Around the Web

Watch: A man created slow and fast lanes for traffic outside the FCC HQ to explain net neutrality

Rob Bliss used real-world traffic to explain how internet traffic works without net neutrality.

Play

Among the good things to emerge from the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality in the United States is the creativity of net neutrality activists. We’ve already seen some imaginative videos explaining the case for net neutrality, using cats and burgers, among other things.

Even by those standards, what YouTuber Ron Bliss did for his explanatory film stands out.

He actually created slow and fast lanes outside the FCC headquarters. Bliss called his protest “Restoring Automotive Freedom”, a sly interpretation of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s speech against net neutrality, in which he said repealing net neutrality would “restore internet freedom”.

Bliss placed traffic cones in one half of the road and blocked it, and cycled very, very slowly on the other half, forcing traffic to slow down behind them. People who wanted to access the fast lane could buy a “Rob Bliss Priority Access Card” that cost only $5 a month, or drive painfully slowly behind Bliss and his bicycle.

The protest itself invited much protest from frustrated drivers and eventually the Washington DC Police Department as well as the Department of Homeland Security, who didn’t look very kindly upon Bliss’s stunt, removed the cones.

Bliss told The Next Web, “Net Neutrality is a huge issue, it has the ability to shape how we think and see the world. The fact that it hasn’t really been well understood by the public is very concerning and what I was trying to address. By bringing internet traffic to real world traffic, a lot of the issues become immediately apparent. In the video I play the role of the ISP, and everyone’s response proves how society would never allow such behaviour in the real world. So why should we allow it online?”

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

What are racers made of?

Grit, strength and oodles of fearlessness.

Sportspersons are known for their superhuman discipline, single-minded determination and the will to overcome all obstacles. Biographies, films and documentaries have brought to the fore the behind-the-scenes reality of the sporting life. Being up at the crack of dawn, training without distraction, facing injuries with a brave face and recovering to fight for victory are scenes commonly associated with sportspersons.

Racers are no different. Behind their daredevilry lies the same history of dedication and discipline. Cornering on a sports bike or revving up sand dunes requires the utmost physical endurance, and racers invest heavily in it. It helps stave off fatigue and maintain alertness and reaction time. It also helps them get the most out of their racecraft - the entirety of a racer’s skill set, to which years of training are dedicated.

Racecraft begins with something as ‘simple’ as sitting on a racing bike; the correct stance is the key to control and manoeuvre the bike. Riding on a track – tarmac or dirt is a great deal different from riding on the streets. A momentary lapse of concentration can throw the rider into a career ending crash.

Physical skill and endurance apart, racers approach a race with the same analytical rigour as a student appearing in an exam. They conduct an extensive study of not just the track, but also everything around it - trees, marshal posts, tyre marks etc. It’s these reference points that help the racer make braking or turning decisions in the frenzy of a high-stakes competition.

The inevitability of a crash is a reality every racer lives with, and seeks to internalise this during their training. In the immediate aftermath of the crash, racers are trained to keep their eyes open to help the brain make crucial decisions to avoid collision with other racers or objects on the track. Racers that meet with accidents can be seen sliding across the track with their heads held up, in a bid to minimise injuries to the head.

But racecraft is, of course, only half the story. Racing as a profession continues to confound many, and racers have been traditionally misunderstood. Why would anyone want to pour their blood, sweat and tears into something so risky? Where do racers get the fearlessness to do laps at mind boggling speed or hurtle down a hill unassisted? What about the impact of high speeds on the body day after day, or the monotony of it all? Most importantly, why do racers race? The video below explores the question.

Play


The video features racing champions from the stable of TVS Racing, the racing arm of TVS Motor Company, which recently completed 35 years of competitive racing in India. TVS Racing has competed in international rallies and races across some of the toughest terrains - Dakar, Desert Storm, India Baja, Merzouga Rally - and in innumerable national championships. Its design and engineering inputs over the years have also influenced TVS Motors’ fleet in India. You can read more about TVS Racing here.

This article has been produced by Scroll Brand Studio on behalf of TVS Racing and not by the Scroll editorial team.