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Everything posted by Mnrchst

  1. It sounds like you're just arguing straight-up utilitarianism. Why not say "But why should someone be able to keep a bunch of oil in their basement when this oil could be used to create more stuff?" This ignores the question of *where* the invention came from.
  2. That's true. But suppose that this invention would've ( a ) been invented by someone else 1 year later ( b ) the year-later inventor would've given up the patent or charged less for its use and ( c ) the patent is longer than a year (perhaps 20 years). Now there are a lot of people who WILL lose something relative to the counter-factual. Yes, I agree in principle with what you're saying, but the critical issue is the term of the patent and the context of the invention.
  3. So you're saying that as long as someone isn't threatening your life, they're not violating your rights? I don't see how you can really believe that. Is your life threatened if someone steals one of your socks? I currently am leaning towards opposition to patents (or at least patents longer than a few weeks) on the grounds that the duration of the invention (see my previous posts) can't really be proved. But this scarcity argument ("I'm not losing anything") doesn't jibe for me. This ignores that all property is fundamentally intellectual and that a creation of an invention is fundamentally
  4. Yes, I know. I'm just asking *IF* we could know, would you want that as the standard? Here's an analogy: Rand said murderers deserve the death penalty morally but not politically, because of the epistemological problem of not knowing completely for sure (as in metaphysically) if anyone ever murders someone. So isn't it at least plausible to say that there's the moral standard of the patent existing the length of the time until it would have been invented until someone else even though we can't get that politically because we can't know that length of time?
  5. In response: There's the argument that "all property is fundamentally intellectual". http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pagename=reg_ls_intellectual_property
  6. You're misunderstanding me. I'm drawing a distinction between the concept "apple" AS SUCH and "Person X is thinking about the concept of 'apple' ". Yes, there can be no idea not in someone's head, but that doesn't mean you can't conceive of the idea of "apple" without it being in someone's head.
  7. *** Mod's note: Merged with an existing topic. - sN *** http://en.wikipedia....mited_liability I'm not sure what to make of this. On the one hand, I get why this exists. People don't want people to be fined just for investing in a corporation if there was a disaster that was the result of employees not following protocol. On the other hand, without enough investment, the employees couldn't have made X disaster happen because they couldn't have been in the position to make it happen.
  8. I'm saying *what if* we could know. Do you see my point? If you *could* know, wouldn't you use this as the standard? If not, why not? What would be a better standard? Anyone who benefits from knowledge of the invention, even if its just "I'm glad I know this"
  9. You mean potentially forever? We should have patents on inventions from hundreds of years ago? This is vague. How exactly are we to tell the difference? That there is no right to control the contents of someone's mind doesn't preclude the possibility of ideas (as such) as property. You're confusing ideas (as such) with ideas in someone's head.
  10. They can (as long as it's in the 'will' of the inventor).
  11. I'm saying they ought to reap the profits of their invention. If they invent something that was going to be invented one year later, their invention is the invention of this invention for one year--that's how long it takes until their invention no longer counts as an invention because it was invented by someone else. If someone invents X and someone else would have invented X 5 years later, then the invention of X is more valuable than if it would have been invented by someone else one month later. Do you see my point? That's true and irrelevant to this discussion. I'm asking what ought
  12. Indefinitely? As for the time period--it's an objective measurement of their contribution of the invention (how long it takes until their contribution stops existing in the counter-factual).
  13. To milked: Then why did Rand oppose indefinite patents? If we can agree that patents should exist and shouldn't be indefinite, then that takes us to the question of how long they should exist and by what standard(s) we ought to use to determine this, which is the point of this thread.
  14. I'm interested in reading this in its entirety. I'd like to do this for free. :|
  15. I definitely think people have a moral right to control the use of their ideas. Translating this into politics in where it starts to get incredibly complex for me. The way I see it is like this: If an inventor invents something and no one else would have invented it for 100 years, then the inventor deserves a 100 year patent. If, however, an inventor invents something and no one else would have invented it for one month, then the inventor deserves a one month patent. This is an objective measurement of their contribution by inventing the invention. The problem then is determining the mos
  16. You're right. What I meant was that they cannot value outside of the context of being alive. In other words, they're not valuing themselves, but they're valuing their own pleasure (which they get from not valuing themselves, as in altruism). What are the errors the article makes about Rand? (other than it's assertion that she doesn't really believe in free will).
  17. http://mises.org/daily/4698 I surmise the author is in Rothbard's camp and deliberately misrepresented Rand's and Rothbard's views in order to covertly promote anarcho-capitalism, but I'm wise to his slight of hand. He presents the discrepancy as "Rand said people don't have complete freedom of choice and Rothbard says they do" in order to make Rothbard's political position seem better. Obviously, people do have complete freedom of choice, but what the author fails to mention is that people are "condemned to be free" as Sartre would put it. We cannot choose to not value ourselves in the
  18. Ok, it's a "civil violation" or whatever? Or we're talking about libel? Anyway, are you going to continue to argue your case?
  19. Having thought about this a bit, I've decided that I favor defamation as crime in a very limited way: Let's say there's only one doctor in the world who can cure you of X problem, and I'm his assistant, and I tell you he'll kill you during the operation. That's definitely an attempt at murder because if you act on my information, you have no alternative except the disease harming you.
  20. That's true. However, when I say "The car has brakes" then you're going to get killed if you drive it--that's tangible harm. If I say "This guy has done X Y and Z, so don't buy his stuff, talk to him etc." that's not actually harming someone. They might avoid getting a solution to a problem from that particular person, but you're not actually making whatever their problem is worse. You're giving them a reason to not address it with a particular person, but that doesn't necessarily mean they can't address it by going to someone else.
  21. Let me elaborate a little further: In the example you gave, I was provided no additional context. Suppose some guy tells me he collects cars. He wants a car you own towed to his house. He says he'll never drive the car, and there are multiple cars he owns that apparently have never been driven by anyone after he gets them. If you sell him a car that doesn't have brakes (and you know it) and he drives it and dies as a result of the lack of brakes, then you're guilty of manslaughter. If this guy's about to drive this thing out of the lot, then that's murder. If there's a guy who walks by a
  22. It's not, because all property is fundamentally intellectual--someone's doing some thinking to make a product even in a sweat shop. I will add, however, that this doesn't necessarily mean that every intellectual product must count as property.
  23. No. I think it's manslaughter. You didn't murder the person because they drank the water, but you endangered their life by telling them something that is false (I think this is basically analogous to fraud or a death threat).
  24. Wouldn't this mean that none of us can be held accountable for our behavior? "Prove a negative" means "prove X doesn't exist" which basically means "Prove unicorns don't exist." That's not what I'm talking about. My point is that you're saying "We know person B did so-and-so because person A did AND we know that it would not have happened if person A didn't do so-and-so." You can't prove that. You, in fact, are the one trying to prove a negative: that something wouldn't have happened were circumstances different. Why? No it isn't--how do you actually prove this? Furthermore,
  25. For C and D's actions? How so? C and D decided to change their behavior, not A. Anything? No, my point is only that you can't prove that a person would not have stopped patronizing X business if the falsehoods weren't circulated. But this doesn't really matter--even if you demonstrate that a person made a decision because of the falsehoods, that doesn't mean they aren't responsible for their actions. You didn't address most of my post where I make this viewpoint explicit. Again, it's not damage--it's the withdrawal of value. And you're not explaining why this is a rights violation,
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