Archive for July, 2009

Access Copyright Charging for Public Domain Material

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

If this is how those who give pious lectures about respecting the rights and “property” of their clients act with regard to the rights and property of the rest of us, is it any wonder that many people refuse to respect any of these rights at all?

The NDP on copyright

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

Charlie Angus has an article in the Straight.com on copyright reform.

The Return of Captain Copyright?

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

Michael Geist notes that the CIPO is Launching another campaign “Promoting Respect for IP Rights”. But, as I commented on his post, although respect for the Law is an essential foundation for a safe society, the best way to achieve that respect is by making sure that the Law is both fair and seen to be fair.

There is some value in working on the latter, but only after achieving the former. If the “education” initiative is based on promoting the results of a consensus arising out of an open consultation process then it might not be such a bad idea. If it is perceived to be otherwise then it will actually undermine the respect that is seeks to achieve.

Am I wrong on this?

Monday, July 27th, 2009

Mr Ahmadinejad has a reputation for having a good eye and ear for the popular mood. So doesn’t the fact that he appears to be distancing himself from the RG and SL (to whom he may have been considered to be indebted for his victory at this point) perhaps suggest that a good eye sees things on the ground moving at last in a mor liberal direction?

A Necessary Job Done Badly

Saturday, July 25th, 2009

Claudio Lomnitz and Rafael Sánchez have done a poor job of raising some legitimate concerns about possible anti-semitism in the rhetoric of Chavez. I say “poor job” because, although the problem is real, the article reeks of bias and resorts repeatedly to misinformation, inuendo, and guilt by association. Fortunately many of the commenters call them on this, but they flub their opportunity to correct themselves, and their response in a subseqent article is just self-serving rather than appropriately self-critical.

Stupid ‘stupid’

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Obama’s retraction is refreshing, but does leave some questions about his willingness to comment on the basis of incomplete information.
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Interesting New Twist in Iran

Friday, July 24th, 2009

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Iranian leader ‘orders dismissal’
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Claiming for Bloglines

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Speak Out On Copyright

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

Speak Out On Copyright is a new forum initiated by Michael Geist to encourage and support responses to the current Canadian consultation process re copyright law revisions.

Getting Smarter

Monday, July 20th, 2009

This article shares some of my own reaction to the “internet is making us dumber” nonsense, as well as commenting on other possible sources of increasing global intelligence.

Economics: What went wrong with economics | The Economist

Friday, July 17th, 2009

Economics: What went wrong with economics | The Economist

More on Religion

Sunday, July 12th, 2009

Just a couple of items which may be interesting but which I haven’t yet had time to write about:

  1. Review by Simon Blackburn in the Guardian of ‘ The Case for God’ by Karen Armstrong – “eloquent and interresting'” he calls it but points out that “you do not quite get what it says on the tin” in that Armstrong’s God is of the apophatic (not to be talked about) kind that I prefer and she emphasizes the  emotional value of ritual and practice over the propositional content of doctrine. And then comes the zinger as Blackburn ends by pointing out that “Silence is … a kind of lowest common denominator of the human mind. The machine is idling. Which direction it then goes after a period of idling is a highly unpredictable matter… some directions will be better and others worse. And that is what, alas, we always find, with or without the song and dance.”
  2.  Laurie Taylor interviews Terry Eagleton in the New Humanist – mainly about his review of Richard Dawkins’ ‘The God Delusion’ and identifies “a fascinating double repression going on in the pages of The God Delusion and Religion, Faith and Revolution. Dawkins, the thoroughgoing scientist, abandons a central tenet of science – testability – in order to proclaim his belief in moral progress, while Eagleton, the thoroughgoing Marxist, is forced to relinquish a fundamental tenet of Marxism – its materialism – in order to find religious ideas of sufficient intrinsic value to counter Dawkins’s alleged caricature.”
    In my opinion (albeit not based on having ever read TGD myself)  Eagleton completely misses the point by raising the usual claim that in order to discuss the origins of religion (and identify them as delusional) you need to be have deeply studied the most arcane subsequent theoretical developments built on that false foundation. (This is not to deny that the original delusion may serve some purpose, or that some of  its subsequent reformulations – especially those that give it a purely symbolic interpretation – may be less offensive to reason than the original. But institutions which continue to encourage naive acceptance of counterfactual “miracles” have not earned the respect they claim to deserve. )

Reason vs. Faith?

Monday, July 6th, 2009

Reason vs. Faith: the Battle Continues – ChronicleReview.com

The SAC Double Negative Option

Monday, July 6th, 2009

Howard Knopf doesn’t like The SAC Double Negative Option Celestial Jukebox, but I have to quarrel with a number of his reasons.

Many of these have to do with defending the existing media levy schemes which unfairly extract funds from people who have no intent of copying copyrighted work and who are provided no option for declaring and committing to avoiding such activity when making the purchase.
Until there is provision for specially marked exempt media, the existing levy scheme is just legalized theft and like any other manifestly unfair law it undermines public respect for the law in general.

Also particularly galling is #6 “It’s inherently socialistic” – not because I have socialist tendencies myself (though I do), but because (a) it’s not, and (b) whether it is or not has no relevance to the effectiveness of the proposed mechanism, so (c) the accusation is just presented as name-calling.

More Mythical Myths

Monday, July 6th, 2009

EXCESS COPYRIGHT: More Myths about Myths about File Sharing

Find broken links on your site with Xenu’s Link Sleuth TM

Saturday, July 4th, 2009

Find broken links on your site with Xenu’s Link Sleuth TM
Links for further reading