"The Case for File Swapping"

Jason Tang jason at dragor.net
Thu Nov 17 16:55:59 GMT 2005

On Thu Nov 17, 2005 at 06:39:52PM +0200, Shlomi Fish wrote:
> > 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.
> Right, a computer is a tool. Computer networks, like the Internet are also 
> tools. But they are incredibly complex tools, which open up a lot of 
> possibilities, both moral and immoral. I'm not saying we should limit 
> computers so a person cannot do any harm using them (The SSSCA/CBDTPA and 
> such are trying that). By all means my computer should be fully functional 
> and its users should have the capability to attempt to cause damage using it. 
> (defamation, theft (of money, goods etc., not of the so-called "Intellectual 
> Property"), and other crimes or immoral actions). If not, then one will also 
> be limited on the legitimate actions he would be able to take.

The complexity of a tool is a little irrelevant when the intent of the user is the governing factor as to whether the tool was use immorally. If there's enough malicious intent, there'll be a way.

> On the other hand, I believe that people who abuse computers in such way, 
> should be prosecuted or acted against, and that individuals or organisations 
> should try to protect themselves against such abuses by using computer 
> security measurements.

Err.. I dont think this opinion is anything new. Its like telling me the planet is round. Did you think it was flat previuosly? ;)

> > > 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.
> >
> I don't get it. 

Computers cannot be either good or evil. Humans can be.

> > > > >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.
> I know. :-) But as Paul Graham notes in:
> http://www.paulgraham.com/opensource.html
> We increasingly see more and more interesting media items from bloggers and 
> other small-scale publishers.

That's the power of the interweb. Great innit :)


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