the Internet

The Critical Path and the backbone of Philadelphia's social justice internet

At least since 1993, Philadelphians and others in our metropol have had access to free dial up internet via the Critical Path Project. Although the internet has perhaps outgrown the screeching whistles and pops of the telephone modem, thousands of low income people at least have access to 56K.

Critpath.org has its origins in a book that “Comprehensive Anticipatory Design Scientist” Buckminster Fuller wrote with his protégé Kiyoshi Kuromiya in Philadelphia in 1981. Bucky’s work is being feted at the Whitney in New York at the moment. Kiyoshi Kuromiya’s legacy lives on in Philadelphia as the Critpath Internet Project, The AIDS Library, and ACT UP Philly.

With all the drama surrounding the Department of Human Services these past couple years their programs have come under increased scrutiny. Critpath.org got much of its funding through DHS grants, essentially with the goal of getting some internet services into the hands of poor Philadelphians. That funding won’t be renewed through DHS, which definitely needs to focus on its business of serving families, but we’re hoping the Mayor and the City can find funding elsewhere to keep this backbone of Philadelphia’s social justice internet up and running.

I encourage blog readers to read our sign-on letter

see what others have said and what else you can do:

Fax Mayor Nutter:
http://www.hallwatch.org/profiles/mayor/nutter

or even come to a community meeting:

Date: Friday, September 5th

Time: 9:30am

Location: The Church of St. Luke and The Epiphany, 330 South 13th Street (Between Pine and Spruce Streets)

Sincerely,

Adam Feldman
Reference and Public Services Librarian
AIDS Library and Critical Path Project
Philadelphia FIGHT
1233 Locust Street, 2nd floor
Philadelphia PA 19107

FCC Trying to Eat Media Ownership Regulations for Breakfast, Again

On a regular basis, the FCC tries to relax the federal rules that have stood for 50 years to safeguard the diversity of voices whose expression make democracy possible. We didn't need to do this before radio, TV, and the internet, since you could make newspapers at home, but mass media changed all that. "Mass media" should be for the masses.

Here's the Common Cause email I got today...they are doing it again. PLEASE click on the link and send a letter/fax. This time, the FCC is not even designating what regulations they want to change.

http://www.commoncause.org/site/apps/nl/content2.asp?c=dkLNK1MQIwG&b=194...

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Dear Hannah,

The FCC is up to its old tricks again.

They want to set new media ownership rules without any public input -- just like they did in 2003. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) won't tell us exactly what the new rules would do, but every indication is that they'll let Big Media get even bigger.

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