Nudists for Wi-Fi

wi-fi zone notice

As with each first Tuesday of November, today was an election day throughout the United States. An off-year election, like this one, means local balloting. But like their big brothers, local elections present the average American voter with both too little and too much. The ballot is light on attractive candidates and heavy on initiatives more effectively and appropriately handled by our elected representatives.

I voted, absentee, in the San Francisco municipal election.

The main event is the mayor’s race. It pits the incumbent, Gavin Newsome, who after the last election cycle had an affair with the wife of his campaign manager, against nudist candidate, Grasshopper Alec Kaplan, among others. But the most interesting contest on the ballot, from my perspective, is Proposition J, which calls for a declaration that the city should pursue a public-private partnership to create free wi-fi connectivity throughout the city.

Projosition J is the perfect example of what’s wrong with the priorities and leadership of our public officials.

As a procedural matter, should the ballot really waste our time with non-binding referenda? With voter apathy sinking to ever lower depths, it is time for our government to do what they are paid to do: govern. This proposition, placed on the slate by the mayor himself, is particularly pathetic, since both the public and the Board of Supervisors overwhelmingly support the idea of ubiquitous free wi-fi. This proposition is a waste of money and voter patience, both of which are in all-too short supply.

It is also a symbol of mislaid priorities. Don’t get me wrong: no one loves free wi-fi more than I. In fact, connectivity is crucial for me to work on my various volunteer projects, venued all over the globe, whether I am in SF or elsewhere. That said, I’ll support free wi-fi in any-and-every city that has free (or nearly free) public transportation. Until cities move people about in a way that is efficient and provides economic incentives them to get out of their private cars, city governments have no business wasting a minute’s thought about things like wi-fi, for which interim market solutions exist.

I wonder what Grasshopper Alec Kaplan thinks about Proposition J.

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1 Response to “Nudists for Wi-Fi”


  1. 1 millyonair 7 November 2007 at 10:17 am

    Hear, hear!

    I would have voted for Grasshopper, just because he has a cool name. That he’s a nudist is just icing on the cake.

    To my way of thinking, an individual who has dispensed with clothing as something unnecessary could probably dispense with a lot more needless, bureaucratic B.S. too!


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