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Comment Re:All the Crap (Score 5, Insightful) 242

Copyright issues is what made the pirates realize where _many_ problems, including copyright, originate: rich and powerful people (aka money) circumventing democracy.

The copyright issue crystalized that even though the majority of people opposes today's copyright, there is no way to change it, because political parties are so much in bed with IP stakeholders (which in the US for example, openly make threats "touch this protection law with a pole, motherfucker, and I wont finance your next campaign."), that they make laws _against_ the population, for the benefit of the influential stakeholders. It is a sick, dangerous symbiosis, which shouldnt be allowed to exist. They effectively shield off copyright policy from _ever_ being voted on, because they know what the result of a popular vote would be.

The pirates started out with copyright, then realized "oh fuck, this is just the tip of the iceberg" and are now mainly advocating total transparency, separation of money and state, and basic, direct democracy. If we the people have the means to vote on single issue, then we _should_ be able to directly vote on it, and not be forced delegate the vote to a "representative", whom we cant force to vote to our benefit.

The representative system has a fatal bug: a representative can make promises, get votes first, win seats, then get money, and then vote for the money wants, not for what the voters wanted when they voted for him. The only thing we supposedly can "do" about this is to not vote for the same representative again, but we cant change his once made decision. But the representative we vote in next is still subject to the same exploitability that corrupted the first one, and there is no way for the electorate to do anything to stop this bug in the system to get constantly exploited by money. The only way, and this is what the pirates are actually attempting, is to fix this fundamental bug in the system by letting voters override policitician's decisions, switzerland style. Direct democracy.

The copyright law nightmare is just a symptom of the fact that we cant directly vote on copyright law, while money can. Money gets what it wants and we dont. We can only vote on _who_ makes decisions, but money can vote on _what_ decisions he will make. So money already has a kind of direct democracy, and we dont. The goal is for us to get direct democracy, and to decrease the influence money has.

Comment Re:No way (Score 1) 642

> Seems unfair to pick that direction. Why is that not Word's fault?

Because Word is the incumbent. If you as a contender want to talk to the incumbent, you have to learn the incumbents preferred language But LibreOffice gains a significant amount of users, this unfair requirement will not be valid any more.

It is important to remember that LibreOffice is fighting an uphill battle here, and this is by definition not fair, so you dont have to play fair. The incumbent did not win his top-of-hill position by playing fair, but by lockin deceit.

One possible way to gain foothold is abuse of authority. Leverage whatevery you have to push LibreOffice. If you can force LibreOffice on somebody, do it without remorse. Require anybody less influential and depending on you to communicate with you through LibreOffice. If you can, hurt them financially and tell them why. Drive the cost of using MSO up, while making LO look like a good way to cut costs.

The people do not really need MSO, they're just addicted to it. The detoxification therapy may not a pleasent experience for them, but it is their fault they got addicted in the first place and helped making other people addicted.

Comment Re:You are not innocent (Score 2) 410

> "If elections could change your life, they would be illegal."

I believed sayings like that until the Pirate Party started winning seats in Sweden and Germany and started making _real changes_. It must have gone the same way back in the 80s when the Greens formed and started entering parliaments, they also brought real changes.

Today I think that another saying is more appropriate with respect to changes and political parties:

"If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got."

Obviously voting for one of the same few entrenched parties is not enough to introduce changes, because a few cycles, they tend to become alike.

Comment Re:Support Them? (Score 2) 151

> Winning against all odds doesn't work

Pirate parties in Sweden and especially Germany have won a significant amount of votes. They now have approx 10% acceptance according to polls, and are already making goverment coalitions impossible that have been the norm for the last 40 years.

> Starting a change on the political level is technically impossible.

Paralysis by analysis. If the pirate party founders thought in terms of impossiblities, not formed a political wing, and only resorted to desperate and useless demonstrations, protests, and "hacktivism", we wouldnt be where we are right now. All the existing power, drive, awareness and frustration of millions of people would have dissolved into nothingness. But happily they reckognized this, and now we have someone to vote for, and believe it or not, IT ALREADY CHANGES STUFF. Significantly. We've not even entered the German Bundestag yet, and there already are chages. All the other "established" politcal parties are already reacting to the "new power".

You absolutely need a politial way to channel peoples will. Trying to impress and appease existing entrenched political parties by merely demonstrating is an excercize in futility. NOthing will change until you dont start throwing out the bad guy out of the parliaments and getting in yourself.

Comment Re:Support Them? (Score 0) 151

> demonstrate to the politicians that you personally care

They dont care whether you care or dont care because they know that they will be elected anyway.

> bring awareness of an issue to the larger public.

Irrelevant. If they dont have a party sympathetic to the demonstrated cause to vote for at the next elections, the awareness alone will not lead to any change. You have to have a party channeling the awareness into political change.

> The first step to a public debate

If theres no "other" party to vote for, public debate withing the existing party space is just a superficial ritual. It leads to no siginificant change whatsoever.

> because you don't want it to work.

Because it doesnt work. It will not make members of existing parties sympathetic to the hacktivism cause.

> media whoring is astoundingly effective.

Only if you already have political power. Neither the hacktivists nor their political representatives (if they existed, but they dont even exist) will get political power because of hacktivism. It serves no measurable purpose.

Comment Re:Support Them? (Score 4, Insightful) 151

Hactivism (or any other sort of activism for that matter) is a rather desperate and pointless endevour because it will not lead to any change whatsoever in the direction the hacktivists hope for. It is just useless effort, often even damaging to their cause.

The only way to change things is to make people at large stop voting always the same parties into the parliaments. If you have effort or money to spend, support your local pirate parties. Persuade eligible voters to vote for them.

Whatever you do, have a clearly defined and well distinguished political party to be able to channel the support you gained. Votes are the only currency that counts. Hacktivism, demonstrations, OWS, etc are all just useless masturbation if they dont rally around a specific political party.

The problem is political. You wont solve a political problem by non-political means. You cant beat them at their game without playing the game. You have to get in there, however dirty and rigged it may be in ther favor, and win against all odds. Only by winning will you get to change future rules.

Hacktivism is none of that. It is a vulgar display of wretched, powerless frustration and doesnt indicate that you are or ever will be, a winner. It communicates the exact opposite, even more so.

Comment Re:Always amazes me (Score 4, Insightful) 73

> but not the creators?

It is OK for creators to make money off content... if they can. If people are willing to pay. If they are not willing and prefer to produce their copies themselves instead bying them from you, you're SOL and have to change jobs to something wehere people want to pay for what you do. What is NOT ok is to solve the problem simply by making technological advancements and the modern copying infrastructure illegal with the intent to simulate the 50's where nobody had a PC and nobody had his PC connected with billions of other people with a PC. "Now as all of you have those wonderful futuristic tools became real... dont use them, because people will lose jobs."

For your business model (selling copies) to work, you basically have to make people forever stay in the 50's. This is the same as if people in the 16th century made book printing illegal to protect manuscript scribes. You're basically a luddite fighting technological advancement because it obsoletes your business. Do you sincerely think you can win that fight? Before, you could run a business to distribute stuff to people, now they can do it themselves. The distribution problem has now been solved. Your business model is simply gone. Adapt or die, you won't win this.

Comment Re:Biggest flaw remains unfixed- (Score 1) 128

> All of this for the sake of being more newbie-friendly and ooh-shiny.

Thats the PR make-believe.

The real reason is that many businesses refuse to upgrade their XP/2003 offices because they work too well. So you have to intentionally break them by getting all new office users used to the ribbon, so when they get into a company still using XP/2003, they feel helpless and ask for 2007 because of the ribbon.

This is something I've observed over the years, users accustomed to the ribbon complain much more about having to work with menus than menu users complain about the ribbon.

The one and only raison d'Ãtre of the Ribbon is to enforce office upgrades. Once companies stop upgrading their ribbon versions, they'll change it again.

Comment Re:Biggest flaw remains unfixed- (Score 4, Insightful) 128

> Good luck having another supplier, vendor, or another business view your documents

Who has to conform to whom depends on who is the dominating partner in a communication. If the dominating partner mandates that all communication with him from now has to be LO-compatible, as a supplier you have to become LO-compatible, or you wont get his business.

The key to establish LO in the office space is to make a few influential players start using it, everybody who depends on them in some way will have to follow.

> and have them all looking funny?

If they depend on getting money from you, it suddenly is their documents looking funny, not yours. It is just a matter of perspective.

Comment Re:But what could it hold against public interest? (Score 1) 177

> This absolutely stinks

What absolutely stinks is that the electorate is voting in the same people turn after turn after turn. Not only in Australia but in all western "democracies".

After a certain number of cycles, the policians realize that _whatever_ they do, they'll be voted in anyway, so what exactly is stopping them from making a little bit of money by catering to special interests? The electorate doesnt seem to be mentally able to defend themselves anyway, so why not fuck them a little bit?

The root of all problems is this: The majority of people are too dumb. This so called "democracy" went well only as long as nobody dared or tried to exploit their dumbness. But politicians have now tasted blood and realized there's no consequences to expect, so they wont stop. In the mid to long term, we're fucked. We're heading straight into a nightmarish hight-tech dystopia. Thank the dumb idiots to your left and to your right.

Comment Re:Not a "bad idea" (Score 1) 264

> Under direct democracy, you would have to vote

Wrong. You _could_ vote on issues you want to vote on, ald let professional politicians vote on stuff you dont care or dont know about.

> Also, do you think general population is smart? Don't forget it were them who elected those politicians that don't have a clue in the first place.

So except that with direct democracy would enable the people to prevent unwanted laws, nothing substantial would change.

> but direct democracy is only going to result in widespread populism.

How is it different than representative democracy? It isnt. In a direct democracy the people would have a way to override purchased policitians, in a representative democracy they dont.

> We need to invent better mechanisms

I agree. But while we're waiting for them to be invented, I suggest we rely on direct democracy instead of representative democracy, I'm tired of special interests purchasing politicians and purchasing laws.

Comment Re:Not a "bad idea" (Score 1) 264

> Still can't work out how to solve the tyranny of the majority.

How does representative democracy solve the tyranny of the majority? It doesnt. Did representative democracy prevent Hitler? It didnt. Do we have any historic example of a direct democracy turning out fundamentally bad? We havent. Do we have historic examples of representative democracies turning out bad? We have.

I know I'm preaching to the choir again, but still. Your sentence sounded like a typical argument that direct democracy would somehow lead to problems we _dont_ already have.

Comment Re:Not a "bad idea" (Score 1) 264

> And politicians are qualified to vote on all issues how exactly?

Even if they're qualified on paper, theres no way to make sure they cant be bought by special interests. Just look at the copyright policy. You make just a few people able to vote on it, and peng, you have laws prosecuting millions of people for "thought theft". The same with the war on drugs, the "noble experiment" of prohibition, etc.

There are countless laws, almost always enacsted by special interests and then enforced against the broad majority, which very likely would not exist if anybody ever would let the people directly vote on them.

The point of direct democracy is not to have the average guy vote on any random technical stuff decision, it is to have knowledgeable, interested people be able to _prevent_ bad, unwanted laws. Checks and balances. Professional politicians are not impartial enough to have the last word on everything, there should be a way for the population to correct bad decisions, like preventing a war by referendum.

Comment Re:Not a "bad idea" (Score 1) 264

> It's the big flaw of the democratic system.

And what would be better? Having the self-procaimed "brilliant people's" votes weight more? Who would prevent then that those smart people tune the system in their favor and discriminate against the blind idiots?

> don't vote, simply because their vote does not matter.

Their vote absolutely matters, but they seem to be pissed that their vote doesnt matter _more_ than a blind idiot's vote. They seem to have a sense of entitlement that their one vote should weight as 100 blind idiot votes, so that the blind idiots cant outnumber them.

Comment Re:Not a "bad idea" (Score 1) 264

Because referendum opponents usually cite the high costs attached to paper based voting as the main reason against direct democracy.

Online voting would enable many, many more elections per year, and let people vote on more fine grained issues than just "a party to represent me for the next 4 years". Many representative positions could be abolished completely when people could directly vote on everything.

Paper based voting and represetative democracy are solutions from hundred of years ago. The fact that they were the best solutions back then does not imply that they still are the best solutions today or in future.

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