Monday, July 23, 2012

Rich dude: poor people are entitled brats

I read an interesting comment today by GameboyRMH:
I was just thinking this morning about an incident many years ago when a rich old dude who owned MS stock lost his sh** at me when I talked about the practical necessity of pirating a copy of Windows as a broke 3rd-world teenager, calling me an entitled brat who didn't deserve to have it because I couldn't pay for it (keep in mind that in those days there was really no other practical desktop OS). I should simply have refrained from using any computers to stay within the rules, he argued in effect.

I thought to myself, that is one of the most ridiculous and silly things that I have ever experienced. This rich old man blasting a poor kid for subverting the rules of the silly game that made him rich, in a way that harmed exactly no one. But it shouldn't be funny, his worldview was monstrous, horrible, a level of hyper-selfishness that transcends physical wealth and extends to symbolism.

To think that I had enough respect for that guy that I didn't respond...I should have told that disgusting man to go f*** himself immediately.
Comment copied without notice or permission.

The rich dude's worldview is also very common, and we must contest it vigorously. This comment was part of a discussion about a new anti-piracy law in New Zealand. Another interesting comment:
It stretches honesty when one is hungry and sees his neighbor's apple tree, knowing the trunk of the apple tree is his neighbor's property, yet the fruit is hanging in his yard, even dropping on his lawn, and only some law, passed by some senators lobbied by the tree owner, says he can't pick the apple off his lawn and eat it, or even take a picture of it.

There are some things which are are very difficult to enforce... and tend to function not as a deterrent, but as a starting place for learning to disrespect obedience of law. I see this kind of law as a prime example of this.

Like prohibition, trying to enforce law like this does more harm than good, as it gets people started at a very early age to have no inner respect for law, obeying it not for the common good, but only for fear of punishment if caught. It does not foster respect for law, instead it fosters a sense of accomplishment for finding creative ways of disrespecting the law.
tftp says "respect for the law" is already completely dead in the U.S.; and here I thought it was just on Wall Street: the USA respect for the law is not even a theoretical concept anymore. Widespread violations cannot be detected and the law enforced; this leads to loss of fear of punishment. You do not need to go too far to see proof of that. Everyone drives faster than the speed limit allows and the police does not even bother stopping anyone unless they are way over the limit. People jaywalk with no care in the world; robbers rob 24/7 stores as if it is their personal ATM; people park under signs "no parking", have sex in public parks, set up camps in public places, use drugs, and take dumps on police cars. What rule of law are you talking about? It's pure anarchy, with occasional firefighting done by few LEOs [Law Enforcement Officers].

There is no law to respect either. Over the years new laws accumulated up to a whole library of books - some with laws and other with their interpretations. Most people quite reasonably think that the law is not protecting them. And how it can be, with laws against "disorderly conduct" and with people arrested for "resisting arrest" or for filming police or for taking photos of cities? On the other hand, real criminals (petty or not) are in and out of jail faster than you can keep track of them. The police is most certainly not your friend; LEOs are not interested in helping you and they have no duty to help you. They might kill you, though, if you give them half of an excuse, because safety of one officer is more important than ten dead bodies of the rabble.

With this whole train wreck continuing downhill with ever accelerating speed we will see more anarchy and fewer places where an nonest person can safely walk around. Downloads of music are just a minor blip on the radar of widespread lawlessness.
But do megacorporations really need laws, when they can get their way by making deals with each other?
Earlier this month ISPs came to an agreement with the recording/movie industry to enact a "6 strikes" policy to punish copyright infringement. (see ArsTechnica article, as previously discussed on /.)

The very next day after the article was published, I noticed something interesting when I was using BitTorrent--aside from request overhead, I was uploading zero data. I'm currently watching a 3.1GB torrent--1.79 GB downloaded and 0.0 uploaded. And no, it isn't my client settings. I have checked them several times, nor did I change them any from when I was uploading normally. Seeding a completed torrent does nothing--it just sits there with no activity.

To put it in simple terms, Comcast (my ISP) is throttling uploads by 100% but not touching download rates (at least mine). Are they, in essence, protecting their customers from the "6 strikes" policy they agreed to enforce? If so, I assume they are doing this to prevent losing customers that continue using P2P software.

I can't imagine the MPAA/RIAA will be very happy about this.

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