"The Case for File Swapping"

Jason Tang jason at dragor.net
Thu Nov 17 16:00:30 GMT 2005

On Thu Nov 17, 2005 at 05:31:13PM +0200, Shlomi Fish wrote:
> 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 
> ethical. 

I dont think computers are either ethical or moral directly. They are tools of a trade and so its up to the tradesmen to decide how ethically or morally they use it. You can replace computer with 'screwdriver' just as easily in the previous sentence and would have the same arguement.

> 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.

I think you should look at psychology of humans for your answer.

> > >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 
> Slashdot.

Its power of the media. They choose what they want/not want to publish. C'est la vie dude.

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

See above.
> > 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.

Permission to say 'woo hoo!'?

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