentenced a juror to six months in prison for contempt of court after she performed research on the Internet and forced the abandonment of a criminal trial.

Psychology lecturer Theodora Dallas, 34, was a member of the jury in the trial of Barry Medlock, accused of causing grievous bodily harm. She looked up certain information related to the trial on the Internet, came across information concerning Medlock, and told her fellow jurors what she had found. One of them informed the judge, causing the judge to abandon the trial. Medlock was later retried and found guilty.

In order for a jury to be unbiased they must be ignorant? The entire nature of a jury is rooted in subjectivity. But how is a decision less biased when the jurors only have access to information concerning their specific case? I believe access to information is a human right. Because any juror could do outside research without telling anyone, help expand their own perspective, and easily get away with it, how much longer will this rule enforcing ignorance be  justified or realistic? It isn’t a far stretch to say that our legal system has a few holes; this might be a good place to start making some improvements. Let us know what you think, I’m eager to hear other people’s take on this issue.

Online gamers crack AIDS enzyme puzzle

Gamers solve molecular puzzle that baffled scientists

There is this website, People go there to play a video game about Protein Folding. Players can contribute to science by solving these puzzles.

Wikipedia sums up the news nicely:
“. . . online gamers used Foldit to decipher the crystal structure of M-PMV retroviral protease, which is linked to an AIDS-like virus. Players produced an accurate 3D model of the enzyme in just three weeks. The problem had thwarted scientists for a decade.”  

This is significant: We haven’t hit the singularity yet, but the emergence of tools like Foldit that enable the masses to cooperate, will greatly accelerate technological progress.

  • Captchas are often part of a transcription project, and you’re actually helping transcribe words from old texts.

The beautiful cooperation that we have enabled with the Internet is throwing us forward. As more people participate, and new forms of participation are created, the benefits to and advancement of humankind will be exponential.