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Old 06-23-2002, 01:59 AM   #76
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I hope I am not going too far in doing this, but I believe one of Anthony's statements deserves a second look.

I'm doing this for two reasons. First, I believe that I tend to make quite a few good points at one time. While the quality of my points may be questioned, the quantity is certainly quite high, and I do not wish this point to be lost in the crowd.

Second, comedian Lewis Black has observed that there are comments so stupid that, when you encounter it...

...your brain comes to a screeching halt, and the left-hand side of the brain looks at the right-hand side of the brain and goes, "It's dark in here, and we may die."

Anthony made one of those comments.

Quote:
Originally posted by Anthony
I'm a consumer and I have my rights, what I demand I will get. The supplier has his or her rights as well; to supply me with what I want at what I consider affordable.
Look: I come across quite a few stupid statements every day, but very rarely do they reach a level of stupidity so great that I go out of my way to point it out. This comment easily reached that level and surpassed it. If there were an award for most absurd thought of the year, this would be nominated and would most likely be the shoe-in to win. I know of no single word that can describe the comment, so I will use two: monumentally idiotic.

This is, of course, not necessarily an indictment of Anthony personally. I myself have said things that were, in hindsight, quite foolish. It's altogether possible that Anthony is a reasonably bright fellow who just misspoke, or that English is simply not his native tongue.

I believe the statement is so mind-numbingly moronic that an explanation of its faults is unnecessary. Still, others may disagree and call me insensitive for mud-slinging, so let's look at this statement, sentence by sentence:

I'm a consumer and I have my rights, what I demand I will get.

I have to assume that the the phrases are connected, so what Ant means is this:

1. I'm a consumer.
2. As a consumer, I have rights - i.e., "consumer rights."
3. One of these consumer rights entails that what I demand I will get.

I see nothing wrong with the first two points. It is the third point - the assertion that one has a right to get what one demands - that I find so ludicrous. It is first a silly thing to say in that there are demands that cannot possibly be met: the demands to levitate, to travel into the past, and to live forever come to mind immediately.

But, even when considering just those demands that are possible, the so-called right vanishes. Now, either rights are universal or individual. Either everyone has a certain right, or Anthony alone has that right.

I say "everyone," but I mean everyone in a certain group. Some people believe rights extend beyond all humans to include certain animals; some shrink the scope of rights to mentally competent adults. What matters in this discussion is that people other than Anthony have the same rights.

If the right to "get what one demands" extends to other people, the right altogether vanishes. Two people could demand the same house on the same land; the fact that at least one of them will do without means that the right never really existed.

As a retort, one could say that many rights vanish when the rights of others are introduced, when the "social contract" is imposed. In cases of real freedoms, I believe the rights merely shrink to allow the rights of others; one still has the right to speak freely as long as it doesn't encroach on others' rights, such as endangering them and their right to life. In the case of "getting what one demands," the right does disappear completely: a guarantee that one person gets what he wants to any degree runs the risk of trampling over another person's right to keep what he has. In any form, the "right to get what one demands" will require a willingness to take from others.

But if the right is not universal, it is then given to Anthony individually: that he alone has the right to get whatever he wants, at any expense to anyone else.

(If I may be honest and a bit presumptuous here, this seems to be the case, given how callous he appears to be when concerning the rights of others.)

Now, this isn't illogical likd the idea of such a universal right, but it is gallingly arrogant. Certainly, other people in history have acted as if asserting such a right, but they were all brats and tyrants. An honest claim to such a right is made only by selfish infants and power-hungry madmen.

The supplier has his or her rights as well; to supply me with what I want at what I consider affordable.

This sentence is actually quite sensible, if Anthony meant it to say what it said. What it actually says is that a supplier has the right to provide some good or service at price X. I agree, but I also believe he has the right to set prices W, Y, and Z - that he actually has the right to set any price he wants, in all but the most extreme cases of government-regulated monopolies of necessary goods.

I don't think Anthony means that, particularly if he faces no moral dillema stealing from those who "overprice" their goods. What he means, I suspect, is that the supplier has the right to supply the good only at price X or lower - and he has no right at all to supply the good at a higher price.

If that's the case, it's not a right: it is rather an obligation, a requirement to price what he is supplying at price X, at most. Again, that price is what Anthony the consumer considers affordable.

Again we have the problem of whether the definition is universal or personal. If "what I consider affordable" is universal, then we have to consider what everyone can afford. There are some people who own literally next to nothing, and their idea of "affordable" must surely mean "free." That means, every supplier has the obligation of giving their product away.

He may not have meant that. But even assuming that Anthony is the sole judge of what is affordable, he can price goods well below what it cost to produce those goods, and he can still reduce the price to next to nothing - particularly if his appetites far outweigh his pocketbook.

So, we are faced with two possible conclusions: either Anthony's statement is among the most egregious misstatements I have ever seen, or he literally means this:

Anthony has the sole right to have whatever he wants, and everyone else has the obligation to meet those demands at the price he sets.

In other words, the entire world economy bends absolutely to the whim of this one man. That's utterly absurd.

The reality is this:

We all have the right to request an exchange of goods, to request a trade of what we own for whatever another person owns. As a consumer, I have the right to ask for any good, but in the end I might not obtain that good at any price. As a supplier, I have the right to set any price for the goods that I own, and to decide that some goods are simply not for sale.

The reality is, of course, a bit more complicated once we introduce a government, a body designed to protect our rights, economic and otherwise: they can designate certain goods as illegal to own; they can designate that monopolies must have certain prices and that intellectual property rights may eventually expire; and they can make illegal the act of refusing a sale on the basis of prejudice. But no complication can bring us anywhere near Anthony's statement.

Again, the statement is one of the most appallingly idiotic statements I have seen. It should be rejected immediately as such.
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Old 06-23-2002, 04:15 AM   #77
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overkill

Quote:
Originally posted by Achtung Bubba
I hope I am not going too far in doing this,
Perhaps, if you learned how to make your valid point in a couple hundred words or LESS , as opposed to these boring 10,000 word essays
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Old 06-23-2002, 06:04 AM   #78
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What fun. I haven't been this amused since I saw Monty Python's Life of Brian.

Its incredible how you took an assertion of my rights as a consumer and twisted it into the summary of 'Mein Kampf'. All I fundamentally said, in my oh so questionable English, is that I will buy what I want to buy; I will only consume what I think is fair in terms of price and quality. As it is within my right as a individual, and anybody else's. If we are to look at it through an Economic framework, we will inevitably have to separate Consumer and Producer, and their relative rights. Suppliers have the right to supply at WHATEVER price they wish to. They could try to flog a brownie for X, Y, Z and the entire Greek alphabet if they wished, however, if the consumer isn't willing to buy it, I don't think producers have the right to force them into buying, now, do they?

All I'm doing is stating the bleeding obvious. It was read by most people as the bleeding obvious, and you're being pedantinc over whether the obvious is bleeding or gushing. Now;

Assumption 1; English is YOUR native language. How you can misunderstand a simple statement I don't really know. You seem to be the only one (besides Lemonite, who's English I wouldn't want to question either) who has a problem with the way that was phrased.

Assumption 2; English IS my native language. As I have been here a long time (granted, not as long as you have) and I have always made it clear that I am English, not to mention the fact that its right there beneath my name in all posts in the FROM section, I think it is safe to presume that you know quite well that my native tongue is indeed English. Hence, your patronising sarcasm doesn't really endear me to your point. There were lots of ways of writing your statement, you had to go for something that really wasn't fair.

Assumption 3; I think it is a given that no one (well, nearly no one, some I would give the benefit of a doubt) here would have the audacity, the inhumanity or the egomania to declare 'I can do whatever I want, my rights are higher above than anybody else's'. Basically, you have abandoned all reasonable and coherent judgements which you started with (and I was willing to give the time of day to consider) and have just made stabs at not only my grasp of the English language (which is not in question, for anybody - and I hope it stays that way because I have been tempted far too many times in the past to simply take the roaring piss out of people who's command of the English language are, at best - questionable) but my apparent intelligence. Please don't assume that 'Anthony might probably be a reasonably bright fellow', because the moment you bring intelligence into your argument, you run the risk of touching a sensitive area. You don't know my intelligence, as I do not know yours. I wouldn't consider myself proper to comment on yours in any shape of form, please be willing to extend the same courteousy.

So, what did your last post serve as? Basically, a personal stab at me. You know very well that I did not for a second mean to declare my rights as Global dictator, and you know very well that as poor my grasp of economics might be, I think I know what consumers and producers are entitled to.

The intelligent debate ended a long time ago, before I even posted. All I wanted to say is that there are more important issues in the world, getting tied up over the rights or wrong of computer software seems trivial to me. It probably isn't. Either way, I don't care; I'd rather talk about Ridley Scott with Lemonite.
Which, if he should also stop nit-picking my arguments I would look forward to. You know very well my argument was not based on the logic that 'three times is theft'. You're just being facetious and you know it. What you were supposed to pick up on, Lemonite, but was evidently too subtle for you, was that THAT particular case was MY case. I'm not saying that thats the standard or the definition of THEFT, I'm saying that there are worse things than piracy of software.

Anyway, Bubba. What was the point of this post? I don't like the way you phrase your arguments. I dont like the way you patronise people, and I don't like the way you use profanity. If I may be so bold, its probably a very stressful world you live in where you can get tied up over something as trivial as a debate on the internet where, we don't know each other, we don't care about each other in the slightest, and, more importantly, we don't give a pair of fetid dingo's kidneys of what the other one thinks.

Your harsh tone and offensive statements are uncalled for. I can honestly say that I would endear to your arguments a lot more if it weren't for that.

Ant.
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Old 06-23-2002, 08:48 AM   #79
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z edge:

Sorry about writing posts that are so impossibly long. In an effort to write something short enough that you don't get lost in too many consonants and vowels, I have written you a haiku.

Your attention span
Is shorter than my patience,
But don't press your luck.



Anthony:

I did not "misunderstand a simple argument." Your statement does boil down to "I have the right to whatever I want, and everyone else has the obligation to supply it at the price I demand."

What else could "what I demand I will get" POSSIBLY mean?

I misread nothing. It seems to have been a case in which you simply misspoke.

As I said AND meant, "This is, of course, not necessarily an indictment of Anthony personally. I myself have said things that were, in hindsight, quite foolish. It's altogether possible that Anthony is a reasonably bright fellow who just misspoke, or that English is simply not his native tongue."

You're assuming that I was simply malicious in that particular comment: believe me or not, I was sincerely giving you the benefit of the doubt. Everyone, myself included, have said some very stupid things. And even though it's clear you now live in the UK, that doesn't imply that English has to be your first language.


Regarding your assumptions...

You seem to be the only one (besides Lemonite, who's English I wouldn't want to question either) who has a problem with the way that was phrased.

Funny, I don't remember anyone agreeing with you.


I think it is a given that no one (well, nearly no one, some I would give the benefit of a doubt) here would have the audacity, the inhumanity or the egomania to declare 'I can do whatever I want, my rights are higher above than anybody else's'.

You think it's actually safe to assume that no one declares something so megalomaniacal? You have already proudly proclaimed how you steal from those who you think are overcharging you:

I love piracy. I wish I could thrive off it. Why? Because I know for a fact that the companies on the other side are making billions of dollars or pounds out of frankly, ripping people off (people, who aren't fortunate enough to have a fancy board of directors).

And whats so disgusting about it? That I should be able to avoid being ripped off by exorbitant prices? That I don't feel any shame in saving just a little bit of money that, frankly, the board of directors won't miss?

Well, I had a good time being immoral. I saved a lot of money on something that was inconsequential (and, by the looks of it, I haven't deprived you of your job) and would like to think that I spent it on something better, and perhaps more beneficial to others.

Those are statements of sheer arrogance - maybe not absolute arrogance, but arrogance nonetheless. Either you mean what you say, or you don't have the command of the English language you claim to have.


Further, I may have been a little facetious about your "three times is theft" bit, but I think you can probably see the absurdity of defining as theft ONLY what you see as the most clear-cut cases.

And I DID ask a legitimate question, one you missed. As I asked before, shouldn't something as minor as stealing someone else's homework assignment STILL be considered theft?


You are right in saying there are worse things than software piracy. I'm not at all asserting that the act is the worst thing you can do. But to say that it's not the worst doesn't mean that it's NOT bad to begin with.

Killing someone is worse than beating the hell out of somebody. But that doesn't mean assault is okay. Robbing a bank is worse than software piracy, but that doesn't mean software piracy is okay.

I still claim that the act is still immoral.


And as per my tone...

I don't like the way you phrase your arguments. I dont like the way you patronise people, and I don't like the way you use profanity.

I'll borrow another line from Lewis Black: I know I use the word "fuck" a lot, and I'd apologize, but I don't give a shit.

You have claimed, on multiple occassions, that you steal from others who you say overcharge, that you don't find the act immoral in the least, and that you rather enjoy the act.

Why should I care about your mere feelings if you don't give a damn about other people's PROPERTY?
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Old 06-23-2002, 09:19 AM   #80
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No Subtlety missed Ant...

I like this quote of Bubba's.. "Proudly Proclaim that you steal from those who overcharge you"... hahahaha.. Can I be Friar Tuck Anthony?

*Wonders why Sicy hasn't put one of these little asterisks up giving us her inner psychoanalysis lately.

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Old 06-23-2002, 09:40 AM   #81
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In hindsight, I should have probably asked Anthony what he meant by the quote, rather than interpret it as I did.

(I still wonder, what other way can it possibly be interpreted?)

He believes I misread what he wrote. I believe I correctly interpreted what he incorrectly typed. If this becomes the focus of the discussion, any real debate will cease altogether.

So let's move on, and accept at face value Anthony's assertion that he would "endear" to my arguments more without the "harsh tone and offensive statements."

(Before I do, I want to make it clear that I readily admit to the "harsh tone" complaint. While I admit that, I'm not at all certain that any of my comments in this thread were grossly offensive.)


I have but one question for Anthony, one that arises from the assertion that there are worse things than software piracy - a question that I've asked before and really deserves an answer.

Let us say, for the sake of argument, that you're not doing well in some class in school; an assignment is due, and you have not finished it. You know that one of your overachieving classmates has it already finished, and you believe two things about the situation:

1. If you steal the homework from the other student, he won't suffer too much; he'll still be able to get an excellent grade in the class.

2. If you steal the homework and present it as your own, you'll "get away with it." You won't get caught.

My question is this: IS THE ACT IMMORAL?
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Old 06-23-2002, 02:09 PM   #82
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AchtungBubba;

I will concede that some of my posts in the past may have seemed arrogant, however, they were meant to be taken frivolously by those who would see it as such, I did not cater for the readers such as yourself, simply because I don't think the way you do whatsoever. However arrogant I may be, I don't believe I have shown it yet. With some of my posts, as some of you may have noticed, some sentences are better taken with a pinch of salt. Not everything I write should be taken seriously. I am ever so sorry that you can't distinguish the difference.

And as for the misunderstanding over the statement, I maintain that it was you who didn't read it the way I wrote it, and that's that. My black is your white and your black is my white; we are blind to each other's colours.


And as for the comment about no one agreeing with me, I never mentioned anything about anyone agreeing with me in my defence, I said that no one had accused me of such inaccuraracy, with you and Lemonite's exception. However, both of you have flamed me consistently in the past before, so excuse me if I don't take your criticism too seriously.

Anyway, onto your valid points;

"Killing someone is worse than beating the hell out of somebody. But that doesn't mean assault is okay. Robbing a bank is worse than software piracy, but that doesn't mean software piracy is okay."

I completely agree. But to defend myself I would like to say that I never said it wasn't immoral, I said that I hadn't made my mind on it, and if it was immoral... well, to be frank, I didn't really care.

Regarding your interesting question, it DOES deserve an answer. My answer is that yes, ofcourse its immoral. It certainly isn't the right thing to do at all. The act of stealing the homework is ofcourse, immoral. There.

However.

Come to think of it we do all sorts of things that are 'immoral' according to the black and white definition of things everyday. Lying to your friends because you don't want to see them could be construed as immoral. Not telling your parents that you're flunking school could be immoral. Not telling the parents of your fiance that she's dying could be immoral. Not going to the bank and enquiring why a certain company is paying you a lump sum of £20 a month and therefore allowing them to continue maybe immoral. My point is, there are larger issues at hand to consider as well. I think, in the real world, you will agree that most people do NOT think about whether they're going to hell or not for cheating on taxes once in a while, for lying to someone over something they wanted to keep secret, or for looking at another woman's body and feeling lust. My point is, some people - if not most - don't have a moral problem with some things that could be construed as trivial in the larger scheme of things.

Maybe I WAS condoning it, and maybe I was in favour of it. Either way, I was answering the original question; I don't have a moral problem with it. The only thing that bugged me was the way some people were going about the way they argued their points.

I have a scenario for you, too. A classical one, if you will.

A man has a family of six. He is poor. Worse than poor. No job, no welfare - his family is starving. One day opportunity knocks on his door and he sees a window wide open, with a delicious loaf of bread right on it, inviting him to steal it and feed his dying children. What does he do? He steals it. You tell me whats MORE immoral; let his children die of starvation or stealing a loaf of bread from someone who can easily afford it?

Ant.
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Old 06-23-2002, 02:35 PM   #83
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Quote:
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*Wonders why Sicy hasn't put one of these little asterisks up giving us her inner psychoanalysis lately.
Because this forum blows and so does this thread.

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