There’s something unwavering about my OJ and Portuguese sausage omelet at my Ken’s House of Pancakes back home.  The OJ has a tartness to it that’s unique and irreplaceable.  The Portuguese sausage omelet at Ken’s has the perfect amount of “fluffiness” and the signature pride of its creator is subtle enough to be appreciated.

Can you imagine the corporate giant that is Ihop knocking on Ken’s door with a note saying, “We bought you out, so there’s a new sheriff in town.  Sorry.”?  All of a sudden the OJ is too watery and the fluffy omelet filled with Portuguese sausage is no longer on the menu.  Ihop’s “generous” substitution is an all too ordinary bacon omelet made from frozen bacon?!

This problem will surely be confronted.  I’ll put in a request for my Portuguese sausage omelet and pungent OJ to the Ihop manager only to get a response similar to this, “We can order it special for you, seeing as we don’t make that omelet anymore.  But, it’s going to cost you an extra $5.00 for the order.”

I guess the glory days of Ken’s will surely be over the day I have to result to “special” requests from Ihop’s more than generic menu.

Put this into prospective:  The Portuguese sausage omelet and OJ are Google.  Ihop is your current Internet service provider.  And the bacon omelet and watery OJ is Yahoo.  Things are not as bad as they could be on the world-wide web… yet.

The idea is that ISP’s like AT&T (the one in hot water now) have the power to block its users from Google if it has a more beneficial and financial interest in Yahoo.  That agreement between AT&T and Yahoo can easily slow down or altogether block your access to Google.  Now, broaden the idea.  What if every ISP did the same as AT&T?

It would literally be WW3 because the average Joe’s would be degraded to snail-pace internet access and not even the Federal Communications Commission would be able to step in and say “enough is enough”.

So where’s that American concept of power with the checks and balances system?

It actually comes in the form of the Net Neutrality (N.N.) system, which is currently only taking baby steps forward.  With N.N., greedy bully’s like AT&T wouldn’t be able to control the world-wide web or its content providers like Youtube, Skype and Google.

Only drawback is that N.N. hasn’t been passed through Congress, so the FCC really doesn’t have any legal backbone to keep service providers in check.

Besides, hasn’t the signature of the Internet always been “free”?  The simple fee to your ISP for a certain amount of bandwidth gives you access to whatever you want and it’s by YOUR choice that the search engine Google takes precedence over that of Yahoo.

Again, power player AT&T is also trying to charge different rates to actually carry and deliver specific types of applications.  Remember that this is on top of the fee for internet access through your ISP.

N.N would solve this problem, that is, if it were actually a problem.  This issue of paid prioritization isn’t occurring with other ISP’s, so AT&T consumers who aren’t willing to pay that extra can easily change ISP’s if they so desire.  N.N. is considered a solution without a problem to many consumers and professional corporations.

So what’s the point?

It’s simple enough to admit there’s little we can do about news corporations “filtering” information whether by print or world-wide web.  Their authority has shaped what society pays attention to, what beliefs we take on, what interests become other people’s interests, and so on and so forth.  The rest is up to us.

By “rest” I mean using the internet’s concept of “free” to choose where we get our information from, where we adopt our beliefs and interests from.  Without that last sense of freedom that is the internet, you might as well feel like Big Brother (1984, Orwell) or perhaps ‘Ihop’ is knocking on your front door.