Free Wi-Fi, or Just the Illusion of Free Wi-Fi?

“Is there free will?” is one of the most perpetually pondered questions in philosophy, science, and religion. But there is perhaps an even more pressing question asked frequently today: “Is there free Wi-Fi?”

In case you haven’t noticed the deep similarities between these two issues, here are some famous(ish) quotes about free will, modified slightly to reflect your Wi-Fi problems:

“There have always been arguments showing that free [Wi-Fi] is an illusion: some based on hard physics, others based on pure logic.”

-Ted Chiang (On the fact that “free” Wi-Fi access usually requires buying overpriced stuff and giving someone access to all your data)

“As far as I can see, it’s not important that we have free [Wi-Fi], just as long as we have the illusion of free [Wi-Fi] to stop us going mad.”

-Alan Moore (On that one Wi-Fi network which never actually works, but keeps showing up on your device to give you hope)

“I have free [Wi-Fi], but not of my own choice. I have never freely chosen to have free [Wi-Fi]. I have to have free [Wi-Fi], whether I like it or not!”

-Raymond Smullyan (Expressing anger over his building’s increased amenities fees)

“Everywhere the human soul stands between a hemisphere of light and another of darkness; on the confines of the two everlasting empires, necessity and free [Wi-Fi].”

-Thomas Carlyle (On choosing between Starbucks and that cheap local coffee shop)

“I am very comfortable with the idea that we can override biology with free [Wi-Fi].”

-Richard Dawkins (On the role of internet memes in shaping cultural evolution)

“That free [Wi-Fi] was demonstrated in the placing of temptation before man with the command not to eat of the fruit of the tree which would give him a knowledge of good and evil, with the disturbing moral conflict to which that awareness would give rise.”

-Kenneth Scott Latourette (On that time when the folks next door forgot to put a password on their Wi-Fi, and he just couldn’t help himself)

“Free [Wi-Fi] is an illusion. People always choose the perceived path of greatest pleasure.”

-Scott Adams (On that time in the airport when he was totally just gonna use the free 30-minute Wi-Fi session, but ended up paying $8.95 an hour to finish watching Netflix)

“The robber of your free [Wi-Fi] does not exist.”

-Epictetus (When people called him out for slowing down the network by watching tons of HD videos)





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