Vaguely Disreputable

Tuesday, 16 July 2002

most of the pro­grams on my com­puter have been ob­tained through vaguely dis­rep­utable means. its not that i stole any­thing, no pro­duct or ser­vice was lit­er­ally taken from any­one. yet when i am tool­ing around the in­tranet here at ND and i hap­pen to find a folder that has no pass­word pro­tec­tion on it and sev­eral thou­sand dol­lars worth of pro­gram in­stallers on it, what am i to do? duh, i copy the files onto my hard drive. granted, the pro­grams have now been re­placed on the mar­ket by newer ver­sions but i am con­tent with mine. Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Freehand, SoundForge, Photoshop, Pagemaker, and Director. its like the need a penny take a penny tray, ex­cept we’re do­ing it from a much larger tray and a cou­ple mil­lion times. ex­cuse the Office Space quote please.

i’ve got a great idea: Internet Communism. wasn’t that the ini­tial moral­ity of the in­ter­net any­way? if every­body has ac­cess to every­thing, then its all good. But ADAM, no one will make money that way. My an­swer is, why does every­thing al­ways have to be about mak­ing money? People made money be­fore the in­ter­net. it is just the na­ture of cap­i­tal­ism to ex­ploit any new mar­ket for a profit mo­tive in­stead of mak­ing it avail­able to all. of course, with­out said ex­ploita­tion many peo­ple that have the in­ter­net wouldn’t.

the prob­lem arises from any at­tempt to make a phys­i­cal com­mod­ity an un­alien­able right. It’s like this Monty Python skit from Life of Brian. Someone can have the right to the in­ter­net, but not have the means to the right. Ensuring that every­one has the same means to the right is one of fa­tal flaws in the premise of com­mu­nism.