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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