OldMugwump’s Techdirt Profile

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About OldMugwump

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  • Mar 31st, 2015 @ 6:22am

    Re: Re:

    Be fair. They raped the brunettes too.

  • Mar 29th, 2015 @ 7:34am

    Re: "exactly what African Americans are supposed to do now"

    You are supposed to cringe.

    As soon as you see a police officer, instantly drop anything that's in your hands, throw your open hands in the air, and bend over in a respectful cringe, head toward the floor.

    At no time may your head be higher than that of any officers, or may you make eye contact with an officer.

    Remain in that position until the officer is out of sight.

    If ordered to leave, do so walking backwards while remaining in the cringe. Never point your back at the officer.

    Failure is punishable by death.

  • Mar 29th, 2015 @ 7:28am

    Re:

    Unless you're white.

    Then, a reprimand. Or a few days off from work (with full pay, of course).

    Maybe.

  • Mar 29th, 2015 @ 7:26am

    Re: Time for Citizens arrest, let's show the cops how it's done.

    That's excessive.

    But I agree with the principle - police officers should be held to a higher standard than ordinary civilians.

    Not lower.

  • Mar 29th, 2015 @ 7:22am

    Re: Re: Re: See this? Fix it or stop whining

    Au contraire.

    It would incent the non-asshole officers to "police" their asshole brethren.

    Somebody has to do it.

  • Mar 26th, 2015 @ 1:24pm

    Re: Most criminals don't realize they're criminals

    Touche.

  • Mar 26th, 2015 @ 11:34am

    Re: Re: Re: only thinking of themselves

    Also agreed.

    What's worse is that constantly saying that others are driven by self-interest (as a way of attack, whether it's true or not) gives others the idea that such behavior is normal.

    The more that people think everyone else is ruthlessly selfish, the more they think they need to be the same (if only in self-defense).

    That corrupts morals and wears at the ties that bind society together.

  • Mar 26th, 2015 @ 10:54am

    Re: only thinking of themselves

    It's a mistake to think that the people on the opposite side of any given issue are driven mainly by self-interest.

    Of course, there's always an element of that (mostly self-delusion), but most people genuinely believe that whatever they're advocating is best for everyone.

    (That doesn't make them correct, of course, but they believe it honestly.)

    I'll bet you think that your political ideas are best for the common good. I do about mine, too.

    Misunderstanding this leads to all kinds of problems, including wars. We need to talk to each other, understand the facts and values at stake, and find livable compromises.

    Pointing fingers and shouting "evil!" is not productive.

  • Mar 26th, 2015 @ 9:04am

    Because criminals take their security advice from the FBI

    Yup, the FBI changing their recommendations is going to cause all those criminals who the FBI wants to catch to stop using encryption.

    Brilliant idea.

  • Mar 26th, 2015 @ 8:44am

    Re: Re: Re: You have no idea what this "Sovereignty" thing is, right?

    Wow; I seem to have set off a brushfire.

    We don't want a society ruled by corporations whose own interests supersede the public interest or sovereign governments.

    Agreed. Neither do we want a society rule by individual people whose interests supersede...

    Lots of people think certain kinds of speech should be prohibited because its "bad for society". Is that a valid argument against the right of free speech I don't think so.

    There's a huge difference between ruling and having protected rights. I don't rule anybody, but I have rights protected by law. I think that's a good thing.

    "That's the point of rights - a majority can't vote them away just because they're a majority."

    They prevent a small minority of rulers from taking away the rights of the majority.

    In democracies, the rights of majorities don't need protection (by definition).

    On the contrary, rights protect minorities, and individuals, from being bullied by majorities.

    I do agree the secrecy is a bad sign. On the other hand, as the comments here illustrate, it can be hard to introduce new protections for minorities in democracies. Nobody likes having power taken away, and that includes voters.

    For example, this is much of the logic behind the EU - member states could free trade, allow labor movement, etc. without joining the EU. But it's politically impossible to do so because of protectionist instincts among voters. By joining the EU, member governments get to say "we have no choice, the EU made us do it."

    Most corporations are not Walmart. My wife and I own a corporation - it employs 11 people including ourselves. The vast majority of corporations are like that. And anybody with $500 can form their own.

  • Mar 26th, 2015 @ 6:42am

    Re: Re: You have no idea what this "Sovereignty" thing is, right?

    Is this necessarily a terrible thing?

    One can argue that the progress of civilization is a function of limiting the power of rulers.

    Think of Magna Carta, the separation of powers under the US Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the UN Declaration of Human Rights. These all limit the power of rulers - that's what we admire about them.

    And they "undermine democracy". That's the point of rights - a majority can't vote them away just because they're a majority.

    Obviously the details matter tremendously. But is TPP and ISDS necessarily a bad thing? Or is it the next step in limiting the power of rulers to treat people (corporations are made of people) unfairly?

    I don't know the answer, but I do wonder if we're jumping to conclusions.

  • Mar 23rd, 2015 @ 3:53pm

    Re:

    And then how would the lawyers get paid?

  • Mar 23rd, 2015 @ 1:53pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    There's a big difference between asking for credit and demanding credit on pain of various possible punishments (under current law, up to and including bankruptcy-inducing lawsuits).

    You seem to be implying there might be lesser penalties for failure to credit (as in a fine for parking at the fire station). I'll agree a more modest punishment is better.

    Better yet would be no punishment at all if credit is provided upon request.

    Reasonable people can differ re exactly where to draw the line between what is a social convention, what merits a small fine (after a warning), etc.

    I hope you'll agree that wherever that line should be, it ought to be very, very far from where it is now.

  • Mar 23rd, 2015 @ 9:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Digital versus Physical goods.

    By institutions do you mean institutions like Kickstarter and Patreon, or services like bandcamp and Youtube, which are already being built; or do you mean new forms of publishers, who take control of works for their own profits?


    All of the above, and much more.

    Personally, I like the idea of "patronage", where fans directly fund their favored artists. And subscription models. And automated donate-per-use models.

    Let a thousand flowers bloom. Then let natural selection do its work.

  • Mar 23rd, 2015 @ 7:53am

    Re: Re: Digital versus Physical goods.

    I am not Mike Masnick, so I don't have to agree with him.

    when "information" is copied, it strips opportunity of getting money for doing so
    We disagree here.

    As I've said elsewhere, copyright was a reasonable way to get creators paid in earlier times, when copying was expensive.

    Now that copying is essentially free, we need new ways to get creators paid. There are lots of other ways. The challenge is to find the best ones and setup institutions to implement them.

    Defending the broken status quo is not helpful.

  • Mar 23rd, 2015 @ 7:01am

    Re: everything "needs" to be public domain

    For the record, I think it's fantastic that these images are now public domain. I just don't think they necessarily had to be. If any other company took pictures of its product testing---a car company, a shipyard, a machine shop---should they be obligated to release all of those pictures?
    This seems to be the main point of contention and confusion.

    I don't think anyone is saying they should be obligated to release any (let alone all) of those pictures.

    But many people are saying that if they choose to release a picture, then it's unreasonable that - after releasing it to the public - they still have an absolute chattel property right over it.

    Because information is not like physical goods - it can be copied costlessly without depriving the original owner of anything.
    For my part, I don't understand what is so onerous about providing attribution to the source of a photograph you're planning to use. If I didn't or couldn't take the picture myself, it seems like the minimum courtesy to at least credit the person who did.
    I mostly agree with you here - I think it is indeed a minimum courtesy to credit the source. But I think a strong social convention is enough. I don't think there should be a right to sue for damages over it.

    [Kudos to Mr. Musk. You are one of my heros.]

  • Mar 20th, 2015 @ 2:26pm

    Re: The TPP is an end run around democracy. We should call it that and nothing else. It is not about trade.

    How can you tell it's not about trade? Nobody has seen it.

    It could be about anything at all or nothing.

    As for being an "end run around democracy", well is that necessarily a bad thing? Look at our democratically-elected Congress...

  • Mar 18th, 2015 @ 11:47am

    How does filming threaten police?

    Exactly how does a camera (sitting there collecting light) represent any kind of threat to a police officer?

    (Other than exposing their indiscretions, that is.)

  • Mar 1st, 2015 @ 1:09pm

    Re: Re: [investment]

    It's a donation toward somebody's art project. If you get anything in exchange, that's a bonus.

    Just like any donation, you need to look at who is running the project, and decide not only if the goal is worthwhile, but if the people doing it seem competent enough to complete the project.

    The problem on Kickstarter is that many, many of the people running projects - although they have the best of intentions - just are in over their head. They don't know how to manage stuff, how to spend money and time wisely, etc.

    There is a reason many of them have trouble getting funded by conventional means.

    The great part about Kickstarter tho is that it provides a way to test the market for a new product without committing anything - if not enough people "donate" (in anticipation of getting the product), they just give the money back and drop it.

    This works great when the people running the project have a track record that shows they know what they're doing.

    But donor beware.

  • Mar 1st, 2015 @ 1:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yes, if you make the promise.

    But my understanding of Kickstarter (at least) is that they aren't making the promise. They only promise is that they'll make a good-faith effort to complete the project and deliver the rewards.

    You're funding a project, that may or may not be successful. Not buying a product. A year or so back Kickstarter changed a bunch of things to try to make this more clear to people.

    I'm OK with this model. But I do expect a real good-faith effort to deliver.

    If somebody just does a song-and-dance and then pockets the money, I agree that's fraud.

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