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A Misapplication of Property Rights

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20 hours ago, dream_weaver said:

The private property portion of the radio wave should be the frequency it is broadcasted on within a specified range of transmission.

I think the entire transmission (or electromagnetic radiation) should be private property. Frequency is just one way to measure the waves in a transmission. I found this NASA article to be very helpful.

Because it's the frequency that causes interference with different transmissions on the same frequency, it makes sense to require a license to broadcast particular frequencies in particular areas. Otherwise, there will be chaos. In this regard, the government should simply act as a traffic cop, making sure radio traffic moves in a safe and orderly manner.

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Yeah man, plus all of reality should be communist because we're living in the visible light spectrum. It's passing through us! Blind people are the real capitalists, man. **Bong hit** 

I find MisterSwig’s arguments persuasive.  He can defend his position but I would reply ... 2046, The electromagnetic spectrum is a range of frequencies, like a series of inches is  a range

Suppose you live on a farm in the boondocks.  A man, a rather mean man, manages to buy up parcels of land that together form a ring around your farm.  Then he starts charging you a toll to cross over

10 minutes ago, MisterSwig said:

I think the entire transmission (or electromagnetic radiation) should be private property. Frequency is just one way to measure the waves in a transmission. I found this NASA article to be very helpful.

Because it's the frequency that causes interference with different transmissions on the same frequency, it makes sense to require a license to broadcast particular frequencies in particular areas. Otherwise, there will be chaos. In this regard, the government should simply act as a traffic cop, making sure radio traffic moves in a safe and orderly manner.

This is probably a nitpick of terms on the requiring a license. Back to homesteading, the property is deeded once conditions were met. The radio frequency used to transmit on should have been "deeded" to the developer, reiterating again, whatever width needed to secure, say 950AM for a radius of, say 50 miles (local radio station in the Detroit area).

The term license carries with it the baggage of licensing the taxi industry, precluding those who could have made their living at it, save the approach to resolving the disputes between taxi drivers on the streets. The "deed" permits the station to place it's commodity on the market as the rightful owner. License suggests permission from a governing agency; drivers license, hunting license, fishing license, etc.

As a guaranteer of rights, 950AM would lodge a trespassing claim, or a police officer savvy enough to have noticed a transmission overlap would issue a citation to the defendant to be brought forth to have the matter adjudicated.

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14 hours ago, dream_weaver said:

The "deed" permits the station to place it's commodity on the market as the rightful owner. License suggests permission from a governing agency; drivers license, hunting license, fishing license, etc.

Radio stations can still sell their station with the frequency license. So, in practice, the process functions much like they have a deed. But in theory they could lose the license at renewal time, if, for example, they've upset the public and receive lots of complaints. I'm not sure if a deed or license is more proper for radio waves. They aren't like land, in that they are impermanent creations that travel over an area. I do agree, however, that some sort of title should be recognized. They shouldn't be considered public property. The license shouldn't be for owning a station and frequency. It should be for broadcasting throughout a city or area.

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21 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

Not unless you plant something on it, like a crop of corn. Otherwise it's only a parcel. There's nothing man-made on it. All you've done is survey and measure it. Is that enough to claim some land as your own? 

I forgot to answer this question. Now that I'm thinking about it, there's nothing to say. Read the next post after the one you quoted, from 2046. That has all the answers you need.

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22 hours ago, 2046 said:

For us, property is not taken from a common stock. Property is produced. From the point of view of a production theory of property, there can be no metaphysically given forms of property. If an activity transforms some aspect of nature into property (production), there can be no forms of property, resources, wealth until such an action accomplishes the result.

Do you see how this leads to the opposite of Rand's conclusion? If I mix my labor and my production with the space above my parcel of land, if I construct a house in that space, if I grow trees that occupy that space, if I put my car and my furniture and my food in that space, if I live in that space, then I own it, and the broadcaster has no right to use it without my permission--by a production theory of property rights.

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31 minutes ago, MisterSwig said:

if I live in that space, then I own it

You still aren't getting it. It's about producing value. That's why public property is a collectivist fiction (individuals are producers).  Furthermore, a broadcaster passing by your property isn't violating anything. It has to deny you use of something you already own, or alter how you plan ahead to use what you own. I have no idea what you're talking about by suggesting that a broadcaster is using your property. Your argument makes no sense. It's incoherent.

EDIT: it's incoherent because you have multiple points going on at the same time, and those points don't cohere together. You make sense with those positions individually, but put together, it's a mess. It's ad hoc.

Edited by Eiuol
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59 minutes ago, MisterSwig said:

if I live in that space, then I own it, and the broadcaster has no right to use it without my permission

What are you going to do about the natural producers of such signals. Shall the sun be held in contempt until it blots itself out from emitting into "your space"?

See Owning Land? for "The source of property rights is the law of causality. All property and all forms of wealth are produced by man's mind and labor." Jon Southall made the argument that the land (or "space" through which electromagnetic waves pass through", was not produced by your mind or your labor . . . you couldn't lay claim to ownership to it.

I racked my brains for some time trying to unravel that. It seems you are wrestling with the same issue in a way.

Edited by dream_weaver
Added specific thread reference.
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On 9/20/2019 at 9:33 AM, dream_weaver said:

What are you going to do about the natural producers of such signals. Shall the sun be held in contempt until it blots itself out from emitting into "your space"?

No. The sun is not a member of society, nor can it be reasoned with or defeated in war.

On 9/20/2019 at 9:33 AM, dream_weaver said:

See Owning Land? for "The source of property rights is the law of causality. All property and all forms of wealth are produced by man's mind and labor." Jon Southall made the argument that the land (or "space" through which electromagnetic waves pass through", was not produced by your mind or your labor . . . you couldn't lay claim to ownership to it.

It looks like Jon focused too hard on the metaphysical versus man-made distinction and dropped the moral and social context of property rights.

Let's take the example of the hunter-gatherers. They are members of a tribe. What is the purpose of a tribe? It's similar to that of a town. Both are social-political groups formed in order to benefit and protect the members of that group. Some tribesmen go hunting to feed the group, some go gathering, some do various tasks around the camp or village to keep the place functioning properly. It's a primitive division of labor. The wise chieftain hears complaints and dictates justice. Warriors train to protect the tribe or raid others for needed supplies. Elders tell stories to pass on knowledge and entertain. Women have children and make clothes and baskets. So when the hunter catches a deer, he recognizes that, in a sense, it's his deer, but also that the rest of the tribe has a certain claim to it, since he is part of a group working to survive together. Their claim is not one of primary (personal, private) ownership. They did not personally kill the deer and carry it back to the village. Their claim is one of secondary (social, public) ownership. They can say that, yes, the hunter caught the deer, but as his fellow tribesmen, we have been raising his children, weaving baskets for him, protecting his family from enemies, dispensing tribal justice and keeping thieves away from his possessions, and entertaining him with stories at night. Doesn't he owe us some of the food that he caught today? Isn't it wrong of him to take from us without giving something in exchange?

That sort of claim does not originate from the tribal premise that "wealth belongs to the tribe or to society as a whole." Rather, its source is the trader principle applied to a social context. Part of the nature of a primitive village or a civilized town is the sharing and trading of values. To function properly, however, the villagers or townsfolk must draw a reasonable and just line between primary-private ownership and secondary-public ownership of the things that comprise the village or town. The individual and his personal space and possessions must be respected, and the integrity and proper functioning of the village or town must be maintained. This is the political problem that divides socialists and capitalists. Socialists say "private property" is a fiction, and capitalists say "public property" is a fiction. Neither one is a fiction, but one does have primacy over the other. Without the individual, the group can't exist. Likewise, without private property, there can be no public property. The purpose of public property is to add value to private property, thereby adding value to the town or nation as a whole.

Even primitive villagers (with only the concepts of "his" versus "ours") must first recognize the deer as belonging to the hunter, before they can then make a claim to some of it based on the trader principle in that social context. And if the hunter should refuse to trade, keeping the whole deer for himself, then he would be setting himself up against the very notion of the trader principle and the social situation that maintains his standard of life. The chieftain would be very reasonable to confiscate part of the deer for tribal use, and possibly to exile the anti-social hunter, if he could not be convinced to change his behavior.

Now, how does all that relate to the ownership of land and space? Well, land and space are very much like the deer, in that they are values needed by everyone in a tribe or town. People must have land and space to use--so they can live and work to produce food and tools, or to make things they can trade for food and tools. A metaphysically given thing, such as an unworked piece of land or an unoccupied region of space, is itself a value to people, whether that value is recognized or not. Its value is objectively relational to man. It's not created by our mind or labor. We discover that metaphysically given value and then later use it to create other things of value from it. We see that an empty field has value as a suitable place to plant seeds, which have value as potential plants, which have value as something to eat. The chain of values begins with the metaphysically given (the land and space), and it continues with the things man makes from the land and in the space. Within a social context the value-chain still begins with the metaphysically given, but now one's claim to a value must be understood within the new context of the village or town. An individual resident has primary ownership over his allotment of land and space, and also the things he produces from that land and in that space, but the other residents have a secondary claim based on the trader principle that governs the proper functioning of the village or town.

Quote

The principle of trade is the only rational ethical principle for all human relationships, personal and social, private and public, spiritual and material. It is the principle of justice. (Ayn Rand)

It is the objective value of land and space which establishes a man's moral right to use and hold such property to survive. And it's the trader principle that recognizes and regulates his political right in a social context. By the law of causality he has primary ownership of any production he causes, including the land and space of his production. And by the same law of causality, he must accept that his fellow townsfolk hold a secondary claim over his land and space, which he owes to them on account of the trader principle applied to his social context. Without the benefits and protections of living in a civilized town, his life and possessions would be vulnerable to any common thug or gang. He therefore must contribute to the overall integrity and health of the town, which means possibly granting easements or property to the public right of ways and infrastructure. 

Edited by MisterSwig
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  • 2 weeks later...

Here is a story of an actual pursuit to limit Wi-Fi signals in Britain.

Woman who sleeps in $500 EMF-blocking sack wants area-wide Wi-Fi limits

I'm only posting this in response for the claim that a phenomenon that can only be shown to be present with fairly sophisticated devices needs to also demonstrate that physical harm is being causally produced as a direct result.

 

Edited by dream_weaver
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The “Woman who sleeps” article paints with too broad a brush:

Quote

“... there remains no biological explanation of how non-ionizing radiation could cause health effects. The low-frequency radiation from phones, televisions, Wi-Fi, radios, computers, and remote controls is too weak to blast ions off of molecules and atoms.”

Intense EMF, such as emitted by a cell phone transmitting antenna clapped to the side the head, could do harm in other ways.

Warning: Your Cell Phone May Be Hazardous to Your Health

Quote

In 1960, [Allan] Frey, then 25, was working at General Electric's Advanced Electronics Center at Cornell University when he was contacted by a technician whose job was to measure the signals emitted by radar stations. At the time, Frey had taken an interest in the electrical nature of the human body, specifically in how electric fields affect neural functioning. The technician claimed something incredible: He said he could "hear" radar at one of the sites where he worked.

Frey traveled to the facility and stood in the radar field. "And sure enough, I could hear it, too," he said, describing the persistent low-level hum. Frey went on to establish that the effect was real—electromagnetic (EM) radiation from radar could somehow be heard by human beings. The "hearing," however, didn't happen via normal sound waves perceived through the ear. It occurred somewhere in the brain itself, as EM waves interacted with the brain's cells, which generate tiny electrical fields. This idea came to be known as the Frey effect ...

The waves that Frey was concerned with were those emitted from the non-ionizing part of the EM spectrum—the part that scientists always assumed could do no outright biological damage. When Frey began his research, it was assumed that the only way microwaves could have a damaging biological effect was if you increased the power of their signals and concentrated them like sword points—to the level where they could cook esh. In 1967, this resulted in the first popular microwave oven, which employed microwave frequencies at very high power, concentrated and contained in a metal box. Aside from this engineered thermal effect, the signals were assumed to be safe.

Allan Frey would help pioneer the science that suggested otherwise. ... he found what appeared to be grave nonthermal effects from microwave frequencies—the part of the spectrum that belongs not just to radar signals and microwave ovens but also, in the past fifteen years, to cell phones. ... Frey tested microwave radiation on frogs and other lab animals, targeting the eyes, the heart, and the brain, and in each case he found troubling results. In one study, he triggered heart arrhythmias. Then, using the right modulations of the frequency, he even stopped frog hearts with microwaves—stopped the hearts dead.

Frey observed two factors in how microwaves at low power could affect living systems. First, there was the carrier wave: a frequency of 1,900 megahertz, for example, the same frequency of many cell phones today. Then there was the data placed on the carrier wave—in the case of cell phones, this would be the sounds, words, and pictures that travel along it. When you add information to a carrier wave, it embeds a second signal—a second frequency—within the carrier wave. This is known as modulation. A carrier wave can support any number of modulations, even those that match the ­extra-low frequencies at which the brain operates (between eight and twenty hertz). It was modulation, Frey discovered, that induced the widest variety of biological effects. But how this happened, on a neuronal level, he didn't yet understand.

In a study published in 1975 in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Frey reported that microwaves pulsed at certain modulations could induce "leakage" in the barrier between the circulatory system and the brain. Breaching the blood-brain barrier is a serious matter: It means the brain's environment, which needs to be extremely stable for nerve cells to function properly, can be perturbed in all kinds of dangerous ways. Frey's method was rather simple: He injected a fluorescent dye into the circulatory system of white rats, then swept the ­microwave frequencies across their bodies. In a matter of minutes, the dye had leached into the confines of the rats' brains.

Frey says his work on radar microwaves and the blood-brain barrier soon came under assault from the government. Scientists hired and funded by the Pentagon claimed they'd failed to replicate his findings, yet they also refused to share the data or methodology behind their research ... For more than fifteen years, Frey had received almost unrestricted funding from the Office of Naval Research. Now he was told to conceal his blood-brain-barrier work or his contract would be canceled.

That was written in 2010.  In more recent cell phone models, some anyway, the antenna is at the mouth end instead of the ear end, presumably so it will not be so close to the head.

 

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13 hours ago, dream_weaver said:

I'm only posting this in response for the claim that a phenomenon that can only be shown to be present with fairly sophisticated devices needs to also demonstrate that physical harm is being causally produced as a direct result.

What exactly do you understand the claim to be? Because I'm not entirely sure I grasp it. What, for example, is meant by "physical harm"? And is that being offered as the standard for violating property rights? How does one "physically harm" someone's space? I don't think it matters whether the owner, himself, is physically damaged. What matters is that his space is being invaded. If someone has a right to send harmless EM waves into your space, why doesn't he also have the right to walk around your land when you're not home? He's not physically harming you, and you would need fancy electronic gizmos (surveillance equipment) to even know he was doing it while you're away.

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I should have probably led with saying that the article reminded me of the position you appear to be putting forth.

As to the property rights of the EM waves, the individual that harnesses the power to attach a radio broadcast, or provide a wireless switchboard for connecting cell phones, or internet services . . . these are the property rights to come to grips with.

Claiming that you have a property right to a particular sector of space and should be able to summon the legal authority to prohibit some EM waves from passing through it is essentially why the British woman's story reminded me of this thread when I read it.

 

 

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2 hours ago, dream_weaver said:

I should have probably led with saying that the article reminded me of the position you appear to be putting forth.

Here's the difference. She's claiming personal injury, and so it really has nothing to do with the EM waves passing through her property. If the waves make her sick, the broadcaster is responsible no matter where the woman exists. She could be a bum living on the streets and make the same claim of personal injury. My argument is about the right to the use of property. If the same spaces are being used by the broadcaster and the homeowners, then some agreement must be made between the two. This agreement has historically come in the form of government regulation of the broadcaster, I think in recognition that the homeowners have primary rights to their spaces. Unfortunately, we've let socialists misuse the concept of public property to claim ownership over the broadcaster's product, rather than limit regulation to the use of that product on other people's property.

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10 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

What exactly do you understand the claim to be? Because I'm not entirely sure I grasp it. What, for example, is meant by "physical harm"? And is that being offered as the standard for violating property rights?

Only force, objective physical force, can ever violate any right.   This applies to all possible human rights, including property rights.  That is what is wrong with this entire analysis. 

Property rights regimes for entirely new mediums such as radio spectrum, ocean bottoms or intellectual property "spaces" such as patents and copyrights will naturally differ because the identities of the "mediums" or "spaces" differ.  All property is ultimately intellectual property because it is our intellects that move us in any medium even the physical space of objects and land.  Once the concept of property is understood and accepted, then mere possession (such as possession of the space through which radio waves move) cannot constitute proof of property right because that then makes theft by definition impossible and negates the concept of property.   Property is created, justified and proven by causation, not possession.

It is one of the proper purposes of government to de-conflict claims of property, because property is a right and it is government's task to work to protect rights.  Claims for radio stations were based on broadcast range from the transmitter site and bandwidth used.  The U.S. government prevented conflicts over radio spectrum by not honoring claims to arbitrarily large broadcast ranges and also required frequency separation of claimed bandwidths of different transmitters in the same area.

As an individual who may not wish to experience the continuous radiant generosity of your local broadcasters you may build yourself a Faraday cage.  That is your right, and as far as your rights go.

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53 minutes ago, Grames said:

Only force, objective physical force, can ever violate any right.

Are you saying that EM radiation is not an objective, physical force? Or perhaps that its force doesn't rise to the level of physical harm? I mean, I could lightly poke you in the belly nonstop 24/7, and I wouldn't be physically harming you. But it's still an objective, physical force.

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13 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

Are you saying that EM radiation is not an objective, physical force? Or perhaps that its force doesn't rise to the level of physical harm? I mean, I could lightly poke you in the belly nonstop 24/7, and I wouldn't be physically harming you. But it's still an objective, physical force.

There is a threshold involved.  Like sound, unless the intensity is great enough to cause harm then EM radiation is not force.  Nor is it any form of trespass since it is undetectable.

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21 hours ago, Grames said:

There is a threshold involved.  Like sound, unless the intensity is great enough to cause harm then EM radiation is not force.

It sounds like you're saying that harm is caused by force and force is caused by harm, which is circular reasoning.

21 hours ago, Grames said:

Nor is it any form of trespass since it is undetectable.

I assume you mean undetectable without special equipment. If that is your standard for trespass, why should one broadcaster be stopped from using the same frequency as another in the same area? He can't be trespassing on the other's property, since the properties involved are undetectable. 

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2 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

It sounds like you're saying that harm is caused by force and force is caused by harm, which is circular reasoning.

I assume you mean undetectable without special equipment. If that is your standard for trespass, why should one broadcaster be stopped from using the same frequency as another in the same area? He can't be trespassing on the other's property, since the properties involved are undetectable. 

Harm can only be caused by force.   Relying upon this principle, then given some person claiming harm then one can expect to find a cause of that harm.  Some people claim harm improperly and falsely usually based on their emotions.  If some person is falsely accused of causing harm the defense is to show no force was used or not enough force to cause the claimed harm.  For example, merely brushing past someone while walking in a crowd does not reach the standard involved for assault and battery even if there was physical contact.

Low power radio waves do not trespass on a human body because they are undetectable by the body.  Radio waves can trespass on an unauthorized frequency in a particular area if a radio receiver detects it there when it should not be present.  The property rights regime for radio transmissions is premised upon the use of radio receivers, not unaided human bodies.  

 

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8 hours ago, Grames said:

Harm can only be caused by force.

How do you define "harm"? And at what point does harm constitute a violation of property rights? If a socialist stands on my lawn with a sign that says "Make Socialism Great Again," and then refuses to leave when I ask, has he violated my property rights, even though he hasn't physically harmed me or my property? All he's doing is standing there with a sign.

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1 hour ago, MisterSwig said:

How do you define "harm"? And at what point does harm constitute a violation of property rights? If a socialist stands on my lawn with a sign that says "Make Socialism Great Again," and then refuses to leave when I ask, has he violated my property rights, even though he hasn't physically harmed me or my property? All he's doing is standing there with a sign.

Harm is shorthand for "violation of a right", and since violation of a right requires the use of force there should be evidence of the force that was used (wounds, broken glass, footprints, fingerprints, missing property, etc...).

His presence standing on your lawn was physical and objective and he moved himself there using the forces created by his legs and as long as he continues to stand there he is exerting the force of his body weight upon your lawn.  Thus his harm of violating your property right was caused by his employment of physical, objective force.  

As a matter of formal legal methods, his insistence on remaining after you asked him to leave establishes his mens rea ("guilty mind" or "bad intent") beyond all doubt and excuse making.  Ethically he was in the wrong the instant he stepped onto your lawn, but the law doesn't want to act on every trivial controversy that can arise, hence the need for the mens rea.

Nonviolent fraud and some contract breaking are also an employment of force when someone physically possesses property when he should not.  

Edited by Grames
directly answered question that was asked
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7 hours ago, Grames said:

His presence standing on your lawn was physical and objective and he moved himself there using the forces created by his legs and as long as he continues to stand there he is exerting the force of his body weight upon your lawn.  Thus his harm of violating your property right was caused by his employment of physical, objective force.

Okay, now imagine a hypothetical where this socialist invents an invisible, floating sign with his same message. He floats it one inch above my lawn. It's undetectable unless you wear the special glasses that let you see invisible signs. I ask the socialist to remove the sign. He refuses. It's not touching my lawn, but it's in my air space. Has the socialist violated my property rights?

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1 hour ago, MisterSwig said:

He floats it one inch above my lawn.

Just a matter of time until someone trips over or walks into that thing.  Given that the socialist isn't passing out the special glasses, no complaint will be made until someone gets hurt and the socialist will be guilty of trespass and something worse than trespass.  If the socialist is passing out the glasses then there is no point in making the sign invisible in the first place and this is ordinary trespass.

Next.

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1 hour ago, Grames said:

If the socialist is passing out the glasses then there is no point in making the sign invisible in the first place and this is ordinary trespass.

How so? He hasn't met your criteria for trespassing. And nobody will trip over the "invisible sign," because it's just a metaphor for VHF signals. And the "special glasses" are a TV.

1 hour ago, Grames said:

Next.

Why is the invisible sign considered trespassing, but the invisible signals are not?

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