Pirate Parties have recently started to become a considerable political force in northern Europe. Do you support them? Could you suggest a better name for them? What advice would you have for their political strategy?
Mr. Stallman, thank you for all the hard work you have done to promote computing freedom. I know that many people consider your views to be excessively dogmatic, but more often than not, your ideas and predictions turn out to be correct. Thank you for steadfastly holding to your principles while most people opt for convenience, as you have made the world a better place.
It appears to me that Apple, of all companies, has ironically played the biggest role in ending the use of DRM in the music download industry. As I see it, the music companies were so afraid of Apple's rise in market share that they decided to sell everything DRM-free rather than let Apple control the distribution channel with its FairPlay scheme. As a result, it is now the norm that music tracks purchased online are unencrypted and carry at most a watermark.
I acknowledge that Apple is horribly hostile to computing freedom in so many ways. It's therefore ironic that their dominance with the iTunes Music Store has led to the end of DRM in the music download industry, purely through capitalistic means and without preaching or legislation. My question, then, is this: Could it be possible to promote computing freedom by gaming the market (playing companies off each other) rather than preaching on a soapbox?
The original iMac was the first popular computer to ditch the floppy drive, SCSI, ADB, and expansion card slots. The newest iMac just continues that tradition.
I agree, though, that neglecting the Mac Pro for so long is sending the wrong signal to the professional power user market. Apple must not care any more, now that their main profits are coming from iOS.
In Canada, you essentially vote for a party. Due to strong party discipline and the indirect way the Prime Minister is selected, it doesn't matter much who you actually send to Parliament, but rather which party he/she represents. In the US, the candidates actually matter a little.
Also, two parties are not sufficient for a healthy democracy. Suppose a politician of your preferred party does something corrupt while in office. When election time comes, do you vote for him/her anyway? Or will you vote for the opponent, whose values are the opposite of yours, just to toss the bum out? Politicians know that in a two-party system, they can get away with a lot of crap and still get re-elected.
From this, I would draw the opposite conclusion: we should oppose proposals for a financial transaction tax at all costs! If high-frequency trading is the disease, then a tax on transactions is not the cure. It would make government addicted to the new revenue and therefore dependent on the high-frequency traders, thus ensuring that those leaches will never go away.
A better solution, I think, would be to require stock exchanges to operate on a once-per-second clock. Any trade orders that arrive within each timeslice would be executed in a random order, so as to defeat any advantage the high-frequency traders would get by being fast.
The Chinese term for 13 is "ten three" (the word for "ten", followed by the word for "three"). Furthermore, every digit is one syllable. It really does make learning easier for children. The ease of learning is even more apparent when learning multiplication, since there is a certain rhythm when you recite the multiplication table.
Gladwell actually does address the concept of cumulative advantage, as applied to sports. Kids with January birthdays are more likely to do well in children's sports leagues, and the slight advantage they have at every stage in their sports training leads to a preponderance of professional athletes with January birthdays. Likewise, Chinese children learn to count earlier, start learning multiplication around first grade, and can move on to more advanced topics. This is not to say that all Chinese people are good at math, though. There still exist analytical and artistic students, and generally Chinese school systems allow students to specialize in math/science or the arts after elementary school.
"Spock, did you see the looks on their faces?" "Yes, Captain, a sort of vacant contentment."