Entertaining Libertarian Voice

One of the problems with us libertarians is that we all sound like a bunch of academic dweebs when we talk.  Well, thanks to YouTube and Human Advancement, I saw Mike Lee, who I found unpolished but curiously entertaining as a defender of individual rights (though he's bit hawkish internationally for my tastes).  Anyone who can, in about 2 minutes, shift from Duke Lacrosse to North Korea to jury nullifaction has got to be interesting to listen to.

By the way, it is increasingly clear that Google and YouTube don't really want to be a free speech outlet, as they seem to be banning stuff as fast as it can be posted.  They are private concerns, and so can do whatever they like, and I can understand from their perspective why they want to avoid controversy  (though if they ban everything the RIAA wants banned and political groups of every stripe want banned and end up with just home videos of pet tricks, I am not sure it will remain as popular).  This in turn got me thinking about Neal Stephenson  (and I accused Mike Lee of rambling?)

In Cryptonomicon, one of the plot lines is a group of guys trying to create an offshore data haven free from threats by government censors, tax inspectors, and, I presume, copyright enforcers from the RIAA and the NFL.  While such a comprehensive haven may be out of reach, I do think there could be a great role for an offshore blogging/podcasting/video haven that would protect identities and be immune or out of reach from third party censorship.  The problem is that as an officer of such an endeavor, you would likely be subject to immediate arrest in many countries once you landed there.  Oh, that would never happen in a free country like the US would it?  Yeah, right.

One Comment

  1. Matt:

    No, that's not the problem. If that were the only problem, then all you'd need to find would be a few 20-something guys willing to move to Bermuda for the rest of their lives. Like that'd be hard.

    No, the PROBLEM is that youtube and google video and sites like them are only viable because bandwidth is cheap. And it's going to stay cheap for a very long time...as long as one is operating in a place with lots of spare capacity. But the entire global supply of places with lots of spare bandwidth capacity is consumed by countries at least as restrictive and/or litigious as the United States. If you start a business that involves saying or doing things you'd get in trouble for saying or doing in the US, then wherever you host the business, you'll pay for internet connectivity at the prices that prevailed here in the US in 1991...if you're lucky.

    If you want to host your own private data offshore, there are already companies you can do that with. If you want to open a relatively low-traffic business on offshore servers, some of them will also enable you to do that. But if you're going to offer real-time streaming video to the world, you'd better be able to turn used kleenex into gold bricks in your basement, because even if Bill Gates sued Wal-Mart into bankruptcy, there still wouldn't be a big enough pile of money to cover the losses for more than a couple of years.