The Pay-To-Play Reality of ICANN’s Inclusion Illusion

CircleID CircleID: ICANN’s chairman says meetings offer special “circumstantial opportunity”; recent estimates peg average annual expense for attending at $30,000 per person.

Oops — he’s done it again.

The latest blog update from ICANN’s current board chair needs — no, it demands — a spotlight on what is revealed in plain and unashamed language. Indeed, this communique — along with another recent blog post that I’ve previously commented on — captures in exquisite relief what has gone terribly, horribly wrong at ICANN.

It starts innocently enough but nosedives shortly after dispensing with pleasantries. It is a solemn dirge for a community “accustomed to relying on face-to-face interactions” being confronted rudely by changed circumstances where “the social fabric that normally supports our ability to find consensus — little moments such as running into one another in the hallway or sharing a meal during a meeting — is gone.”

Gone, you say? (sniffle, sob)

Those armed with a stiff upper lip will quickly zero in on the clear admission that attending ICANN’s circus-in-triplicate each year — estimated recently to cost $30,000 per person annually — confers privileged access to those able to scrounge up the shekels. By inference, those participating via remote options are merely part of the live studio audience that may observe but don’t really participate in the on-set action.

After all — that’s for the professionals, right?

At three meetings each year, ICANN is hosting a circuit party for corporate-sponsored shills and geeks — like Miami’s White Party only without the drag queens and foam everywhere. In no way does this foster inclusion and, in no uncertain terms, the chairman of ICANN’s board makes clear that the entire premise of open participation for the management of key Internet resources is a lie.

What solution does he prescribe to his flock of once-and-future privileged in-person meeting attendees? Pick up the phone. Don’t wait for “circumstantial opportunity.” In other words, reach out and touch someone.

So, we have the steward of the Internet’s root zone seemingly bereft at not being able to conduct business in the style of Bismarck and Richelieu — after all, they didn’t have telephonic conveniences, the Internet, or Zoom when they assembled empires; they did it writing long-hand in cursive, not to mention in the snow (both ways!) — while the official guidance on tap was cribbed from AT&T’s long-distance commercials circa 1986.

Are you f-cking kidding me? But wait — as they used to say in late-night infomercials — there’s more! Bizarrely, the post uses an out-of-place quote from that Ghost of Internet Past, Jon Postel:

“Be conservative in what you do, be liberal in what you accept from others.”

When you consider the ideology of the man to whom those words are ascribed, it is difficult to see this as anything other than a smug, crunchy, granola, long-haired SoCal geek’s smart-aleck come-back to the Leftist creed and Socialist commandment:

“From each according to his ability; to each according to his need.”

The most efficient way to game a system that takes what you are able to give while giving you what you need is to be lazy, do as little as possible, and take as much as you can get. Which, as it turns out, is precisely why socialism doesn’t work despite the many failed leftist and Marxist efforts at building utopia by spending other people’s money, using other people’s labor, and sacrificing other people’s lives. Today’s leftists have concluded that prior efforts were sabotaged by the slothful and that trying once more — with spirit! — will finally bring about the collectivist Promised Land.

🙄

But pay attention because a reanimated COMINTERN — straight out of cold storage — occupies the root of the global Internet with the assistance of a pay-to-play Self-Importance Society populated by corporate-sponsored shills and government agents that toil alongside leftist comrades from academia, civil society, and the technical community — with a smattering of anti-American zealots sprinkled liberally throughout. Their unholy potpourri of radical social re-engineering and self-interested profiteering is masked by technical complexity — but look past the hokum hocus-pocus and the results of their efforts are plainly seen. The energetic eviscerating of brand protections is juxtaposed by passive abetment of harms being perpetrated in online corners that are darkened by callous denials of the sights and sounds of evil.

Passion from idealists chasing utopian visions and venality from profiteers craving self-interested gains are redirected to serve a darker agenda that subordinates individual freedom to collectivist need — that eponymous yet ineffable “greater good.” This isn’t difficult to see for those that care to look. The utopia that collectivists have failed to manifest “in real life” — despite the millions of human lives spent trying to manufacture it — is now being embedded at the root of the Tomorrowland that is the Internet’s digital realm.

It’s been said that evil’s only tool is deception. This creates an imperative for seeing past the miasma of lies, half-truths and doublespeak currently confounding governance of the Internet and the world. Focus your perspective beyond the false front that is presented, and you’ll see the hocus-pocus for what it actually is: nonsense.

Until you do — whether you realize it or not — the joke’s on you.
Written by Greg Thomas, Founder of The Viking Group LLCFollow CircleID on TwitterMore under: ICANN, Internet Governance

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