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Comment Re:1984 (Score 1) 641

"Redaction" is taking source material and bringing it together into a particular (usually written) form. It can imply editing or revision of the text for publication, including abridgement. I think this latter meaning is where the confusion arises: redacting a text can mean cutting it down through summary or deletion, but this meaning is secondary to the main idea of making something readable or publishable. Originally, in fact, "redact" didn't apply specifically to texts - one could redact (i.e. combine) cities by bringing them together under a single ruler, or redact (i.e.reduce) a person to poverty.

Comment Re:Sunday, of course (Score 1) 510

Jewish sabbath is not dissimilar, except of course the ban on electricity. So no TV. If you're a big reader like me, though, it's a phenomenally excellent day - no-one can bug you with phonecalls or email. You're forced not to "just catch up on that thing from work" (which turns into an extra seven-hour workday) or "just go to the store for a few things" (which turns into carrying sixty bags of heavy stuff back home). It's like you're given the gift of shutting off and chilling out for a day. It's not for everyone, but I think even if I gave up God I might well keep hold of the Sabbath.

Comment Re:Sunday, of course (Score 1) 510

Really? How about ritual sacrifice? Or legal execution? Or war? Revenge killings were pretty normal in early Germanic cultures, including England.

Or if you want to think about stealing, how about eminent domain? The appropriation of Jewish property by the Nazis? The confiscation of treasure trove by the British crown?

Lying: meet the legal profession.

There are many things we think are not okay which are, in fact, endorsed by our societies - at least, as long as it's the wealthy and powerful doing them.

Comment Re:Sunday, of course (Score 1) 510

When did you last hear of this happening? Of a Jew or a Christian killing his child because "God commanded it"? I'm sure it happens, infinitesimally rarely, but anyone who did that would be locked up. You don't like the idea that people with faith may consider their duty to their deity as more important than their duty to the (human) laws of the land, but such people have managed to stand up against horrendous regimes and unjust laws. You don't like the idea that duty to God might outweigh basic humanity - but the religious have no monopoly on a lack of humanity, any more than they have a monopoly on being nice. People are people, and a Christian murderer would probably also be a murderer if he were an atheist, just as a lovely atheist would probably still be lovely if he were Jewish. Religion is a way for people to express what is already there, in my experience; it doesn't override innate character, merely reflects it.

Comment Re:Tips... (Score 1) 519

Read Barbara Ehrenreich's "Nickel and Dimed" to get some idea of why the remedies you helpfully suggest are impractical and unrealistic. The position of workers in the food industry stinks, and their chances of negotiating decent conditions range from zero to bupkiss as things are.

Comment Re:What a coincidence (Score 4, Insightful) 473

Many of the works we consider "great", and part of our cultural heritage, were produced before copyright, and many were also produced without the prospect of payment in the artist's lifetime. Even those who made a living through their work generally earned no more than a modest salary. The "impoverished artist" is a cliche, but it was the norm for a very long time. And yet, these painters, authors, and musicians produced their work because they had talent and drive, and a love of their chosen medium. Now, if you can't be bothered to write a novel because you won't get megabucks for it, then clearly you neither love writing, nor do you feel any particular drive to do it. So why should I care if you never write your novel?

And, by the way, books were being pirated centuries ago - and probably before that, too. Dublin was a big centre of pirated books in the eighteenth century, for example - and yet somehow the book industry has survived that, as well as the Xerox machine, the scanner, the library, and the good old "here, I've finished this - you have it". This is not a new "problem" - whereas the culture of making obscene incomes from little or no real work is becoming the defining problem of the modern world.

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