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Comment Re:Using the law to give himself an unfair advanta (Score 1) 297

Rent-seeking is a lot broader than using the power of government to attack other businesses. It's any economic practice that seeks to use some kind of privileged access to something, being the gatekeeper of something, to leverage an unearned income.

I know most people would say otherwise but I strongly contend that rent in the ordinary sense of the word is exactly that. The housekeeping that a hotel/BnB/etc provide is certainly a real service that they could charge for as such, but the model of "I have a thing I'm not using, you need to use a thing you don't have, give me money I can keep forever and I'll let you borrow it for a while" is exactly the kind of gatekeeper behavior that defines rent-seeking.

If you want to profit off of something you own and aren't using yourself, sell it.

Comment Re:Interesting, but probably irrelevant (Score 1) 117

If downloading copyrighted material is infringement, then

This antecedent is the matter in question here. Of course it's common sense that the consequent follows from it, but asserting this antecedent is the new thing here. Previously it was held (rightly) that being the recipient of someone else's illegal distribution of an illegal copy was not illegal copying and distribution on your part, but on theirs.

Comment Re:Interesting, but probably irrelevant (Score 1) 117

To continue the analogy, it's like a library places a book on a public shelf. You are the one choosing to take it off that shelf, walk over to the copy machine, push the button, and then take the photocopy home with you.

That's not analogous. A closer analogy would be if I could walk into the library, browse the book titles on the shelf without being able to touch them, and then ask the librarian to photocopy one of them for me to take home. When you download something from a remote server, you're sending it a request to transmit a copy to you. It's up to the other party (and how they've configured their server) whether to comply with that request or not. You're not even in possession of any media to copy until they've already copied it and distributed it to you.

Comment Re:Interesting, but probably irrelevant (Score 1) 117

It's not about possession, it's about who's in control of the "make a copy" process.

So if I first ask my girlfriend to make me a mix CD, then I become party to her copyright infringement, but if she just does it of her own accord I'm fine?

If asking for a mix CD still leaves me innocent, what if instead I email her asking her to email me a ripped copy back?

What if she has a script in her email that will read properly-phrased incoming emails and email ripped MP3s back?

I ask because I'm not in control of the "make a copy" process when downloading either. I'm asking someone else in possession of the media to send me a copy of it. They're doing the copying and distributing of it. Does it make a legal difference that I asked them to? Does it make a legal difference if the asking is via electronic communication instead of verbal, or if their response is automated instead of manual?

Comment Re:Interesting, but probably irrelevant (Score 1) 117

Is the recipient of a mix CD a copyright infringer? If not, it doesn't make any sense that a downloader would be either.

The one who started out in possession of the media, made and distributed a copy of it, is violating the right to control copying and distribution, i.e. copyright.

Someone who started out with nothing, copied nothing, distributed nothing, but ends up in possession of something that someone else illegally copied and distributed, has done what exactly that violates what law?

Comment Re:Cut full time down to 30-32 hours to start! (Score 1) 910

The entirety of your post is rather selfish. You admit that the average person is marching almost futilely into destitution at the end of their life. But no, let's not do anything about that, that would "ruin the progress of society". The progress enjoyed by only the tiniest sliver of society, riding on the backs of everyone else, for all of history. Who's really selfish here?

Comment Re:Cut full time down to 30-32 hours to start! (Score 1) 910

I make almost exactly the mean personal income / median household income. I still live virtually the same way I did as a poor college student, saving as much as possible as quickly as possible so that someday I will have a chance of securing the most basic bit of security: having a place I'm allowed to sit and (at least) starve to death in peace, without having to bribe someone else every month for the privilege of doing so in their space. That is to say, to own a home (outright) and stop renting. As things are currently trending (including the long-term growth trends in my income, inflating cost of living over time, etc), if I can keep up the breakneck speed I'm saving at right now, I might be able to accomplish that by my 70s, giving me a mere handful of years before I will probably die in which to "save up for retirement" (i.e. food money, etc).

Cutting full time down to 30 hours will merely reduce my income to 75%, which will reduce my rate of progress toward that goal to 25%, which will extend the date that I am free from rent and able to start saving for other retirement expenses to some time near my 200th birthday.

Merely cutting everyone's hours is only going to help those who are unemployed (and not even all of them), at the expense of those who are employed (and a proportionally greater expense for the lower-paid), at not cost to the richest of the rich who are currently siphoning up all the wealth of society. A real solution to poverty has to be at the expense of those who can afford it, not merely dragging the rest of society with barely any hope already down into the same depths of hopelessness as the worst-off of us.

Comment Re:Honest Thought: Free Speech + No Platform = ? (Score 3, Insightful) 369

The ISP level is where the no-platforming line should be drawn, so long as ISPs are government-granted monopolies. There is no barrier to choice in social media platforms or web hosts, but most people in most municipalities have one or at most two choices of ISP, so they must be required to be common carriers and not discriminate based on content.

If there comes a day when anyone can connect to any... I dunno, wireless patch network or something like that... and there's no barrier to choice in ISPs either, then the ISPs are free to no-platform you too.

Comment Re:When did "The Matrix" become a religion? (Score 1) 1042

I did bother reading the rest of this thread, and all you gave was further "how". How did it come to be that living things that are around today behave in ways that tend to increase the propagation of their genes? Those that didn't died out, leaving only these ones behind. That's a "how". And to be fair, "why" is an overloaded term, and one sense of it does mean "how", so you've technically answered one sense of the question, but clearly people are asking for an answer to the other sense of it, which you might put as "how come?" In other words, for what purpose?

Purposes are not causes. They don't explain why things are, and no amount of explaining why things are will tell you its purpose. A purpose is why something ought to be, what it's good for. To answer that, you first need to answer what is good, what ought to be, in the general (which no amount of discussion about what is or is not will accomplish, as it's a completely separate, orthogonal question); and then answer how the something in particular furthers that end (probably quite indirectly).

You could actually be interpreted as having given an answer to that question, if "My biological function..." is meant not to merely describe what you do do, but to prescribe what you ought to do. If you're saying "the good that my existence serves is propagating the existence of organisms like me", then that's an answer. One that implies that the existence of organisms like you is good (either intrinsically or at least instrumentally), and that your existence tends to propagate their existence (which is only the case if you're actually likely to procreate).

I'd argue that it's possibly not the best answer (if you mean that the existence, or propagation thereof, of organisms like you is an intrinsic good, rather than merely an instrumental one), and it's possibly a rather sad one (if the only thing you're good for is giving someone else a chance to try again next generation), but it could still technically be an answer, if you meant it in that sense.

Your doubling down on the "how is all the why there is", though, makes me doubt you did mean it in that sense.

Comment Re: Many believe that we live in a computer simula (Score 1) 1042

People stupidly vote for who they think is going to win, rather than who they actually want, like it's some kind of goddamn horse race and all that matters is "picking a winner", rather than making the winner. If it weren't for the superdelegates predetermining that Clinton was going to win, chances are Bernie would've seen a much better popular vote too.

Comment Re: Many believe that we live in a computer simula (Score 2, Insightful) 1042

Unless you live in a swing state, "protest votes" are the only way to effect any change. Voting for either major party in a non-swing state neither changes who wins the election nor sends any kind of feedback inducing any party to change. You're just voting for business as usual, whatever that should happen to be.

Voting for a third party doesn't influence who wins the election either, but it influences the statistics that the major parties use to target their platforms to capture those lost votes.

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