Ming the Mechanic
The NewsLog of Flemming Funch

Tuesday, February 4, 2003day link 

 Ownership & Exclusivity
picture Doc Searls quotes Brent Ashley:
"What pervasaive meme can we come up with that will be strong enough to counter the powerful theft/piracy images? Let's all blog aloud and get the juices flowing, shall we?

Ownership of physical property implies exclusive use. I own my lawn mower, it's in my posession, in order for you to use it I must relinquish its use to you. You shouldn't loan it to your neighbour in turn without my permission, especially as that extends my inability to make use of it. If you take it from me, I am left without its use altogether. I can ask to be compensated for the loss. I lose a physical entity, and therefore control over its use.

Ownership of intellectual property does not imply exclusive use. You can play my music without depriving me of it. You can loan it to someone else without affecting my use, although you should ask my permission. I never lose my ability to have full use of the work. What I lose when you use my work without my permission or recompense is control over its use.

Obviously these are two very different concepts. Yet they're both called ownership . Concepts of theft and piracy of intellectual property just don't fit. How have such ill-fitting analogies come to permeate our conciousness?"
I have some strong things to say about ownership, when I have some time, so later.
[ | 2003-02-04 18:23 | 16 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Topic Exchange
The Internet Topic Exchange is a new site inspired by Seb Paquet's idea for Ridiculously Easy Group Forming. The idea is that in one's weblog one identifies a post as belonging to a certain topic, and then, through a mechanism like for example TrackBack a centralized site gets notified of it, and it keeps a global index of stories under each of many topics.

I mention it here because I think that can be a very useful thing, and to make a note to myself to remember to get into the technicalities of it, so that users of my NewsLog program can participate too.
[ | 2003-02-04 18:23 | 10 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 TrackBack
Timothy Appnel thinks about TrackBack. To explain it to you non-programmer types, TrackBack is a mechanism for letting another site know automatically that you've linked to it in your weblog. It makes it easier for all of us to be able to refer to other people talking about the same stuff.

I've done half of an implementation of a TrackBack thing for the NewsLog program that underlies this weblog here, but I didn't finish getting to understand the whole thing. I got as far as being able to make the required 'ping' to another site by manually entering the information in a form. But it really isn't worth much unless it happens automatically.
[ | 2003-02-04 18:23 | 1 comment | PermaLink ]  More >

 The Size of the Bet
picture Jock Gill has a nice piece on Greater Democracy, which hits some things right on the head.
"Nature has worked well for billions of years by making vast numbers of very small bets. This minimizes the risk that a single bad outcome could inflict. For this reason, our conservative brethren are correct in asserting Big Government is a problem. To the extent that Big Government represents a bet too big that imposes unacceptable risks, it is a problem that demands our attention. The failure of the old Soviet Union comes to mind.

But the riskiness of big bets doesn’t apply just to Big Government. It also applies to Big Business. And that’s the big bet today’s conservatives ask us to make over and over. The conservatives of course don’t call it a big bet. They call it 'privatization' and 'consolidation'. But they can’t have it both ways. If they want bigger and bigger bets on business, then we need government to protect the long term good for all by restraining the worst excesses of unfettered market capitalism with its narrow focus and myopic time scales. If conservatives want smaller government, they will have to agree to smaller businesses."
Indeed. Big government and big business is the same kind of animal. Both tend to be counter-evolutionary forces, making us all collectively quite a bit dumber than we really are.
[ | 2003-02-04 23:59 | 10 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

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