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Rohan Somji

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What will replace patent laws and copyright laws if anti-establishment movements suggest demolishing the current system?

How will a society (Capitalist, Anarchist, Communist ,etc) COMPENSATE intellectuals (Allow them to earn, provide them resources, etc)? Saying that it is for the greater good of the society, implies that the intellectuals will do the work and the rest will take it for free. So that is unacceptable.

Physical goods are protected from theft and the person who spent time on them deserves compensation and maybe profit (communists will not allow profit, capitalists expects highest profits). Doesn't an intellectual deserve the same if his idea can change the world?

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  • Jan 22 2014: I have a simple idea that I think it can do more than enough to reward/motivate inventors and is much better than what we have today anyway.

    1) First, you don't pay directly as an individual because you are free to replicate everything. But since it won't rain money to motivate "intellectuals" you still must find a way to pay them. That means taxes. Either proportional to income/wealth, or progressive, for an added income/wealth redistributional effect. Better if those special taxes are held in a dedicated "Intellectual Capital Fund" and not in general government.

    2) Then you need to find a way to allocate those taxes to the intellectuals, so you have to choose between them. I think that's not so difficult. First you allocate it in various sectors in the economy, and between different goals/objectives/motives within that section, maybe with also a category for the "unexpected". I think that here, voting will work best, with more than one votes per person, say 100 votes, as percentage points.

    3) After that (say after 6 months), for each goal, all creators that contributed to that goal in the last 10 years or so, will nominate themselves for the rewards. Then we vote again for each nominee (or team of nominees), whether he indeed created the impact that he claims de did in reaching the objectives we set in his sector. The money from the fund rewards the inventors/artists, and taxed as their now legal income, and everybody is happy! Ofcourse since we can vote for all inventors, we might be allocated 100 votes, as a percentage, to distribute among our favorite nominees.

    4) After 6 months we repeat the annual process! And we learn so much about the current intellectual struggles in every economic field and even more about each of the recent intellectual advancements we made in each. We also become aware of the prizes and rewards and become motivated ourselves too. And inventors artists not only have to create but also to inform and share with us for publicity!
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    Jan 21 2014: a whole lot of things. it is a common mistake to ask for a single solution. if you ask people in 1960: how people will communicate in 2013, probably you never hear "many ways, email, phone, sms, facebook, twitter, forums, television". the natural way is to find a myriad different solutions to a problem, and use they where appropriate.

    there are multiple ways to reward innovation. just a few:

    1. the fact that you will have a new solution. just because everyone else have it too, it is not a preventer

    2. work of love

    3. keep it secret

    4. joint ventures between market leaders

    5. crowd funding

    6. crowd sourcing

    7. prizes

    8. advantage of early adoption
  • Jan 22 2014: What will replace airplanes if anti-establishment movements suggest that we all propel ourselves solely by farting?
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    Jan 22 2014: Krisztian is right a better system will take several changes. Here is a system that worked real good for a lot longer than ours has:
    The Chief stared at the government official for over a minute and then calmly replied. "When white man find land, Indians running it. No taxes, No debt, Plenty buffalo, plenty beaver, clean water, women did all the work, Medicine man free. Indian man spend all day hunting and fishing; all night having sex."

    Then the chief leaned back and smiled. "Only white man dumb enough think he improve system like that."
    You may think of it as joke but there were several civilizations that lived without all the problems we have today and without a single dollar of any kind. People lived without governments or religion in a lot better harmony then we do.

    "Freedom is the law of nature"- Keith W Henline
    "Sharing is the cost of freedom"- Keith W Henline
    "Justice lives in the halls of nature"- Keith W Henline
    "Man’s law is not just, it is just law"- Keith W Henline
    “Humble attempt to understand even a tiny portion of the Reason that manifests itself in nature”- Einstein
    • Jan 22 2014: It's probably also worth mentioning they had much smaller population sizes, the standard short pre-industrial lifespan (roughly 30), lacked any form of infrastructure (think indoor plumbing), and fought each other all the time.

      There's certainly an argument to be made against subjugating the Indians, but their way of life certainly wasn't ideal. Quality of life was much higher in most places that didn't rely on subsistence farming.
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        Jan 22 2014: What about the Aztecs, Mayans, Hawaiians?? What kind of civilization needed airport runways on top of their mountains? Does not sound to bad of quality to me? What about stone structures that are built so precise you cannot slide a knife blade between and holds water? Doesn't sound to backward to me? There is a lot of evidence that some very smarter than we are today, tons of evidence and it has lasted for thousands of years.
        As for the Indians, we annilated them and then we put Hitler up as a villian, when we did far worse to far more people in and out of our country. Hitler was an alter boy compared to what Americans have done and are continueing to do on a daily basis. Are you really trying to hold up the American way as some kind of ideal?? Give me a break and take off the blinders.
        • Jan 22 2014: They had no airport runways anywhere. It's not that impressive to build stone that close--happened all over the world. All those civilizations you cite were very easily crushed by other civilizations. They can't be all that great.
        • Jan 22 2014: The Maya, Aztecs, some of Polynesian islanders and many others weren't tribal though. They had something much more recognizable as a modern civilization, with agriculture, writing, money... The Europeans had better military technology and more virulent disease, but in some other fields, some native groups were actually the more advanced.

          I'm not saying all native people were primitive, far from it.
          I'm merely saying that living as a hunter gatherer isn't all its cracked up to be. Many of the native people would have likely agreed with me, having been perfectly civilized before the Europeans showed up.

          If you don't believe me, go off and try to live "in harmony with nature" for a few days. No medicine, no tools you can't fashion out of stone, wood, or the remains of an animal carcass, and if something like a drought comes along, you may well not have the reserves or the technological solutions to survive it.

          There's a reason life expectancy among hunter gatherers is around 30. Its a short and harsh existence. That's not to say subjugating Europeans (or subjugating anyone else for that matter, because the natives did fight and conquer each other as well) actually did the conquered people much good, but that's mostly because they were busy killing the natives and taking their things; integration into civilized life was a secondary objective, and often poorly handled.
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        Jan 22 2014: On the same note I guess you might say, it took many years to paint the sistine chapel but it can be destroyed with a single match, so how great can it be...
        My point is it takes hard work and persistence to build anything. Any fool can destroy, it takes a "real" man to build. The world we live in is a house of cards and has never been more fragile. The question we all have to ask is did I learn anything and prove it by living better and helping others.
        I spent twenty years in Hawaii and even though America tried to destroy the Hawaiian traditions they still persist today in the hearts of many who call Hawaii home. I have studied the American Indians and lived with them. There traditions are also live on in the hearts of the few we did not kill and torture. Both had civilizations that far exceed ours and I believe they were happier and healthier. Today most people judge other people and countries by how much money they have which shows just how insane we have become. All I want to know is how healthy and happy people are. The Dalai Lama says our "purpose" is to be happy.
        • Jan 27 2014: Yup, can't be that great--NOTHING we do can be all that great. When we realize this, it is the first step to healthy humility. There is nothing at all magical or special about the "accomplishments" of any civilization.
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    Jan 22 2014: it's similar for musicians at the moment - 'free' streaming, downloading and so on.

    i think it will just take a shift in attitude. for example, for me (and many others) the real deal is the live show. all else is a pale facsimile.

    but, it's possible to reach a large audience without the need for greedy record companies, publishing companies and so on. we don't need them anymore (unless you want to make more money than you can spend).

    so, it's utilising the internet to share, spread and sell in order to build that audience and then save the best for live appearances.

    keep it live - me at, you at, we are here now..
  • Jan 21 2014: Anti-establishment movements can SUGGEST anything. Then they will be ignored.
  • Jan 21 2014: I've seen a lot of people call to the end of patents, but I've yet to see any proper answer as to what will replace their role in providing incentive for invention other then perhaps "goodwill".

    Honestly, my opinion on goodwill as a motivator is so low that I believe that if something were to ever happen to the patent system to render it irrelevant, technological development would if not exactly come to a halt, at least slow down dramatically.