Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: Macroinformation.org &
Knatz.com / Teaching / Society / Social Order / Civilization / Law /
I have a lot to say about patents, spinning off of things said by George Bernard Shaw and R. Buckminster Fuller for example. But today I begin this file with just one point: it’s thieves, not civil men, who need patent law: the thieves need it to catalyze their thefts: not to be stopped from stealing. The law protects the patent holder even where it can be shown (could be shown, were anyone rational or honest and respected evidence) that that patent applicant wasn’t the inventor.
I also gripes me, one with a long unsatisfied itch for justice, condemned to live in a justice parched society, that “ideas” cannot be patented: receive no protection: from kleptocrats, of course.
European settlers, far more sophisticated at kleptocracy than the long-isolated natives of the Americas, made a big fuss about deeds for land. Anything written on paper in English was good: to the winning group. Anything written in French or Spanish was not. Anything coded in cowry shells was not. All rights go to the guy with the writing in the language of the court: the (better armed) newcomers.
It wasn’t just land we stole. We honor Franklin, Jefferson, et alia for stealing the bi-cameral plus executive system of democracy of the Iroquois Five Tribes. The Iroquois get no royalty, not even thanks. The Iroquois can’t sue in the English speaking court even once some Iroquois speak (and write) English.
If we’re really interested in protecting invention, then we should protect the inventor and not honor pieces of paper held by the thieves.
By 1971 my offer to institute Ivan Illich’s design for an inter-networked world in New York, leading the coordination with similar networks world-wide once they too developed, was ignored by New York and by the world. Fine. Being backward, inefficient, suicidal … was your “right.” I can’t sue. You owe me nothing. Not even an apology. … But not once dating services emerge, offering 1% of FLEX‘s offer at hundreds of thousands of percent FLEX’s price. Not once AOL came along with 5% of FLEX’s offering at tens of thousands of percent FLEX’s price.
If the virgin offers herself to you, and you take her (or ignore her), then spurn her (or ignore her), fine: until you have a fancy expensive wedding with some polished whore. You had every right to reject FLEX; just no right having rejected it to embrace the privatized internet.
I offered networking on NYU and Columbia’s campuses. By 1972 my offers were getting printed circulation from presses other than those borrowed by me. NYU and Columbia had every right to ignore the offer; just no right then to use the public or private internet. The latter is OK with Columbia and NYU because Columbia and NYU are (limited) monopolies: their administrative authority was little jeopardized. (With FLEX, Columbia and NYU had no monopoly, no administrative authority.)
Note: FLEX offered cheap memory, cheap resource listing, cheap peer matching, cheap publishing … but FLEX offered no email. Yet realize: there were no micro computers. FLEX was at that time designed to function with 1970 technology, not 1995 technology and infrastructure.
2013 04 27 Some people at Columbia seemed to understand what I was talking about: but “Columbia” didn’t.
I recognized no one at NYU understanding a thing.
The New School picked up on the idea in the abstract, they called me! But they still thought of it as subordinate to them and their bureaucracy. They were supervising, they called the shots. Not a clue, really.
Fordham. Now Fordham understood. They invited Illich to speak, repeatedly. It was at Fordham that I heard my name on the lips of people who didn’t know what I looked like, didn’t know that I was standing right there. Illich pointed me out at Fordham. So why didn’t Fordham register its resources at FLEX? Why didn’t they turn their checkbook over to me? not 1% of it? They could at least have given me a cubby hole, a secretary, and minimum wage.
PS Just read the other day the opening to a book (Michele Boldrin, David K. Levine, Against Intellectual Monopoly) arguing that Watt’s patents for the steam engine slowed progress. Watt stalled industrialization more than he accelerated it. Greed in charge.