Free Information vs Information Protectionism

Paul Foley
28 May 2001 01:01:30 +1200

On Sun, 27 May 2001 13:16:06 +0200, Peter Wood wrote:

[Life is]
>> considerably less tangible, and vastly easier to copy than computer
>> software, if that's your criterion 

> Hah!!  You have never watched a woman give birth, then!  I think my
> cdrw drive does things faster, easier, and less painfully and even
> much quieter :-/ Also I think there is in fact nothing more tangible
> than life.  Death and life are the most tangible, immediate,
> *physical* things there are.  If you want to make a more accurate
> comparison here, you should have said "person" not "life".  You are

No.  "Person" implies human.  You apparently think I meant human life
specifically; I didn't -- a bacterium constitutes life.  A person is
far more complex than "life".

[And life is *not* can't touch it; you can't even
precisely define what you mean by the term.  Is a virus alive?]

> welcome to come and take my "person", though not my life.  Do you see

What, kidnap you and sell you into slavery, you mean? :-)

> Life is much more complex than *anything* human beings have ever
> invented.  If you get into *any* branch of biology, it doesn't take

Life occurs spontaneously and naturally.  What definition of "complex"
are you using?

> long before you start finding white areas on the map.  Even stuff we
> think is quite simple is not fully understood at the lower levels.

And things we think are complex usually turn out not to be, once
someone figures it out.  [Science is based on this fact!]

> My bottom line on this issue is that software is ideas, and ideas can
> not be owned, only kept secret.  I think this is a statement of
> *fact*, not an opinion, because "ownership" properly refers to

Software is not "ideas".  You could consider it to be the reification
of an idea, but that's not at all the same thing.  I agree that the
idea itself can't be owned.  But a particular expression of it
certainly can.  You're free to write your own expression of the same

You don't have to agree with me; you can be wrong if you want.

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