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Posts by The_Reader_David

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  • Are body cameras a good idea?

    11/26/2014 8:50:50 AM PST · 30 of 39
    The_Reader_David to Pauli67

    Camera with sound recording, ideally uploading in real-time to a repository controlled by the judiciary of the state: It protects LEOs from false accusations of misconduct and helps suppress actual police misconduct.


    11/26/2014 7:42:45 AM PST · 47 of 107
    The_Reader_David to Lurker

    Once it got started, and they’d believed the “eye-witness” who claimed Brown was shot in the back, no. Nothing “the system” could do would convince them otherwise (or so they would pretend for the sake of “the cause”).

    If the initial media reports of police shootings had involved video from the officer’s body camera, instead of dubious witness testimony, this would never have become a cause celebre with the left and race-grievance industry. In fact, the only analogous incidents which would if there were always body camera video are the ones that we FReepers also decry as police over-reach and thuggery, and these would be fewer in number since cops would know they are on video.

  • Vote: What do you think of the Ferguson grand jury decision?

    11/24/2014 9:50:05 PM PST · 40 of 43
    The_Reader_David to 2ndDivisionVet

    Not having reviewed the evidence, I will not second-guess a grand jury.

    I do, however, hope that this unfortunate incident will prompt the legislatures of the several states to require that LEOs wear operational body cameras with sound recording devices whenever acting in an official capacity (undercover operations excluded, though I would hope the legislation would also require a court order for any undercover operation) — ideally a camera/recorder that uploaded the video and audio in real time to a database under the control of the judiciary of the state, and ideally with severe penalties for failure to wear or maintain the camera/sound-recorder in operation. (Some FReepers have suggested no camera, no pay for the sift. I favor voiding their police powers when the camera or recorder is not running, again leaving aside undercover ops undertaken with court approval.)

    Such an arrangement would protect LEOs from false accusations of misconduct and the citizenry from actual police misconduct.

  • Christian Unity Cannot Be Built on Lies (Russian Orthodox Church on Catholicism)

    11/24/2014 6:55:03 PM PST · 14 of 15
    The_Reader_David to Petrosius

    I have read translations of the surviving Acta of the Seven Councils, and the Papal Legates did not preside — for instance, at Chalcedon, in the first session they addressed themselves to “your holiness” (not plural, but singular, indicating the Patriarch chairing the session) and the third session was not opened by the Legates, but by an Archdeacon of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, presiding in place of the Patriarch, while at the Seventh, it is absolutely clear that Patriarch Tarasius of Constantinople presided.

  • Christian Unity Cannot Be Built on Lies (Russian Orthodox Church on Catholicism)

    11/24/2014 5:19:19 PM PST · 12 of 15
    The_Reader_David to NYer

    No, the Uniate author does not have a better understanding of Orthodox tradition than +Metropolitan Hilarion. He cites outliers (Fr. Schmemann’s views on primacy were much criticized from exactly the point of view +Met. Hilarion, expresses that primacy has always been a primacy of honor), and periods when local Orthodox churches deviated from Orthodox tradition, as if they were the content of our tradition, while the statement of +Met. Hilarion (which I read in its entirety on the site Byzantine Texas) that he is criticizing is, in fact, very much in the Orthodox mainstream.

    It is true that in his critique of papal primacy, +Met. Hilarion marshals some historical facts often not mentioned out of courtesy to you Latins — the fact that none of the Ecumenical Councils we all accept were convened by a Pope of Rome; none of them were presided over by a Pope of Rome, rather they were presided over by the local bishop, the Patriarch of Constantinople (on the pattern of the Apostolic Council, not chaired by St. Peter, but by St. James as Bishop of Jerusalem); and only one was even attended by a Pope of Rome, who was present, essentially under imperial house arrest. He is, perhaps, more direct and confrontational than Latins used to talking to the irenic representatives of the post-Athenagoras Patriachate of Constantinople might expect, but he is definitely well within the bounds of standard Orthodox opinion.

  • Cool the World By Firing Fake Scientists

    11/24/2014 7:23:37 AM PST · 6 of 8
    The_Reader_David to Kaslin

    The obvious solution (which, alas, no one will accept) is for funding agencies to reject out of hand all research proposals that purport to seek or to provide long-term prediction of non-linear dynamical systems (e.g. weather, the global economy) for the same reason that patent offices reject out of hand all submissions for perpetual motion machines — it’s impossible.

  • The Politics of Victor J. Massad

    11/23/2014 12:21:20 PM PST · 16 of 43
    The_Reader_David to Ken H
    So any comment about those underage models?

    At the level of morals, if the allegations are true, it makes Cosby lecturing the black community on moral standards hypocritical and shatters the impression that he had type-cast himself as Dr. Huxtable.

    At the level of legality, it rather depends on which state they were in and what the state of the law was at that time. 16 is the most common age of consent in the U.S. currently, and the push to raise it to or toward 18 (and remove "of a previously chaste character" provisions from statutory rape provisions) post-dates the years covered by Scotti's allegations.

  • Tuition Hikes at the University of Compensation

    11/23/2014 11:23:06 AM PST · 8 of 13
    The_Reader_David to SES1066
    You seem to think a university is the same thing as a college. By definition the faculty at a university must be first and foremost scholars (in the sciences we now call this "researchers") in their disciplines (or practicing artists in the case of the arts), not merely teachers of their discipline. Since the Middle Ages when the university became one of the great institutions of Western Civilization, that was the point of studying at university -- to study with people who actually defined the discipline, not mere copyists.

    American students are falling behind their foreign counterparts not because of any failing in our universities (or colleges), save one, which is quite specific and concentrated, but because by the time they reach university, most American students have been ruined by American K-12 education.

    The main contribution to American students' failings found at universities is the role of colleges of education is the destruction of American K-12 education -- by offering majors with less academic rigor than a major in art history, they funnel slackers into careers as school teachers, equipping them not with anything actually contributing to sound pedagogy, but with all the baleful educational theories emanating from the left (look-say as a substitute for phonics, Vygotskian "social construction of knowledge" claptrap, and whateve the latest way to miseducate children in mathematics is -- they keep changing -- and the like). And this could be fixed by the legislatures of the several states with "right to teach laws" that abolish the monopoly given colleges of education on producing certified teachers (or qualified teachers, or whatever the local term is).

    Actually, the fact that those of us on the faculty of American universities are able to turn out as many American engineers and scientists starting with the raw-material the K-12 schools give us is a testimony to the quality of American universities.

  • Tuition Hikes at the University of Compensation

    11/23/2014 11:07:39 AM PST · 6 of 13
    The_Reader_David to nascarnation
    Big Education cycle:

    1)make unlimited taxpayer subsidized loans to students
    2)charge them outrageous tuition
    3)pay ginormous salaries to profs and admins
    4)profs and admins donate to Democrats

    It works well...for them....

    There, fixed that.

    The money from tuition increases goes almost entirely into administration, "ginormous salaries" as you said, and increasing the numbers of Associate, Assistant and Vice Chancellors, Presidents, Provosts and Deans and secretarial staff for the same. In the 23 years I've been at the university where I am currently employed, the number of administrators and support staff has increased by 50%, top administrators have given themselves raises on the order of 8% per year, while faculty remaining within the same rank have had their purchasing power eroded by inflation (and no, our promotion raised were not princely), and the number of faculty shank by .4%. This is typical, as is the shift from full-time faculty to adjuncts paid by the course (a trend my university has thus far bucked), while administrators continue getting fat raises and even corporate-style bonuses (yes, bonuses to administrators at public universities).

    There is a book by a professor from Johns Hopkins entitled The Fall of the Faculty: the Rise of the All-Administrative University that documents the trend.

    It's all part of the Era of Bad Stewards: fiduciaries (in this case university administrators) acting as if their positions exist for their own enrichment, rather than those they are supposed to be serving (in this case the faculty) -- yes, the faculty, the university as part of the patrimony of Western Civilization the left has been trashing is defined by its faculty, not the students who pass through it. And yes, easy credit created at government behest plays the same role in the feathering of the nests of various and assorted university administrators that it plain in fat bonuses for Countrywide and Goldman Sachs executives.

  • Ivy League School Holds Funeral For Michael Brown And Non-White People Killed By Racism

    11/23/2014 6:03:13 AM PST · 27 of 51
    The_Reader_David to Albion Wilde

    Yeah, it was a bit that way back in my day, too.

    Of course a headline attributing the actions of a student group to the university is not exactly accurate. With such journalistic precision one of the events we organized when I was in the Penn YAF chapter in my days as a grad student could have been trumpted in the press as “Ivy League School Holds Candle-Light Vigil for Victims of Soviet Shoot-Down of Korean Airliner”.

    (We figured, why should the left be the only folks who get to organize candle-light vigils?)

  • Ex-NBC employee Frank Scotti claims Bill Cosby paid off women

    11/23/2014 5:54:38 AM PST · 54 of 76
    The_Reader_David to Ken H

    Probably not an uh-oh. The age of consent which is the basis for statutory rape laws has been raised in a lot of states over the past few decades — oddly the “blue” states leading the way to push it to 18. Most likely when and where this took place, 16 year olds were deemed able to consent to sex, and sex with a consenting 16 year old was not a crime.

    The issues here are two-fold, one moral — any truth to the allegations, even Scotti’s allegations, and Cosby is shown to be a hypocrite — the other legal, based on the accusations that Cosby is guilty of actual rape in the classical legal sense (not turning on niceties of age-of-consent which vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction) by the use of amnestic drugs.

  • What is "Sin"? (Vanity)

    11/23/2014 5:30:13 AM PST · 7 of 101
    The_Reader_David to BwanaNdege

    Sin is separation from God. Sins are the symptoms of the disorder, and the ancient categorizations of them, whether the “Seven Deadly Sins” or the more spiritually perceptive and nuanced “Eight Grievous Vices” of St. John Cassian, favored by us Orthodox Christians, still apply.

  • Copyright Law Is Creating An Information Oligarchy, Not An Information Democracy

    11/22/2014 9:09:09 AM PST · 76 of 76
    The_Reader_David to Kackikat
    I am not interested in debating copyright.

    Evidently not: had you been interested, you'd have read my posts enough to realize I wasn't advocating abolishing copyright. Perhaps in the future you should not post, or at least not make quarrelsome posts, to thread on issues you are not interested in debating. It would save both you and your fellow FReepers aggravation.

  • Copyright Law Is Creating An Information Oligarchy, Not An Information Democracy

    11/21/2014 6:20:18 PM PST · 74 of 76
    The_Reader_David to Kackikat
    I think we are arguing about what copyright law should be, rather than what it is. One of the points of politics -- this is a political site -- is that laws can be changed and people can express views about what the law in a process that ideally can change what the law will be in the future, for the better.

    You've just pointed out that things got worse since the Berne Convention inflicted life-of-author plus 50 years copyright on most of the world. This in no way invalidates my point that Van Gogh's starving was not a result of lack of copyright: he lived the last few years of his life in France which was signatory to the Berne Convention.

    Nor does pointing out what is have anything to do with what ought to be. Telling me what copyright law is in no way changes my view that current copyright law is wrong, any more than telling me that abortion on demand is legal changes my view that it should not be. Why did you bring up DRM? Nothing I've posted, other than a waggish reply to a remark about The Pirate Bay, is in any way based on a critique of copyright as "depriving" people of free goods, but entirely on the dileterious effect the current combination of long copyright terms, expansion of copyright to imitate the French droit d'auteur (like life-plus copyrights another legacy of the Berne Convention), and its reificaiton as property has on the creation and propagation of culture.

    You continue to argue as if my position were that copyright should be abolished. Unless your next argument somehow addresses the fact that I am really arguing for a return to the terms of the Law of Queen Anne (and the identical terms the first Congress under the Constitution gave), not the abolition of copyright, I will not reply.

  • Yes... Ezra Klein is Still an Idiot

    11/21/2014 6:03:09 PM PST · 10 of 12
    The_Reader_David to Kaslin

    I’m afraid if he wants to get politics out of everything, he has realize (1) that this can’t be done and (2) that the closest approximation to politics being out of “everything” is to be had by embracing the program of the right.

  • Yes... Ezra Klein is Still an Idiot

    11/21/2014 6:02:59 PM PST · 9 of 12
    The_Reader_David to Kaslin

    I’m afraid if he wants to get politics out of everything, he has realize (1) that this can’t be done and (2) that the closest approximation to politics being out of “everything” is to be had by embracing the program of the right.

  • Copyright Law Is Creating An Information Oligarchy, Not An Information Democracy

    11/20/2014 5:51:59 PM PST · 70 of 76
    The_Reader_David to Kackikat

    You’re still arguing with some absent or hypothetical advocate of abolishing copyright. Does anything you wrote in any way argue for the current regime against the alternative I propose of returning to the terms of copyright which prevailed during the colonial and Federal eras?

    Van Gogh? He was a starving artist not for lack of copyright laws, but because not enough people were willing to buy his paintings. Both the Netherlands and France (where he lived from 1886 until his death) were party to the 1886 Berne Convention that inflicted life-of-the-artist-plus-50-years copyright on the world.

    John Dowland, in copyright-free Elizabethan England made a living as a singer-songwriter. Albrecht Durer made a living selling prints in the copyright-free and legally chaotic Germany of the “Holy Roman Empire”, and as I noted successfully defended his brand against copyists fraudulently selling “Durer prints”.

    A lot of what you write about publishers appropriating royalties from actual authors and artists, actually supports my position that copyright extension should be a right of the original artist or author, not a second-party “rightsholder”. Most of the distortions of copyright law have been created because we have allowed the exclusive rights to works which the Constitution specifies Congress may grant to authors and inventors to themselves become “property”, a commodity which the author or inventor can sell. Outside this thread, in the real world, the most forceful advocates of lengthened copyright terms, suppression of derivative works and everything I’m actually arguing against are not artists, but the very sort of conglomerates you are suggesting copyright protects artist from — the RIAA puts a lot of effort into making sure music publishers get paid, but not very much making sure actual musicians and composers get paid, so that actual musicians and composers often have to sue their RIAA-corporate-member publishers to get their money.

    Again, stop arguing against a position no one is taking, or if I’ve been inattentive and there is someone on the thread, unknown to me, advocating the abolition of copyright, post your replies to him, not to me.

  • Copyright Law Is Creating An Information Oligarchy, Not An Information Democracy

    11/20/2014 3:40:42 PM PST · 68 of 76
    The_Reader_David to PieterCasparzen

    I’m also puzzled as to why you’re going on about “open source”. Did I post anything about open source? Nor do I see what the use or abuse of open source has to do with any of the points at issue here — Leef the Forbes article we are ostensibly discussing doesn’t mention open source software, and I didn’t mention it in my posts.

  • Copyright Law Is Creating An Information Oligarchy, Not An Information Democracy

    11/20/2014 3:34:10 PM PST · 67 of 76
    The_Reader_David to PieterCasparzen

    No, the Law of Queen Anne isn’t referenced in the Constitution, just the concept found in it of “for a limited term”, but my claim that it is related to the Founders’ intent is validated by the fact the the first copyright law Congress passed with its new Constitutional powers was essentially a copy of the British Law.

    My mark-up of the copyright code? It’s too painful to port the html, correct it so it will work in an FR post and actually mark it up.

    In brief, shorten copyright terms to 14 years, permitting registered copyrighted works to have their copyright renewed for another 14 by the author or artist. Add some some clarification of fair-use so incidentally quoting a melodic line in a new piece of music doesn’t require payment of royalties (I regard the Australian precedent involving a flute riff on “Waltzing Matilda” in Men at Work’s “Down Under” as an abomination) and craft some analogous provisions for images and phrases.

    That sort of copyright was good enough for the Founding Fathers, and modernized to cover sound-recordings, software and the like, should be good enough for any FReeper.

  • Copyright Law Is Creating An Information Oligarchy, Not An Information Democracy

    11/20/2014 3:08:50 PM PST · 66 of 76
    The_Reader_David to Kackikat
    You seem to be arguing with someone not present -- an advocate of the total abolition of copyright.

    If you were astute, you would have noticed I held up the British copyright law the Founders surely had in mind when they drafted the Constitution, the Law of Queen Anne (which claim I think I can easily validate since the first copyright law passed under the Constitution was an imitation of it), as a model of a good copyright law -- 14 years, extendible by another 14 at the request of the author, not the author's estate (which didn't create anything), not the author's publisher, just the author -- a return to those terms hardly results in CHAOS. There wasn't cultural CHAOS in the colonial times when the Law of Queen Anne was the copyright law governing what became these United States, nor through the Federal era when American copyright law had like terms.

    I'm mystified by your claim that being able to trace the provenance of art is somehow dependent upon copyright. We know who painted the Mona Lisa, who wrote The Canterbury Tales, who composed "The Lady Russell's Pavan", who wrote the Akathist Hymn to the Theotokos, even though da Vinci, Chaucer, Dowland and St. Romanos the Melodist painted, wrote, composed, and wrote, respectively, before there were any statutes analogous to copyright. Albrecht Durer made a very good living selling prints which he had no way of copyrighting, since there was no such thing (and we know which are his prints, the absence of copyright law in the times and places where he worked notwithstanding). He even provides an example of defending his brand in the absence of copyright law, because he successfully sued a copyist for fraud for passing off his prints as being by Durer.

    Do reply to what's actually being said.

  • With Murder Rate Far Beyond US Levels, Russia Legalizes Carry of Guns for Self-Defense

    11/20/2014 7:30:45 AM PST · 13 of 17
    The_Reader_David to george76

    Sorry, misread the headline — read “beyond” as ‘below’. Ignore the complaints in my last post... (@_@);;

  • With Murder Rate Far Beyond US Levels, Russia Legalizes Carry of Guns for Self-Defense

    11/20/2014 7:28:38 AM PST · 12 of 17
    The_Reader_David to george76

    Where does the article get the murder rate statistic in the headline from? The murder rate in Russia is about double that in the U.S. at 9.2 per 100,000 to the U.S.’s 4.7 per 100,000 (one of my favorite facts in this domain since the rate of private firearms ownership in Russia is about 1/10th that in the U.S.).

    I’m disappointed if Breitbart has fallen for someone quoting statistics about the specious category of “gun crime” — doubtless given the relative rates of firearm ownership the proportion of Russian murders committed with firearms is lower than than the proportion of American murders committed with firearms.

  • Copyright Law Is Creating An Information Oligarchy, Not An Information Democracy

    11/20/2014 6:53:53 AM PST · 59 of 76
    The_Reader_David to PieterCasparzen; zeugma
    The original copyrighted work that you did, however, would still be covered by the original copyright. Which will eventually expire. At which point, anyone can create other derivative works based on it, copy it as much as they want, etc. Unless, of course as the expiration date approaches, the copyright is held by an influential corporation that sees value to its bottom line in suppressing derivative works that might compete with its products, in which case it will suborn Congress into abusing its constitutional authority to grant exclusive rights "for a limited term" to extend the term again. You know this has happened, since it's the point at issue with Mickey Mouse.

    Do you really want to defend copyright terms longer than the terms of the Law of Queen Anne on the basis that not having it will "run into bankruptcy" those artists who have had only a single profitable idea that they have milked for 28 years and who can't keep the fan base they've developed when competitors start marketing competing derivative works? Really? I refer you to zeugma's posts to this thread. Public domain is the normal state of affairs, copyright an exception we make to encourage art by allow an artist to receive monopoly rents for a limited term. At some point Mickey Mouse should -- indeed should already have -- become like the figure in Botticelli's "The Birth of Venus", something anyone can use in a derivative work, yes, for profit, without having to pay royalties, or be sued.

  • Whatís education for? Letís have a national debate on this issue

    11/19/2014 5:32:25 PM PST · 8 of 13
    The_Reader_David to BruceDeitrickPrice

    I am quite fond of the purpose of education as described by John Alexander Smith, Professor of Moral Philosophy at Oxford in 1914: “Nothing that you will learn in the course of your studies will be of the slightest possible use to you in after life – save only this – if you work hard and diligently you should be able to detect when a man is talking rot, and that, in my view, is the main, if not the sole, purpose of education.”

    By that standard, American education is a dismal failure.

  • Copyright Law Is Creating An Information Oligarchy, Not An Information Democracy

    11/19/2014 4:41:22 PM PST · 51 of 76
    The_Reader_David to PieterCasparzen

    If it is not me as the original artist/author, but a rightsholding corporation, or one of my ne’er-do-well descendants, even if he has taken up continuing the comic strip after my repose and gets beaten out by your artistically-superior reworking of my idea now in the public domain, my shade will play the world’s smallest violin as part of your swooning violins in mock-sympathy for the folks wanting continued monopoly rents on my ideas.

    For that matter, if I’ve had them on the market for 28 years and can’t keep the loyalty of fans against a knock-off, I probably don’t deserve any more money for the idea.

  • Copyright Law Is Creating An Information Oligarchy, Not An Information Democracy

    11/19/2014 4:09:54 PM PST · 50 of 76
    The_Reader_David to Fester Chugabrew
    Unfairness depends on your notion of what constitutes the fair use of pre-existing culture in new cultural products. (And I use the phrase "fair use" as a sort of meta-pun on its plain English meaning and its technical meaning in copyright law.)

    It seems to me unfair that the invention of the corporation, the human creation of an immortal legal person, should destroy the way culture propagated all throughout human history before copyright was reified as "property" and people like you began advocating perpetual copyright held by such entities or passed down to heirs -- by remixing pre-existing cultural ideas, phrases, melodies, images. As Solomon noted in Ecclesiates, "there is nothing new under the sun." As more and more phrases, images, melodies are "owned" by such immortal legal persons zealous to collect rents on the "intellectual property", there less and less room for the creation of culture in the normal way, which always referenced pre-existing culture. Jazz would not and could not exist if your idea of ownership were applied by jazz musicians to their creations. You still haven't told me whether you really think that it should be harder to compose pieces like the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini or Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis because rightsholders have to be found and paid, or how that state of affairs would serve the Constitutional purpose of copyright.

    Mickey Mouse should at some point become like the character of Robin Hood, the figure in Botticelli's "The Birth of Venus", or Beethoven's Fifth Symphony: something on which anyone can base derivative works, from which they can earn money if the market will pay them, without paying a "rightsholder" or being sued. So, yes it is both unfair and unconstitutional for Disney and his agents to use the law to "maintain profits from the creative efforts of Mr. Disney for an indefinite period of time" if that maintenance requires the enforcement of a monopoly on the creation of derivative works.

    Disney has benefitted mightily from remixing pre-existing culture: Snow White, Cinderella, The Little Mermaid (Did they pay Hans Christian Andersen's heirs for the rights? No. The story was in the public domain, the normal state for stories, not locked up in some corporation's horde of "intellectual property"), Beauty and the Beast (They were really happy that no corporation was holding the rights to the works of Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont on that one), but try to remix Mickey Mouse and their attitude toward cultural appropriation from the past reverses.

    You might ask yourself why the Founders didn't give Congress the power to grant perpetual copyrights, but specified "for a limited term". Get back to me when you've figured out the answer. Hint: it has something to do with Science and the useful Arts having a value beyond the merely commercial.

  • Copyright Law Is Creating An Information Oligarchy, Not An Information Democracy

    11/18/2014 9:35:07 PM PST · 42 of 76
    The_Reader_David to PieterCasparzen; Fester Chugabrew
    Mathematical equations are not copyrightable, and should not be.

    Yes, yes. I was using that as an example for a reductio ad absurdum of another poster's arguments. We mathematicians don't want them to be copyrightable, since haggling over rights would grind our profession to a halt. The problem is that the rest of culture works more like mathematics works than copyright maximalists want to admit (and if you doubt there really are copyright maximalists who are feeding the "information oligopoly" the Forbes author decries, look at the Fester, other fellow I'm quarreling with on this thread.)

    Copyright is not for ideas or concepts, which can be expressed in different forms; just the expression.

    I gather then, you, along with me, think that the suit which suppressed publication of The Wind Done Gone at the behest of the estate of Margaret Mitchell was wrongly decided. My main objection to the current state of copyright law is the suppression of derivative works -- though perpetual extension in the face of "for a limited term" and the really obnoxious removal of works from the public domain to retroactively put them under copyright (how does this serve the Constitutional purpose?) are also highly objectionable.

    As for lifetime of the author plus x years, that wasn't the original idea. The original idea was 14 years, renewable at the request of the author for 14 years (copyright terms under the Law of Queen Anne).

    ...make your own sculpture from scratch - even if it’s the same figure...

    Really? somehow doesn't work with cartoons of a famous mouse. Your own cartoon from scratch of the same figure still gets you sued by Disney Corp. Write rules for a fantasy RPG describing how one of H.P. Lovecraft's horrors should be simulated by the game-master, get sued by Lovecraft's estate for using the name, even though though doing this is plainly a transformational work (there's no competing RPG rulebook by Lovecraft that's being displaced from the market) and one which will arguably increase demand for the estate's holdings. Different expressions of the same idea, at least in the area of art and literature, are repeatedly suppressed by suits from rightsholders to earlier versions of the same idea, and seemingly some folks here at FR (Fester, this means you) think it should be even more that way than it already is.

    Remember, I'm not arguing against copyright, I'm arguing for copyright as the Founders plainly meant it in historical context -- they were plainly thinking of the British Law of Queen Anne as a model for copyright, just as the thought of the Statute on Monopolies as a model for patents -- with robust fair-use allowances and passage into the public domain after "a limited term", since the stated Constitutional purpose of copyrights (and patents) is to "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts".

    It's late where I am. Perhaps tomorrow I'll have a stab at marking up the current copyright law to give something closer to my ideal. Good night all.

  • Copyright Law Is Creating An Information Oligarchy, Not An Information Democracy

    11/18/2014 9:01:13 PM PST · 38 of 76
    The_Reader_David to Fester Chugabrew

    Nor has the marketplace determined that Disney Corp. should be paid in perpetuity, nor even down to the present time, for all derivative works based on the character in “Steamboat Willie”. The latter was decided by political intervention in the marketplace, by passage of a law contrary to the plain spirit of the Constitutional clause granting power to Congress to grant copyrights.

    And, the perpetual, inheritable, alienable copyright you advocate cannot be done by the marketplace, but only by state power enforcing a monopoly on behalf of the rightsholder, an exercise of state power, which in the American context is unconstitutional, since Congress is not granted the power to grant exclusive rights to authors and inventors in perpetuity, but only for a limited term.

  • On Heretical Popes

    11/18/2014 8:24:31 PM PST · 29 of 30
    The_Reader_David to Miles the Slasher
    Well, we've considered lots of things, except for the real point at issue: the letter from Honorius to Sergius. Having managed to get a copy of it (it can be found in Pauline Allen's Sophronius of Jerusalem and Seventh-Century Heresy: The Synodical Letter and Other Documents), I find that the passages where Honorius advocates silence and regards the distinction between the Orthodox position and the heretical as mere logomachy are addressing the monergianist heresy that held there was one energy or activity in Our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ, characterized as "one theandric activity" by the heretics.

    It is, however, Honorius himself, who proposes, after a brief exposition of Chalcedonian Christology as regards the natures of Christ, that "It follows that we confess one will of Our Lord Jesus Christ" (Allen's translation, with which my bad school Greek finds no fault). Nor is this a mere passing phrase. Later Honorius gives what is plainly a monothelite exposition of "I did not come to do my will, but the will of the Father who sent me" and "Not as I will, but as you will Father," and similar sayings of Our Lord, in which the Pope does not take them at face-value as pointing to Christ's human will, but, of which Honorius instead writes, "these are not expressions of a different will, but of the economy of the humanity which he assumed." (Again, Allen's translation, with which I, again, agree.) This is not silence, but the statement of an erroneous doctrine.

    This leaves you with the fallback position taken by Baronius that the Greek version of Honorius's letter to Sergius is fraudulent (no Latin version is extant, though I'm unclear whether that is because it is lost, or because there was only ever a Greek version -- Western churchmen in the seventh century were still often fluent in Greek). And if you really take that position, then as Patriarch Jeramias wrote to the Lutherans, pray do not write again about doctrinal matters, and if you must write do so only for the sake of friendship.

    As to St. Agatho's letter, the comments on the Church of Rome not having fallen into heresy can be harmonized with the manifest profession of heretical Christology in Pope Honorius's letter, condemned as such by the Sixth Ecumenical Council, in another way than that which you propose: Honorius died before he had a chance to become not merely a heretic, but a heresiarch, leading the whole Patriachate of Rome into his Christological error as Dioscorus led the (bulk of the) Patriachate of Alexandria into his. Of course, this resolution requires that the usual metonymic identification of a see with its occupant be recognized as a poetic device, rather than an ecclesiological fact, something I know you Latins are unwilling to do, since on it rests the identification of the successors to St. Peter in the see of Rome with Peter himself.

  • Copyright Law Is Creating An Information Oligarchy, Not An Information Democracy

    11/18/2014 7:20:22 PM PST · 31 of 76
    The_Reader_David to Fester Chugabrew

    No. I don’t “want a piece of the pie”. Except that you’ve decide mathematics somehow isn’t a creative endeavor, and we mathematicians should get royalties on people using our results, while authors and animators (and their estates or anyone they alienate their rights to) should get royalties on people using their character, I already have one: the only right I ceded regarding my two papers in deformation theory is the right of the journal to publish copies of the papers in perpetuity. I retained all other rights. According to your theory, if anyone makes money using my results (for instance reproducing them in a book that they sell) I should get a cut, the same way the writer, director and animator of a new Mickey Mouse cartoon are supposed to pay Disney Corp.

    You still haven’t explained why the fruits of mathematicians’ creative endeavors (theorems and proofs) are not subject to the same protection as fictional characters or fictional settings.

  • Copyright Law Is Creating An Information Oligarchy, Not An Information Democracy

    11/18/2014 7:13:05 PM PST · 30 of 76
    The_Reader_David to Fester Chugabrew

    What’s your beef? You disagree with the Founders who specified authors and inventors, not authors, inventors, their estates in perpetuity and corporations to whom they alienated their rights (often for a mess of pottage), and who specified “for a limited term”.

    The Founders plainly had some idea of the normal progress of science and culture in which ideas from the past are perpetually reused, and didn’t want to lock up ideas in government-granted monopolies in perpetuity, even as they recognized the utility of granting such monopolies for short periods as a spur to creativity.

    Why exactly shouldn’t Sherlock Holmes, Gandalf the Grey, and Cthulhu at some point become like Robin Hood, Merlin and Polyphemus, legendary figures about whom anyone can write and sell stories? Why shouldn’t music that has become folkloric so that people sing it without remembering who wrote it eventually be free to reuse in snatches in new works of music? (I regard the Australian court decision that insisted Men at Work pay the estate of the composer of “Waltzing Matilda” royalties for the flute riff on the melody in their song “Down Under” as an affront to culture and a model for everything that’s wrong with copyright law world-wide at present.)

    My beef is that I regard the way we mathematicians do things as good for mankind and a good model for the rest of the culture, the state of copyright law in 1790 as nearly optimal, the way Hollywood does things as bad for mankind and a horrible way of advancing culture, and the position you are advocating as even worse than the present state of copyright law.

  • Copyright Law Is Creating An Information Oligarchy, Not An Information Democracy

    11/18/2014 6:52:06 PM PST · 28 of 76
    The_Reader_David to Fester Chugabrew

    I also note you ignored the last two paragraphs of my post, which were specific to copyright.

  • Copyright Law Is Creating An Information Oligarchy, Not An Information Democracy

    11/18/2014 6:08:31 PM PST · 26 of 76
    The_Reader_David to Fester Chugabrew

    And your argument for giving less protection to the creative efforts of inventors or mathematicians than to those of authors and artists is what? Your principle of not making a profit without sharing it with the original creator seems very broad. How are you limiting it to art, and excluding mathematics and technology?

    If someone makes a profit by applying a mathematical theorem, why do you claim the mathematician who first proved it shouldn’t get a cut, but if someone makes a profit by showing a new Mickey Mouse cartoon, Disney Corp. needs to be paid?

    It is also does not support the current state of copyright law: “with the creator” doesn’t cover, for instance, Henry Holt and Co. demanding royalties for the work of a decades-dead poet for use of his work as song lyrics, or even Mickey Mouse — Walt Disney is dead, he can’t get a share of the profits from the new, very funny, Mickey Mouse movie — and DMCA take-down notices affect folks who aren’t trying to make a dime from their remix of corporately held art.

  • Copyright Law Is Creating An Information Oligarchy, Not An Information Democracy

    11/18/2014 5:30:48 PM PST · 24 of 76
    The_Reader_David to Fester Chugabrew

    Do you take the same view on patents? Should all life-saving drugs be locked up in government-granted monopolies in perpetuity? Really?

    As I asked, before how much extra should we all be paying for our cars for the perpetual royalties to the estate of Nikolaus Otto? How about Charles Goodyear? Gaston Planté?

    Or do you have some argument that a fictional character is more worthy of being the subject of a perpetual government monopoly than the internal combustion engine, vulcanized rubber, or the lead-acid battery? If so why?

    And how robust a notion of fair-use are you allowing in your notion of perpetual remuneration? If your regime were in place, would I have to pay the estate of William Butler Yeats for reusing the line “Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world” in a published work, or only if I quoted the whole poem “The Second Coming”?

    And why do you have a problem with us mathematicians charging to use our discoveries? How are they different than a device that can be patented or a fictional character that can be copyrighted? Why exactly shouldn’t our “intellectual property” be subject to the same kind of protection? I put more creative effort into the development of the infinitesimal deformation theory for pasting diagrams of linear categories than old Walt put into “Steamboat Willie”. Why exactly do you think I should not be able to charge people to use the results in my two papers on the subject and prevent them from being used if they don’t pay, but Disney Corporation should be able to do the same for their cartoon mouse?

  • Copyright Law Is Creating An Information Oligarchy, Not An Information Democracy

    11/18/2014 5:07:09 PM PST · 22 of 76
    The_Reader_David to bert
    Not really. The real issue is not artificial scarcity created by a government-granted monopoly (which The Pirate Bay and bit-torrent address quite handily in the case of digital goods), but the suppression of derivative works.

    There is an argument to be made that the use of state power to prop up business models that depend on artificial scarcity is a bad thing, but the main problem is not culture locked up behind a paywall, but culture and science not being done because some "rightholder" won't allow the production of derivative works.

    The suppression of The Wind Done Gone, a retelling of the story of Gone with the Wind from a slave's perspective, by the estate of Margaret Mitchell; the delay in the American release of the track "Fire and Ice" by Unto Ashes, using the lyrics of the 1928 Robert Frost poem of the same title as lyrics due to wangling with the decades-dead poet's publisher over the rights; the impossibility of publishing fan-fiction because copyright now extends to characters and settings, not just the actual text as it originally did; and patent trolling are all signs that there is something deeply wrong with the reification of the government-granted monopolies of copyright and patent as "property" in terms of their Constitutional purpose.

  • Copyright Law Is Creating An Information Oligarchy, Not An Information Democracy

    11/18/2014 4:56:23 PM PST · 21 of 76
    The_Reader_David to PieterCasparzen

    You may notice I implicitly supported laws on the model of the Law of Queen Anne and the Statute on Monopolies of 1662 in my post.

    But there is another state, not shown on your continuum: Bad (including draconian) laws favored by rent-seeking elites and upheld by courts and cemented by international treaties. And it is this state in which copyright and patent law currently rests.

    You seem to have forgotten that courts can be suborned by commercial interests.

  • Copyright Law Is Creating An Information Oligarchy, Not An Information Democracy

    11/18/2014 4:52:33 PM PST · 20 of 76
    The_Reader_David to Fester Chugabrew

    You’ve accepted the dubious notion that a government granted monopoly is “property”. Just because rent-seekers call it “intellectual property” and try to confuse us by conflating the reuse of previously developed technology, the quoting of melodic lines, the black-market in digital good of “piracy” and the theft of credit and honor which is what is actually stolen in plagiarism in the phrase “theft of intellectual property” does not make it so.

    I suppose you think the world would be a better place if Ralph Vaughn Williams had either never composed Fantasia on the Theme of Thomas Tallis because he couldn’t secure permission to use the theme from whatever corporation held the perpetual rights, or had to pay royalties on the melodic line (ditto for Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini). Maybe we mathematicians should let our discipline grind to a halt by insisting on royalties for use of our theorems, and just to make sure, give that right to our heirs in perpetuity.

    And even if you don’t care about music or mathematics (or literature, no Stoppard “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead” — the Shakespeare estate wouldn’t release the rights to the characters), have you considered what a dead-weight on the economy all the monopoly rents being paid to the estates or corporations holding rights to old inventions would create, not just in terms of the monies paid, but the cost of maintaining the rights-holding infrastructure in perpetuity? How much should we all be paying the estate of Nikolaus Otto for our car’s engine?

    Copyright and patents d*mned well better not really be property, and exercisable in perpetuity because if they are, the world economy (to say nothing of culture) will grind to a halt, and we all descend into a sort of feudalism with copyright and patent lawyers as our overlords.

  • Copyright Law Is Creating An Information Oligarchy, Not An Information Democracy

    11/18/2014 4:30:38 PM PST · 15 of 76
    The_Reader_David to PieterCasparzen

    Have you failed to notice that the loudest advocates of effectively perpetual copyright and draconian punishments for “piracy” of copyrighted material are not authors, artists or programmers, but the rent-seeking “elites” in the publishing, recording, and movie industries?

    The Founders knew what they were doing when they wrote that clause in the Constitution: “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.”

    They had in mind the Law of Queen Anne, which in Great Britain not only limited the term of copyrights, but limited them to authors — before that publishers could secure royal monopolies on the printing of certain material — and the Law on Monopolies of 1662, which limited the granting of letters patent to inventors.

    It says nothing of Congress having the power to secure those rights to publishers, literary estates, or anyone other than authors and inventors. As a strict constructionist, I would argue that the current state of copyright law (and to a lesser extent patent law) are a violation of the Constitution. Alas, our courts have been suborned by commercial interests to read that clause as creating monopoly rights that can be transferred from the author or inventor, monopoly rights which large “elite” moneyed interests jealously guard against the “sheeple”.

    Your argument is not an argument for perpetual copyright, but for inalienable copyright, that cannot be transferred to an person (whether natural or juridical) as is now commmonly done as a condition for publication so that the monopoly rights inhere not in the author, but, and in pre-Queen-Anne Britain, in the publisher (usually an “elite” interest), only used to grant permission to publish under terms agreeable to the author

  • This science vs. religion meme get's it wrong. Now it's fixed...

    11/18/2014 4:13:33 PM PST · 6 of 25
    The_Reader_David to vpintheak

    Fools? Or charlatans?

  • New Orleans mayor: Do-over in bungled rape cases (Mitch Landrieu)

    11/18/2014 4:11:14 PM PST · 3 of 6
    The_Reader_David to deport

    Reopening badly-investigated cases involving heinous crimes, giving the remit to more competent investigators, is a splendid idea, so long as “do-over” doesn’t entail violating the Constitutional protection against double-jeopardy or a retroactive revision of a statute of limitations that arguabely would violate the Constitutional prohibition on ex post facto laws.

  • Japan Is Dying And We Still Donít Get It?!

    11/18/2014 1:26:01 PM PST · 24 of 26
    The_Reader_David to blam

    Everyone who believes the myth that the New Deal alleviated the Great Depression, rather than lengthening it, will continue to believe in QE and other Keynsian rubbish, because to question it is to question one of the fundamental myths of the non-Marxist left. Once you start questioning the fundamental myths of a world-view you end up having to consider the arguments of those who hold different, opposing views, and we are all familiar with the lengths the left will go to to avoid having to actually face our critique of their program.

  • All 50 states have below freezing temperatures (11/18 a.m.)

    11/18/2014 1:17:33 PM PST · 34 of 41
    The_Reader_David to Justice

    I gather you don’t live at the summit of Mauna Kea. (^_^)

  • Cruz fires back at Franken on net neutrality

    11/17/2014 5:58:13 PM PST · 34 of 65
    The_Reader_David to GeronL
    If it requires a tax, it's not actually net neutrality.

    Net neutrality is a pro-market regulation that prevents content-providers who also own ISPs from establishing what was once called a "vertical trust" and using their dual position as content providers (already holding a government granted monopoly called "copyright" on specific content) and ISPs to simultaneously disadvantage competing content providers and competing ISPs. Yes, it's a regulation, but it's regulation that has the effect of preventing incumbents in the market from keeping out entrepreneurial start-ups, rather than a regulation that either makes business infeasible in some way or cements the position of incumbents in the market against competition. (Again, everyone who hasn't, read Sarah Palin's favorite Chicago-School economist's popularization of his scholarly work entitled A Capitalism for the People, to learn the difference between pro-market and pro-business.)

    Either Cruz really doesn't know what he's talking about on this, or he's trying to burnish his credentials with the Chamber-of-Commerce-RINO wing of the party in penance for opposing them on amnesty, by staking out a position that only big telecom companies really support.

  • Planet Earth Allegedly In The Midst Of 30-Year Cold Spell Due To Diminished Solar Activity

    11/17/2014 1:47:17 PM PST · 49 of 60
    The_Reader_David to NCLaw441
    Did the “climatologists” predict this cold period?

    It depends which climatologists you consider. The dominant school of climatology in the Anglosphere (which deserves your scorn quotes) assumes that climate can be predicted by studying general circulation models of the earth's atmosphere, focusing on things like CO2 levels and heat-transfer between atmosphere and ocean. They predicted nothing of the sort.

    The dominant school of climatology in Russian and Denmark looks at solar activity as the main determinant of global temperature, both total solar irradiance and solar magnetism (which matters because cosmic ray strikes seed cloud formation, which has a cooling effect -- less solar magnetism means less shielding from cosmic rays, more cloud formation and cooler temperature -- this the the causal link, discovered by H. Svensmark, that explains the correlation between sunspot number and global temperature). They predicted this, and the 30 year cool period is the least extreme of the possible futures they are predicting: the other end is a full-on ice age.

  • Maher: If Obama Had Lost, US Wouldn't Have Fruit or Jobs

    11/15/2014 1:17:40 PM PST · 11 of 28
    The_Reader_David to 2ndDivisionVet

    No, Maher is just living proof of G.K. Chesterton’s dictum, “When men choose not to believe in God, they do not thereafter believe in nothing, they then become capable of believing in anything.”

  • On Heretical Popes

    11/14/2014 6:23:24 PM PST · 27 of 30
    The_Reader_David to Miles the Slasher
    I think you err in drawing a distinction between the condemnation by the Council of Sergius and Honorius and that of Cyrus, Pyrrhus, Paul, and Peter. The only distinction between them is that the last four were suggested for condemnation in the letter of St. Agatho, while the first two were condemned on the basis of the Council's own examination of their writings. The relevant passage from that Acta being
    The holy council said: After we had reconsidered, according to our promise which we had made to your highness, the doctrinal letters of Sergius, at one time patriarch of this royal god-protected city to Cyrus, who was then bishop of Phasis and to Honorius some time Pope of Old Rome, as well as the letter of the latter to the same Sergius, we find that these documents are quite foreign to the apostolic dogmas, to the declarations of the holy Councils, and to all the accepted Fathers, and that they follow the false teachings of the heretics; therefore we entirely reject them, and execrate them as hurtful to the soul. But the names of those men whose doctrines we execrate must also be thrust forth from the holy Church of God, namely, that of Sergius some time bishop of this God-preserved royal city who was the first to write on this impious doctrine; also that of Cyrus of Alexandria, of Pyrrhus, Paul, and Peter, who died bishops of this God-preserved city, and were like-minded with them; and that of Theodore sometime bishop of Pharan, all of whom the most holy and thrice blessed Agatho, Pope of Old Rome, in his suggestion to our most pious and God-preserved lord and mighty Emperor, rejected, because they were minded contrary to our orthodox faith, all of whom we define are to be subjected to anathema. And with these we define that there shall be expelled from the holy Church of God and anathematized Honorius who was some time Pope of Old Rome, because of what we found written by him to Sergius, that in all respects he followed his view and confirmed his impious doctrines.
    You are arguing from silence, or perhaps the placement of a period (which may or may not have been there in the original Greek Acta -- I am unable to find a source for the Greek Acta online and even if I did, unless it indicated that it used the original punctuation, rather than modernizing it, a matter of controversy among Byzantinists, it wouldn't settle the matter), in claiming that because the Holy Fathers did not repeat the phrase "minded contrary to our orthodox faith" in their condemnation of Sergius and Honorius, that the relevant distinction is between those explicitly so described in one sentence and those condemned "with these" in the following sentence beginning with "And", rather than between those suggested for condemnation by St. Agatho in his letter and those found heretical by the Council's own examination.

    I suspect there is really not much point in continuing our discussion. Each of us arguing for a position the other, due to his ecclesiological commitments, regards as completely unsupportable. I seem to recall that in a similar circumstance the discussions between the Patriarch of Constantinople and the Lutherans at Tubingen ended with a request from the former to cease writing about doctrinal matters, and write only for the sake of friendship. Perhaps we should end in like manner.

  • Not That Kind of Homosexuality? Despite revisionist attempts....

    11/14/2014 6:18:25 AM PST · 4 of 14
    The_Reader_David to Gamecock

    Actually, the New Testament did add to the Old in this regard (as did rabbinic commentaries on the Torah) by condemning female homoerotic behavior as well as male-on-male anal sodomy (the narrowest possible reading of what is condemned in the Levitical prohibition).

  • On Heretical Popes

    11/14/2014 6:12:56 AM PST · 22 of 30
    The_Reader_David to Miles the Slasher

    And you consider the Council to have been in error when they with one voice cried,

    “To Honorius, the heretic, anathema!”

    It’s not my position, I’m defending, but the position of the Fathers of the Sixth Ecumenical Council: besides the formal cry of anathema naming him heretic, there are at least two other places in the Acta that explicitly condemn him for heresy, one of which I quoted. Being soft on monotheletism was bad enough for the Fathers to condemn him as a heretic, the views of the worthy saints you listed to the contrary notwithstanding.

  • On Heretical Popes

    11/13/2014 8:16:21 PM PST · 20 of 30
    The_Reader_David to Miles the Slasher
    No, a reading of the Acta of the Sixth Ecumenical council shows the monothelite delegates, in reply to a question from the Emperor, cited Honorius as supporting their positions, the condemnations of the Council likewise attribute to him the active promotion of the heresy -- the strongest being that given after the restating of the Creed:
    But as the author of evil, who, in the beginning, availed himself of the aid of the serpent, and by it brought the poison of death upon the human race, has not desisted, but in like manner now, having found suitable instruments for working out his will (we mean Theodorus, who was Bishop of Pharan, Sergius, Pyrrhus, Paul and Peter, who were Archbishops of this royal city, and moreover, Honorius who was Pope of the elder Rome, Cyrus Bishop of Alexandria, Macarius who was lately bishop of Antioch, and Stephen his disciple), has actively employed them in raising up for the whole Church the stumbling-blocks of one will and one operation in the two natures of Christ our true God, one of the Holy Trinity; thus disseminating, in novel terms, amongst the orthodox people, an heresy similar to the mad and wicked doctrine of the impious Apollinaris, Severus, and Themistius, and endeavouring craftily to destroy the perfection of the incarnation of the same our Lord Jesus Christ, our God, by blasphemously representing his flesh endowed with a rational soul as devoid of will or operation.
    Of course, earlier there was much simpler:
    To Theodore of Pharan, the heretic, anathema! To Sergius, the heretic, anathema! To Cyrus, the heretic, anathema! To Honorius, the heretic, anathema!...
    following the polychronia to the Patriarchs of Rome, Constantinople, and Antioch and to the council and the senate. (Quite the opposite of "accept[ing] the orthodoxy of Honorius.")

    You would have us believe that the Harps of the Spirit erred in making these declarations, and this despite your church still giving lip-service to the authority of the Seven Holy Ecumenical Councils which we Orthodox also recognize. (Search your recently issued Catechism for references to the authority of the Ecumenical Councils -- even with your theory that a papal assent is needed for a council to have ecumenical authority, is there any doubt, given the content of the Papal oath from the 8th to the 11th century, that Rome assented to the acts of the Sixth?)

  • On Heretical Popes

    11/13/2014 5:36:59 PM PST · 17 of 30
    The_Reader_David to Biggirl

    That’s how you tell the story.

    We still say the Creed in its original form and retain the fundamental equality of all bishops, which a dispassionate reading of St. Ignatius of Antioch shows was the original, Apostolic ecclesiology. My Patriarchate (Antioch) only broke communion with Rome when the Crusaders forcibly installed a Latin Patriarch in the already occupied see of Antioch in 1098, thereby confirming the suspicions that lead Constantinople to remove Rome from the Diptychs (in 1009 or 1014 as best we can tell), that you Latins no longer confessed the Orthodox Faith.