I remember being told by my father that no one ever really “grows up”. That, deep inside, no one feels old, or any different than when they first became truly self-aware. He said that for most, the outside was the only indicator of advanced age, because seldom do people advance beyond the mental age of about 20.

As I grew up, I realized that what he said was absolutely true. That accounts for many of the problems we have today – adults acting in what might not be childish ways, but most certainly they are the ways of an adolescent. Think of almost any large problem we have today, and I’m sure you can see that if adult comprehension was applied, the problem could be alleviated, or at worst ameliorated over time.

That is why I could only shake my head when I first read the story of the actions of Comcast when they first were happening – how the company denied it was interfering with P2P traffic, irrespective of content, and then told the FCC, and the world, that it was doing nothing of the kind. Somehow we might think that collectively, companies could act with adult manners and study and deal with problems in that way because a consensus opinion could act as an age aggregator.

Apparently it never works that way at Comcast, for the Maximum PC story shows that the average intelligence level at Comcast must be around 3, and no aggregation of intellect occurs; not even when legal battles ensue –

Hell hath no fury like a cable company scorned. Comcast has decided it doesn’t like the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) meddling in its business, and has taken the FCC to court over a 2008 ruling, loudly proclaiming: “You’re not the boss of me!”

The issue is pretty simple. In 2008 Comcast secretly slowed down access to peer-to-peer data sharing sites, which it’s not supposed to do. Then, to compound it’s error, it lied to the press and consumers about what it was doing. The FCC stepped in and gave Comcast a stern talking to, and required Comcast to write on the chalkboard a hundred times: “I will not engage in discriminatory practices.” Minor punishment, really.

But it didn’t sit well with Comcast, which filed suit against the FCC in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Basically, Comcast is arguing that the FCC doesn’t have the legislative authority to regulate Comcast’s behavior, and therefore the FCC’s ruling is unenforceable and should be thrown out. What the FCC did, according to Comcast, was to enforce policy, not regulation or law. And policy doesn’t count.

The FCC counters it does have legislative authority, under the Communications Act of 1934 and the Telecommunications Act of 1996, and Congress did grant it authority over cable companies. The FCC also pointed out that Comcast, when approved by the FCC to acquire another cable company, was specifically warned it would be held to terms of the policy in question: the FCC’s Internet Policy Principles. The FCC wrote in its court brief: “Comcast ignored that crystal clear warning. It cannot seriously claim to be surprised by the consequences.”

It would be so simple to live life if we could simply force others to acknowledge their years, and force them to act accordingly. However, when it cannot be done in a court of law, what chance do we have in everyday life?

I am not a Comcast customer (thank  goodness!). If I was however, I am certain I would be trying to find out why, instead of wasting large sums of money on fighting things where they were clearly wrong, and wasting their stockholders’ money, and by extension, mine, they were not instead working on things to make me, as a customer, happy, so that my praise for them to others would launch an avalanche of dollars in their direction.

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Quotes of the day:

A lawyer starts life giving $500 worth of law for $5 and ends giving $5 worth for $500.

– Benjamin H. Brewster

and

It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.

– Voltaire

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