Tuesday, May 10, 2005

What's being said: "Dirty tactics in the Battle of Lafayette, Louisiana"

isen.blog, one of the more widely quoted reviews of technology on the web, reviews the latest push poll and relates it to the battle of the tri-cities.
Maybe there's a better name for the practice of push polling. Maybe it should be called, "Fraudulently, deceptively and systematically planting damaging misinformation." On the other hand, considering one slang meaning of "push," maybe not.

The opponents of Lafayette, Louisiana's municipal FTTH project (BellSouth and Cox -- the incumbent telco and cableco) have sunk to push polling. It is not the first time that incumbent-backed anti-muni efforts have slithered in such slimy disinfo; a 2004 push poll in the Illinois tri-cities region asked...
Go take a look. It's entertaining to see what others are saying.


GumboFilé said...

The push poll cannot be defended but I'm beginning to think that's the only issue you've got. You seem to be unable to reply to any counterpoint without making reference to the sins of the incumbents, as if two wrongs makes a right and the ends justifies the means. Reminds me of a five year old someone told me about.


John said...

I do recollect that five year old...

David Hays,

Folks on both sides of this discussion wish I (or even the guy in Pennsylvania who is actually saying what you are reacting to) would just ignore the incumbents.

That's ok for folks who want to promote an ideological image of what "ought" to be and to ignore what is. Some folks want to have an pure and positive vision of what a fiber optic network could bring. Others want to have a pure and idealized vision of the moral poverty of the same. They view the incumbents as unhealthy distractions.

That's not the way I go about things. As idealistic as I may be I try to face what is actually in front of me. And what we are really faced with is incumbents whose character and concern for the community is revealed in the way they act. The push poll question that tries to stir up racial issues isn't something to "not defend." It is something to positively condemn. (And I urge you to join me in doing so.)

We are actually faced with a narrow range of choices. We are not free to merely affirm an ideal that we prefer without recognizing the actual consequences. The incumbents are still with us.

Stopping LUS means handing our telecom future over to the sorts of people who think that push poll is smart marketing. The sorts of people who baldly continue to claim that they were just "trying to find out what the people of Lafayette think" as if how credible their lies were weren't important. The sorts of people who aren't the least contrite.

Going with LUS means putting a break on companies whose idea of being "your friend" is limited to advertising gimmicks about the "digital age."

I don't plan on backing off of the contrast. It's not a distraction in my eyes. The ethical poverty of the incumbents is crucial to an informed choice. And the consequences of that choice is too important to our future.

GumboFilé said...

points taken, however I still believe the solution will be worse than the problem, as most political solutions are.


John said...


And, in the end, that is where we differ...A community coming together to do something for itself strikes me as a good thing; even if the local government is the agent that helps us accomplish it.