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Author Topic: Read this before having an opinion on economics  (Read 23852 times)
NghtRppr
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April 18, 2011, 10:04:37 PM
 #61

Tell me before you abandon IP-law so that I can withdraw all money from medical research. Copying a drug is dead simple but finding a drug that is actually effective takes years of research by highly skilled professionals, not to mention expensive testing and clinical trials.

Right, because nobody would ever donate money to find cures for diseases like cancer, HIV, Alzheimer's, diabetes, etc.
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April 18, 2011, 10:06:22 PM
 #62

Tell me before you abandon IP-law so that I can withdraw all money from medical research. Copying a drug is dead simple but finding a drug that is actually effective takes years of research by highly skilled professionals, not to mention expensive testing and clinical trials.

The pharmaceutical industry does not require IP to be profitable. (Nor does any other industry.)

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April 18, 2011, 10:13:43 PM
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Your stand point implies that the fruit of the mind does not belong to the bearer, as such you are effectively rendering professions such as mathematician, physicist, philosopher, economist or doctor unprofitable.

You just provided excellent counterexamples to your thesis.  Mathematicians and philosophers don't make money by trying to own, and control the use of, theorems or philosophical constructs.  That's why you don't need to pay a royalty to the descendants of Pierre de Fermat and scores of other true geniuses for the use of cryptography and derived inventions, like BitCoin.  Nor you need to pay those of Adam Smith, Marx, or any of the Austrian economists for the use of it, even if some of their work could be proven to have been instrumental in inspiring BitCoin.

Do mathematicians "create" theorems?  What right would the descendants of Pierre de Fermat (or he himself, in his time) have to prevent you from rediscovering, say, Fermat's Little Theorem independently (such things happen in mathematics all the time), or from using it to prove other theorems or to invent new technologies, like public key cryptography?

One argument for patents is that the alternative would be secrecy.  A counterexample would be the RSA algorithm.  It was first "invented" by someone in some British secret agency and kept secret.  Not much later, a group of researchers discovered it independently and published it.  Now everyone can benefit from it.  I don't think their inventors regret the work they put into it.  Actually, I see absolutely nothing wrong with that.

When was the last time that anybody got rich by patenting a programming language?  Aren't these useful inventions?  Don't they get invented all the time?

In science and medicine it's not the rule either that progress comes from investments motivated by expectations to profit from restricting the use of information.  Your doctor doesn't get his money from trying to prevent others from using his "creations" (whatever this even means) without his permission.  The fruit of the application of his knowledge and intellect is an improvement in your health.  You (or someone) pay him for it because this application of knowledge is not easily reproducible.  If you could reliably heal yourself by checking a website and following simple instructions, doctors would have no business, and that wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing.  That talent would find something else useful to which apply itself.

In sum, mathematics, science, and medicine have progressed alright for centuries without anybody really needing to artificially restrict anybody else's use of information.  Information is variably hard to discover/produce, but, by nature, often trivial to reproduce.  You have no right to demand others to artificially renounce the benefits of this desirable property in order to protect a fundamentally unsound business plan.
BitterTea
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April 18, 2011, 10:15:07 PM
 #64

I agree with non aggression. The fact that people think they have a right to strip me of my production because they can't physically touch it and can't recognize aggression when it's in their face is beyond me though.

I again recommend reading the paper (it's only 73 pages and HIGHLY footnoted, so it's really more like 30-40 without footnotes), especially the sections titled "Some Problems with Natural Rights" and the next titled "Property and Scarcity". Kinsella argues (and I agree), that the need for property rights with tangible goods arises from their scarcity. My use of some object necessarily denies you the use of it. To solve this problem, we label one person the "owner" and in order to use the object, the owner must consent. There is no such scarcity in the realm of ideas, many people can use the same idea at the same time, thus property rights do not make sense.
NghtRppr
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April 18, 2011, 10:18:06 PM
 #65

I agree with non aggression. The fact that people think they have a right to strip me of my production because they can't physically touch it and can't recognize aggression when it's in their face is beyond me though.

I think you're under the mistaken assumption that producing X entitles you to own X but let's say you break into my shop, steal a bunch of my wood and then build a chair out of it. Do you own the chair because you produced it? No, it's my chair plus you owe me for damages to my wood. I collect wood, you see, and I wanted it kept in pristine condition.
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April 18, 2011, 10:32:21 PM
 #66

There is no such scarcity in the realm of ideas, many people can use the same idea at the same time, thus property rights do not make sense.

An idea is one thing, but what about when the idea becomes perceptible?

A blueprint? A music composition? A book?

Are these examples of real property or intellectual property?

I would say that a blueprint of a working time machine is indeed scarce.
NghtRppr
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April 18, 2011, 10:34:45 PM
 #67

A blueprint?

You own the paper it's made of, regardless of what's written on it.

A music composition?

You own the medium that it's recorded on, regardless if that medium has any data on it.

A book?

You own the paper it's made of, regardless of what's written on it.
rezin777
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April 18, 2011, 10:42:49 PM
 #68

A blueprint?

You own the paper it's made of, regardless of what's written on it.

A music composition?

You own the medium that it's recorded on, regardless if that medium has any data on it.

A book?

You own the paper it's made of, regardless of what's written on it.

So again, if you manage to photograph my blueprint and build whatever is drawn there, that's perfectly OK?

If I manage to copy your wallet file, the bitcoins are mine? And that's OK?
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April 18, 2011, 10:55:53 PM
 #69

Right, because nobody would ever donate money to find cures for diseases like cancer, HIV, Alzheimer's, diabetes, etc.
Donations? I'm stunned. This is how you propose all medical research should be done? While they are important, they can't replace the massive amount of research being done by the pharma industry. But you don't want a pharmaceutical industry, atleast not one that makes money.

The pharmaceutical industry does not require IP to be profitable. (Nor does any other industry.)
The companies who manufacture drugs where patents have expired sure don't. Not so sure about the companies who actually do the research. They spend a lot of money developing drugs, and most of them don't make it to the consumer, so the few that does have to carry all costs. It takes about 30 years from initial research to consumer, and you apply for a patent when you have a candidate drug, which is around year 12-15, and then you start clinical trials, if they go well you can have a drug in the market in 2-3 years, so you have about 10-15 years to make enough money to cover your costs and make a profit.

You should probably go ahead and withdraw your investements then, since generics are a well established industry.  And since the only thing that prevents this 'pirate' industry from undercutting the market price of any drug in existance is an international network of government enforced monopolies; should any of these major governments fail and be replaced with anything else, none are likely to be too concerned with enforcement of patent laws for a number of years.
Agreed. That is a risk. And generics are great, they do lower the price for consumers. I do however feel that it's fair to grant a time limited monopoly to allow those who actually do the thinking to reap the rewards of their work. After that time it's free for all.
I don't think the risk is too great at the moment, but I do keep an eye on the market.

The patent system does need a reform, I would suggest that anyone who applies for a patent should pay $1 for this patent. This has to be renewed every year, and each time the cost doubles. It won't be too many years until most patents enters the public domain. Same thing for copyrights I think.
Ok, it's a goofy idea that some friends an me thought up while drunk and should probably be refined, but as a general idea I don't think it's that bad.  Cool

Ponzi me: http://fxnet.bitlex.org/?ref=588
Thanks to the anonymous person who doubled my BTC wealth by sending 0.02 BTC to: 1BSGbFq4G8r3uckpdeQMhP55ScCJwbvNnG
NghtRppr
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April 18, 2011, 10:57:57 PM
 #70

If I manage to copy your wallet file, the bitcoins are mine? And that's OK?

Immoral? Yes. Unethical? Yes. Criminal? No.

While they are important, they can't replace the massive amount of research being done by the pharma industry.

Can you demonstrate there would be a net loss to society? Where's your evidence?
rezin777
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April 18, 2011, 11:08:16 PM
 #71

If I manage to copy your wallet file, the bitcoins are mine? And that's OK?

Immoral? Yes. Unethical? Yes. Criminal? No.


I could care less about laws. So lets address the morality. You say it would be immoral for me to copy your bitcoin wallet, yet you condone copying of intangible property.

I own paper. I own a printer. I should be able to do whatever I want with them, including printing out copies of the latest bestseller and hocking them on the street.

So you are immoral. Excellent. I will be sure to never do business with you.
MoonShadow
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April 18, 2011, 11:08:24 PM
 #72


The patent system does need a reform, I would suggest that anyone who applies for a patent should pay $1 for this patent. This has to be renewed every year, and each time the cost doubles. It won't be too many years until most patents enters the public domain. Same thing for copyrights I think.
Ok, it's a goofy idea that some friends an me thought up while drunk and should probably be refined, but as a general idea I don't think it's that bad.  Cool

That's as good an idea as any, but it still doesn't solve the problem with regard to the state enforcement of a monopoly.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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April 18, 2011, 11:10:28 PM
 #73

Bitcoins can't be copied, wallet can.
I don't see how copying his wallet and taking his bitcoins wouldn't be illegal under US law.
It has a value and it seems like that would be theft for sure.


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em3rgentOrdr
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April 18, 2011, 11:12:49 PM
 #74

Remember, folks...

Mises.org's books are free(well, the digital edition at least) thanks to the hardworking anti-intellectual property movement.

P.S. We need a bitcoin address for mises.org.

Unfortunatly the mises and lewrockwell folks tend to be gold-bugs and tend to automatically dismiss any currency that is "backed by nothing"...

"We will not find a solution to political problems in cryptography, but we can win a major battle in the arms race and gain a new territory of freedom for several years.

Governments are good at cutting off the heads of a centrally controlled networks, but pure P2P networks are holding their own."
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April 18, 2011, 11:13:18 PM
 #75

I guess since you don't recognize private property

I recognize tangible property. I don't recognize imaginary property.

the right to use said property as I see fit

The fallacy is assuming that you are required to be successful in your attempts to use said property. You might have x-ray goggles but if I have lead-lined walls, you will fail in your usage.

Yet that property is very real. So very real that you want to take it to use it for yourself, and are making a point at not caring what I have to say about it.

Your example deviates from the point. What you present would be the equivalent of coming up with some ingenious design of yours and taking over my market share, which is perfectly fair, even if you based it off of my original concept, since you made it better, you deserve the rip from it.

The proper example would be I have x-ray goggles and you outright tell me "no you can't use them", then proceed to buy yourself a pair and use them.

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Do mathematicians "create" theorems?  What right would the descendants of Pierre de Fermat (or he himself, in his time) have to prevent you from rediscovering, say, Fermat's Little Theorem independently (such things happen in mathematics all the time), or from using it to prove other theorems or to invent new technologies, like public key cryptography?

If I rediscover it, it is mine to use. You are completely out of context. Laws of nature are for anyone to use if they can so manage. I am a painter and I come up with a piece. Now I choose to charge people to come and see it. I am not pretending dominion over paint, canvas or the technique I used to produce my painting. I am pretending property over the original alignment of colors that is the picture I have come up with. Then you come along, take a picture under the pretense that I cannot restrict access to that piece, that it somehow belongs to everyone, and god knows what else.

You take the stance that originality does not exist, that voluntary alignment of objects hold no meaning nor value, that a thousand monkeys with a typewriter and infinite time can come up the whole of Shakespear's work, and then pretend that I am calling dibs on words and semantics.

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When was the last time that anybody got rich by patenting a programming language?  Aren't these useful inventions?  Don't they get invented all the time?

Programming languages were invented for the very purpose of being spread. You are oblivious to the intention of the creator, thinking that intangible creation were made for masses benefit, at the cost of its creator's time, effort and resources.

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One argument for patents is that the alternative would be secrecy.  A counterexample would be the RSA algorithm.  It was first "invented" by someone in some British secret agency and kept secret.  Not much later, a group of researchers discovered it independently and published it.  Now everyone can benefit from it.  I don't think their inventors regret the work they put into it.  Actually, I see absolutely nothing wrong with that.

That is their very right, ideas aren't properties, their expression is. A movie maker isn't demanding rights over the concept of romance, only his take on it. A mathematician knows there is no rights to be held on a theory, but the software he builds after it, that is his property. If you can understand his process and give it your own shot, you are in your right and the more power to you. But to copy his software to spread it at your profit and at his detriment, this is not only aggression against the creator but also pocketing his wealth for yourself.

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If you could reliably heal yourself by checking a website and following simple instructions, doctors would have no business, and that wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing.


Specialists fill for your inability to specialize in said domain, in the expectation of returns for services rendered. The very existence of specialists implies that they were able to profit from their specialty more than from being common laborers, which is the reason we don't live in caves anymore. But we are headed straight towards cave land if they can't make a profit of holding and applying knowledge that you don't have. If intellectual rights are moot, then a doctor has no right to charge you for a diagnosis. Let's see where that is going to take us.

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In sum, mathematics, science, and medicine have progressed alright for centuries without anybody really needing to artificially restrict anybody else's use of information.  Information is variably hard to discover/produce, but, by nature, often trivial to reproduce.  You have no right to demand others to artificially renounce the benefits of this desirable property in order to protect a fundamentally unsound business plan.

Yeah let's forget the existence of sponsors under the form of kings, feudal lords and later governments and corporates, all that have greatly benefited from said research that they financed. And you want to read the part on charity again. My business plan seems to be sound enough that you want to take over, don't you? And somehow what isn't property turns into "desirable property" out of a sudden. Well shit, son.

You pay to be taught but you don't pay for the book that holds that knowledge? That is nonsensical.

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I think you're under the mistaken assumption that producing X entitles you to own X but let's say you break into my shop, steal a bunch of my wood and then build a chair out of it. Do you own the chair because you produced it? No, it's my chair plus you owe me for damages to my wood. I collect wood, you see, and I wanted it kept in pristine condition.

'scuse me what? If you gonna talk about private property at least respect it's principles... first come first served, it doesn't matter what I did to your wood, it was without your consent, I have no right to it nor did I ever had. And yeah, if I build a plane it belongs to me, and the original alignment of its innards too. kthx.

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that the need for property rights with tangible goods arises from their scarcity
I don't agree with this at a fundamental level. This is a pragmatic explanation, that exposes the need of property rights for a functional society to exist. It does not tend to the fundamental concept of property. I walk on a beach and pick up a grain of sand and call it mine. Assuming no one claimed it before me, it is now mine, and as all value is subjective, I shall assign it any value that I wish, and it certainly is not scarce. Property is a factor of value, and even though scarcity is an important parameter of value, it is but situational. Here's a simple example. Titanium is the 3rd most available metal on the world. Yet items made of titanium are highly expensive, because it requires particular knowledge and skill to work it. Here what is scarce is the ability to work it, even though, according to you, ideas 'cannot be scarce', so since the knowledge is available, anyone should be able to reproduce it.

True, scarcity isn't relevant to an idea, but the ability to understand it, that is. And nevertheless, books are not scarce, but a particular book holding a particular idea is valuable, because of the knowledge it provides.

btcarmory.com
NghtRppr
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April 18, 2011, 11:14:26 PM
 #76

You say it would be immoral for me to copy your bitcoin wallet, yet you condone copying of intangible property.

What do you mean by condone? I think it's immoral and unethical to derive enjoyment from someone's artwork without paying them what they ask, assuming you knew they were asking for a fee before you enjoyed said artwork. I just don't think it should be criminal. Intellectual property laws are incompatible with Libertarianism. That's my only claim.

The proper example would be I have x-ray goggles and you outright tell me "no you can't use them", then proceed to buy yourself a pair and use them.

Utter nonsense. That's so wrong that I don't even know where to start. Try again.
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April 18, 2011, 11:15:23 PM
 #77

If I manage to copy your wallet file, the bitcoins are mine? And that's OK?

Immoral? Yes. Unethical? Yes. Criminal? No.

Hmm, I think that is actually a very interesting question. In general, private keys are not scarce. However, those which unlock my funds are, as are Bitcoins themselves. Admittedly, by merely copying my wallet, you are not denying me the use of my funds, but as soon as you actually send funds from it you are. Additionally, it is likely that in order to copy my wallet, you made use of my physical property (computer) without consent.
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April 18, 2011, 11:15:26 PM
 #78

Bitcoins can't be copied, wallet can.
I don't see how copying his wallet and taking his bitcoins wouldn't be illegal under US law.
It has a value and it seems like that would be theft for sure.


Yes, it's theft.  But only because 1) the data is his and he made no attempt to publish it, so by default he intended to keep it; and 2) the wallet.dat file has only one function, and therefore copying it without the owner's consent can have only one motive.  I.E. to spend another person's funds.

I don't think that this is comparable to "intellectual property" because the core point of copyrights and such is to maintain a market advantage over other publishers, not to protect secrets.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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April 18, 2011, 11:23:36 PM
 #79

You say it would be immoral for me to copy your bitcoin wallet, yet you condone copying of intangible property.

What do you mean by condone? I think it's immoral and unethical to derive enjoyment from someone's artwork without paying them what they ask, assuming you knew they were asking for a fee before you enjoyed said artwork. I just don't think it should be criminal. Intellectual property laws are incompatible with Libertarianism. That's my only claim.

The proper example would be I have x-ray goggles and you outright tell me "no you can't use them", then proceed to buy yourself a pair and use them.

Utter nonsense. That's so wrong that I don't even know where to start. Try again.

You made it quite clear that you do not respect intellectual property and not simply the actual take of whatever government on it, which also puts you out of context since from the early steps of this discussion it was stated that no force was going to be used to apply those property rights.

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April 18, 2011, 11:27:33 PM
 #80


What do you mean by condone?


Accept and allow. I quoted a previous comment of yours so you would know exactly what I meant by condone.

I own paper. I own a printer. I should be able to do whatever I want with them, including printing out copies of the latest bestseller and hocking them on the street.

You condone copying intangible property.
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