Re: paying the artists: the spike

From: James Wetterau (
Date: Fri Jul 28 2000 - 09:32:34 MDT

"Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" says:
> Spike Jones wrote:
> >
> > Please, napster fans, how do we motivate people to do things
> > like writing The Spike if their blood, sweat and tears can so
> > easily be copied free? ...


In addition to the evidence adduced by Eliezer, I would like to add
the complete works of Shakespeare. Under your hypothesis he could
never have written his works or they couldn't be very good. After all
he had no way to prohibit others, even his direct competitors -- bear
in mind he was a businessman managing a troop of actors -- from
putting on his plays, reprinting them and selling them. There was no
copyright in his day.

Another example would be the vast majority of the software that the
BSD, GNU, and Linux contributors have written. Indeed, how were those
people ever motivated to do things like writing gcc if their blood,
sweat and tears could so easily be copied free?

I think a little meditation on this question -- abandoning
preconceptions for some honest, intense thought in search of an answer
-- might change your thinking. Your argument is not supported by the
historical evidence; therefore there must be an error in your
assumptions or your logic.

> > How much thought do you put into
> > your extropian posts? Very little if you are anything like me.

Actually I think very carefully about anything I introduce to public
scrutiny. I don't want to be embarrassed by being caught in a logical
error, or even a grammatical or spelling error. I must admit that I
find quite a lot of dross in the public domain sources I read, but I'm
often delighted by evidence of keen minds at work on the other end of
the communication.

> > Would you want books that were no higher quality than what
> > we read on our chat groups? Have any of you chat groups
> > that are *not* brainy ones like extropians? I do: a motorcycle
> > enthusiasts group. The writing there is so poor and the thoughts
> > so shallow it is scarcely worth the effort to hit the delete key on
> > most of them. Is our literary future to be like that? Napster fans?
> Coding a Transhuman AI the Plan to Singularity Algernon's Law Staring
> into the Singularity the Singularitarian Principles Singularity Analysis
> Frequently Asked Questions about the Meaning of Life all absolutely free
> no charge thank you for shopping at the Low Beyond. ...

All the best,

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