listen to me talk for a loooong time

Can’t get enough of my beautiful voice?  Want to hear me yammer on about Diebold, democracy and free culture for almost an hour?  Then check out my radio spot on RedQuyn’s The Big Picture, on Transitions Radio Network.  The intro is really trippy, but the interview is pretty solid, and I’m slowly cutting down on the “um”s and “y’know?”s.  Maybe I need to go on the “um” patch or get “um” chewing gum or something.

3 thoughts on “listen to me talk for a loooong time

  1. -high five-
    I may have a ride for you, still waiting on confirmation.
    I have put so much work into removing, “umm” from my vocabulary. The trick is dramatic pauses.

  2. Hey Nelson,

    I’m listening right now. You are awesome and sound like you really know what you are talking about. Join debate to get rid of the umms and you knows ;). Also, you should read some public choice theory by James Buchanan. I think you might like it and agree with it and it will give you some more examples.

    listening to you talk about copyright made me realize that I don’t disagree with you on the topic as much as I thought I did. Are you against copyright in general or do you think that reasonable copyrights (14 years or so) are acceptable?

    I do disagree with you on one key thing. I think that the incentive to create and the protection of the inventor’s rights are two goals of copyrights which are tied together which can’t be seperated. The problem is not conceding that the inventor has some rights: he has labored to create a product which has value for society and thus has a RIGHT to some compensation. Recognizing these rights creates an incentive to create. The problem is that this right is exagerrated in modern copyright law because copyrights are too extensive and long lasting.


    • incentives for creativity and control over creativity are seperable

      Hey, sorry for the belated reply… I’d like to put forth the proposition that granting someone a monopoly on an idea is not the only way to compensate them for their creative work. As long as people hold the misconception that “intellectual property” is like physical property, it will be very hard to have a productive discussion, because physical property is practically absolute (and most libertarians would like it to be more absolute), while any IP regime would cease to make sense long before it became absolute. There is a fundamental conflict between the laws of economics, which rely on perfect information (and therefore total information sharing) or at least informational equality to work properly, and the need to create incentives for creators to create information in the first place. Up to the present day, a reasonable IP regime would create incentives by granting a copyright to authors etc., but placing limits on their power so that they do not smother the creativity of those who follow them. We are quickly losing that essential balance. I think that it is time to consider other ways of compensating authors (and there are other ways) which do not rely on them controlling the distribution of their art. Because power corrupts, and if the content owning corporations have their way, the libraries and used bookstores of tomorrow will never exist, because they don’t think these essential public services should have existed in the first place.

      Some remedy can be found outside the law, by building a movement to voluntarily only keep “some rights reserved” through Creative Commons licenses that grant permission ahead of time for many uses of your work, and building alternative business models which do not require copy protection and DRM. However, something must be done in the legal system and the legislature to halt and reverse the continuing expansion in length, scope, and force of copyright law. Something must be done to bring our country back to a more sane balance, one closer to the orginal conception of our founding fathers, where copyright was only 14-28 years, and most non-commercial uses of a work were unregulated.

      OK, now I’ve gone on with this long reply, and I’m rereading your question and realizing I haven’t directly answered it. I think that reasonable copyrights are acceptable, in that I think that copyright is a necessary evil. I often compare this to my stance on government: I am a libertarian, not an anarchist. However, I still that copyright is evil, that granting control over the flow of ideas and information suppresses learning and freedom of speech, and if I could imagine a system that didn’t require any copyright to operate, I would support that rather than even a limited copyright regime. Sadly, I do not think that we are anywhere near a point where we have built the cultural tools to ensure that creativity gets funded without copyright restrictions. Until then, I will continue to push for limited copyright, as I push for limited government.

      I agree that an inventor should have a right to compensation for their work, but I do not think that they have a natural right to control the distribution and reuse of their work. In fact, such control is opposed to libertarianism in my opinion, as this excellent paper points out:

      I fundamentally disagree that the incentive to create and control over the use of that creation are inseparable. They are not. If they were, nobody would work on Linux, and open source software would not exist. On the contrary, huge corporations like IBM, with a healthy respect for the bottom line, fund open source development. All of this work is free to share and free to modify and build upon. There are obviously some incentives to do creative work without control over modification and distribution, and while they may not be sufficient in the absense of copyright law, they do exist, and the incentives are seperable from the control.

Leave a Reply