On the other hand, I remember reading someone who said that one property of brilliant ideas is that when other people hear them, they think "well I could have thought of that."
Unfortunately that's just another way of saying "what people want". Even more than just want, because it's not like world peace, where people want it, they just don't want to pay for it. This, they're looking to pay for (perhaps not the product itself, but the other qualities of the product that get made in order to promote their DRMed format they certainly want, and authors want the DRM. Yes, authors. Not just publishers)
But people want to pay for these products that only get made if DRM protections are made for them.
And I wonder if you can kill one without the other.
You can surely kill DRM, and it will only improve real creativity.
But on the whole I think markets do a great job and, more importantly, I don't know of a better mechanism.
The important thing is, this mechanism does not exist in vacuum. It doesn't really distinguish between sources of "wants", i.e. whether a consumer wants something because that is their genuine need, or because it's a manufactured marketing-based need, or whether they're forced by circumstances into choosing this particular product (e.g. lack of choice).
I think we should both appreciate the effectiveness of this system and also talk about its failure modes when employed in the wider context of human society.
This reeks of paternalism and fascism. You claim you know what people actually want despite their own claims to the contrary?
So what, you'll tell people when they "don't really want" what they say they want?
I don't think it's "paternalistic" to recognize the power imbalance present here. I think it's stupid not to.
Imagine there is a human desire X in some people, and there are three products A, B and C designed to fulfill that desire. Do you honestly think the marketing industry is stupid enough to primarily be engaged in trying to sell product B to people who DON'T have desire X? Of course not. The idea is to convince people that product B does a better job of fulfilling desire X than competing products A and C. Or at least that it optimises some other variable – it might not be universally better, but it may be a whole lot cheaper, or easier to get a hold of, or have better customer support.
Real marketing is mostly concerned with finding the people who have a particular need, and making sure they are aware of a product that fulfills that need, and what the strengths of that product are.
Marketing is fundamentally about increasing sales as much as possible with as little expenses as possible. The most efficient way to do this is to find people who already would have wanted your product if only they were aware that it exists, and make them aware that it exists. Convincing people to buy things that fulfills needs they never had is possible, but takes a lot of effort. Too much to be worth it, in most cases.
 This may sound like I'm moving the goalposts, but all I'm really trying to do is guard myself against the obvious "but I got this viagra marketing spam email which does not fit your description" rebuttal.
 Yes, there are plenty of "artificial needs" to go around, but most of them are created by culture, of which only a smaller part is marketing. They're rarely created by a single, hugely effective marketing campaign. (I say rarely, because De Beers comes to mind...)
I think you're absolutely right about "real" marketing, but I think you're giving it too much credit. "unreal" marketing is much more real.
We could just stop believing that « capitalism is just another way of saying "what people want" ».
Unfortunately that's just another way of saying "what people want".
Capitalism is like a force of nature: people get swept up in its flow and it's much easier to just go with it than to resist it. Going with the flow also has benefits for society a whole, which makes it easy to defend coasting along. It's quite comfortable for those that are successful in riding the waves and they are envied, making it harder for society as a whole to recognize and acknowledge that there are also downsides, that the current causes ruin left and right and that for a good and just world for all we should obstruct, divert and impede capitalism somewhat.
The Western European socialist democracies institute the equivalent of hydro-electric dams for capitalism to benefit those that do not manage to benefit from capitalism directly.
> Unfortunately that's just another way of saying "what people want"
No. This is noticing that the system that provides for immediate "wants" has some relatively obvious failure modes. Failure modes, which we hit again and again.
If you watch his interviews, he is very calm, precise, and careful to explain his ideas.
Maybe I'm radical, but he seems a very reasonable person to me.
Now, 30 years later, it seems remarkably prescient.
Went straight from SF to Contemporary in a decade.
Should everyone have the right to read Harry Potter without paying Rowling a dime? Because overpriced textbooks is a problem of US' universities, not of the fact that you should not use someone else's work for free.
This is a cautionary tale. Not only does it eloquently explain the potential problems with copyright enforcement, it poignantly predicted the ones that exist today.
If they get a library card at their local library, they can do just that. Are you in favor of banning libraries?
Step 2. Plant a flag
Step 3. Declare the land now belongs to you and a descendants.
If anyone is interested in reading the book, which I can only describe as captivating and cutting, you can read it here: https://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/economics/proudho...
Thank you for mentioning this, I hope more people become interested in the idea.
Communists killed an order of magnitude more people than the Fascists did. The Khmer Rouge killed around a quarter of their entire population.
As well as Marx, interested people should read Mises as well, and decide for themselves which approach is the moral one:
>Socialist critics [during the time of the USSR and others] include George Orwell (known for his criticism of totalitarian Socialism in Animal Farm), economist I.I Rubin, the anarchists which the USSR suppressed, Luxemburg, Bordiga, Bookchin, and later on Hobsbawm, Trotsky (to some extent), Sylvia Pankhurt (and various other feminists) etc.
Furthermore, Communism does not necessarily entail Marxism-Leninism or even Marxism. Do you not think it should be the responsibility of modern day Marxists to find problems with previous attempted implementations, and find ways to fix those problems? Marxism is after all a method of analysis, and can be recursively applied to itself.
Mises is an interesting choice for a 'moral' theory, given the theory of primitive accumulation, property acquired through barbarism, and the exploitative and environmentally damaging nature of capitalism itself, regardless of application. Marx's theory does not rely upon notions of morality, though - it posits merely what is in the interest of the workers themselves. This is why Marx and Engels hoped to advance a scientific theory of Socialism.
Edit: it's also rather comical that the term 'libertarian' was transformed to be about some narrow form of property ownership rather than freedom itself, ironically not realising the tyranny of property and its contrast with the ideas of equality, freedom and justice (Proudhon talks about this in the link in my previous comment). Bookchin and Chomsky have talked about this change, too.
It's an absurd context, you own a wedge of the earth because your great-granddad took it.
And by the way, communism isn't exactly a word you have to be afraid of, and accusing someone of opposing capitalism doesn't shut down the conversation nor mean they are incorrect.
I doubt that Stallman himself would consider them relevant since he, in my experience, takes every opportunity to disassociate himself from communism and anarchism; he is instead concerned with copyright, software patents, and other impediments to scientific progress. Therefore, to try to drag those former kinds of ideas into a thread specifically about the latter is to deliberately cause inflammatory and irrelevant discussion, and also to cause opponents of these former ideologies to connect the two in their minds, creating FUD about the latter.
His solution to that is a limited form of anarcho-communism—abolishing private intellectual property (while the FSF leveraged existing private intellectual property regimed to effect that goal) in favor of free public use.
Whether he approves of the label is pretty much irrelevant to whether what he advocates is in line with it.
In the mean time, however, we are all of us allowed to express our opinions on what is relevant and what is not.
We detached this subthread from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14333800 and marked it off-topic.
You can't conclude a double standard from an isolated comment, though (for transparent reasons) people often try. Anyone who cares to look at the history will find plenty of users on all sides being chided or banned for breaking the rules. Does it all add up equally? I have no idea.
If they were communist, then there would no political party, no "more equal" military apparatus, and egalitarian spread of goods. It would also be a democracy, given that all are equal and have equal right to the means of production.
Robots could be the shifting value for this, when looking at this and Universal Basic Income. It too is a form of communist thought which many economists believe to be necessary.
Edit Those pesky Communists, like the USSR - United States of Socialist Republics..
"""""True"""""" Communism will never come to pass because humans don't work like that,
Communism has been implemented, and has failed, multiple times. It's use as a system of any kind has been thoroughly negated by real-world examples.
The definition of communism that you cite is for useful idiots, who are there to do the bidding of yet another dictator who "rules in peace".
Nazi Germany was very close to communism, too.
As our population grows, we have more opportunities to kill massive numbers of people. And at various times throughout history, atrocity has been directed both inwards and outwards. The fact that you learned about more recent upheavals in school, or even lived through them, doesn't make them definitive.
(Also, I'd argue, totalitarianism is largely orthogonal to political organization.)
In terms of data points for drawing these sorts of conclusions, our history as a species isn't all that long.
The point is, capitalism seems to do a wonderful job of looking like "the good system", as soon as you stay within the boundaries. And I'm not talking about rioting. I'm talking about groups doing perfectly legal stuff getting infiltated (if they're doing nothing wrong why would you try to entrap them?) or peaceful protests broke out by force by the police.
The fact that you're not stepping out of the boundaries is what gives you the impression that no-one is pointing a gun at you to practice capitalism. I'm sure plenty of people in a communist, fascist or whatever regime stayed within those boundaries and lived a happy life without guns pointed at their heads. Just witness how many people in Italy (for example) want a fascist government to come back.
Stallman would make more headway with his politics if he had a little less contempt for his audience.
You would learn more if you had a little less contempt for good writing.
Why couldn't Dan just create a new user account for Lissa? It would allow her to use his computer without giving her access to his books.
I'm not really convinced by Richard Stallman's argument here. When a movie studio sells Blu-ray discs, the studio can place restrictions on how you use that disc: the studio will charge you much more to play the movie in a cinema than at home. This is a good thing because it allows the studio to receive an income much closer to the total value that people receive from watching the movie. If the the studio was unable to place restrictions on how people watch the movie, maybe the movie would not get made in the first place and everyone loses.
Books are in the same category. If the writer can sell you the right to read a book but not to share it with other people then the writer will receive a larger income in total. Without that larger income the book may not get written at all.
WRT books, I'm among those who prefer dead tree, because that's part of how I work, and I believe digital can't replace print books, but that does not mean no innovation is possible: Printing-press-on-demand should be introduced where I can order a printed copy of a book and then the seller prints one from a digital copy and sends me that. If book shops want to continue, they can just bulk-order print copies and put them on their shelves. Lots of money goes to intermediaries in book business and if you're not a world-wide best-seller, as an author you don't earn much if anything at all. And you're worse off if you want to be like Kafka or Calvino instead of J. K. Rowling.
When you buy it and accept the conditions, it is yours but only if you follow those conditions. Otherwise, you're committing fraud.
Hm, It sounds similar to a contemporary debate, I just can't place it... /s
As for caricaturing a point, there is of course a vast difference between the right to read what one wants and the government taking over the entire publishing industry and controlling what ideas are published.
I was talking about government controlled education system.
> As for caricaturing a point, there is of course a vast difference between the right to read what one wants and the government taking over the entire publishing industry and controlling what ideas are published.
I was trying to point out the absurdity of caricatures with one of my own