Re: Fear of Life (was Microsoft, Automation)

ChuckKuecker (
Wed, 6 May 1998 08:33:27 -0500 (CDT)

At 20:50 5/5/98 -0700, you wrote:
>You weren't listening--yes, there will be less profit from
>revolutionary ideas from anyone. I don't give a damn about
>revolutionary ideas. Progress comes from small, evolutionary
>improvements and combinations of existing ideas, and it is
>those that will flourish in a world where there are no
>copyrights and patents to artificially overvalue novelty
>for its own sake.

Have you checked out our web site? Our product, granted, uses existing
technology for it's component parts. The overall idea is what is unique and
revolutionary, and would not have been possible before the development of
modern engine controls on cars. In fact, those controls gave my partner the
impetus he needed to concieve of the product we developed.

>The myth of the small lone inventor coming up with a unique
>and marvellous idea out of nothing in his garage is fairy tale.
>A pretty story made up to justify granting state-sanctioned
>privilege to those who can afford to speculate irresponsibly
>with technology in hope that big brother will secure their
>market for them if they get lucky.

Goodyear and vulcanization? The Wright Brothers? A G Bell? None had any
government help until they got their patents. Without the patent, they would
have been raped by some large existing firm almost instantly once they made
their process or product known.

>A /true/ creative mind honestly acknowledges that nothing is
>created in a vacuum; every "creation" is a synthesis of old
>ideas from a thousand sources, and maybe one or two randomly
>strewn new ones. I certainly don't think they have no value,
>but nor do I think creativity is anything special. Anyone
>who thinks a creative mind is somehow more worthy of help from
>government than a talented athlete, and skilled craftsman,
>or even a high-priced hooker is just a snob. Everyone from
>laborers to inventors contributes to the economy, and none
>deserve anything they can't get without a forcible monopoly.

I agree, nothing is created in a vacuum - except possibly interstellar
matter :) What does that have to do with creation being the property of the

I never said anyone should have government help. A copyright or patent is no
different than a law against pigeon drop scams and littering. It gives
honest people a tool to recover from thieves and scoundrels.

The monopoly is short enough in time, and realistically, the life of a
patent is measured in months, not years, before competition renders the
patent virtually worthless. Only in the case of the revolutionary idea you
don't belive in is the patent truly effective.

Copyright, on the other hand, is protection to the tools of business. A logo
or commercial artwork is no different from a hammer or milling machine. If
someone appropriates your corporate logo, they steal from you as surely as
if they took a machine tool from your palnt.

Chuck Kuecker