Tuesday, March 22, 2005

An early morning. I'm guess I'm a little surprised that people are surprised: by Volokh, by the Schiavo debacle, and by what Juan Cole calls the Islamization of the Republican Party. Reactionaries are reactionaries. When has conservatism ever been based on logic? I don't remember as a kid thinking there was much of a difference between Brezhnev era Soviet and American conservatism. And note that the worst I could drum up off the cuff against Volokh was that he's anti-intellectual.

Only Nixon could go to China: George Will on Sunday and now Brooks.

Looking into the logic of P2P networks and thinking about the ethical questions. The market/law based argument is simplistic and absurd. And the argument against file sharing will lose out. What is happening is an extra-legal debate in the world between the moral paradigms of gift giving and of some sense of the ownership of ideas. Has anyone commented on the relationship between plagiarism and sampling? Who owns culture. indeed.

When it is so easy to share, people will do it. And whether or not that sharing should be bound in some sense by other forms of obligation is largely irrelevant.

This is how morality changes and how laws change. It will take time before people work out the new rules of moral behavior, but to argue that file sharing can be legally justifiable as it now stands is silly, and to argue that the logic of the market should dominate- the libertarian dream- is equally so, or worse. Lessig seems to be another vulgar system builder, and one who thinks culture is invention rather than description.

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