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Robert Romero

Intellectual property

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686 posts in this topic

3 hours ago, Devil's Advocate said:

LOL, it's difficult to respond when you don't understand the question.  I appreciate your effort to work this through, so please don't let me off the hook.

The duplication of an idea results in an expansion of knowledge, i.e. two or more people having a similar understanding.  There remains an original source with duplication in separate headspaces, each with an independent means of implementing a right to life.  Independent implementations implies some differences in process, although those processes still involve analysis and assembling steps that work in order to achieve the same kind of property (duplicated). That's about as clear as I can present this to you, and I acknowledge that it may be insufficient to satisfy your request (or avoid your frustration).

I maintain the implementation of a right to life doesn't prohibit duplication, in fact it relies on duplication to be of any value.  Entitling one without the other creates a contradiction because the actions necessary to live require both creation and duplication; no one prohibits a creator from duplication of his property. Why prohibit anyone else?  Think that through and much will follow.

If you determine that property (as an implementation of the right to life) is violated in duplication by others, share your reasoning.  That is what has been missing from 27 pages of discussion.

Your conception of duplication of ideas is flawed. 

As applied to "stuff", one can duplicate something using materials and with use of the original.  The result is where there was once one thing there are two things.  [It is premature to make any statement about whether there is a "right" as such to duplicate.]

With respect to ideas, you have been unable to come up with any coherent and rational description of the process of duplication or re-creation of ideas because such cannot be done.  An idea once created, can be understood and used, and it can even form the basis or inspiration for other ideas.  But an idea, once created, cannot be "re-created" from itself.  You start with the idea, and any other idea you somehow come up with is a different idea, not a re-creation of the same idea. 

Imagine you set off to go into a room with the original idea promising your loved ones to return with a re-creation of the idea, implicitly claiming that somehow you will emerge from the room after having done something, that your entering the room and coming back will be different from your literally achieving nothing in regards to the idea, but behold moments later you emerge with EXACTLY only the same thing you went into the room with, namely the idea, having caused, created, i.e. having DONE EXACTLY NOTHING.

The reason for 27 pages is that you were either unable or unwilling to accept this.

 

Edited by StrictlyLogical

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18 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

Your conception of duplication of ideas is flawed...

... or yours is inconsistent.

Leonardo had an idea about making a huge bow with arrows the size of tree trunks.  He left some fairly detailed sketches showing what it looked like, the kind used by historians and artisans to RE-CREATE other examples of his stuff and ideas. A team of very knowledgeable and resourceful people built the thing but couldn’t fire it because parts of the idea involving woodworking and assembly couldn’t be RE-CREATED by today’s master craftsman.  Apparently Leonardo kept some pretty good trade secrets, huh?

Having an idea about stuff, and understanding all steps in that idea to produce stuff, aren’t one and the same as you would prefer to believe.  Were I to set off to a room with the original instructions (idea) for assembling a product, promising my loved ones to return with the same, and lost those instructions in transit, I'd have to re-create them in order to emerge from the room having done something. For me, that happens about every Christmas.

You’re stuck in the same mental rut advocates of IP rely on to maintain an argument about promoting innovation by rewarding “the first” and dismissing the rest for decades, because it’s only the first effort that counts, right?  Can't blame you because I was stuck there once too.  After all, we can’t really expect laissez-faire to work without government sponsored monopolies, can we?  And a right to property based on individual effort to produce stuff that looks like other peoples' stuff?!  Only a thieving, moocher would consider such a thing.  Phooey!

I'll be around, copying stuff, if you want to get back to explaining how a creation and a re-creation are substantially different in the context of implementing a right to life as property.

Edited by Devil's Advocate
cleanup

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52 minutes ago, Devil's Advocate said:

... or yours is inconsistent.

Leonardo had an idea about making a huge bow with arrows the size of tree trunks.  He left some fairly detailed sketches showing what it looked like, the kind used by historians and artisans to RE-CREATE other examples of his stuff and ideas. A team of very knowledgeable and resourceful people built the thing but couldn’t fire it because parts of the idea involving woodworking and assembly couldn’t be RE-CREATED by today’s master craftsman.  Apparently Leonardo kept some pretty good trade secrets, huh?

Having an idea about stuff, and understanding all steps in that idea to produce stuff, aren’t one and the same as you would prefer to believe.  Were I to set off to a room with the original instructions (idea) for assembling a product, promising my loved ones to return with the same, and lost those instructions in transit, I'd have to re-create them in order to emerge from the room having done something. For me, that happens about every Christmas.

You’re stuck in the same mental rut advocates of IP rely on to maintain an argument about promoting innovation by rewarding “the first” and dismissing the rest for decades, because it’s only the first effort that counts, right?  Can't blame you because I was stuck there once too.  After all, we can’t really expect laissez-faire to work without government sponsored monopolies, can we?  And a right to property based on individual effort to produce stuff that looks like other peoples' stuff?!  Only a thieving, moocher would consider such a thing.  Phooey!

I'll be around, copying stuff, if you want to get back to explaining how a creation and a re-creation are substantially different in the context of implementing a right to life as property.

You fumbling speaks for itself.

Re-creating instructions, a manuscript, patterns of ink, is not re-creation of an idea, it is recreation of a communication which explains the idea, not re-creation of an idea. 

Your example of forgetting an idea and in an independent exercise of creation, creating the same idea in your mind is not recreation of an idea from that idea.

I note: 

1. It is a "provident" coincidence that the exact same idea is the product of your second act of idea creation absent any causation by the original idea ever having been in your mind.

2.  It is "convenient" (to your example if not the person wanting to come up with the idea) that you have irrevocably lost the original idea in your mind, and that you would not be able to recollect it after thinking about it.

In reality a person after having had an idea in their mind would likely recall it after thinking about it and trying to remember it.

3.  If the idea was not your originally, you could be reminded of the idea by exposure to the media or persons who exposed it to you originally. Here, however, the idea is the same idea not a new one and not a duplicate, you merely gain knowledge of the idea.

 

Assuming for a moment that the original idea we are speaking of was created by someone else and you wish to exercise your "right to duplicate", your hypotheticals do not serve as examples of duplication or re-creation of an idea from an original idea, your fumbling points to:

1. recollection of the idea already possessed but forgotten (this is causally linked to the original)

2.  independent coincidental creation of the idea (this is not causally linked to the original, and is an example of independent creation of an idea not duplication)

3.  gaining knowledge of an idea (after irretrievably forgotten or never having been known to a particular person) (this is causally linked to the existence of the original idea)

None of these is re-creation or duplication of an idea from the idea.  There are creators of ideas and receivers of ideas, no re-creators of ideas. 

 

So far all you have been able to show is

1.  "Stuff" can be duplicated or recreated

I will add the following conclusions [which I have always held and patiently hoped you would discover and arrive at]:

2.  ideas cannot be re-created of duplicated, they are only created

3. independent creation of the same idea is possible absent any causative link between the two i.e when the creation of one idea is not causally linked to the independent creation of the same idea

 

 

Edited by StrictlyLogical

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2 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

...

None of these is re-creation or duplication of an idea from the idea.  There are creators of ideas and receivers of ideas, no re-creators of ideas. 

...

This fails by definition and practice, BUT it does give us something to work from.  We won't agree in terms of steps to duplicate an original idea, however we should be able to make some assessment of whether a right to property allows for duplication* by others.

What say you?
--
* according to steps 1A, 1B & 1C agreed to earlier.

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In order to be consistent, your observation that there are only creators and receivers would be applicable to stuff as well as ideas.  Dividing stuff from ideas has led us to conditionally allow the former and deny the latter.  But supporting IP doesn't allow for the duplication of creator stuff without permission, so the former must be denied too.  What to do?

Look to the source of all rights for something that distinguishes and subjugates receivers to creators in the implementation of their right to property.

Take your time, StrictlyLogical.

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Shame on you, Devil's Advocate, for using StrictlyLogical as a salutation. Under normal circumstances, that might be considered or taken as impersonation.

At times, I get the impression you are true to form.

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42 minutes ago, dream_weaver said:

Shame on you, Devil's Advocate, for using StrictlyLogical as a salutation. Under normal circumstances, that might be considered or taken as impersonation.

At times, I get the impression you are true to form.

There is a small, but crucial, grammatical difference between direct address and salutation. I believe that Devil's Advocate invoked StrictlyLogical's name according to the former and not the latter, and unless you were joking, I hold it to be so clearly the case that I'm a bit staggered by your damning interpretation.

One of the challenges I have with this board is the persistent feeling that a good percentage of the users here approach one another with precious little charity. We are apt to interpret everything in the worst conceivable terms. This needs to change. The people here who care about the things worth caring about need to set on a course to change the culture.

If there is any such thing as an "Objectivist sense of life," and if it is anything worth having, then I'd sorely like to see it on display. We must be and do better.

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DonAnthos, damning interpretations apply to the man-made, as well as individual men, each based on the individual merits of their own respective cases. Given my stance on many issues across a broad swath of time, I can understand your concern. My comment to Devil's Advocate was sincere with no malice intended.

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6 hours ago, dream_weaver said:

... My comment to Devil's Advocate was sincere with no malice intended.

None taken.

I agree with the Original DA that tone can have a negative effect on discourse, particularly in the absence of more persuasive (yet often heated) exchanges.  For myself, a rise in temperature means we are getting somewhere near to the heart of a contentious issue, and I will often push ahead where a timeout may be more appropriate.  I rely on admin/moderators to thump me when appropriate.

That being said, I consider StrictlyLogical's contrast of creators and receivers to be a significant (and welcome) addition to this topic.  My response to him was an eager attempt to follow this line of thought, which I suspect lies at the heart of the contention between advocates and opponents of IP.  I look forward to pursuing this discussion when he is ready to continue.

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The OP said that "property rights" apply to scarce (i.e. finite) valuables; that if you can use my stuff without affecting me at all then I have no right to stop you. If that's false then we must deal, more broadly, with the "free rider" problem.

 

Suppose I put a statue in my lawn, which any passerby can admire; thereby taking an aesthetic value from me. If such gains are the basis of property rights (as we've heard for 27 pages) then we must find a way to force such passers-by to pay me for it. This applies in the same way to anything that people can derive some "value" from (which means every conceivable thing).

Carry the implications through. Starting from that premise, we can only arrive at a political system that would make noise ordinances, zoning laws and the EPA look like good-natured mischief. While I sympathize with DonAthos' call for us to presume each other intellectually innocent-until-proven-guilty, I truly feel I must question how and why anyone could call the result "Capitalism".

 

If anyone is truly struggling to imagine the practical results then please say so. However, if you claim to know what this would mean in practice and then assert its desirability, I will take your word for it.

 

---

 

More broadly, I believe "meme theory" strikes directly at the heart of the issue (which, as I've said, revolves around communication). Specifically, the arguments for IP that have been advanced here implicitly treat any given "idea" as a single existent, which hops from brain to brain.

 

Recall the section of Galt's Speech which dealt with the soul/body dichotomy. Then, while holding in your mind the image of "ideas" jumping across brains of their own volition, ask yourself what attribute of man is absent from that picture.

 

P.S.

 

While innovation is the single greatest and most important thing that humam beings can do, it does not work the way you seem to think it does. We cannot grasp the proper way of dealing with (and rewarding) it until we know precisely what we're talking about.

To demand IP rights for innovators, at the price of what that term actually means, does not represent a step forwards.

 

For Ayn Rand to have made one or two mistakes, in an entire lifetime of discoveries, is more than understandable (and her consistent accuracy is truly amazing). For we, who have the benefit of all of her insights (as well as many others that were made after her death) and of decades of hindsight, to enshrine those errors into permanent doctrine, is inexcusable.

Edited by Harrison Danneskjold
Two Cents

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On 4/13/2016 at 10:38 AM, StrictlyLogical said:

 There are creators of ideas and receivers of ideas, no re-creators of ideas.

 

And where did that idea come from?

You don't have to answer; it's a rhetorical question, to demonstrate the self-referencial hazards of this topic (with which a number of people in this thread have already hanged themselves).

 

The real question is: how are these ideas transferred from brain to brain?

 

You make it sound as if "learning" consists of plucking knowledge out of some luminous aether. If this were the case then we wouldn't have spent 28 pages discussing this; the author of the OP would've placed his ideas into the aether and you would've absorbed them as easily as Oxygen (and, in that world, you would be correct - until you soaked up the OP).

 

I've spoken at length about the nature of communication, as it relates to the Turing Test; how those who denied the role of "introspective analogies" necessarily implied some special, non-sensory method of exchanging information (although I don't know if I put it that bluntly) by which we could identify each other's consciousnesses without reference to any observable evidence of them.

What are you doing here if not defending the same sort of non-observable, unverifiable misintegration?

 

The key insight to apply to both cases (which is the proper starting point for a proper grasp of what "communication" means) is that there's no such thing as a collective brain.

 

Let's concretize it.

 

Suppose you and I wanted to approach "memetics" scientifically. The very first step would be some sort of classification of ideas, analogous to the biological classifications of organisms.

Now, one might start by classifying concepts according to their referents (as discussed in the ITOE), so that "Communism" and "Capitalism" would be distinct members of the same family (identical in most of their referents, but differing in a few crucial ways), et cetera. Sounds good, right?

 

Wrong. Once we start classifying "concepts-as-such" that way, we have to ask ourselves: is "Capitalism" the same concept in every mind that holds it?

Some people use that term to refer to other things (such as "mixed economies") but let's ignore that, for the moment; it really isn't important. What about the concept itself, of a society which prohibits the use of physical force; is that the same for everybody who grasps it? Surely, a Communist's concept of "Capitalism" is different from yours or mine. And not just in its emotional coloring or connotations; in the mind of Karl Marx, "Capitalism" also denoted "the primary cause of war and poverty" because, in his mind (and Buddha's), "self-interest" meant "the cause of all of the pain in the world".

So this one concept - of a society which forbids the use of physical force - can mean radically different things to different people. Ayn Rand mentioned this in the introduction to the Virtue of Selfishness, when she explained why most peoples' concept of "Selfishness" (not just the word, but the idea itself) was in desperate need of revision. Indeed, to the extent that we hold different views of what "ideas" are, I suspect that your concept of "Capitalism" and mine are different things. For that matter, Don Athos or Devil's Advocate and I probably have slightly different conceptions of it, as well, stemming from any other conceivable issue on which we may disagree.

 

What does this mean?

 

Concepts do not exist in a vacuum. Since all knowledge is interconnected, so are all of the ideas, feelings, memories, and everything else inside of any human mind.

We can and should use isolated concepts when we speak, as if they existed in a vacuum. For example, it isn't necessary to outline the entirety of my mental content for you in order to express "the cat is on the mat" (nor would that be an advisable way to try to express anything at all). This is rational and proper.

What isn't rational or proper is to speak of concepts, themselves, as isolated and separable existents; as if they meant nothing more, inside any individual mind, than they do when used for communication.

 

This is the precise misconception of "communication" which underlies Rand's defense of IP (and "meme theory" and any other variation of collective cognition).

 

Any questions or objections?

Edited by Harrison Danneskjold
Clarity

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