Saturday, December 22, 2012

How Can We Let America know - Fast Enough - What Americans Know?

commentary by Roger Erickson

Get rid of most copyright law?

If I read all the books people recommended to me - and which sound absolutely necessary to read, pronto - I'd be out another $1000/month, which I simply can't afford. Something REALLY has to be done about copyright & publisher's fees. ASAP. Group ignorance comes from the thousand cuts inflicted by the rentiers extracting rent on what we try to say to one another.

For Americal to know - fast enough - what Americans know, we need to OpenSource nearly everything, just to maintain the tempo of national communication needed to grow group intelligence. If most (not necessearily all) authors published their output as OpenSource, then we could return to letting the public rapidly select individuals to hear more from, via speaking and consulting engagements.

Copyright only slows down Cultural Adaptive Rate, since it acts as a direct brake on the tempo - i.e. kinetics - of Cultural Recombination. At the macro scale, copyright is stupidly mal-adaptive.

Instead of public subsidies only for sports diversions and military adventures, we should also subsidize a LOT more non-sports related "performing" analytical arts.

Case in point: why can't every single person in the USA read every one of these texts by ex Fed Chief Marriner Eccles, in free pdf format, by the end of today?

These following 2 articles alone would change fiscal politics if immediately available to all citizens.

Curbing inflation through taxation, by Marriner Eccles (1944)

Economic balance and a balanced budget : public papers of Marriner S. Eccles

Our problem is not one of having or not having information. Our problem is in inadequate and disastrously slow distribution of available information. If America only knew - fast enough - what Americans know, we'd never have to worry about stupidities like balancing our fiat.  What does that even mean?

Copyright vs Cultural Recombination & Adaptive Rate is a paralyzing issue not just in economics - it's the key drag on all policy intelligence, at all times.

Copyright extended by Faux Credentials.
Supposed credentials are always in the way of cultural evolution, hiding behind copyright to slow adaptive progress. Another example is our DoD & the topic now called 4Gwar. Modern appreciation of maneuver warfare has been a science since ~1809 - but is still largely dismissed by those with faux credentials.

Reality is that we need maneuver policy management, and - more generally - Maneuver Context Management, universally

There are always ways around the whole spectrum of instantly obsolete credentials, but they're not pursued well enough, fast enough; largely because too large a swath of people in isolated professions naively believe in credentials outside their field, and fail to see that all credentials in all fields are near instantly obsolete ... and are actually in the way.

Rethinking copyright laws would help America learn what Americans know, faster.


y said...

Good Libraries, that's a solution.

Getting rid of copyright is like saying "give everything away for free", isn''t it? How's that going to work?

LC Septeus7 said...

As a member of the California Pirate Party, I've thought about this issue for some time.

The solution isn't just libraries but a universal internet library ...whoops we already tired to make one it's called the piratebay or Google's video/books project and it's "evil" cause it's piracy to share contents of book and DVDs that you own with other people through digital means cause analog sharing is somehow more ethical cause the MAFIA says so.

Sarchasm Mode ON: Imagine how horrible it was for the arts during the late 18th and 19th centuries before copyright. It was so horrible we call the arts produced during those times as "classical" cause it horribly forced artist to write complex material that was original and hard to imitate rather than today's cheap commercial tin can music where any work no matter how formulaic is supported by taxing the consumers of content for the sin of consuming content.

Simply, the horror of having to use today's social media to form vast patronage networks for the arts is evil cause we must avoid going back to patronage systems cause we all know how horrible that the classical era terms of profit for members of the RIAA and other in the government protected/censored content cartels.

We are Capitalists and what does artistic quality and freedom mean when old commercial business are threaten by technology? Sarcasm Mode OFF:

The entire discussion is dated as the King of Pirates Kim DotCom launches (unless they throw him into prison again) Mega encryption protocol next month which give 90% of the profits back to the artists and isn't possible to block which ends the debate permanently.

Digital won, Analog lost, get over it.

Quote: give everything away for free", isn''t it? How's that going to work?"

Kinda, like the public airways and network TV gives content away for free to consumers. They aren't giving everything for free just the distribution for free as it should be as the cost of distribution is now zero.

y said...

Roger seems to be saying that an author should spend a year writing a book and then give it away for free to everyone.

Roger Erickson said...

Some authors say that reducing the extent of CopyRight will harm (some) authors personal income.

Yet what about group adaptive rate?

We have to manage both. That's why I added two lines of reasoning:

1) remove the incentives for publishers to be able to bribe authors with incredibly low-margin incentives

2) subsidize the ability of authors to get a similar low margin for some (not necessarily all) output

Basically, publishing & distributing should be free. Then people can choose to withhold info from their nation ... but at the cost of slowing national Adaptive Rate.

A group of individuals who won't share info is a mob. A group that does is a pass-through tribe. Throughout evolutionary history, including humans, organized tribes leave disorganized mobs in the dust.
(Ask soldiers. Anyone who withholds critical info when it matters is a traitor, and never worth keeping in the group. You can't count on 'em. What's critical info to a culture facing pressure to adapt rapidly? It's increasingly distributed. That's why we've had mandatory public education for over 100 years. The only question is how much information is mandatory? Our state of policy-formation indicates that far too little group info is considered mandatory to share ASAP. It's not an either/or question, but one that has to be managed to tolerance limits the USA can survive with.)

The methods I leave up to you, without trying to predict or dictate what they'll be.

Roger Erickson said...

A friend writes: "Join Amazon prime - $75 a year. Be able to borrow any kindle for free."

Yet how does that possibly pay authors? Why shouldn't authors just OpenSource and own their own copyright? Why cede the bulk of promotion rights & profits to Amazon?

Amazon is just the last gasp of the publishers guild. Like Microsoft, their plan is to promote use of a propietary access technology, so they can change the rules anytime they want. My gut tells me that it's a bad habit to encourage, because it will only slow down the change we need.

Tom Hickey said...

Roger, exactly. Do creative types do what they do to make money, for fame and celebrity, etc., or to be creative and contributive? Would anything that is really creative and contributive be lost using a free or near free distribution system, such as content paid by advertisers or a small user fee?

The only problem with digital content is that distribution is not completely free in that it requires is servers and bandwidth. I provide my content free but the servers and bandwidth are provided as a donation through a non-profit, and I receive some donations to support the work, too, although most of this does come from users.

Not everyone has such an arrangement. Bandwidth could be an issue for popular works that are digitally self-published, and full-time artists do need to support themselves.

However, there is no reason that a non-profit could not be organized to do it. It would just take some coordination. For example, free video publication is available globally through YouTube, paid for by advertisers. And Amazon and the Apple Store do provide a venue for self-publishing, which is a step forward.

But none of the existing solutions is yet ideal. Prior to capitalism, authors and other artists were remunerated though patronage, under capitalism through the market, and under communism by the state. Each has its issues in that the content is not provided directly and freely by the author in the form the author might otherwise desire. The institutional arrangements of distribution and remuneration affect the content.

A better system would a freedom of expression in which an author could make a small gain from distribution, such as through Kindle or the Apple Store.

I was listening to an NPR show with a musician one of whose songs had gone viral. The host asked if he minded saying what he had made on the 99 cent download over the year. He said he didn't mind at all. The figure was over 500K USD.

But there is no reason that larger non-profit distribution services cannot be created to rival Kindle and the Apple Store. I would say that it is only a matter of time. There is already a lot of sharing going one in "pirate" venues, for instance.I would say that this is engendering a new paradigm and it will flourish when the large vested interests can be overcome. You can't outlaw the future.

Tom Hickey said...

Should be I receive some donations to support the work, too, although most of this does NOT come from users.

Roger Erickson said...

Anyway, we're really talking about separate issues.

Consider the horrible stats under discussion over at ZeroHedge ...

(yes, much of it is out of paradigm & irrelevant to context, yet several items beginning at #49 still stand out)

Amazon is not a sufficient answer for that list. That's my point. We need to be exploring options that will have an order of magnitude greater impact.

To improve policy agility, we need to improve the quality of distributed decision-making, ergo the quality and tempo of group-wide feedback. That means doing many things drastically different than how they're done today. Before it's too late.

Roger Erickson said...

For example, the NIH finally announced that all NIH-grant supported research must be published in OpenSource journals.

Should individual research authors be free to publish wherever they want, as a choice, even review articles?

NOT if their work was ENTIRELY subsidized by public funding;
then it's subject to FOIA, and should be OpenSourced from first printing

tricky part? where does public funding end, in practice?
public schools? use of public libraries? public roads? PBS/PBR? Internet?

Where & when does slowing net return-on-coordination become a crime of treason against the group? When is Innocent Fraud no longer innocent enough to ignore?

Only time tells, and then only to those who survive long enough to hear the stories about all the fatal mistakes in judgement.

Roger Erickson said...

Corporations can legally dictate that all inventions by employees are owned by the corporations.

Can a nation legally say that all inventions by protected/supported citizens belong to the nation? Yes, to at least some degree, based on export controls.

where's the borderline between adaptive / non-adaptive policy?

where are our methods for gracefully changing that border, as dictated by context?

Tom Hickey said...

where are our methods for gracefully changing that border, as dictated by context?


John Zelnicker said...

Tom (and Roger) -- If a Basic Income Guarantee was instituted, as you have advocated on occasion, that could provide an alternative to the need to be compensated from the distribution channels.

Between the JG and the BIG, I really lean toward the latter because of the importance of all the arts and, in general, the potential benefits from allowing the creative among us to "do their thing" whether it be arts, philosophy, theology, etc. Eternal wisdom and all that.