Jeff Cliff (themusicgod1) wrote,
Jeff Cliff

What would it take for you to not believe what you believe? [Shit disturbing meme]

I would like to start a meme. Especially for you politicos out there.

Here's the deal. Leave a comment on this thread. I will reply to you with 2 things that I think that you might believe. Copy this line, into your own journal/blog and under it write what it would take for you to not believe those two things.

They could be anything. The important point is to show that you are capable of observing evidence that would cause you to not believe them.

MY TWO THINGS: (no one gave them to me so I'm going to have to pick 2 myself)


Intellectual Property. Richard Stallman has turned out to be right about a lot of things, far in advance of when it is generally accepted that he turns out to be right, but in particular I think that he was on the ball on insisting that people who do not have their hat in the ring as an "IP" lawyer ought to not cede the frame of the great copyright debate (and others) to their frame.

This is a tricky one to disprove as it's partially a normative thing -- why *should* you prefer #G013914 over #G013951 where #G013951 is a memory location storing this term, after all? However, in law, although there is some natural ambiguity about the full extent, words have meanings. And "property" specifically has been the subject of many books, papers, and arguments. It isn't exactly uncharted territory. Part of the reason why it was used in the first place seems very much to be that it is the hammer in the Lawyer's toolkit, and that everything looks like nail when you have a hammer. Particularly post 1970 or so after the univeristy of chicago's influence waxed, and the overstretching of property rights as something to define yourself by due to competition from a competing (and failing) ideology (soviet communism) in the late 70's and early 80's occurred. If I expected an error to be present in my or Richard Stallman's reasoning, I would expect it to have been in these arguments, not the airtight and somewhat tautological arguments made later on by free software advocates.

I would have expected, otherwise "neutral to the facts" take In the Public Interest to have been less clear in stating the separate basis of copyright law, or for those basis to have been less about things other than property-related rights. Similarly with other legal caselaw and textbooks I've read -- they all point to the same sensible broad nature of copyright and related rights, and the same sensible broad interpretations of property. The contours of which do not match. I do not believe I have prejudiced myself to read textbooks that would not contradict this, either -- I read a very wide array of material from people I often disagree sharply with (ezra levant, ayn rand) to make sure that my understanding of the world is not just consistent but can withstand alternative evidence/interpretations. While I have seen things that hint at the *benefit* of copyright/patents/other I do not encounter any evidence that they best be treated as one.

And I do expect, that when I read CCH Canadian Ltd. v. Law Society of Upper Canada and other cases that are foundational in non-property treating copyright jurisdictions like Canada, that they will paint a broad pictures about the public interests at stake without focus on the kinds of issues that property would suggest alone.

Similarly, I also find a high correlation between "clueless about the technology of my generation" and "treats copyrights, patents, and secrets as the same thing" which doesn't hurt. This correlation could very well have gone the other way and if I'm honest with myself I ought to have taken it into account had it. Other such correlations exist (Involving Microsoft, the USA, etc) and would be treated similarly.


Ubuntu is my Operating System of choice, above Debian, Android and GNU based OS's. While in general it is a steaming collection of bug filled dog shit, it is slightly less painful to use than debian, in general, and fairly compatible with debian, which is good for the long term survival of both OS's and the ecosystem built and which should be built around both of them.

Some ways I could see not choosing to use Ubuntu cropping up:

1) It could fail to boot to UI/any usable functionality. It is not actually that far from this, and the 8 or so hoops I have to jump through just to get a working system after boot is ludicrous and if I weren't a bachelor of computer science I probably couldn't have figured out how to even load a spreadsheet on this godforsaken dung heap. Typically in this situation I use debian for a short while, and then after I get a new computer I start at Ubuntu again until I give up. Eventually though, after a suitable amount of computers fail to allow me to use Ubuntu I will default to debian. This number stands at about 1500. This might seem like a lot of computers...but given our phones as of 2014 now contain about 200 in them, this is not actually impossible to do in a few years.

2) They might be locked out of a platform. I think they are going to survive the transition from tablets, laptops and PCs to laptops and cellphones, and probably from laptops and cellphones to cellphones and glass. But I do not expect glass to be the last computing paradigm that I survive to see, unless I die of a heart attack soon which given my lack of chest pains the past few months, I might actually avoid. Some combination of microsoft forcing the world to stick to one GNU/Linux distro or Ubuntu incompetence might keep them from advancing that far, and I might get beached on debian. This platform might involve quantum computing and I have seen no indication of preparing for quantum computing by the ubuntu world.

3) They can utterly betray the free software ideals they were founded on. They let a lot of things bleed through -- amazon/US government spying on users every click through dash being just one example. But as of yet it is possible to disable the nefarious behaviour even if it isn't by default, and even if it weren't, everything important comes with source, and the system does typically work(well, as well as it normally works) if you compile it. However if they broke things too badly, or if a culture of not caring about freedom swept the ubuntu user and developer community(for example, by microsoft imploding and microsoft developers being hired en masse by canonical) I might head to debian.

these are a few situations I could see that I would choose not to use ubuntu.

So, who wants to play?
Tags: copyright, debian, meme, patents
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Your two things are nouns, not propositional beliefs, at all. "IP" isn't partly normative - it's totally normative, and ineradicably politcal. While your choice of Ubuntu isn't normative (it's about what you choose and want to use, rather than what you choose or want others to), it isn't a statement either.

So, do you want to revise the meme requirements to match what appears to be really interesting in this vein - or do we stick with the rules as laid out?
"So, do you want to revise the meme requirements to match what appears to be really interesting in this vein"

I am not 100% sure what you're going for but ...I am hoping that if there's an interesting variant close by in meme-space that that is the one that gets posted to your journal not mine :) I'm going for maximum dispersal and impact.
It's definitely a worthy exercise to prompt people to think carefully about //how// they come to the conclusions they do, and about what parts of those arguments are essential and necessary to them. Because they often don't. I believe the scientific method calls this falsifiability, no? It's as important to know that you HAVE assumptions that lead to your conclusions as it is to know which ones are indispensible to them. There's a lot to say about it.
The difference between normative desires and declarative beliefs is an important part of this, because the weakest places in arguments leading to affirmations of declarative conclusions probably occurs when arguments magically and subtly cross the lines between these two categories. If, in tracing the logic from a declarative belief backwards by asking "why do I belief this", you find yourself talking about something you //want// instead of something that's proabably true, that's probably a pretty weak point in the argument.
This is why I'm not a big fan of moral language: it tends to deliberately turn imperatives - "Do this, this way." - into allegedly empirical observations that have truth values: "//You should// do this, this way." It ends up obscuring the imperative, allowing it to escape from accountability and scrutiny entirely, while still allowing it to come into full force as an authoritative command. Meanwhile, the declarative form allows it to be shoehorned into logical arguments that are otherwise exclusively about facts and truths.


4 years ago

Not only that but "vocally airing" them is a good way to flush out bullshit assumptions. And sure, if the assumptions that are possible to make visible are wiped out...I could still believe what I do. But I would have to on some level acknowledge that I was being irrational.

I mean, granted -- there's a lot of subtlety in wanting things. But I do want normatively named things. I want them more than a lot of things, and I would probably kill myself many times over before devesting myself of them. I should be justified though, there ought to be a olden thread that lead me to them, that could in principle be used to follow back. It is a weaker point for sure but it's not very weak.

Framing it into an accountability issue is interesting, though.

If you don't actually believe get to correct me :D You'd think I'd be able to guess 2 though. Shit I stalkgrokked your entire lj at one point you'd think I'd pick something up even though it has been awhile.

As for your two things

1) Normative: I don't think that you see yourself as very important in the big picture, or capable of being so. It almost seems as though you're content with contentness, with only being important to the people around you. That you shouldn't aspire to a higher level role. (Either that have really compartamentalized)

2) And one that isn't normative, for good measue:

Python is "better" than Lua (where it counts in your world).
Regarding your choices for the game:

You motherfucker. You really know how to pick 'em.

You've also answered my question regarding the normative/declarative "things" to ask about, because the normative question is WAY more relevant and provocative than my choice in programming languages.

...Wait a minute. Did I just say "choice"? Doesn't that make the second item also normative? *ahem*. "Better" is used in a more pragmatic, but still normative sense, here. Whether one tool is "better" for a job than anotehr depends mostly upon what job you're doing. Guess what? That's a motive - a desire. Not an observation.

So it sounds like you should jsut stick to normative things, but not only do they seem to be more interesting things to discuss - but you can't even stick to non-normatives when you try! ;p
"Irrational" says more about the speaker than it does about the subject. It doesn't say "the subject's reasoning doesn't make sense." It says "I don't understand the subject's reasoning." It also says "I want to insult the subject for thinking in a consistent way I haven't understood yet."

It's still possible to be perfectly rational when your non-normative assumptions turn out false; that's what normative assumptions //are for//. You just end up realizing that the normative assumptions - //your values// - were really running the show all along. And that's no reason to give them up.

PS - my responses are in development. hold on tight.


January 15 2014, 06:31:21 UTC 4 years ago Edited:  January 15 2014, 06:31:39 UTC

I mean. I chose my own seed issues. We can learn from eachother how best to form issues right? So you in?
I am. So, pick two things you believe I believe. If I don't actually believe them, do you get to pick another one as a substitute? Or, pick to things you think I like, or want, or do, or support, or oppose. Or one of each!
I took a serious look at Mint Debian Edition recently, as well as going back to Debian on my server. Mint seems like a really good escape route should Canonical render Ubuntu intolerably corrupted.

In the end, I decided to upgrade to Trusty Tahr LTS this year, rather than switch back to Debian-based distros. Trusty is going to have numerous package upgrades I could really use, many of which Wheezy lacks. When Jesse releases next year, I will re-evaluate.

I'm still on Precise for every machine I manage, although I tried Raring briefly when it released. The non-LTS Ubuntu releases just didn't have enough to offer this cycle, mostly because I've never used Unity. And now that they're only supported with patches for 9 months, I've decided I'm getting too old to stay on their schedule.
I still can't get unity to work. I can't imagine how 'normal' users deal with it other than just giving up on ubuntu entirely.
I've never even seen it. I'm too busy getting work done on Xubuntu.

This seems to be the decade of changes that users didn't ask for.
Mind you, I've also been exploring, of all things, FreeBSD, and I have discovered that it actaully has almost everything I use on a daily basis.
Alright, I'll bite. What's shaking? - M2tM