A Fifteenth Century Technopanic About The Horrors Of The Printing Press

from the bad-technology,-bad dept

In talking about various technopanics over time, there's always someone who hates some new technology because it somehow "undermines" the good "way things were." These days, think of the books by the likes of Nick Carr or Andrew Keen, who focus on just how awful new technology is making people, compared to "back in their day..." when things were just lovely. Yet, as we've pointed out, these sorts of complaints about new technology happen throughout history, such as the attacks on the telephone (makes men lazy and breaks up your home life) and novels (corrupts the mind). But sometimes it goes back much, much further. In the past, we've even joked about those "poor monks" put out of the scribe business by the printing press.

But what we didn't realize was there actually was just such a concern at the time.

ChurchHatesTucker points us to a wonderful historical analysis of a 15th century luddite, abbot Johannes Trithemius, who was no fan of the printing press, because of what it was going to do to those poor monks. It wasn't just that it would put them out of work, but that it would impact their souls. He worried that the printing press would make monks lazy.
It was okay that the act of copying was hard. It built character, in Trithemius’ opinion, the same way as chopping wood (though to this "interior exercise," i.e. exercise of the spirit, he assigned far more importance). For monks, labor was part and parcel of devotion, and if you weren't good at writing, you could do binding, or painting, or for heaven's sake practice. And it goes even further: the labor of manuscript writing was something for monks to do -- for there was no greater danger for the devout soul than idleness.
For among all the manual exercises, none is so seemly to monks as devotion to the writing of sacred texts.
He also pulls out the typical "but this new fangled thing just isn't as nice as the old stuff":
He does spend some time talking about practical reasons that printed books weren't anything to get bothered about: their paper wasn't as permanent as the parchment the monks used (he even advocates the hand-copying of "useful" printed works for their preservation); there weren't very many books in print, and they were hard to find; they were constrained by the limitations of type, and were therefore ugly.
And then there's just the fact that if you're not writing a book, you don't really "get" it:
He who ceases from zeal for writing because of printing is no true lover of the Scriptures.
Honestly, it sounds like a near perfect 15th century version of Nick Carr. Carr loves books, but frets about what the internet is doing to our appreciation of books. But, of course, this all seems to come back to Douglas Adams' famous saying, which I'll paraphrase: everything that exists before you were born is just normal, the way things should be. Everything that is invented from your birth until you're about thirty is cool and neat and innovative. And everything invented after you're thirty is "against the natural order of things and the beginning of the end of civilization as we know it."


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  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2011 @ 7:50pm

    He who ceases from zeal for writing because of printing is no true lover of the Scriptures.

    You can always find one in the crowd. It doesn't make it true, it only makes it an opinion. Who knows, maybe your CFF+RtT (copied from fans, reason to take) will be viewed as high comedy 500 years from now.

    Reach much?

     

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  2.  
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    Derek Bredensteiner (profile), Feb 25th, 2011 @ 8:08pm

    See

    This is what makes me reluctant to turn 30.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    monkyyy, Feb 25th, 2011 @ 8:21pm

    Re: See

    expecting to commit suicide on your 30th birthday?

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2011 @ 8:25pm

    Re:

    Says the reacher!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Feb 25th, 2011 @ 8:36pm

    Re: Re: See

    Carousel!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    cc (profile), Feb 25th, 2011 @ 8:45pm

    Re:

    Or maybe current IP law will be considered a terrifying example of legal scope creep that involved the suppression of ideas, of technologies, book burnings, witch hunts and martyrs.

    But hey, let's not take any guesses about what is most likely to go down in history as insane -- the ideas of a blogger, or the global persecution of people sharing files? Let's not take any guesses, because that would be.. reaching.

     

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  7.  
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    IRA LEVINE, Feb 25th, 2011 @ 8:54pm

    ADMAS COMMENT

    The condemnation of the new is fear of not being able to grasp the new and improved. Presses were too complex for copiers, and the steam press to complex for the older type. While I really like Douglas Adams's work, its not an age factor but when your brain stalls that you start condemning the advances.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2011 @ 9:00pm

    Re:

    CFF+RtT (copied from fans, reason to take)

    ROFLMAO! Well played!

     

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  9.  
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    joseph, Feb 25th, 2011 @ 9:22pm

    Re: See

    At a few weeks away from 56, I'm still drooling over the new (e.g., xoom).

     

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  10.  
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    PlagueSD, Feb 25th, 2011 @ 9:50pm

    See

    Everything that exists before you were born is just normal, the way things should be. Everything that is invented from your birth until you're about thirty is cool and neat and innovative. And everything invented after you're thirty is "against the natural order of things and the beginning of the end of civilization as we know it.



    I think that's why everyone stops counting birthdays at 29. You don't want to know how many times me and my friends celebrated our 29th birthday...

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2011 @ 10:05pm

    Re: Re:

    Or maybe current IP law will be considered a terrifying example of legal scope creep that involved the suppression of ideas, of technologies, book burnings, witch hunts and martyrs.

    Remind me against where any of this has happened.

     

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  12.  
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    cc (profile), Feb 25th, 2011 @ 10:23pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Challenge accepted.

    Or maybe current IP law will be considered a terrifying example of legal scope creep that involved the suppression of ideas, of technologies, book burnings, witch hunts and martyrs.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2011 @ 10:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Try again without pointing to an opinion blog.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2011 @ 10:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Someone suffers from link blindness. I'm so sorry. Feel better!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    cc (profile), Feb 25th, 2011 @ 10:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So, you forfeit?

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2011 @ 11:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yes

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 1:45am

    Re: Re: Re:

    England the many revolts that happened in medieval times.

    The commons hunted and killed clergy for their abuse of their monopolies, they also killed the monopoly holders of their time and killed the noblemen too.

    India in recent history defied the monopoly on salt production from the English.

     

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  18.  
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    The eejit (profile), Feb 26th, 2011 @ 4:48am

    Re: See

    Enough for a meme to be involved, at least.

     

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  19.  
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    Abolitionist, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 5:12am

    Re:

    Who knows, maybe your CFF+RtT (copied from fans, reason to take) will be viewed as high comedy 500 years from now.

    Hopefully CTL+RtS (Copyright Trial Lawyers + Reason to Sue) will be viewed as high comedy 500 years from now.

    Abolish copyright.

     

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  20.  
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    Jose_X, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 5:13am

    Came across another quote

    "Should I abide by the rules until they're changed, or help speed the change by breaking them?" - Ashleigh Brilliant

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 5:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Try again without pointing to an opinion blog.

    Heh, he asked to be reminded, and then didn't like it.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 5:22am

    Re: Re: See

    Suicide is underrated. It's something those running the show hate to see because it reveals the reality that even death is sometimes better.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 5:27am

    Re: Came across another quote

    "Should I abide by the rules until they're changed, or help speed the change by breaking them?" - Ashleigh Brilliant

    Now don't go getting all uppity and Rosa Parks on us. What she did was clearly WRONG because it was ILLEGAL! (After all, the law is all that determines what is right and wrong, right AJ?)

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 5:31am

    Re: Re:

    CFF+RtT (copied from fans, reason to take)
    ROFLMAO! Well played!


    SFM+EtW (Sue For Money, Easier that Working)

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 5:33am

    Re: Re: Re:

    err, Easier than Working.

     

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  26.  
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    herodotus (profile), Feb 26th, 2011 @ 6:38am

    Re: See

    That saying of Adams is cute, but false. I suppose it might be true of middle-class Englishmen, but they are hardly representative of humanity as a whole.

    How people feel about technology has very little to do with age. These feelings are, in fact, more or less directly related to what technology does for them or to them. The printing press didn't improve the life of Trithemius at all. It improved the lives of his contemporaries, but it also ended his own way of life.

    Why would any rational person in his position feel any differently?

     

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  27.  
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    gilroy0 (profile), Feb 26th, 2011 @ 6:42am

    Re: See

    See, again -- this is why the Sandmen in Logan's Run had it right...

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Jack, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 6:44am

    Technology

    Technology is not bad, what is bad is the abuse of the technology.

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 6:46am

    Personally I have kept my child like wonder (childishness) alive to my current age (over 50), though I have developed a few intolerances, most of these intolerances are focused toward Original Intent Constitutional Fealty failures by our elected servants.

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 6:50am

    i'm 40 and things are still cool that gt invented

    Whats not cool , is the patent control and copyright control of it all.

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 7:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No. All of your links go to techdirt. I am not going down the Mike Masnick dirt road trying to figure out what pieces are truth and which are fiction. If you want to play, link directly to non-blog, non-opinion, non-op-ed pieces that actually prove your assertions with facts.

    It's pretty hard to do.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    icon
    cc (profile), Feb 26th, 2011 @ 7:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Sounds like you didn't actually LOOK at the links, trollface.

    Is that really that hard?

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    Nick Carr, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 7:17am

    A mind is a terrible thing to waste

    I suspect, Mike, that Trithemius was right to worry about the effect of the printing press on the rigor of monks' devotional practices, seeing as the monastery had been the center of the book trade for many centuries. But perhaps you're an expert on medieval monks and have found through your studies that the shift from scribal book to printed book had no effect on the lives of monks - in which case I'll happily defer to your expertise. What interested me most about your post, though, was your surprise at having discovered Trithemius: "In the past, we've even joked about those 'poor monks' put out of the scribe business by the printing press. But what we didn't realize was there actually was just such a concern at the time." That's odd since you've given high praise to Clay Shirky's book "Here Comes Everybody" several times in the past. In a review you posted on Techdirt in August 2009, for instance, you write, that Shirky's book "is one of the best out there in getting you to understand how the old systems of production and consumption are changing due to enabling technologies." And yet one of the most striking stories that Shirky tells, quite early in the book, is the story of Trithemius and his reaction to the arrival of the printing press. Apparently, Mike, all the time you spend online has damaged either your reading skills or your memory - or maybe both. I would humbly suggest that you might want to read my book "The Shallows", as it may help you to better understand your affliction.

    Best,

    Nick

     

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  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 7:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I moused over. 6 links to Techdirt. Fail.

     

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  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 7:47am

    Re: Re: Re:

    There is also:

    RtT+CbF: Reason to Take, Copied by Freeloaders.

    None of which actually leads to a business model, but sure reads nice.

     

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  36.  
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    cc (profile), Feb 26th, 2011 @ 8:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yes, links which describe particular EVENTS, something you would have discovered if you were anything more than a TROLL. Any opinions in those posts, Mike's or anyone else's, are irrelevant and at no point did I make reference to them.

    Feel free to point out which of those EVENTS aren't real, or why they don't support my arguments.

     

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  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 8:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I want actual reported events, not a blog posting about an event that may or may not have happened. I think Mike would put incredible spin on almost anything he writes, so it isn't supporting evidence of anything (except perhaps your willingness to swallow his point of view whole).

    Work it. Find actual examples in non-opinion based media.

     

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  38.  
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    cc (profile), Feb 26th, 2011 @ 8:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No, I'm not going to do your work for you.

    Since most of those are VERY high-profile events, I'm sure you won't have any problems finding more information using your favourite search engine. If you believe Mike got any facts glaringly wrong, make sure to point them out.

    I look forward to your reply.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
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    Greevar (profile), Feb 26th, 2011 @ 8:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You'd love that wouldn't you? You'd like to send people off looking for evidence that you could just summarily dismiss and tell them it's no good because it doesn't stand up to your standards. This may be an opinion blog, but it does cite factual sources. That's what a good journalist does. I don't see you citing anything to support your argument, just assumptions and dismissals of counterpoints.

    Why don't you find evidence that the sources Tech Dirt links to are false? You think Mike is full of it? Go find some evidence that he is instead of spouting off at the mouth, telling everyone how wrong they are, and feeling smug in your false sense of superiority. It's amazing, the human capacity for self-delusion.

     

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  40.  
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    herodotus (profile), Feb 26th, 2011 @ 9:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Actually, you are both wrong.

    The creation and enforcement of current IP law just doesn't strike me as being nearly as scary as real live book burnings and witch hunts. Stupid? Yes. Harmful? Certainly. Nonetheless, I am pretty sure that Mary Easty would have been quite happy to trade places with Jammie Thomas.

     

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  41.  
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    mike allen (profile), Feb 26th, 2011 @ 9:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    let me help here are a few starter links.
    http://lbo-news.com/2010/09/24/citigroup-feels-violated/

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-31001_ 3-20004811-261.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-20

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-31001_ 3-20004811-261.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-20


    there you go 5 minutes it took to track these links and that includes pasting back here, try it instead of insider doing your work for you you may find it fun and actually earn the money the MAFIAA pay you.

     

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  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 10:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Somebody sounds like a modern-day abbot Johannes Trithemius.

     

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  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 11:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The point exactly. The hyperbole pushed out isn't supported by anywhere else except techdirt. Sort of telling, no?

     

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  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 11:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The first one, well, who knows? The content is removed, the person admitted to using it, I can't say more.

    Limewire? They broke the law, end of story. Next.

    Sorry, but if those are the massive horrible terrible results of copyright, we don't have much to fear.

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 11:52am

    Re: Re: Came across another quote

    Sort of different, no? The situation of segregation and "back of the bus" was a manner that different people were treated in different manners.

    I defy you to find how copyright treats people differently based on race, color, or creed. In fact, I would defy you to find a valid way of showing that copyright treats people differently at all.

     

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  46.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 12:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Came across another quote

    So it would be fine if I started a religion where Superman was my figurehead? Started handing out pamphlets with His name and His image on it? No one would tell me to stop?

     

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  47.  
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    Richard (profile), Feb 26th, 2011 @ 12:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Sorry - the issues are pretty serious for those involved.
    Of course it isn't the 17th century but I bet you wouldn't swap places with any of these
    people or this commenter from the previous story on this site.

     

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  48.  
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    el_segfaulto (profile), Feb 26th, 2011 @ 12:14pm

    Re: See

    I'll be turning 30 in a few months... Since I didn't like the sound of that I've decided that all age counting shall henceforth be done in hex. I won't be turning 30, I'll be turning 1E. My girlfriend won't be turning 24, she'll be turning 18.

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 12:33pm

    Re: A mind is a terrible thing to waste

    You're adorable!

     

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  50.  
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    Dušan (profile), Feb 26th, 2011 @ 12:52pm

    in america

    Why is it that anytime anyone makes crap up (like that Mike has "fans" that follow his Word) (s)he posts that same excrement as anonymous coward? There is no credibility in it.
    Like this argument:
    All of your links go to techdirt. I am not going down the Mike Masnick dirt road trying to figure out what pieces are truth and which are fiction. If you want to play, link directly to non-blog, non-opinion, non-op-ed pieces.

    Then what exactly should he link to? To absolute facts, arranged in descending order from shortest to longest,so you can skim first one or two and make some fallable arguments. Party on!

    Almost everything here is opinion (except maybe when Mike quoted the speed of light and I'm not 100% sure it's true) and it's your job to think for yourself in finding your truth. But it seems AC trolling isn't really to bring something to the debate - it's just petty undermining of a valid and, a lot of times, concerned opinion.
    Let me compare it to media "balance" (again,only in usa)

     

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  51.  
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    Dušan, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 1:00pm

    in america

    There is no balance when reporting the facts. So there's no balance crap with science (intelligent design? More like stupid with legos...). And you needn't be a scientist to get what techdirt staff is worried about-about the same things as most of world population under 30:
    Freedom of information. If your product is convertable into 0 and 1 it probably will be. Deal with it.

     

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  52.  
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    Shannon Scheidell, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 1:24pm

    Ahem.

    So what's your opinion on the matter?

     

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  53.  
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    cc (profile), Feb 26th, 2011 @ 1:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Persecution is persecution, and in today's society personal financial ruination counts as a pretty serious punishment.

    Of course bankruptcy is in no way the same thing as medieval torture, but that's why analogies are like sandwiches, in that I'm making one now.

     

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  54.  
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    cc (profile), Feb 26th, 2011 @ 1:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "The first one, well, who knows? The content is removed, the person admitted to using it, I can't say more."

    Which is precisely the point. Valid criticism was taken offline in response to a DMCA claim. Is that the suppression of an idea, or not? Perhaps it'll be easier for you to check out Sony's recent copyright shenanigans.

    "Limewire? They broke the law, end of story. Next."

    Again, that's the point. A technology was suppressed as a result of copyright law.

    "Sorry, but if those are the massive horrible terrible results of copyright, we don't have much to fear."

    Hey, that's what Trithemius said.

     

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  55.  
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    Ben, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 2:00pm

    Re: See

    I feel the same way about 70!

     

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  56.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 6:13pm

    I don't know too many people who handwrite their books these days. And there aren't a large percentage of working monks out there...

    Trithemius was right. (But so is Adams!)

     

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  57.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 7:16pm

    http://www.irs.gov/taxstats/index.html

    The IRS never lies(even with the creative accounting done by the industry), the industry is doing better than ever.
    But they still keep crying wolf.

     

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  58.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 8:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Which is precisely the point. Valid criticism was taken offline in response to a DMCA claim.

    Nope. The critical comments could have stayed up (or been reposted), minus the borrowed content. The author chose not to. The validity of the critical comments are such that it wasn't worth reposting. That says a lot.

    A technology was suppressed as a result of copyright law.


    The technology wasn't surpressed, only the use of it for illegal activities. You can buy a gun, but using it to commit a crime can get you put in jail. Don't confuse the technology with the use thereof.

    Bit torrent as a technology is legal. The majority use of it is to commit illegal acts. See the difference.

    The fear, my friend, is only in your heart and your greedy, freeloading mind.

     

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  59.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Feb 26th, 2011 @ 9:07pm

    Re: A mind is a terrible thing to waste

    I suspect, Mike, that Trithemius was right to worry about the effect of the printing press on the rigor of monks' devotional practices, seeing as the monastery had been the center of the book trade for many centuries.

    Well, yes. That's rather the point.

     

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  60.  
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    molecule (profile), Feb 26th, 2011 @ 10:04pm

    Re: A mind is a terrible thing to waste

    oh snap.

     

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  61.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 11:06pm

    GOOD COPY BAD COPY
    Quote:
    A documentary about the current state of copyright and culture

    Michael Heller’s The Gridlock Economy (Prof. Doug Lichtman, UCLA School of Law / November 2, 2010)
    Quote:
    In copyright law, I similarly worry that the growing permissions culture threatens to make it almost impossible to generate certain types of “remix” art that would, if it could, combine short snippets from dozens or even hundreds of prior copyrighted works to make new and worthwhile amalgamations.


    CRIMINAL ABUSE OF COPYRIGHT BY PEOPLE CLAIMING OWNERSHIP ON THE PUBLIC DOMAIN:

    Copyright Abuse

    FIRST AMENDEMENT ISSUES AND COPYRIGHTS:

    COPYRIGHT HARM AND THE FIRST AMENDMENT

    Miro's state send cease and desist to Google over their homage logo.
    How Copyright is Getting a Bad Name

    EFF: Takedowns Hall of Shame
    Quote:
    Bogus copyright and trademark complaints have threatened all kinds of creative expression on the Internet. EFF's Hall Of Shame collects the worst of the worst.


    Copyright, Censorship, and Domain Name Blacklists at Home in the U.S.

    Why copyright is censorship
    Quote:
    The actual logical conclusion to "copyright is censorship" is that we need to limit copyright -- as a necessary evil -- proportional to its benefits.


    Censorship or Copyright Infringement? Flickr Takes Down "Obama as Joker" Photo (By Sarah Perez / August 19, 2009 6:43 AM)

    Copyright as Censorship – Part I (Prof. Jim Gibson, University of Richmond School of Law / December 22, 2009)

    COPYRIGHT SHAKEDOWN:

    Threads of copyright abuse (July 08, 2008)

    Woman Jailed 2 Days for Filming Movie Screen Sues Theater
    Horror tales from the movie theather. Do you here Bieber fan's don't point your cellphones at the screen. I want to see those little hardcore criminal girls get arrested for it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 11:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    EFF: Takedowns Hall of Shame
    Quote:
    Bogus copyright and trademark complaints have threatened all kinds of creative expression on the Internet. EFF's Hall Of Shame collects the worst of the worst.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2011 @ 11:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Came across another quote

    You idiot LoL

    Censorship or Copyright Infringement? Flickr Takes Down "Obama as Joker" Photo (By Sarah Perez / August 19, 2009 6:43 AM)

    Politicians got power don't they.

    Woman Jailed 2 Days for Filming Movie Screen Sues Theater
    Horror tales from the movie theather. But incredibly Bieber fans don't get arrested for the same CRIME.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 27th, 2011 @ 12:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Well, so long as Google search and the torrent protocol are perfectly legal then there shouldn't be any more problems. That was easy enough. I don't what all of you are arguing about.

     

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  65.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 27th, 2011 @ 5:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Ask security researchers how their research is stalled by the DMCA.

    Ask why Sony keeps going after people who mod their own property.

    Ask why automakers are making their cars impossible to fix unless people spend 10 gran on equipment to read their proprietary protocols.

    And the list goes on and on and on.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 27th, 2011 @ 5:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The fear, my friend, is only in your heart and your greedy, freeloading mind.

    Hmm, I notice that you seem to be using a lot English words in your comments. Did you pay the original creators for the use of those words or are you a greedy freeloader?

     

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  67.  
    identicon
    NullOp, Feb 27th, 2011 @ 7:30am

    In the day...

    Back in the day when people only received news from their own area things were actually better. Really, why should you worry about local crime in Chicago when you live in Level Cross, NC? All-in-all the media has done a hellofa job in making people paranoid about what "could" happen. For myself, the jury is still out on whether world-wide instant communication is a good thing. For sure it's not a good thing the way it's been bastardized by Big Media!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Feb 27th, 2011 @ 8:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Ask Dmitry Skylarov or have a look at this:
    story

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69.  
    icon
    cc (profile), Feb 27th, 2011 @ 8:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Nope. The critical comments could have stayed up (or been reposted), minus the borrowed content. The author chose not to. The validity of the critical comments are such that it wasn't worth reposting. That says a lot."

    Sigh. Stop pussyfooting around the argument. Ideas were taken offline because of this law. Your opinion about those ideas is not relevant.

    "The technology wasn't surpressed, only the use of it for illegal activities."

    That would have meant not suing the providers of the technology, just the users who were doing those illegal activities. That's not what happened.

    "The fear, my friend, is only in your heart and your greedy, freeloading mind."

    But I'm not a pirate, while you are massive douchebag no matter how I look at you. The fear is, of course, all yours -- and I look forward to IP policy being fixed and people like you being out of a job.

     

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  70.  
    icon
    Any Mouse (profile), Feb 27th, 2011 @ 9:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    To those of us that understand the issues, and have read the links referenced, your brushing them off as if the events being discussed (and which are linked to articles off TechDirt) is more than a little insane.

    As to non-opinion based media? Such a thing doesn't exist.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  71.  
    identicon
    TDR, Feb 27th, 2011 @ 10:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Tell me, Anon 58, if there were a law that said you had to go streaking in your neighborhood every day or be jailed, would you follow it? Can you even comprehend the fact that some laws are bad? And that disregarding a bad law is not wrong? Somehow I doubt it. Much as I doubt you understand that copyright, as it is today, is among the aforementioned bad laws.

    If you really believe in what you say, put your name behind it. Funny how most trolls here hide behind the AC moniker. That label really does describe you people quite well. And you have yet to provide the evidence you have been asked for. So do it. Now. And a complete chain of causality showing the harm to a specific artist caused by the sharing of a specific file at a specific time, with full non-industry data.

    If you cannot prove empirically that any harm has been done by filesharing (which, by way, is how computers and the internet operate on a fundamental level), then provide a complete retraction of everything you have ever said on this site. Now. Otherwise you're just proving yourself to be a liar full of hot air, no argument, and lots of irrational fear.

     

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  72.  
    identicon
    Annon, Feb 27th, 2011 @ 10:25am

    Re: Re: See

    Awesome! Now I can date legal girls and still 'think' I'm dating jailbait.
    You sir, get a cookie.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  73.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 27th, 2011 @ 10:44am

    Re: A mind is a terrible thing to waste

    I suspect, Mike, that Trithemius was right to worry about the effect of the printing press on the rigor of monks' devotional practices, seeing as the monastery had been the center of the book trade for many centuries. But perhaps you're an expert on medieval monks and have found through your studies that the shift from scribal book to printed book had no effect on the lives of monks - in which case I'll happily defer to your expertise.

    You do condescension so well, Nick.

    As for pretty much your entire comment, confusing correlation with causation is where you seem to go wrong quite frequently. If the monks declined in their devotion to the written word, it seems difficult to argue that it was due to the arrival of the printing press. There was nothing stopping the monks from continuing to study or write. If it meant that they were no longer the center of the book trade, well that would only be due to their unwillingness to adapt to a changing market.

    But, of course, the larger point is the one in which you look at what is best for overall society, and here it certainly appears that world was much better off with the printing press -- though, like you, some people will argue that "the good old days" were better because of some nostalgic version they think was there in the past.

    And yet one of the most striking stories that Shirky tells, quite early in the book, is the story of Trithemius and his reaction to the arrival of the printing press. Apparently, Mike, all the time you spend online has damaged either your reading skills or your memory - or maybe both.

    Very funny. It's true. I didn't remember that particular story. I read a lot, Nick, because contrary to some of your claims, there's so much interesting out there that I spend a lot more time consuming *both* long form and short form works. I don't remember every minor story in every book I read, and this one I forgot. It's not because Google is eating away at my brain -- as per your book -- but because I'm reading more long form content than ever before, and I don't remember every story in them.

     

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  74.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 27th, 2011 @ 1:35pm

    Re: Re: A mind is a terrible thing to waste

    What damage had been done to your reading skills or memory has been repaired by Nick Carr and the internet.

    Fancy that!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  75.  
    identicon
    Forge, Feb 27th, 2011 @ 5:59pm

    Hey Mike, let's get an option to disable the trollbox down here, wot all ey?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  76.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 3:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Of course, if you'd actually clicked on the links instead of brushing them off based on assumptions, you'd find 6 posts that link to 6 non-Techdirt sources. Links that pretty much display the problems he was talking about. The fact that the links supplied go to Mike commentary on the facts rather than the sources does not change the nature of those facts.

    But, reading those links and coming up with defences to the indefensible is too hard, right? It's far better to find an arbitrary reason to dismiss an argument outright rather than discuss the actual implications of the real, proven facts...

     

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  77.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 4:22am

    Re: Re: See

    "Why would any rational person in his position feel any differently?"

    A rational person may *feel* emotional about something, but a rational person also recognises that change is inevitable, and that you also need to change in order to compete. A rational person understands that his feelings about the fact do not change the nature of those facts.

    The fact that Trithemius didn't like the changes introduced by the printing press didn't change the fact that most people did. He also apparently missed most of the point of the printing press and the positive changes it introduced for humanity - most of his objections seem to be related to personal aesthetic tastes and the moral value he places on hard work, which are of course nothing to do with the real issues at hand.

    ...and so it is with modern day copyright maximalists and those who resist current changes. They don't affect them personally in a positive way and they offend their personal tastes, and so they fight the changes. I can't wait until the day when we can look back on them as we do on Trithemius, buggy whip makers, piano roll manufacturers and others who have been trampled by technological changes that they tried to stop.

     

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  78.  
    identicon
    MAC, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 8:12am

    Monks...

    The monks were correct to fear the printed book. It was something that at their time, no one could measure the impending impact on the world.

    By lowering the price of manuscripts and the information that they contained the printed book caused all sorts or revolutions.

    The same is true of the internet to a degree but it is far more extensive.

    Because no one can totally control the internet dissemination of information cannot be controlled.

    Just look at what's happening in the Middle East. Those people can finally get an outside view of what they have been going through for years and suddenly they have all realized that there is a better way.

    The power of this is profound and humbling. No one knows what kind of world that we will live in over the next 20 to 50 years. But one thing is certain; it will be different.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  79.  
    identicon
    Talmyr, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 8:45am

    Re: Re: Re: See

    Until someone misreads the hex age for a real age and sends in the cops...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  80.  
    icon
    Kirk (profile), Mar 1st, 2011 @ 9:49am

    Re: A mind is a terrible thing to waste

    That's odd since you've given high praise to Clay Shirky's book "Here Comes Everybody" several times in the past...And yet one of the most striking stories that Shirky tells, quite early in the book, is the story of Trithemius and his reaction to the arrival of the printing press.

    Perhaps the story was not as striking to Mike as it was to you; perhaps it seemed rather obvious.
    At any rate, you have successfully proven that Mike is human. Sadly, it seems your awesome intellect goes unappreciated as we did not require your brilliant insight on that point.
    Apparently, Mike, all the time you spend online has damaged either your reading skills or your memory - or maybe both.

    Your concern for your fellow man is admirable. Now, turn off the computer before it happens to you.
    I would humbly suggest that you might want to read my book "The Shallows", as it may help you to better understand your affliction.

    I would say you’re more of a nuisance than an affliction.
    I am, however, indebted to you for teaching me a new meaning for the word, “humble.”
    Thus, it is with the utmost humility that I suggest you meditate on the fact that you are an arrogant jerk. You see Nick, people aren’t as stupid as you may believe (don’t worry: you’re still the smartest one here, just like Mom said). So, people kind of notice when you’re only pretending to be nice. For example, you're not the only one who can see that I'm doing that right now. I sincerely hope this helps, Nick!

    Stay classy.

     

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  81.  
    identicon
    Medina, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 5:38am

    Hi Kirk,there was having problem with the png extention.Can you convert the file?.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  82.  
    identicon
    Joy, Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 9:30pm

    Modernization is good but old ways shouldn't be forgotten especially old values. There are some things that are still absolutes and will never be obsoletes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  83.  
    identicon
    Carl Street, Sep 19th, 2012 @ 9:42pm

    Re: Re: A mind is a terrible thing to waste

    but a CTRL+C is a wonderful thing to paste...:)

     

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  84.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2012 @ 10:01am

    hggdg

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  85.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2013 @ 4:51am

    Read Umberto Eco's 'this is not the end of the book.'

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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