Maxims, rules of thumb and other observations on human cognition and sociocultural affectations

This will be added to on an irregular basis...
  • What is said to humans directly is received with skepticism and considered with dubiousness while that which is heard in passing, especially that which most conforms to their mentality or prejudices, is readily believed.
  • Humans have a certain cognitive latency between exposure to new information or experiences and the ability to think dispassionately and intellectually about it.
  • Humans have a certain cognitive spectrum starting with the moment of exposure to new information or experiences and ending with some point at which the thing is effectively "in the past" for them.
  • This cognitive spectrum is linked to the emotional process often referred to as shock, anger, denial and acceptance.
  • The more and faster information or experiences are presented to people and the closer the quarters and the lesser the distance between people, the more their early reactions in the passionate emotional stage are reflected back to them in the manner of responses to those reactions from others in light of those responses.
  • The more outrages which are suffered without sufficient time to allow emotional bleed-off, the farther the bar for subsequent reaction and outrage are pushed, and the more further events must progress before reaction and outrage.
  • It is possible for serious detriments to eventually sit below this threshold for long enough for their damaging effects to build and multiply until their entire society undergoes some reactive convulsion.
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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A statement reiterating what we who've worked in cable have known for years: the press is clueless and uninformed and does not do their homework

Comcast promising ultra-fast Internet -


Cable companies aren't known as nimble innovators, but Comcast Corp. is out to change that perception this year with ultra-high-speed Internet service, more high-definition content and gadgets that link video, phone and broadband services.

What is being rolled out?

Roberts is expected to demonstrate a technology that delivers up to 160 megabits of data per second: It will allow him to download a high-definition copy of "Batman Begins" in four minutes. The technology, DOCSIS 3.0, will start rolling out this year.

Okay, those of us in the know merely by paying attention to the industry trades and the vendor marketing materials already knew this a long long time ago.

But wait! There's more!

Cable systems largely enable download speeds up to 10 Mbps -- compared with up to 50 Mbps from Verizon's fiber-optic service FiOS.

"Cable looks like it will be able to keep up with the Joneses, thank you very much," Craig Moffett, senior analyst at Sanford Bernstein in New York, said of the new technology.

Just in case you weren't paying attention, speeds of cable in many Comcast markets will exceed what Verizon FiOS is currently offering but NOT what they can theoretically do. Re-read that sentence and understand what I just said.

First, they will exceed current FiOS speeds. One can bet that a business like Comcast doesn't get where they are by being stupid on the price and will price 160Mbps such that it is actually comparable to the price being charged for 50Mbps FiOS making the FIOS seem one bit per bit level thrice as expensive. Why not go for a service with triple the speed for the same cost?

Second, the FiOS speeds are CURRENT. NOT MAXIMUM. Fiber can carry much much faster speeds. This will have the effect of pushing Verizon to increase their speeds without increasing their costs (too much) exposing their claims of needs for a tiered Internet to be the bullshit that they are. Either they deliver triple the bandwidth with no degradation in service showing that they always could, or they don't.

Third, that increase in fiber speeds will as fiber continues to be successfully constructed across the nation spur the cable industry towards ever high speeds, pushing nodes deep into the neighborhoods, lowering the number of subscribers per node until at some point in the future your cable will be via fiber.

At that point multiple overlapping infrastructures allowing for competition will be in place.

That the news industry doesn't ever seem to pay attention and feels the need to trumpet this to the masses as if we were similarly dim is testament to the "hype sells, so why bother knowing the score" attitude of the media. Instead of calm balanced reporting based on a far ranging knowledge of the subject material and relative merits and drawbacks of every aspect, simply play up the showy.

Specific to the cable industry, this is why the media continues to portray the cable industry as if it was still 1983 and not twenty-four years later in 2007 and yet plays up DBS because the oooh and ahhh space age satellites and rockets aspect. Whoa, signals from space! When you've failed as many installs for no clear acceptable line of sight as I have, you know that it isn't such rocket science.

I got 15Mbps service on cable a while ago and faster speeds are coming. I don't actually use all that speed all the time and short of downloading the entire Internet I don't really have a need for that speed yet, but I am sure that as the cyber wars get under way in deadly earnest between a people who will not be chained and a government that cannot see the value of individual freedom we will need it.

Astronomy Picture of the Day