Re: IP was: My Extropian Manifesto...

From: Jason Joel Thompson (
Date: Tue Aug 15 2000 - 13:36:29 MDT

----- Original Message -----
From: "Zero Powers" <>

> >Every generation is filled with the
> >nay-sayers who say such and such is impossible, despite the seemingly
> >endless historical evidence of progession.
> I wonder, haven't you noticed that, when it comes to information, the
> endless historical progression has been toward dissemination?

I could as easily say: when it comes to technology, the endless historical
progression has been towards destruction.

The forces of empowerment rise. And we as a people, must rise with them.

This concept is very close to my core beliefs on this issue. Our attempts
to control the 'untameable' is what's going to keep us in this game.

  I do believe
> that we humans are capable of just about anything we set our minds to,
> the exception of large scale consensus. And that is precisely what it
> seem to take in order to cram the information genie back into his lamp.

I think you're right. We need a way to get ahead of the curve. Everything
is about to spiral (is spiralling) out of our control. Personally, I'd like
to rewrite the rules.

A lot of intelligent futurists have written of scenarios in which humanity
is destroyed, plowed over or consumed by some inevitable self-replicating
technology of the future. I think this fate is enormously likely. But if
we were really -really- clever, we'd try to write ourselves as a virus into
the fabric of reality and bootstrap ourselves into the next sentience

That's why I want us to have serious control over our information-- I want
it to be attached to us. Yes, information would breed faster and be bigger
without our interference-- wild horses ARE faster without riders.

When certain people hear the term 'IP' they think, "human meddling,"
"government inertia," "artificial restrictions," and I'm sure they just want
to say to me: "Hey, let go of the steering wheel-- it'll be much bigger
without you!"

And I'm like, "Yeah, but that's my car!"

And we'll just sit in the gutter and watch it roar off by itself into the

Personally, I'm not inclined to just sit back and hope it becomes real
generous and loops around to pick me up.

> I agree we should answer the question of what is desirable before we get
> what is possible. But personally I'm satisfied that freedom of
> promotes the greater good far more than concealment does. Your mileage of
> course may vary, but so far no one has served up a good enough argument to
> dissuade me of my conviction.

Well, this probably boils down to a core philosophical (or more likely,
political) divide. I'm not certain that there is a good enough argument to
dissuade you of your conviction (or myself, either.) I simply think that
our goals are different. I -want- a system over which we constantly
struggle for control. I -want- privacy. I don't care a whit about free
music, I want smart information. I want complicated transactions,
multi-faceted selection pressures, intricate markets, competition,
individual creative empowerment, direct positive feedback loops, cheap beer,
spidey sense, and a date with Elizabeth Shue.

I suspect you think I'm misguided for wanting to ride the bull, but baby, I
wanna ride the bull!

P.S.: If anyone tells you that I ever lived in the city of Calgary, Alberta,
they're damn stinking liars.

P.P.S.: And especially that part about Elizabeth Shue.


::jason.joel.thompson:: ::wild.ghost.studios::

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