Re: My Extropian Manifesto...

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Sat Aug 12 2000 - 13:11:59 MDT

Dan Fabulich wrote:
> For better or for worse, (I think for better, as you may recall),
> intellectualy property is obsolete. Ideas and information can only remain
> private property by keeping them secret. Once known to another, a
> copy of the ideas and information belongs to them; they can do what
> they wish with it, even modifying it and distributing it to others.

Sorry, doesn't wash. You are responsible for your offspring. If I grab
your DNA (and possibly your spouses as well) and produce a dozen of your
offspring, not only have I made you responsible for 12 people without
your consent, but I have violated your right of reproduction of your
genome. Just because its easy for me to do so does not mean you did not
have those rights to begin with.

> Is that morally right? It might be. Nothing has been confiscated
> from you when I distribute your genetic information except your right
> to dictate what I can and can't say to others; it is very doubtful
> that you had a right like that to begin with. Even though you might
> want it quite badly. Even though I would be required to recompense
> you if you had such a right and I violated it.

Just because it is easy for you to violate a person's right does not
mean that right never existed. I can disarm, rape, and kill people all
day long. That doesn't mean I didn't violate their rights or that they
had no rights to life, self defense, or control of their bodies.

> I happen to think that Nature bestowed rights on us in a very
> particular way: by making the world in such a way as to make certain
> acts against persons irrational. This theory of rights leaves many of
> our rights in a rather contingent state; certain rights you hold today
> may not be rational to hold tomorrow.

Only if you take a contingency based view of life. Opportunism is a
bankrupt ethic.

> It is irrational to try to enforce intellectual property rights on a
> world containing encryption.

Sorry, that is a morally vacant statement. Its like saying its
irrational to enforce one's right to life in a world where killing
people is easy.


Mike Lorrey

"In the end more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security. When the Athenians finally wanted not to give to society but for society to give to them, when the freedom they wished for was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free." --- Edward Gibbon (1737-1794)

"A person who wants a society that is both safe and free, wants what never has been, and what never will be." --- Thomas Jefferson

"It's a Republic, if you can keep it..." --- Benjamin Franklin

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