Where is Bill Gates when you need him ?

Discuss life, the universe, and everything with other members of this site. Get to know your fellow polywell enthusiasts.

Moderators: tonybarry, MSimon

Post Reply
cuddihy
Posts: 155
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 5:11 pm

Post by cuddihy »

I think jabowery makes one of the most interesting forays into the very basics of economic activity that I've read since reading the Sowell primers on economics.

Simon, I disagree that moving more in that direction requires overturning the apple cart completely.

For one thing, the clearest part of the argument is on intellectual property rights. It's not just software ownership that's screwed up, though. Property rights have grown from a short-term "patent" that encouraged rapid innovation to, in direct contradiction to the meaning of the Constitution, de facto titles of nobility.

Is there any logical reason that long after the King is dead, Priscilla Presley is a zillionaire? Does it make sense that Disney is still earning money on Sleeping Beauty more than 50 years after any creative activity on it?

Does anyone wonder why pop music is essentially dead? Or why does a Hollywood of dead ideas, and specifically, anti-American and anti-democratic preferences, continue to force flops on the country? What makes Google think it can get away with "managing" content to suppress ideas Sergey Brin politically disagrees with?

The answer to all of these is a bloated and non-sensical intellectual property-rights regime.

I have issues with the method jabowery suggests to fix it. (Who determines what the value of a "median house and job" is? How do you evaluate property rights for 'underutilized' property? Doesn't it become essentially a "windfall profits" tax that punishes success and rewards failure?)

But it's pretty hard to argue with the intellectual property rights problems we're currently in.

BTW, whoever trumpeted the Gates Foundations primary education efforts should look into WHAT they want to "educate future citizens" about.
Tom.Cuddihy

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Faith is the foundation of reason.

classicpenny
Posts: 106
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2008 5:50 pm
Location: Port Angeles WA USA
Contact:

Post by classicpenny »

cuddihy wrote:BTW, whoever trumpeted the Gates Foundations primary education efforts should look into WHAT they want to "educate future citizens" about.
I'm not sure what you are suggesting here. As a teacher, I have, in several ways, been a beneficiary of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. I have seen first hand what they were trying to do, and I have perceived NO political agenda (if that is what you are driving at). I was sceptical at first, but the ONLY agenda that I could see was that they wanted to help make schools work better - they wanted to help communities accomplish their own stated educational goals. I did not see that they - in any way - were promoting goals of their own. (They were not even trying to sell software - they even bought MACS -yes, APPLE products!- for some of the teachers I worked with.)

ravingdave
Posts: 650
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 2:41 am

Post by ravingdave »

TDPerk wrote:
which effectively stole Apple's Mac operating system code.
Show me the copied code.

Then show me how Apple wasn't poaching GUI concepts from Palo Alto (I think it was Palo Alto -- it's been about ten years since I engaged in this silly debate).

Number one thing besides open standards Apple screwed up -- its mouse had one button.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
I can't show you a moon rock, though I'm pretty sure someone has possession of one.

Apple Hired Microsoft to work intimately with their Mac Operating system.
Bill Gate's and Co, had first hand knowledge of Apple's trade secrets and design.

The idea that Apple did something similar to Xerox is silly. Apple saw the idea, and then developed it. Bill Gates saw Apple's Development,(source code) and copied it. (Not Exactly, because the Mac's at the time used a Motorola 68000 processor, and the PC were using 8088 and 80286's etc. )

If you tell me that Xerox hired Apple to help them develope their GUI, and then Apple shortly thereafter market's one of their own using intimate design details that they got from Xerox, then i'll concede the point. Otherwise I will reiterate, Microsoft Stole the intellectual property of Apple inc., and Apple copied a concept that Xerox had and didn't bother to develop.


If Microsoft had never worked for Apple inc. and developed "Microsoft Windows" on their own, then the taint of theft and deceit wouldn't be on them.


David

ravingdave
Posts: 650
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 2:41 am

Re: Something not mentioned...

Post by ravingdave »

jabowery wrote:
ravingdave wrote:
Talk of network effects has its place and relevance, but ...Bill Gates made many very smart decisions, while his competition screwed the pooch.

None of which was a "network effect..."

...or rent seeking.
What smart decision did Bill Gates make ? Stealing the code ? Yeah, it was smart, but unethical.
Well, we can argue like theocrats till Doomsday, because the fundamental problem is that uncontrolled experiments in social engineering are being run on people without their consent. This is no more inherent in human nature than was the absence of controlled experimentation prior to the Enlightenment -- it is simply the way some people like it since it hides things in a haze of words.

I am thinking I need to be a bit quicker to keep up with you. It seems as if I am always Almost grasping what you are saying, but I am constantly left with the feeling that it's just beyond my reach.

It seems to me that all of human history is a series of experiments in social engineering, both by accident and design.

As for hiding things in a haze of words, it is a problem. I know "I" have occasional problems picking things out of the haze...

:)


David

ravingdave
Posts: 650
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 2:41 am

Post by ravingdave »

cuddihy wrote:I think jabowery makes one of the most interesting forays into the very basics of economic activity that I've read since reading the Sowell primers on economics.

Simon, I disagree that moving more in that direction requires overturning the apple cart completely.

For one thing, the clearest part of the argument is on intellectual property rights. It's not just software ownership that's screwed up, though. Property rights have grown from a short-term "patent" that encouraged rapid innovation to, in direct contradiction to the meaning of the Constitution, de facto titles of nobility.

Is there any logical reason that long after the King is dead, Priscilla Presley is a zillionaire? Does it make sense that Disney is still earning money on Sleeping Beauty more than 50 years after any creative activity on it?

Does anyone wonder why pop music is essentially dead? Or why does a Hollywood of dead ideas, and specifically, anti-American and anti-democratic preferences, continue to force flops on the country? What makes Google think it can get away with "managing" content to suppress ideas Sergey Brin politically disagrees with?

The answer to all of these is a bloated and non-sensical intellectual property-rights regime.

I have issues with the method jabowery suggests to fix it. (Who determines what the value of a "median house and job" is? How do you evaluate property rights for 'underutilized' property? Doesn't it become essentially a "windfall profits" tax that punishes success and rewards failure?)

But it's pretty hard to argue with the intellectual property rights problems we're currently in.

BTW, whoever trumpeted the Gates Foundations primary education efforts should look into WHAT they want to "educate future citizens" about.

Reading what you wrote has caused a lightbulb to come on for me regarding what jabowery was getting at. I'm still at a loss as to exactly understand his proposed solution, but I think I understand what he is asserting is the problem, and I tend to agree it is a problem.

My friends and I have long discussed the dichotomy between the way patents are handled and the way copyrights are handled. A concept or design that might improve the lives of millions if not all of humanity for years, can only be protected for 7-14 years (without going into legal tricks like "Patent Pending") while something not nearly so valuable to mankind ( like a particular song ) is protected virtually forever.

Likewise, a friend of mine's mom pulls in $28,000.00/ month from oil royalties because she holds the mineral rights to land with oil. She didn't put the oil in the ground, she didn't do anything whatsoever to EARN this money, but by our system, she is entittled to receive it, because she got lucky enough to inherit the legal title.

There is a lot of other cases of people being payed "rent" for doing little or nothing to earn it, and up to now I have only noted the problem, and not really come to any grasp with a solution.

If I could just "Get" what jabowery's solution is, then maybe I could jump in front and wave my flag.


David

MSimon
Posts: 14331
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 7:37 pm
Location: Rockford, Illinois
Contact:

Post by MSimon »

But it's pretty hard to argue with the intellectual property rights problems we're currently in.
I don't disagree with that. The fix is what I had problems with.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

MSimon
Posts: 14331
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 7:37 pm
Location: Rockford, Illinois
Contact:

Post by MSimon »

The idea that Apple did something similar to Xerox is silly. Apple saw the idea, and then developed it. Bill Gates saw Apple's Development,(source code) and copied it. (Not Exactly, because the Mac's at the time used a Motorola 68000 processor, and the PC were using 8088 and 80286's etc. )
I'm sure you understand that porting source code from one processor to another is not the snap you make it out to be.

In most cases it is better to do a "clean room" design and do things better.

BTW why didn't Apple sue MS for theft of trade secrets? Why are they now working with MS?

And if the best system is supposed to win, why is most software such crap? Apple, MS, IBM, AT&T, etc? When we know how to do it better faster and cheaper.

My theory: if you can convince people that crippled languages, hard to test code, and huge software files are the way to go you keep the money away from better ideas. The network effect: this is the way to do it because every one else does it this way.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

MSimon
Posts: 14331
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 7:37 pm
Location: Rockford, Illinois
Contact:

Post by MSimon »

Likewise, a friend of mine's mom pulls in $28,000.00/ month from oil royalties because she holds the mineral rights to land with oil. She didn't put the oil in the ground, she didn't do anything whatsoever to EARN this money, but by our system, she is entittled to receive it, because she got lucky enough to inherit the legal title.
All you have to do is to eliminate that is cancel property rights or have all your property revert to the government on your death. Parents will not be allowed to use their property for the benefit of their children. Starting at age zero. So no one gets a head start.

Maybe people shouldn't even be allowed to spend what they earn.

Life is so unfair. Boo Fricken, Hoo.

It is bad enough government taxes property. Ownership is going too far.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

MSimon
Posts: 14331
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 7:37 pm
Location: Rockford, Illinois
Contact:

Post by MSimon »

Every attempt to fix the natural unfairness of life winds up being a system of theft.

I still agree that copyright needs fixing.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

ravingdave
Posts: 650
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 2:41 am

Post by ravingdave »

MSimon wrote:
The idea that Apple did something similar to Xerox is silly. Apple saw the idea, and then developed it. Bill Gates saw Apple's Development,(source code) and copied it. (Not Exactly, because the Mac's at the time used a Motorola 68000 processor, and the PC were using 8088 and 80286's etc. )
I'm sure you understand that porting source code from one processor to another is not the snap you make it out to be.


Don't think I said it was a snap, and even if it wasn't, a multi-billion dollar product is worth getting your hair mussed for. Besides, it's not the source code per say, it is the system design, the algorithyms, subroutines, data tables, and failures, which could save a lot of trouble in developing your own version.


MSimon wrote:[
In most cases it is better to do a "clean room" design and do things better. )

This presumes that there is sufficient talent available to do anything better. There is a reason the Russians copied so much American technology prior to, during and after World War II. The didn't have the talent at the time to equal it, let alone surpass it.

I have read numerous stories from people in the industry concerning how crappy Microsoft code was. I believe Don Lancaster wrote just last year that Microsoft Window's code is so messy and ad hoc, that the main reason they refuse to show it to anyone is because it's embarassing. (he claims to have spoken with people from Microsoft who have acess to Windows source code. )





MSimon wrote:[BTW why didn't Apple sue MS for theft of trade secrets? Why are they now working with MS?)

Bill Gates made Microsoft's fortune through weasely legal contracts as opposed to talent. Bill Gate's Father is a Lawyer, and the Son has demonstrated time and time again that he is very familiar with how the legal system protects him. Both the U.S. Federal Government and the E.U. have sued Microsoft for anti-trust violations, etc. Look how many years it took to get ANY results, and these are Governments !

Apple and Microsoft did have a contract(s). The contract DID grant Microsoft Access to Apples source code. Depending how it was written, there may be a legal loophole to steal Apple's stuff legally.

Apple probably figured that they either couldn't win, or that they couldn't afford to win. It was probably a buisness decision to avoid the cost of Astronomical litigation. Perhaps they were worried about the Feds hitting THEM with anti-trust law if they remained the only game in town.

I can only speculate. To get a real answer, you'll have to ask Apple.


MSimon wrote: And if the best system is supposed to win, why is most software such crap? Apple, MS, IBM, AT&T, etc? When we know how to do it better faster and cheaper. ?)

What law says the best system is supposed to win ? QWERTY vs Dvorak, NTSC vs. PAL, PC vs. Mac, BetaMax vs. VHS, 68000 vs 8088...
There's a lot of situations in which the better system doesn't win. Windows vs. Mac is one of them.

MSimon wrote: My theory: if you can convince people that crippled languages, hard to test code, and huge software files are the way to go you keep the money away from better ideas. The network effect: this is the way to do it because every one else does it this way.

"Never attribute to Malice what can be explained by stupidity. "


David

ravingdave
Posts: 650
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 2:41 am

Post by ravingdave »

MSimon wrote:
Likewise, a friend of mine's mom pulls in $28,000.00/ month from oil royalties because she holds the mineral rights to land with oil. She didn't put the oil in the ground, she didn't do anything whatsoever to EARN this money, but by our system, she is entittled to receive it, because she got lucky enough to inherit the legal title.
MSimon wrote:[
All you have to do is to eliminate that is cancel property rights or have all your property revert to the government on your death.

While that might be ONE way, it is not necessarily the only way.
MSimon wrote: Parents will not be allowed to use their property for the benefit of their children. Starting at age zero. So no one gets a head start..

Don't get me wrong. I support Private Property rights 100% ! But it IS an affront to discover that other people are automatically better than you because they are born into the life of Privilage.

Let me play Devil's Advocate for a bit. Suppose we weren't talking about Oil. Suppose we are talking about Water between two tribes. One tribe claims ownership of the water, and demands the second tribe give them tribute in order to use the water.

Here we need talk of rights and privlages no longer. We talk of the weak and the strong. If one tribe can defend it, they OWN the water. If the other tribe can take it, THEY own the water.

Pick any commodity. There is a difference between Need, and Want. Rights can be respected for wants, they cannot be respected for needs.
If people need food or water, you can quote all the rules to them you want. They will walk over your dead body to take it. When dealing with something they don't need, they are more willing to recognize a set of rules or laws.

Somehow we evolved to where we are now.
MSimon wrote: Maybe people shouldn't even be allowed to spend what they earn.
.

Argumentum ad absurdum. The operative word here is EARN.

MSimon wrote: Life is so unfair. Boo Fricken, Hoo.

It is bad enough government taxes property. Ownership is going too far.

Careful here. If your Axiom is that "Life is Unfair, Get used to it." Then the corollary is that one Unfairness is no Different from another, and therefore Taking property to equalize disparities is morally equivilant to allowing inherited dispariety.

To Simplify, if I take away the oil money, I can simply respond.."Life is so unfair. Boo Fricken, Hoo. " Let us Advocate Laws based on Reason.


David
Last edited by ravingdave on Tue Jan 20, 2009 7:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ravingdave
Posts: 650
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 2:41 am

Post by ravingdave »

MSimon wrote:Every attempt to fix the natural unfairness of life winds up being a system of theft.

I still agree that copyright needs fixing.

"Theft" requires something to be taken from an owner. But where did the owner get it ?

:)


David

jabowery
Posts: 63
Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2008 8:52 am

Re: Something not mentioned...

Post by jabowery »

ravingdave wrote:
jabowery wrote:Well, we can argue like theocrats till Doomsday, because the fundamental problem is that uncontrolled experiments in social engineering are being run on people without their consent. This is no more inherent in human nature than was the absence of controlled experimentation prior to the Enlightenment -- it is simply the way some people like it since it hides things in a haze of words.

I am thinking I need to be a bit quicker to keep up with you. It seems as if I am always Almost grasping what you are saying, but I am constantly left with the feeling that it's just beyond my reach.

It seems to me that all of human history is a series of experiments in social engineering, both by accident and design.
The same could be said of the practice of medicine up until the development of scientific methodology (experimental controls) and ethics (informed consent). Isn't it much more efficient and humane to have actual progress within an environment of educated and consenting adults?

PS: MSimon's assertion that promotion of social progress is a denial of human nature (which he equates with "the natural unfairness of life") and basically results in theft is absurd on its face.

ravingdave
Posts: 650
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 2:41 am

Re: Something not mentioned...

Post by ravingdave »

jabowery wrote:
ravingdave wrote:
jabowery wrote:Well, we can argue like theocrats till Doomsday, because the fundamental problem is that uncontrolled experiments in social engineering are being run on people without their consent. This is no more inherent in human nature than was the absence of controlled experimentation prior to the Enlightenment -- it is simply the way some people like it since it hides things in a haze of words.

I am thinking I need to be a bit quicker to keep up with you. It seems as if I am always Almost grasping what you are saying, but I am constantly left with the feeling that it's just beyond my reach.

It seems to me that all of human history is a series of experiments in social engineering, both by accident and design.
The same could be said of the practice of medicine up until the development of scientific methodology (experimental controls) and ethics (informed consent). Isn't it much better to have actual progress within an environment of educated and consenting adults? .
Well sure, as long as everyone keeps in mind that they may be playing "Cutthroat", and they should take steps to mitigate the effects of cheating. Humans can be cooperative if in a condition of detente.


David

MSimon
Posts: 14331
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 7:37 pm
Location: Rockford, Illinois
Contact:

Post by MSimon »

Bill Gates made Microsoft's fortune through weasely legal contracts as opposed to talent.
And you think that is not a talent? Maybe not one you would pay for, but it is a talent.

Of course the Japanese don't have our lawyer problems. They strictly limit the number of lawyers. You got a commercial dispute? You hire the Yakuza to break your competitor's legs or worse.

There is some merit to our system.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

Post Reply