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Comment Digital Cages: 3 Pre-requisites to Freedom (Score 1) 491

There are 3 Pre-req's to real Freedom. The abilities to:

1. learn;
2. speak; and
3. spend...

W/o these, authentic freedom cannot exist. The battle against anonymity is a battle for control. You cannot exact costs on people for their speech or political views if you can't identify them. You can't stop an idea, only the messenger. That's all we are talking about. That's all that matters. That's what's at stake. Nothing more. Nothing less.

The ability to "explore" (aka "learn") and then speak about what you've learned, or, worst yet, put your money where your mouth is (the highest form of speech) threatens business models, governments, etc. Basically, when we learn, we speak, and spend... and cause change. It is perfectly understandable why a company or government would want to have total control over this power... less someone question the foundational assumptions that belie a particular value proposition... of a product, service, institution or governing principle. Increasingly, we will have to figure out how to trust ourselves with authentic freedom... or decide if it is better to eliminate it. The lion used to rule the jungle. Today, it lives in a cage. People may find their way into cages one day as well, but by choice... or the perception of it. The digital cage is already under construction and accepting early applications from interested parties. Now back to a game of Candy Crush...

Comment Actual Solutions (Score 1) 96

This "solution" is not a solution at all, but a gift to large companies that can afford a full time staff to ceaselessly defend challenges to their patent portfolio from competitors. If this approach were implemented, there would be no effective means by which to discern "high quality" from "low quality" patents. Any legit inventor would need an army of lawyers to keep his/her patent. What a joke!


1. Require a heighten pleading standard for patent cases. As it stands, one need only allege it has some plausible (Iqbal/Twombley) basis to believe a patent is being infringed. By heightening the pleading standard to require the specific time, date, manner and instance of infringement, essentially the same standard applicable to pleading fraud, it will be next to impossible to file formulaic boilerplate lawsuits across the country. The cost of formulating the complaints will be extremely high as some actual evidence of a particular incident of infringement will have to be alleged against each defendant in each case, and the practice will be deterred.

2. REQUIRE RIGHT TO DISPOSE/EXHAUST. In our copyright law, one cannot simply grant another the "right to sue," because such is not a right under copyright. You can only sue if you have a real ownership interest in a copyright (i.e., the substantively free ability to sell or exhaust the copyright yourself, etc.)
    By simply imposing this simple rule on patents, trolls would be unable to hide behind the myriad of shell companies that make this practice profitable and possible. The "industry" would likely collapse overnight, while the interest of legit patent holders would never be harmed.

3. Looser Pays. This is simple - in a looser pay system, incentives run against bringing specious claims.

4. Direct Appeal to the Federal Circuit of all Discovery and Merits Orders of the Justices of the US Dist. Court for the Texarkana District/Divisiona. They make these cases possible. The Federal Circuit should have direct supervisory control of this court to reign it in.

5. Dual Verified Complaint Requirement. Require two (2) attorneys to sign and verify each complaint. Require one (1) of those attorneys to be admitted to practice before the USPTO, and at least one (1) of those attorneys to be admitted to the bar in the state in which at least one defendant is legally deemed to reside (no matter where suit is actually filed). In the law, this means the attorney states under oath that he has personally investigated the facts alleged and believes the available evidence constitutes probably cause to file the suit. By requiring this dual verification, no matter where suit is filed (typically in the Texarkana patent hell hole), there will have to be at least two bar associations who can now review the conduct of the lawyers responsible for the suit. The USPTO patent bar, and the bar of the home state of the defendant, have all the correct know-how and incentives to enforce rules of ethics against these attorneys and pressure the bar from other states to take reciprocal action against other attorneys involved who do not sign the complaint.

Comment Re:And yet... (Score 1) 2987

This is typical of the thoughtless "reasoning" one hears from gun control opponents. First, nowhere in the 2d Amd. does it state the amendment "exists to guarantee the people of the united states retain the capability to wage war against the government." You made that part up on your own, and thoughtlessly so.

No - our constitution does not establish a quasi-sovereign state. As a sovereign nation, the USA rules supreme and it's citizens are subordinate to its laws within the bounds of its fundamental constitutional safeguards (civil liberties - which establish limits on what government can do; and civil rights - which establish guidelines for what government must do.) Nothing in the 2d Amd. permits citizens to violate the constitution.

You're one of those low-effort thinkers that believes something in the Const. gives you an unqualified right to bear arms. It does not.

Question: should any random, sane, God fearing white Christian be permitted to build and possess a nuclear weapon in his home (kept safely behind his white picket fence)? Answer: F*** no.

Why? the obvious risks of harm and threat to our national security and general welfare are too great to permit these kinds of arms from getting into unqualified, unregulated hands. Even the most crazy nut-job opponents of gun control can recognize that the "right to bear arms" is not an unqualified right to bear just any old arms. Those who disagree with this point are probably not qualified to own any arms of any type or degree.

Once you admit the right is highly qualified (not any arm, just some, and not for purposes of over throwing the government - which would be a clear rejection and violation of our constitution as a matter of both time and logic), you can start to make some intellectual progress. Until then, you're one of those people that are best described by the saying "like a broken tooth, so sits a proverb in the mouth of a fool."

A conversation about gun control isn't about our "right to bear arms," but rather, it's about what it means to permit certain citizens to bear certain arms in a civil, peaceful society. In this context, your test: "what is an acceptable loss?" might bear some fruit - because we aren't comparing the loss of human life to some imaginary loss of a fundamental right. In that context, your test is still relevant - it's just doesn't conflate or confuse the choice we must make with something illogical, non-nonsensical or unsustainable in practice.

Questions regarding what's at risk, what can be done to hedge against that risk or prevent it, what are the costs/benefits to society for doing so, etc., do not attack a fundamental right. They explore societal threats that need and deserve rich debate and conversation. BUT, before we can have that conversation in a productive fashion, we have to get smarter about what we are talking about -- and it's not the vitiation of a fundamental and unqualified "right to bear arms."

Comment Comfort the Grieving (Score 1) 1142

A friend recently passed away in an automobile accident. His mother, drowning in grief, praised God for ejecting his body from the vehicle before it exploded so as to save him from needless suffering. She said this proves God has a plan for everyone's life. I wanted to suggest this God fellow maybe could have just stopped the wreck from occurring - probably a nicer plan - but I did not. When people are struck with unfathomable grief, it seems all but impossible to say or do anything that fails to reinforce their religious beliefs and the comfort these beliefs seemingly provide. Is this behavior a disservice to the grieving, and, if so, how do you address the grieving while they are wallowing in grief?

Comment Does Religion Limit Access to Reality? (Score 1) 1142

Do you believe that those raised in a religious household are equally capable of accessing and analyzing observable reality as those adults who were not, and, if not, at what age do you recommend a child be introduced to the idea of "religion" and the particulars of a given faith tradition?

Comment "Do You Believe In Evolution" (Score 1) 1142

"Do You Believe In Evolution?" instantly frames observable facts in terms of faith. There is wide spread consensus that the scientific community and the non-religious consistently fail to communicate as simply and effectively as the religious. Your book, the Magic of Reality, appears to be an effort address, at least in part, some of this criticism. In American politics, we readily allocate funds to determine the best manner in which to communicate an idea (e.g., cutting taxes for the "wealthiest Americas" vs the "job creators" is a studied deployment of effective language.) Can you offer some simple examples of language the scientific community and/or the non-religious should be using to frame discussions with the religious that are accurate and still deliver the degree of emotional impact common of the memes propagated by the religious?

Comment The Fireplace Delusion (Score 1) 1142

Sam Harris' Fireplace Delusion (http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/the-fireplace-delusion) poses an interesting challenge for the non-religious. Do you find Mr. Harris' essay on the subject helpful in understanding how very intelligent people, even the non-religious, can manifest "a pair of clenched fists" where an age old tradition, like wood fires, e.g., is regarded as "simply too comforting and too familiar to be reconsidered, its consolation so ancient and ubiquitous that it has to be benign" ? If so, do you have any practical advice on how the non-religious can most effectively assist the religious and non-religious alike in overcoming this delusion?

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