Archive for November, 2007

I refuse to participate in OLPC G1G1

November 12, 2007

Things were going great until I read this in the warranty:

This limited warranty does not cover [...] damage due to acts of God [...]

He would never intentionally harm an XO. Believing so is lying to oneself.

UPDATE: Some level-headed believers have convinced me that although infidels have blasphemed through the warranty agreement, it might be best to just leave it be and let Him take care of the lost in His own way. Therefore, though terribly upset, I have decided to go ahead with participation in the G1G1 plan. My apologies for overreacting. RAmen.

why?

November 12, 2007

Only for US and Canadian residents

Warner’s actions expose their own propaganda

November 9, 2007

Warner Home Video intends to reduce the price of movies in order to fight “piracy”.

When thieves get a 5-finger discount, the property owner is hurt. As well, the consumer is hurt as compensation for theft usually results in an increase in price of the remaining property for sale. Stealing a shop owner’s property hurts many people. Therefore, it is against the law.

So how then, has Warner miraculously come up with a plan that defies the laws of economics? If millions of people are “stealing” their “property”, it is nonsensical to then lower the price of the remaining movies. Doing so would be economic suicide. That is, unless movies are not “property” at all and therefore, not susceptible to “theft”, not require “protection”, nor demand “compensation” when “stealing” occurs.

5 more days…

November 7, 2007

till I try to order my four (divided by two).

I bet none of those four will be first off the line, but an interesting photo nonetheless. Thanks Bill!

the Doctorow is in

November 7, 2007

Cory Doctorow lists a few reasons why authors should allow sharing of their books and includes the ethical argument:

the ethical reason is that the alternative is that we chide, criminalize, sue, damn our readers for doing what readers have always done, which is sharing books they love—only now they’re doing it electronically. You know, there’s no solution that arises from telling people to stop using computers in the way that computers were intended to be used. They’re copying machines. So telling the audience for art, telling 70 million American file-sharers that they’re all crooks, and none of them have the right to due process, none of them have the right to privacy, we need to wire-tap all of them, we need to shut down their network connections without notice in order to preserve the anti-copying business model: that’s a deeply unethical position. It puts us in a world in which we are criminalizing average people for participating in their culture.

Talking about ethics makes some feel uncomfortable. However, that discomfort is better once prodded (thus possibly awakened) rather than ignored. Thanks to all the Doctorows out there willing to speak to the ethics of sharing books.

Go U of O!

November 6, 2007

R/W Web:

According to the elderly gentleman in line at the coffee shop this morning who first told me about the news (we were discussing In Rainbows, which was playing on the stereo there) – the music industry needs to get with the times and stop taking their giant profits from the old business model for granted.

It’s nice to know some “elderly” folks get it. Usually they’re the ones I hear parroting RIAA propaganda whilst the young’ uns either get it or don’t give a hoot.

Wal-Mart shopper sophistication

November 2, 2007

Classic:

[...] research indicates that Wal-Mart shoppers are so unsophisticated they equate physical size with capability.

I wonder how long it will take them to realize they’re not running Windows.

what is freedom?

November 1, 2007

A very sharp student in my high school class posts:

It seems to me that one of the greatest concepts discussed throughout the whole of human existence is freedom. People are fascinated by the concept: A concept so powerful that it seems to permeate the core of our very belief. The freedom of speech, religion, right to a fair trial, or even to view source code to a program. No other singular word seems to carry the weight or impact of “free” or “freedom.”

Yet, for something that we seem to hold so dear, I question, does it really even exist? Because it seems to me that no one in modern day society is “free.” We are all bound by rules, guidelines, routine. We can’t just “get up and go”, there’s always something holding us back. Right now it’s school or parents, in the future it will be a job, a sense of economic security, or even our children or loved ones. We are all prisoners: bound by emotion and expectations from others and ourselves. Just because the walls aren’t physical doesn’t make them any less real. None of us are free.

So, I ask. What’s all the hype this…idea…if it doesn’t really even exist?

My response:

Is being able to do whatever you want whenever you want regardless of the effects upon others “freedom”? Surely there is room for rules, guidelines and routine. What matters is if those patterns exist to perpetuate oppression or are born from common sense. For instance, it would be strange to argue that lowered speed limits in school zones infringes upon one’s freedom. Sure, one could argue so if feeling obstinate. But any serious person would consider such a rule to fit perfectly well with a free society.

The question of freedom “existing” or not is interesting though. What does exist is oppression – proof abounds. Perhaps then, freedom is not something that exists but rather what is when oppression is not.


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