Word of the Month: Constellate

If you imagine a constellation, you see a group of stars gathered to form a picture (or at least some lines that someone told you looks like a man and his dogs). Constellate derives from the Latin ‘con’ meaning together, and ‘stellatus’ meaning arranged like stars. It describes any gathering or group that has come together.

This month, people from all countries and backgrounds have constellated on social media and forums to oppose the repeal of Net Neutrality. If you’re not aware of what is going on, VERY long story short: FCC want to repeal Net Neutrality (a principle that means all service providers cannot block, censor, charge for or slow down any data on the internet or discriminate against certain users). This will lead to bandwidth throttling and any information that opposes the values of the service provider. There is plenty more information written by specialists you should read about.

While this seems to mainly affect the USA, this does also massively affect the rest of the world. Businesses will struggle if customers are unable to access their online stores, content creators such as bloggers will notice massive drops in hits if their readers can’t access their pages, and many sites may completely close when those who run it are unable to pay for faster internet speed because their bandwidth will no longer be able to support them doing their job.

And more worryingly, if the USA make this decision then it’s likely that the rest of the world isn’t far behind.

Amazingly though, in the midst of all this fear and stress around internet access rights and the dark future looming towards us, another matter constellated us all again.

Surprisingly, it wasn’t the new Pokémon game. It was the new, completely free, Animal Crossing app game. This was many people’s first Animal Crossing game, introducing them to the calm and much-loved franchise where you make friends with animals and complete simple tasks for rewards, and decorate your personal space. The game so far has been a massive success and has conveniently dropped just before the holiday season, so players are likely to continue for at least another 2 months before uninstalling to make space for something else.

In the darkness there are always tiny twinkling lights shining, and they will get us through the night.

 

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