Internet issues, Irving Fryar & #gamergate

Week three of client-induced hell has finally come to and end! I'm getting my links posted on Friday, still, but much later than usual. At least I made it under the gun.

Like last week, I was pretty light on reading, but still managed to find time over lunch to read a few articles here and there.

What is #Gamergate?
Apparently this has been going on for months, but I didn't hear about it until today. I tripped on some articles in Grantland (by the always excellent Emily Yoshida) and Slate, which led me to the history from Vox linked above. I played World of Warcraft for a number of years, and had a lot of first-hand experience with the the gamer community. I was an outsider, as someone who's first and only game was WoW. My experience with the different "celebrities" of the space, forum trolls, or hard-core gamers who played many different MMOs were generally negative. I also noticed the environment get much worse as time went on - when I sign back into WoW occasionally now, I'm stunned by the way people act.

How Microsoft appointed itself sheriff of the internet
I'll comment on this article with the one below.

ISPs already violating net neutrality
Two articles back to back about the problems with the internet! I read these articles four days apart, but they reinforce a concern we all should have about the integrity of the Internet. Despite the Internet's incredible power, the government seems loathe to even learn about, let alone actually try to protect it. I'm a small government guy, so I'm not looking for oversight or regulation. In fact, both of these issues are examples of where the government would do well to serve in it's role as a protector of the people. A simple law guaranteeing net neutrality, and a decision by a court to stay out of where it doesn't belong, solves both of these cases. The net neutrality issues, especially, needs to be a concern for all of us in light of the Comcast-TW merger. I fear, though, that our legislators are not educated enough nor inclined to learn enough to deal with these issues head on.

Judicial elections and free speech
It's bizarre that states are allowed to hold elections for judges. The article here is about a specific free speech case before the Supreme Court related to a judicial election, but it got me thinking about the wider issue of judicial elections. The balance in our government relies on an independent judiciary, and while the idea of having the people select their own judges is appealing on its face, the issues (highlighted by this case) significantly outweigh the benefits.

Irving Fyar's redemption story
I apologize for linking to an MMQB story, as I do my absolute best not to support Peter King in any way. This piece by Greg Hanlon is worth it, though. I remember the name Irving Fryar from growing up, and was drawn to this story by both his Patriots connection, and that the narrative takes place just up the road from my home. Stories of pro athletes after their playing days are often cautionary, but this one is just sad. A troubled person gets his life on track, and then derails it again out of desperation as opposed to malice.