Octavo Dia

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Intellectual Property

Why should the state guarantee intellectual property rights? Very simply, if you don't guarantee those rights, the creators won't create. Why does the state want them to create? Because innovation is cumulative. One invention permits the creation of numerous other inventions. For example, the concept of the screw is incorporated into almost every piece of machinery.

However, what would happen to technology if intellectual property rights remained forever? Besides owning the world, the heirs of the inventor of the screw would have the power to curtail creative powers of others. Thus to reap the benefits of intellectual property, the state must also limit the exercise of that right.

It seems to me that any action that does not require a further artistic endeavor should not be covered by copyright law. Thus making a back-up copy or changing formats should not be illegal. What should be illegal, however, is the copying of intellectual property and transferring it to another.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Op eds

Banning trans fats.

New York bans trans fats from restaurants. If only the nanny-state would also wipe me, too, I would be all set.

You know, when you have the word "also", you don't need the word "too". Also, if there is a level of government at which this issue should be dealt with, the municipial level is it.

Animal testing.

If the human response to drugs and disease can differ between races and genders, is it any surprise that over half of the drugs that test safe on animals prove to be harmful, even deadly, in humans?

While this argues that it is ineffective, one must wonder, it doesn't address how many harmful drugs are screened by animals testing. If you block 18 drugs because of harmful effects on animals, and miss one of two released, it has a 95% success rate, and would be well worth it.

The true terrorist is the pharmaceutical machine... and how they have made us believe we need [animal experimentation] with their commercials and by instilling fear of diseases such as the bird flu, which propagates animal experimentation.

So why are they doing this? Is it some sick, animal-torturing cult? Not performing animal experimentation would cut costs of developing medicines considerably. I believe the political influence of the pharmaceutical industry vastly outweighs the lab rat breeders lobby.

Animals deserve rights; they share the planet with us.

I love this. The semi-colon demonstrates that they two are logically connected in a compound sentence. Why does something deserve rights? Because they share the planet with us. Rights for viruses!

Regarding sales tax increases

When someone with a low income is done paying their rent, utilities, and buying groceries (some of which are subject to sales tax), they spend the rest of their money on items that are taxed at the cash register.... However, if you can pay for all of these things and still have cash left over to stuff under the mattress, you don't have to pay sales tax on that money. The result is that all of the disposable income of the poor is subject to sales tax, while the wealthier among us are taxed on a lower percentage of our income.

And if that money never reemerges from that mattress, you are altogether correct. Eventually, however, one expects that, that money will be spent. At such time as it is spent, it will be taxed. The total sales tax is the same. If the money is invested, rather than stuffed into a mattress, and the returns are spent as well, the total sales tax is increased. Furthermore, since the poor spend a greater portion of their incomes on non-taxed goods, they are paying proportionately less, which is, after all, why things such as groceries are not taxed.

Gas Taxes

Here's a perspective I hadn't heard before. Most states fund their roads through gas taxes. If fuel efficient vehicles reduce total consumption of gasoline, the wear and tear on the roads will increase compared to the revenue provided.


Ones does not erect democracies all at once, or force democracy down any nation's throat. One has to show a nation democracy and hope it tries it.

We essentially wrote Japan's constitution. Is that somehow not forcing? If one wishes to split such hairs, then this sentence is meaningless.