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brian0918
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I'm wondering if you use a to-do list or an organizer? I find that I have much more time on my hands to do leisure activities when I have a prioritized to-do list. Once I get down everything I need to do in a given week, then I find I am able to move some items around to a different day or time slot to make my errand-running more efficient.

I also add a little extra time to everything I have planned, so as to account for unexpected traffic, bad weather, or other unforeseen events. If I need the time, great, I accounted for it and if not, then I just have that much more time at the end of the day/week for leisure activities. I also allow a little extra time each day, if possible, to add in another to-do item, in case something comes up throughout the week.

I use Lotus Organizer at home and work to keep track of my to-do list, but a handwritten list or calendar has worked for me just as well in the past...you just have to commit to it and use it.

There are still days, weeks, or even months, when I am too busy to get much leisure stuff done, but being organized sure helps minimize those times.

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I use to-do lists for work. Mainly in the form of project management tracking software. I also started writing out a weekly calendar as well as my roles and my goals for those different roles (ala Covey). This covers my work items and my general appointments throughout the week. My wife and I have a general todo list about 3 pages long. She writes todo lists constantly. I could probably do a better job of to do lists for personal items. It is a good suggestion, thanks. Recently I suggested writing and displaying a general evening schedule for us, since some tasks aren't that bad if you can spend 10-20 minutes each night on them (finances, etc). I don't think there is an easy solution to my frustrations though, other then recognizing my conflict and changing my habits and desires (which admittedly is not easy)..

Edited by capricorn
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Recognizing conflict and changing habits can be tough, but at least you realize that's what you need to do...that's half the battle sometimes. :P

I think you're onto something with creating and displaying your evening schedule of events. I hate to admit I watched it, but I watched one of those reality, nanny shows once and she made a poster that outlined the family's schedule, from the time they woke up to the time they went to sleep. It kept everyone on the same page and was simple enough that even the kiddos could look up there and see what was expected of them. The kids thrived on the routine, including consistent bed times, and the parents found some peace and time to enjoy each other. Anyway, if you try it, let me know how it goes. We're thinking of having a kiddo in the next year or two. :lol:

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  • 2 weeks later...
I'm wondering if you use a to-do list or an organizer? I find that I have much more time on my hands to do leisure activities when I have a prioritized to-do list. Once I get down everything I need to do in a given week, then I find I am able to move some items around to a different day or time slot to make my errand-running more efficient.

I also add a little extra time to everything I have planned, so as to account for unexpected traffic, bad weather, or other unforeseen events. If I need the time, great, I accounted for it and if not, then I just have that much more time at the end of the day/week for leisure activities. I also allow a little extra time each day, if possible, to add in another to-do item, in case something comes up throughout the week.

I use Lotus Organizer at home and work to keep track of my to-do list, but a handwritten list or calendar has worked for me just as well in the past...you just have to commit to it and use it.

There are still days, weeks, or even months, when I am too busy to get much leisure stuff done, but being organized sure helps minimize those times.

I have a row of seven index cards Scotch taped onto my desk, each one labeled for a day of the week. When something comes up, I scribble it down on a Post-It note and place in on the applicable day. The good thing about using sticky notes is that if I don't get everything done or want to work ahead, I can move events/appointments/tasks up or down as needed -- not to mention the ability to color code, <3.

For microtasking and prioritizing, I have a Samsill Classic.

Even though most of my work is done online, I find it easier to write things down as opposed to using software. Honestly, I think it boils down to what works for you. For me, it's easier to manage tangible things like little pieces of paper as opposed to iCal or OneNote.

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Recognizing conflict and changing habits can be tough, but at least you realize that's what you need to do...that's half the battle sometimes.

I must admit, this part of the thread was difficult for me to read. Currently I'm in a bit of a slump of inactivity and disorganization. I know that when I read about others who are organized, it inspires me to become so myself, and actually I've been hoping for a little such inspiration...but then it can be hard to read about, cause then I know I'll have to do something about it!

Well, I'm off to do something about it.

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Becoming consistent can be quite a challenge. I have been an ardent supporter of individual rights, but have knowingly permitted myself to act contrary to that which I promote. So, I am working to correct it. Yesterday I deleted my entire collection of downloaded music - a collection that's been growing for over 10 years. I also piled up all my copied CDs/DVDs of music, games, software, movies, TV shows, etc - probably about 500 in total - and plan to dump them at the nearby recycling plant. My next step after that (Mac fans stop reading at this point) is to *gasp* buy a legitimate copy of Windows XP. :confused: Windows 95 was the last time I remember buying an operating system.

This was difficult for me, but maybe it's a non-issue for others. So, I'd like to know where people have found the most difficulty in being consistent, whether regarding property rights, self-esteem, personal goals, treatment of others, etc.

Regarding 'copyright' infringement, it is difficult to be consistent given that each form is different due the nature of it.

Copying music to me is akin to standing at a concert, putting a microphone in the air and recording it OR sitting with ones friends and listening to some music. There is no physical 'property' lost. For me I take a middle road though; if I can purchase the music I will but if the music is out of print or I can't purchase it then I don't see downloading as 'stealing' given that I can't 'legally' acquire a physical copy.

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Regarding 'copyright' infringement, it is difficult to be consistent given that each form is different due the nature of it.

What is difficult about the concept that you didn't pay for it so it is wrong to steal it.

Copying music to me is akin to standing at a concert, putting a microphone in the air and recording it OR sitting with ones friends and listening to some music. There is no physical 'property' lost. For me I take a middle road though; if I can purchase the music I will but if the music is out of print or I can't purchase it then I don't see downloading as 'stealing' given that I can't 'legally' acquire a physical copy.

Wrong. Your not authorized by the music's creators to make a copy of their work. You bought a ticket to hear the concert, not the license to record it. Listening to music with a friend is fine, there is no theft, but when you decide that you like the music so much you would like to have a copy, and you illegally copy it, you deny the creator of it the benefit of their hard work. That makes you a thief and no better than any other thief taking something they didn't earn, work for or produce.

The availability of the product doesn't matter. That is like saying "Hey, they aren't making the Jaguar E Type any more and there are none for sale so I'll just steal this one."

Edited by Zip
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There are side benefits to becoming consistent and not pirating software/music/etc. Among them is the ability to adjust your life's priorities.

When I was pirating movies and TV shows, I tended to watch too much. When it's easy to download a dozen movies a week, and there's no incremental cost, it's easy to just sit down on the couch and watch, and watch, and watch. (My spouse is a movie buff, so that was further incentive.) Since I've stopped (generally) pirating, I have more time to do more important things. Many are leisure activities like reading or surfing the web. But it's also easier to focus on work when need be.

Others have mentioned the internal benefits. Now that I have the trader principle automatized, I no longer resent having to work for a living. I recognize it as an exchange of value that allows me to earn my livelihood.

Consistency makes it easier to react appropriately to challenges. When you're inconsistent, you are habitually responding to a small problem with "This isn't really congruent with my philosophy, but I'll make an exception because [blank]." If you don't train your philosophy to stand for small challenges, how do you expect it to help on the big ones?

I'll admit I still have work to do, but the closer I come to being consistent with my stated values, the more benefits accrue. Life is fundamentally more rewarding for a producer than a moocher or a looter, even if the looting was part-time. For those working towards this goal: keep going! For those about to start: it is worth it!

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  • 2 months later...

I am not deleting my music as of yet, because I have not been significantly convinced of the immorality of downloading copies. My main point of contention here revolves around the idea that illegally downloaded music is unearned.

It takes an act of labor for the artist to create music, yes. It, however, also takes an act of labor to acquire a copy of this music. An act of labor that does the artist no harm surely means that the copy acquired is earned, not monetarily, but through the very act of acquiring it. These copies aren't thrown at you or automatically dumped into your music folders.

I am beyond sure that this point will be torn to pieces by some of the prominent Objectivists here, and that's what I am hoping for. Convince me of my error in logic :o

Edited by AmoProbos
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Intellectual property is still property. You took something that wasn't yours.

What did they take? They took an idea? You can't take an idea, just as you can't declare war on an idea.

Intellectual property is legitimately defined as property by a contractual agreement only. You may have worked hard to accomplish some sort of intellectual or creative achievement, but once it is created for the world to see, you've immediately unleashed the potential of its copy to the rest of the world - unless you bind the people who use the resultant product to a contract stating precisely the conditions of any intellectual property agreements.

Somebody taking your idea and selling it as their own is not a force unless that person lies about it. So unless you say that you're the inventor of this product/innovation, there really is no illegitimate action taking place yet.

Besides, in a free market, substitute products only exist if the competing firm is able to give some sort of extra benefit to using their good over another, like cheaper prices, better service, etc. Nobody is being treated unfairly by the government or by competing private interests until fraud, lying, or other acts of aggression take place by some other party.

Of course, as this whole thing relates to the music industry, people who purchase almost all music out there agree to a contract that states they will not redistribute the product, copy it, etc. So intellectual property being an illegitimate protection of government doesn't excuse the present situation even in theoretical terms.

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What did they take? They took an idea? You can't take an idea, just as you can't declare war on an idea.

So say I design and build a motor that runs on electrostatic energy. If someone takes my designs without my permission- that would be taking an idea. But you say this isn't possible?

Intellectual property is legitimately defined as property by a contractual agreement only.

No, intellectual property is defined as property because the creator has a moral right to it. Intellectual property may not require physical effort but it still requires mental effort.

You may have worked hard to accomplish some sort of intellectual or creative achievement, but once it is created for the world to see, you've immediately unleashed the potential of its copy to the rest of the world

I suppose. In the same way that a man who creates a physical entity has unleashed the possibility that a thief may steal his property. The possibility of theft doesn't make it right.

Nobody is being treated unfairly by the government or by competing private interests until fraud, lying, or other acts of aggression take place by some other party.

Is stealing (ie. taking another persons property) not an act of aggression?

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have the type of taste that prefers a good album over a good single.

Bands that write/play singles, to me, are scam artists.

My defense mechanism against this scam artistry is piracy, it allows me to distinguish between bands that are genuinely worth giving money to, and bands that would have otherwise suckered me into buying an album with a decent single.

I download a copy of an album, and listen to it for maybe a week.

If I like the album I'll go buy it, because promoting good bands is important to me.

I feel it is also equally important to not promote awful bands.

8)

Morally I find this no different than buying an album, disliking it, and attempting to return it... except I save gas money driving back and forth from places that sell CD's.

A store won't allow you to return a CD because you got the album home and decided that the band was bad... they would obviously believe you took the album home... ripped it... and are trying to get your money back.

I don't think I'm being morally inconsistent with this approach at all.

Edited by Alone
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I have the type of taste that prefers a good album over a good single.

Bands that write/play singles, to me, are scam artists.

[...]

I don't think I'm being morally inconsistent with this approach at all.

A scam artist is someone who is trying to sell a value, but isn't actually offering said value. In contrast, bands that write singles create a real value to many people, otherwise people wouldn't buy the music. If you don't value that kind of music, don't buy it.

There are loads of convenient legitimate ways for you to preview a song or album before you buy it. Rhapsody online, amazon.com, the radio, a friend's house... why would you download a copy for yourself another way? These days, it's more of a hassle.

Besides that, it's not how the creators of the music, or the people who bought the rights to distribute the music, want to trade the music with you for your money. So, if you don't like that, feel free to protest, but any other way you choose to acquire the music is a form of theft, whether you wind up liking and purchasing the music or not. Do you support stealing sometimes in the society you live in, but not others? If so, why?

Edited by JASKN
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A scam artist is someone who is trying to sell a value, but isn't actually offering said value.

Right, and the scam artists I'm referring to will sell you an album that is 9/10th's crap with 3:00 minute manufactured songs with 3 cords and no substance... marketed with 1 decent single.

The unit of value in the exchange is an album, unless you're buying singles online (I obviously don't). Suppose I operate on the assumption that the quality of said album ought to be reflected by the quality of said single, and it isn't. Scam artist band is marketing 9/10ths crap and luring people into buying it with 1/10ths quality.

This isn't relevant whether many people regard it as valuable.

Whether or not "many people" regard singles as valuable says nothing about my valuation of them. It isn't a majority rules vote for what is and is not of value.

....If you don't value that kind of music, don't buy it...

Of course the little problem you're dismissing is that, since I'm not an omniscient being... whether or not I commit to buying something that I like would require that I know that I like it before I buy it, and I can't know that unless I spend time with the music.

@ loads of convenient legitimate ways for you to preview a song or album before you buy it

How could a "preview" be enough to determine whether or not a band is worth giving money to or not?

Rhapsody, Amazon, nor poor quality Radio, give me enough to make a solid value judgment on a band. One minute previews are not sufficient for anyone with any level of sophistication in their musical tastes.

This would be the equivalent of looking to buy a car, and during the test drive you were only allowed to circle the parking lot once and weren't allowed to test any of the instrumentation or electronics.

The fact that they allow Rhapsody, Amazon, and the Radio give "free previews" of their music to the general public indicates that the creators and distributes do want to distribute their music this way. Through mass exposure. The concept of someone wanting to preview their music is obviously satisfactory to both the creators and the distributors. My "free preview" is no different, only more in depth to suit my taste in music.

@any other way you choose to acquire the music is a form of theft, whether you wind up liking and purchasing the music or not.

The difference between the music streaming through a radio, amazon at the click of a button, or rhapsody at the click of a button is no different than with the click of a button off a torrent site. The concept remains the same, they want to make their music available for preview so that people become exposed to it and are hopefully drawn to buy it. I've also heard of record labels putting albums on torrent sites before the album releases to stir up hype and generate a buzz in anticipation for an album release. They use it as marketing strategy now.

Do you support stealing sometimes in the society you live in, but not others? If so, why?

I don't support labeling it "theft" when someone hands you something and goes "hey check this out, and if you like this buy it."

Edited by Alone
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I think it's fairly obvious that you just want to rationalize a justification for acquiring music like you are doing it, listening to it for as long as you like, and then maybe buying it after the fact... or not. In response to what I wrote, you're just reasserting your original post.

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Alone, you are lying to yourself. If you go to i-tunes you can buy your singles at 99 cents each. You only have to buy the ones you want and buying it you are not being "ripped off" buying the rest of the album you don't want. You can also go to a site like this to get a better idea.

You are in essence blaming the band for your lack of discretion. You can track down and listen to all of the songs on an album but you don't. You laziness leads you to the idea that you are being ripped off so your leap of 'logic' is "I'll rip them off first and then if I like it I'll buy the album". You put your morals down in order to pick them up again when you aren't feeling so lazy.

What you are doing is theft.

If you were selling your car would I be justified in taking it from you without your permission or knowledge and drive it around for a week so I could make up my mind if I really wanted to buy it?

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I can understand not wanting to buy a whole bunch of other stuff you don't know well based off one or two things you do know well and have liked only to find out the rest of the stuff really isn't up to the same quality as the stuff you already knew and were making further purchases based off of. That can feel like you were mislead and tricked into buying a bunch of junk under false implied promises. As has been said though, there's a number of legitimate ways to try to get to know first what the rest of the stuff is like before buying. If you don't think hearing pieces of songs is sufficient and don't know anybody you can borrow the other songs from, at least many current musicians I know will often put entire albums of theirs up on official myspace pages for example and there you can listen to the stuff to your heart's (and/or mind's) content without violating anybody's rights before making any decisions about if you want to buy more stuff by them or not.

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No moral distinction has been given for how obtaining the music for preview is different whether through Rhapsody/Myspace/iTunes or IsoHunt (A torrent site).

The name calling (lazy, thief, etc...) is unjustified because you're failing to make the distinction. Your central argument is "this is not the method the band/distributor chooses to interact with you" Whether or not the media is stored in cache on my hard drive or in an mp3 player is immaterial, it's still a digital copy obtained for free. The failed attempt here on your part, is to draw a distinction between the bits/bytes as they stream through to your PC (volitile memory), and when they are stored on your PC (cached), or as bits in an mp3 player. No such distinction exists, nor is any distinction meaningful.

Here is another related topic... to further highlight how meaningless the distinction is.

How about when you purchase a CD and you copy it to preserve the original disk... to prolong its life... to convert it into Mp3 format for use on your Mp3 player? These are all seperate copies of the same music.

How about when the disk becomes so scratched that it no longer plays, and you then choose to go download the CD instead of buying a new one?

How is allowing a friend to "borrow" a CD for preview different than allowing a stranger to "borrow" a digital copy for preview? ...since you seem to think going over to a friends house to preview a CD was a satisfactory solution.

Perceptions of digital rights are already conforming to the fact that you can't "own" bits/bytes, and that attempting to police over "digital rights" is futile, and many examples exist. Recently an artist "Moby" marketed an album with a price tag on it that you could determine when you picked it up at the store. Just pay what you want. He also made the album available for free download online. Sites like "Hulu" are popping up more frequently now, because broadcasting stations understand they can't prevent the redistribution of their media... and they're making it all available for free in high quality. Even Monty Python has a high quality youtube channel, accessible at no charge... so that poorer quality videos become non-existant. The realization here is that it is a prerequisite for participation on the internet to conceed that what you put out there will be traded and copied without end.

The internet, and information technology in general, have introduced new spins on morality such that old principles cannot be applied in the same way.

...so spare me your oversimplifications and spare me the name calling. If you would like to attempt to draw a distinction, feel free... otherwise you've got no leg to stand on.

Edited by Alone
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As with most things, it comes down to - do you respect individual rights, or don't you? Voluntary trade for mutual benefit is the entire basis of capitalism and any time you distort that you undermine someone's livelihood and essentially deny reality.

In the case of CDs, downloading from Limewire or PirateBay is a violation because the copyright owners never agreed to that method of distribution. They agreed to let people play songs to their friends, or make backup copies, etc - that's all covered under 'fair use' and such. They may also have agreed to stream the album on MySpace. But they did not agree to distribute it on filesharing networks - and for anyone to do so not only violates their rights of control but undermines other financial enterprises they might pursue - for instance MySpace or Yahoo may have paid a lot of money to provide this free, streaming experience to their viewers, and in turn advertisers may have paid a lot of money to advertise on Yahoo or MySpace based on these popular services.

I used to come up with creative excuses for filesharing too. 'Forcing the market to adjust to the digital reality' and stuff like that. There's many others, and they all have one thing in common - they're all just self-serving excuses - and not in a good way. It's the service of whim despite pretensions to the contrary. They fall apart upon any rigorous inspection. A recent development that's quite pathetic is the 'piracy is different from theft' idea, because you're creating a copy not taking the original. I mean, have you ever heard someone use the phrase 'PIRACY of state secrets?' 'PIRACY of trade secrets?'

The argument about 1 good single for a 10 song album is clearly absurd. Have you ever heard of these things called reviews?

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The name calling (lazy, thief, etc...) is unjustified because you're failing to make the distinction.

You're correct I do not make a distinction between someone who steals someone's money or someone who steals the product that makes someone that money.

Your choice is to steal or not, be moral or not, respect individual rights or not, deal with men as a trader or be a moocher and a thief.

There is nothing wrong with name calling if the name is deserved.

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You've still not given any valid distinction which doesn't crumble under an ounce of scrutiny...

"Fair Use" - If this covers "letting friends borrow" then what difference does it make what relationship you have to the person you let borrow an album?

Why is it different if you let a stranger "borrow" an album over the internet? If you consider it theft, then you would have to view the question like "What difference does it make if I split the loot with a stranger (theft) or split the loot with a friend (fair use)."

What difference does it make which version of the media you allow them to borrow?

Suppose you keep the backup you made and allow them to borrow the original, or visa versa. Suppose you keep the original and rip them a set of Mp3 files for them to borrow. Different types of digital media are still just digital media, the particular form is immaterial.

"Fair Use" is completely vague, ill-defined, and makes arbitrary meaningless distinctions. After all, since this is what I'm doing, "borrowing" the album for a preview... then some rational understanding of how you're asserting this distinction must exist. I'm still waiting for you to explain it, rather than simply asserting it.

The argument about 1 good single for a 10 song album is clearly absurd. Have you ever heard of these things called reviews?

Perhaps you should read the posts of those you're responding to before you make remarks like this. Is reading the thread too much to ask? I think not.

Now, I stated earlier that reviews are of no value to me. The judgments of others hold no value, even people I have more in common with than I have differences here on this forum. The only review that has any meaning to me is my review, because music is a personal experience and there is no possibility for another reviewer to walk into experiencing an album with my identity.

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