"The Case for File Swapping"

Shlomi Fish shlomif at iglu.org.il
Thu Nov 17 15:31:13 GMT 2005

On Thursday 17 November 2005 16:24, Peter Hickman wrote:
> Shlomi Fish wrote:
> >non-commercial distribution of a copyrighted
> >work that was released to the public in some form, is ethical, moral and
> >should be legal.
> 'Computers' and 'Moral' has a strange ring to it, how about 'Hedge
> trimmers' and 'Moral'. Moral and Ethical are very bad words to be read
> in relation to computers as they seems to be closely followed by Duty.

Why so? Some uses of computers are ethical and possibly also moral. Others are 
not moral or not even ethical. Would you claim that intruding into someone's 
computer through the Net, and then publishing private files he has on his 
computer is ethical? It certainly isn't. One can also use computers to 
perform mass-scale thefts or defamations (or worse). But these are also not 

Sorry, but as harmless and as purely-mathematical moving and manipulating bit 
buckets from one place to another is, it still ends up having effect on the 
physical, analog world that humans and other organisms live in.

> >Meanwhile, it was rejected from Slashdot (not that it surprised me that it
> >did).
> A slashdot rejection is not a badge of honour. 

I realise that. However, the reason I said that was because I became 
frustrated with getting stuff published in Slashdot. Often an article (by me 
or otherwise) has hit the entire blogosphere, and was completely absent from 

OTOH, Slashdot is publishing much bigger junk, including lots of useless 
utterances by some of the most obscure people. 

I usually had much better luck with sites such as OSNews.com.

> Although I suspect that 
> it was rejected because your article was merely using file sharing to
> rant and do some karma whoring. You said nothing new and showed no new
> data. 

First of all, it wasn't exactly an article but rather an essay:


An essay is not supposed to show new data. Rather it is supposed to take 
existing data and even existing opinions or manifests, and reach new 
conclusions accordingly.

As for "said nothing new" - I couldn't disagree more. It's the first time 
where all these things are concentrated in one place, in a coherent, and 
conclusive fashion. If I said nothing new, how come many people have 
disagreed with me? (If you don't, and think you've already realise that, and 
agree with it, then I can really use you on my side.)

> Also using fancy words like 'milliard' when you would have been 
> clearer saying 'billion' (http://mathworld.wolfram.com/Milliard.html)
> might make people think you were a kook.

Well, when I wrote the article, I believed that in Commonwealth English (which 
I do my best to use consistently) one uses Milliard for 10**9, Billion for 
10**12, Trillion for 10**18, etc. Rather than the Billion for 10**9, Trillion 
for 10**12, etc. which makes much less sense. This system is also used in 
Hebrew, and I saw both of them in a book I have about Mathematics.

Another advantage is that milliard is not ambigious while billion is.


	Shlomi Fish

Shlomi Fish      shlomif at iglu.org.il
Homepage:        http://www.shlomifish.org/

95% of the programmers consider 95% of the code they did not write, in the
bottom 5%.

More information about the london.pm mailing list