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WTO + SDMI = NWO

michael posted more than 14 years ago | from the move-along-citizen-nothing-to-see-here dept.

News 126

Andy Oram's latest article has a nice analysis of the future of intergovernmental organizations and the internet. He covers the PICS bait-and-switch, DVDs, and ties it all in with the actions of groups like the WTO and WIPO. The intertwining of government and corporations to limit freedoms on the internet is a topic that every internet user should pay attention to, but few do. I personally plan to cover this situation in as great a depth as possible on slashdot in the future - stay tuned.

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126 comments

Oh boy... (0)

pb (1020) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478410)

You know that the NWO spells trouble...

No, but my friends who watch wrasslin' sure do. Pass me a beer, guys.
---
pb Reply or e-mail rather than vaguely moderate [152.7.41.11] .

Re:Oh boy... (0)

j a w a d (66763) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478411)

Haha, yea really -- You know you have problems when you see NWO & you think of "professional" wrestling. I really should seek counseling.

(Not a wrestling fan, but apparently knows too much.)


i dont display scores, and my threshhold is -1. post accordingly.

who is the government? (3)

MeanGene (17515) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478412)

Intergovernmental organizations do play a significant role nowadays, but we must remember that ultimate power still rests in national governments with their police, their armies, and their popular mandates.

Not quite true, if the national governments (meaning people that comprise them) become dependent (directly or indirectly) on various super-national bodies. One can argue that IMF removed Indonesia's Suharto by forcing him to conduct rather unpopular economic policies.

And, let's face it, there're more pressing problems than CDA - like the right to KNOW if your food was genetically engineered.

On the more sinister (conspiracy theory) note, what about IMF, World Bank and WTO being covertly led by the Trilateral and Bilderberg Commissions that are not elected in any way, but simply ARE OUT THERE?

One word in that article... (0)

BAKup (40339) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478413)

...that kinda peeved me.

Trendy?

Ok, everyone here raise you hand if you think Linux is trendy. Ah, though so.

--Ben

.Sig Error #38 - The dog ate my .sig

Are they all the same ? (2)

Money__ (87045) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478414)

From the article:

Plenty of times, a national government has reacted to an intergovernmental organization by ignoring it, stonewalling it in court, or even threatening its continued existence by withdrawing funds. While the United States is the most common rebel, there are others as well. Israel has no intention of obeying U.N. Security Council resolutions regarding the Palestinian Arabs. Russia has told the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe to bug off and let Russia fight its Chechen war the way it wants. As a more trivial example, France refused to lift a ban on British beef when ordered to earlier this month by the European Commission.

I think it's pretty pathetic when an author lumps in trade conflict with military conflict.
They are not even in the same domain when people decide to protest.
When inosent people are being killed, and a governement is asking it's young people to go kill them, then the people should rise up in oposition.

However, when Wingdings Inc. can't sell "New and Improved Coochie-Koos" to the Hoo-too market, I hardly think it's an issue that required the people to rise up and rebel.
Don't lump the loss of life together with the loss of market share.

Of, by, and for, the people. Not Wingdings Inc.

Trendy !!! (1)

ndfa (71139) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478415)

But the clever code-breakers were not planning to make or distribute illegal copies of movies. They broke the code in order to create a DVD player that ran on the trendy free-software operating system Linux, for which the DVD manufacturers have not provided players. Thus, even though we're at the very start of the era of "technical measures," we have evidence both of their fragility and of their potential to hold back technological progress and consumer choice.

"technical measures" if taken so that only a certain group of ppl. can still enjoy the product are crap! they dont deserve to remain and its just plain econ. that if there is a strong enough demand the supply will come! The measures will be broken if the price is right!!!

Also, this is first time i have read an article that refers to linux as a "trendy" free-OS :)


Re:One word in that article... (0)

finkployd (12902) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478416)

I'm only here 'cause it makes me feel cool :)

Finkployd

strawman soapbox coverage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1478417)

Oh Great. Slashdot has become a soapbox for someones strawman view that freedom on the internet is being restricted by a collusion between corporations and govt. Coverage is when you cover facts. Like real-world examples to support a theory. The rest is hype. The failure of the WTO talks shows how fragile global bodies are and would serve to dispute your theory. (ps. Im posting anon because Im too lazy to create an account, Im not part of the conspiracy - hehehe)

Fun with Markup (2)

Sebbo (28048) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478418)

The article contains a bunch of funky character entities like
#8212, #8220, #8221, and #8217, which fail to render in NetPositive, BeOpera, and BeLynx (a rather eccentric collection of browsers, I admit). As I was preparing to flame him, I violated my principles, and did a little research first, and found this [w3.org] at w3c.org [w3c.org] , which appears to list them as valid HTML. What gives?

Re:One word in that article...trendy (1)

Money__ (87045) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478419)

I'm here because it's Trendy. [coff]

Re:One word in that article... (1)

droob (71208) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478420)

To me, calling Linux trendy in that context kinda deflated the motives of the DVD hackers. If the author had said the free DVD player was written for "the more powerful Linux operating system, a simpler environment for most advanced users," or used similar terms, the DVD "hackers" seem a bit more noble, like they found a way to build a better mousetrap. The current wording paints them out as bandwagon-jumpers, rather than innovators.

... (5)

Signal 11 (7608) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478421)

The article makes several good points but I think it's ignoring the root issue here. As computer geeks we often can fully understand the implications of a new law passed restricting online access or a piece of technology with a way to uniquely and globally identify you. As such, we also have the ability to circumvent, limit, or work-around those things to maintain our own personal freedom and privacy. This is why most geeks, while upset over these developments, are not rioting in the streets. We can work around it, defeat it, or be aware of it and alter our actions accordingly.

Let me give you a common example - mp3 ripping and software "piracy". With a few exceptions (you may have one or two at work who are well known for it), most geeks don't have an issue with copying software or other information (audio) for personal use. It's a non-issue. So how come the average joe, after watching an SPA commercial is scared that the cops are already on their way to his house to bust him because he borrowed a windows 98 CD from a friend of his at work? Because he doesn't know that isn't going to happen. We have more information that he does. I know atleast 30 people off the top of my head that freely exchange their software with each other. Photoshop 5, ask john. Need Back Office, go to david. You get the idea. Am I a criminal? Yeah, probably. I simply happen to know the probability of the SPA even caring about my meager collection are about as good as MS winning the trial. You'll also note I'm posting with my e-mail address attached. I dare the SPA or RIAA to come over to my house. I know it would cost local law enforcement more in transportation and manpower than they would hope to gain by "busting" me.

This is the reason why the WTO is dangerous - we already have ways to circumvent it. Talks of creating digital havens outside of US or WTO control are already underway and servers are doubtless being setup as we speak. Information does not want to be free - it already is. The problem is getting the non-geeks to understand this. And that, my friends, is the heart of the issue.

All right Micheal! (0)

bartok (111886) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478422)

This is definitely a topic that need more coverage and exposure in the mainstream media.

Know your enemy
Rage against the machine
Without music, life would be an error.

Nothing new here... (3)

davidu (18) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478423)

It is pretty much accepted that SDMI has been, and always will be, DEAD. Users will never support a format that includes self-destruct "features". In fact, one of the SDMI folks wrote a message on MP3.com, which can be found here [mp3.com] .

-Davidu

The Rock (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1478425)

Finally the Rock has come back to Slashdot!

The WTO can take their little DVDs. Shine it right up nicely. Turn that sonbitch sideways and stick it straight up their candy asses!

New World Order in cyberspace (1)

Camelot (17116) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478426)

While I don't agree with the author with some things, the "New World Order" is something to watch out for.

Lumping SDMI in with WTO is certainly inappropriate - these things have been done before and it will be tried again. And it has no relevance in the big picture.

On the other hand, WTO is a different beast. It's is throughly global, very powerful and - here's the cherry on the top - it doesn't care about anything but money. It is as if one of the Gibsonian megacorporations has already come alive; a globally operating giant company that has essentially become untouchable; more powerful than any single nation.

Of course, the situation isn't that bad (yet), since the WTO is only as powerful as the members let it be. In theory, at least. But it is a sign of things to come and it'll get worse, if the enlightened citizens do not watch out.

Re:One word in that article... (1)

ghoti (60903) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478427)

But it *is* kind of trendy ... I mean, just look at the media. It's cool to talk about Linux and Open Source Software, and bash Microsoft (not just on /. ;-) Linux is not *just* trendy, but it sure is trendy as well.
And we could be thankful for that. After all, that helps spread it!

An apology to Wingdings Inc. (if you exist) (1)

Money__ (87045) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478428)

any resemblance to actual persons or company, living or dead, is unintentional and purely coincidental; do not remove this disclaimer under penalty of law; hand wash only, tumble dry on low heat; do not bend, fold, mutilate, or spindle; your mileage may vary; no substitutions allowed; for a limited time only; this message is void where prohibited, taxed, or otherwise restricted; caveat emptor; message is provided "as is" without any warranties; reader assumes full responsibility; an equal opportunity message; no shoes, no shirt, no message; quantities are limited while supplies last; if any defects are discovered, do not attempt to read them yourself, but return to an authorized service center; read at your own risk; parental advisory - explicit lyrics; text may contain explicit materials some readers may find objectionable, parental guidance is advised; keep away from sunlight; keep away from pets and small children; limit one-per-family please; no money down; no purchase necessary; you need not be present to win; some assembly required; batteries not included; instructions are included; action figures sold separately; no preservatives added; slippery when wet; safety goggles may be required during use; sealed for your protection, do not read if safety seal is broken; call before you dig; not liable for damages arising from use or misuse; for external use only; if rash, irritation, redness, or swelling develops, discontinue reading; read only with proper ventilation; avoid extreme temperatures and store in a cool dry place; keep away from open flames; avoid contact with eyes and skin and avoid inhaling fumes; do not puncture, incinerate, or store above 120 degrees Fahrenheit; do not place near a flammable or magnetic source; smoking this message could be hazardous to your health; the best safeguard, second only to abstinence; no salt, MSG, artificial color or flavoring added; if ingested, do not induce vomiting, and if symptoms persist, consult a physician; possible penalties for early withdrawal; offer valid only at participating sites; slightly higher west of the Rockies; allow four to six weeks for delivery; must be 18 to read; disclaimer does not cover misuse, accident, lightning, flood, tornado, tsunami, volcanic eruption, earthquake, hurricanes and other Acts of God, neglect, damage from improper reading, incorrect line voltage, improper or unauthorized reading, broken antenna or marred cabinet, missing or altered serial numbers, electromagnetic radiation from nuclear blasts, sonic boom vibrations, customer adjustments that are not covered in this list, and incidents owing to an airplane crash, ship sinking or taking on water, motor vehicle crashing, dropping the item, falling rocks, leaky roof, broken glass, mud slides, forest fire, or projectile (which can include, but not be limited to, arrows, bullets, shot, BB's, shrapnel, lasers, napalm, torpedoes, or emissions of X-rays, Alpha, Beta and Gamma rays, knives, stones, etc.); other restrictions may apply.

Re:Are they all the same ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1478429)

Yep. Bunch of idiots. I hope this topic dies soon and Mike who has made it his mission to post more on Slashdot gets an education before he alienates his readers with bogus political journalism. What a tool.

How do THE PEOPLE get a voice in int'l groups? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1478430)

How convenient. Groups like WIPO and the WTO are making sweeping decisions that affect us all. But do we as a citizen of country X have a say? Nope. These organisations are international entities and thus exist outside the political influence of mere people. And once ratified, these rules are as binding as any local legislation. And int'l treaties cannot be line item vetoed or wrangled with locally. Govt't either sign it or don't sign it. The benefit$ are usually such that they're worth some minor copyright/IP/anti-privacy stuff that's slipped along with 'em.

So gov't and industry LAUGH at our powerlessness as they exert more control over us helpless drones from their untouchable realm. Well let the WTO talks in SEATTLE be a LESSON. It's WE THE PEOPLE who decide what powers any gov't will be permitted to have... not the other way around.

Re:who is the government? (1)

Signal 11 (7608) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478431)

Most of the things you point out lead to a much bigger question - Whom do you trust? Do you trust the FDA to keep your personal health as the highest priority... above that of a corporation's pressure to get their product on the market in a hurry. Or the political pressures of congressmen representing their district?

Do you trust your software to be free from defects, or if defects are found that the vendor will respond in a timely and effective manner?

Do you trust that your government and it's law enforcement are acting in your best interests - to protect you from harm and allow you to excercise the maximum freedom afforded to you under the constitution?

Is the WTO the problem... or a symptom of the problem?

SEATTLE is a lesson to int'l govt's and industry. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1478432)

People will only put up with so much bullshit before raising bloody hell (literally). Wake up and hear us before before we start spilling the blood from your bodies.

Re:Fun with Markup (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478433)

It's Unicode -- a "global" stnadard, that W3C and IETF demand to implement everywhere yet noone does because it contradicts with the idea of the set of simple national charsets. Looks like ignoring international organizations when they are trying to "rule the world" isn't limited to governments.

They're only hurting the lawkeepers (3)

Gurlia (110988) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478434)

Imposing this kind of regulatory laws on the Internet will only harm the law-abiding consumers. They will do nothing at all against the trouble-makers. What, you can stop stuff like pr0n and whatnot on the Internet by monitoring who connects where, and cutting off traffic at routers, etc.? No way! They'll always find a way around it. Then what happens? You've crippled the Internet for the average user -- who has no part in "questionable" things like this. You've deprived the innocent user of his privacy so that ad companies can bombard him with spam and sell his personal info. But you've done absolutely nothing to prevent Internet crime and abuse. Those who abuse the Net will always find ways to work around any kind of "protection" you impose on the Internet.

Why does US allow citizens to have guns? Because by outlawing guns you only cause normal people to be more vulnerable. It doesn't matter whether guns are legal or not; criminals will always find ways to get them. The same goes for the Internet.

Subverting the process with external systems... (4)

isaac (2852) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478435)

While I share the author's pessimism over the direction of global government, especially WRT filtering, I think there is room for hope based on the following:

  • As the scale of corporations/governments gets bigger, the cracks get bigger - that is, more people and ideas slip through them, and fall out of reach. (The rise of free software, the distribution of MP3s, and the WTO protests are but the most obvious examples.)

  • Those cracks, which corporations/governments might wish to fill in, are the expansion joints that make their existence on such a scale possible. To fill them in is to ensure collapse (a la the USSR).

  • At some point, the system will self-correct in one of a few possible ways:

    • Mammals marginalize the dinosaurs. (Compare the computer industry in the pre-PC age vs. today.)

    • The leaders of the hierarchical system marginalize themselves. (That is, the decisions they make alienate a large majority of the people, who turn their backs on them. See Robespierre at the end of the Terror, or the Russian Revolution, or the American, or for that matter, the decline of Nike over the past few years.)

    • The system recognizes its fissures for what they are (an essential strain-relief mechanism), and gives up on attempting to seal them.

      Of course, the downside of this view is in recognizing that many people and ideas will get crushed by the system, unfairly and brutally, before things improve. Things may not get better for a long time either (a new Dark Ages, where wealth and access to tools of knowledge are increasingly restricted to a proportionally smaller slice of the population, is a distinct possibility - see tightening of IP protections, restrictions on "heretical" communications (e.g. encryption)), but ultimately, this too shall pass.

      -Isaac

You'll put up with everything (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1478436)

Every other country has, and so will you.

I like that bit about coregulation, where private industry implements the wishes of government employees without benefit of legislation. My grandfather called it Fascism. You call it Caring for the Children.

Re:They're only hurting the lawkeepers (1)

Signal 11 (7608) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478437)

Bingo. Now sir, please hand over the mouse - it's illegal to carry a concealed pointing device online.

my (knee-jerk?) reaction. (4)

invictus (83837) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478438)

This article was meant to raise our awareness of real-world threats to our security, but the response of the slashdot community seems to be a little myopic. Don't focus on the fact that the author calls linux trendy (albeit many arguments can be raised as linux gains in popularity and moves in that direction), and don't discount it as conspiracy theory just because it mentions the NWO. The old guard sees the power of the Internet staring them in the face, and to them this digital manifestation takes the form of all the commies under the bed, the blacks being let into their schools, and the 'demoralization' of america that they have faced in the past century. All of these things were social and political changes that marked an era. People like Strom Thurmond, who continue to exist in our political structure, and people like all the liberals shouting protect the children, are struggling to control what they see to be the beast of revelations. To them the letter W = 6 and www is the mark of the beast. The government is being pushed by them as they strap on to pending legislation and continue to press their own laws through that would make every aspect of the Internet some Orwellian parody. They are trying to save their Old World Order if you will, by trying to chain change with laws in the name of safety, morality, and all those things we hold as right and reactionary. With the media's downplay of the political tensions in Seattle that resulted in the protests/riots that ensued, as well as the general spread of ignorance (along with AOL and Windows, sort of like a bundle...) most people don't pull the threads together and see whats going on. I think the author was extremely insightful and hope his article opened some eyes. One more reason for free strong-crypto, elimination of backdoors for the gov't., and why we should distance ourselves from things such as the EU, NATO, WTO, etc.

-just my two cents.

Trendy? How 'bout gratuitous WTO-bashing? (3)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478439)

> One word in that article... that kinda peeved me. Trendy [being used to describe Linux]

Funny, this time last week, we'd have been kvetching about how $GOVERNMENTAGENCY was the problem.

Then a few yahoos trash Seattle yelling "help, help, I'm bein' repressed!" - and all of a sudden, old 60s-era journalists remember their drug-filled youths and decide that violent protest is trendy.

(Yes, violent protest. Were it not for the yahoos trashing downtown, the peaceful protesters would have been politely ignored as they always are. An ex-hippie journalist who grew up in the 60s can't write lines comparing Seattle to the Democratic Convention and Kent State incidents of his or her youth without the tear gas, pepper spray, and bullets to go with it. Violence == ratings, and if violence can be made trendy, the folks running the news organizations (obviously pawns of the WTO :-) can assure themselves of more violence in the future.)

And now that the smoke has cleared, those same journalists have realized that it's trendy to bash capitalism, so everyone with a left-leaning cause decides to do a s/$OLDBADGUY/WTO/g in their articles.

Don't like SDMI? Blame the WTO! Someone cuts you off in traffic? Blame the WTO! Now that's what I call trendy.

Someone questions knee-jerk WTO-bashing? Blame the WTO and accuse them of being part of the Conspiracy. Betcha that's trendy too.

Y'know what I wanna see being trendy? Geeks getting jobs, making money, maybe a few more millionaires through the stock option lottery, and then - if they still persist in believing the hype against global capital even after having benefitted so immensely from it - putting some of those dollars back into their communities and making a difference.

But success is never trendy, is it?

Revolution-proofing the elites (5)

konstant (63560) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478440)

One interesting ramification of forcing nations into codependency is the resulting immunity of institutionalized power to popular revolution.

Revolutions are local affairs, instigated by people on the streets and swept along by physical proximity, excitement, and charisma. Revolutions are generally also mob actions. Even the most widely spread revolutions in history, such as those in the 1840's and the 1960's could be regarded as a series of "brush fires" rather than one giant, ongoing conflagration.

Popular revolt is dangerous to elites (that is to say the wealthy and the government) because they may not have sufficiently well organized propaganda to subvert them. Or, failing that, they may lack enough brute might to suppress them physically. Once a hierarchy topples, there is no failsafe for the elites. Their last card has been played and they wind up disgraced or occasionally dead. These local successes can inspire further uprisings in other nations with similar social structures. One excellent example of this is the French revolution as a reflection of the success of the American revolution.

However, with the introduction of a so-called "world economy" and "world government", local elites do have a second tier of defense. Namely, that a region that has become dependent upon interactions with other regions can be starved and ostracized into submission. For example, consider the remarkable conformity among third-world nations to austerity policies established by the IMF. Austerity may or may not work, but it certainly is not a popular economic path for locals, involving as it generally does the elimination of goods subsidies and social programs, and the granting of special privileges to large international businesses. Yet local potentates comply with the IMF because without the goodwill of the world community, upon which they are dependent, their countries would collapse.

Such co-dependent nations face only disgrace and economic disaster if a revolution occurs. Ultimately, the revolutionaries either toe the "international-friendly" line as will probably be the case in Pakistan, or they submit. Would-be revolutionaries in other regions observe this failure, and some of the fire goes out of them for their own uprising.

The elites, who are essentially fluid in the absence of international boundaries, retreat as they have always done to an amenable nation and agitate for harsher punitive measures against the now "rogue" state. This is precisely what has occurred in southern Florida, which is settled by many very wealthy Cubans.

This trend is certainly in the best interests of entrenched power.

-konstant

Re:strawman soapbox coverage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1478441)

>The failure of the WTO talks shows how fragile
>global bodies are and would serve to dispute
>your theory.

Not fragile...over-confident. They didn't
anticipate that lazy Americans would get off the
couch and speak out about having representation
in the WTO( I am a lazy American BTW ). But don't
think they haven't learned a lesson. Think along
the lines how free the US press was to pursue
stories in Vietnam and how they are herded around
our little "conflicts" now. I'd bet it'll be a
long long time before the WTO tries to meet in
any country where the police/military can't freely
beat the hell out of their citizens to shut them
up( not that they didn't do a lot of that in
Seattle anyway ).

moderate this down... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1478442)

i can't believe i just wasted 5 minutes of my life trying to read this crap.

There is no point to this commment at all, there is nothing new said, it should be marked redundant or something.

Re:How do THE PEOPLE get a voice in int'l groups? (1)

Pyrex::Dominorb (122529) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478443)


Well let the WTO talks in SEATTLE be a LESSON. It's WE THE PEOPLE who decide what powers any gov't will be permitted to have... not the other way around.
  • |pyrexD::Say|
    • well said, and best not forgotten
    |n0::Shit|

Hipocrites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1478444)

It's ironic. Most of you know about the NWO, and this site has been an excellent critic of over-zealous government. But, I bet that most of you vote for people who have been instrumental in pushing the NWO into reality (ie. Repubs and Demos). So my question is, why do you all complain about things like this but you keep voting for it?

InterSuperQuasiGovernmental Controls (2)

Phizzy (56929) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478445)

This article brings about some good points..
The heavy-handed pronouncements of the WTO and the International Monetary Fund excite warnings about their vast power from many critics, some speaking sinisterly from the left and others righteously from the right.

Yes, but who is listening? We can see how much the Seattle riots are making a difference to the WTO summit. The people who are speaking out against these groups seem to be portrayed fairly often as lunatic commies who dont seem to know that a global economy run by a select few organizations with mammoth political power is the way things should be.

Intergovernmental organizations do play a significant role nowadays, but we must remember that ultimate power still rests in national governments with their police, their armies, and their popular mandates.

While I agree with this in principle, I dont see how these organizations can be stopped from doing things that the people dont want, but the governments do. For the WTO or another super-governmental body to reflect the wishes of its member countries, it has to reflect the needs of the PEOPLE in those countries, not just the party platforms and presidential programs. We can see that the PEOPLE in Seattle are speaking out against the WTO and are unhappy with its programs, and they are being portrayed as criminals and looters, not agents of change. I believe that when a group of people speaks out against one of these supergovernments, their government should listen and not bring in Riot Police and the National Guard, or there will be no way to stop these multinational groups from becoming merely another abstraction of government to transform the wants of the people into the wants of the megacorps.

-End Of Rant-

//Phizzy

Gov't can never be "fixed" only replaced. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1478446)

Such is the nature of gov't. It can only expand its own power and influence. On the large scale, it never gets smaller nor gives up any revenue sources nor gives up any of its control. The only way real changes (desired by the people) are made is through revolt. The United States (who supposed cherish democracy) was formed in this manner. Did the colonists work within "the system" to effect political change? Violence. Rolling gov't heads. HISTORY shows tima and time again that this is the only way to achieve real change.

loss of life != loss of lifestyle (2)

Money__ (87045) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478447)

One is worth fighting for, and the other is worth working for.

Re:Are they all the same ? (1)

Kwil (53679) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478448)

I think it's pretty pathetic when an author lumps in trade conflict with military conflict.
They are not even in the same domain when people decide to protest.

Uh.. I think you completely missed what that paragraph was about. At that point, the author was merely providing examples of how national governments don't always comply with international organizations - thus the inclusion of an example (which even the author says is "a more trivial" one) shows that these disagreements can occur over less than a government's military decisions.

He wasn't suggesting we rise up and rebel these disagreements, in fact, I understood it as being a method of saying "don't lose hope - we can convince our own governments not to go along with this WTO, WIPO, IMF crap."

Kwil

Re:Are they all the same ? (1)

Money__ (87045) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478449)

Uh.. I think you completely missed what that paragraph was about. At that point, the author was merely providing examples of how national governments don't always comply with international organizations - thus the inclusion of an example (which even the author says is "a more trivial" one) shows that these disagreements can occur over less than a government's military decisions.

You are correct, and your point is well taken.

This is not the first time protestors (on both sides of this argument) have lumped trade negotiations together with military conflict.

The point behind my post was to point out how wrong this kind of equating is, even in a trivial light.
Be wary of anyone making an argument, that ties together loss of life with loss of lifestyle.

Re:... (3)

Pyrex::Dominorb (122529) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478450)


Information does not want to be free - it already is.
  • |pyrexD::Say|
    • goddam! naked eloquence of post bring tear to |pyreX::Eye| like big chief in

    • sierra club tv spot
      |pyreX::Cry|
    noble sentiment make |pryeX::Soul| fly high
for this most cleverly constructed
  • |karmA::Bait|
seen from mr. 11 to date. |n0::Shit|

Re:... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1478451)

Use the subject. It's there for a reason, karma whore.

People get the government and laws they deserve. (3)

xtal (49134) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478452)

Warning: Excessive Ranting.

I have mixed feelings on this subject - on one hand, there's not much that joe blow can do about a government that he/she doesn't like - and every day, more guns get taken out of the hands of the people, which is what all policical power defaults to. Don't think so? Have a look at Seattle. You US guys should know that the bit about guns in the consitution wasn't about hunting. One of my favorite quotes goes something along the lines "a good government should be afraid of it's people".

Don't like the laws? Start protesting them. But, most aren't willing too, because when it comes right down to it, most people want to come home from their crappy job, drink there beer, sit in front of their cable TV, eat their dinner, and pass out. Until something interferes with that nothing will change.

The protests with the WTO are directly related to governments conspiring (at least from Joe Blow's perspective) to interfere with the "crappy job" bit. People, we all can't be programmers, and the average joe understands this completely. The middle-class medium-skilled jobs are the ones that get transferred to the third world, and those are also the ones most people work!

Software laws will largely become a side point if the current trends in open-source development keep doing. Linux has come a long way in 5 years - imagine what will happen in 15.

On other policical fronts, until the masses get connected in such a way that they can freely work together - something you need strong crypto for - not much is going to change. I know that personally, as long as the man doesn't bother me too much, my bank account remains intact, and I can buy a NSX when I want one, I'm not too concerned.

Kudos!

Re:Trendy? How 'bout gratuitous WTO-bashing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1478453)

Yes, violent protest. Were it not for the yahoos trashing downtown, the peaceful protesters would have been politely ignored as they always are

And you say you don't understand them.

Re:... (2)

Signal 11 (7608) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478454)

You're speaking ISO-8559-7 to me. I only speak ISO-8559-1.

Re:Revolution-proofing the elites (1)

Signal 11 (7608) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478455)

I got the distinct impression from reading your post that you think that only "elites" can wield power. I disagree with that. The power base, atleast in the US, is dominated by the upper middle class right now - NOT the established social elite. Right now computer geeks are holding that position, however brief it may last. If we all shut down the servers we care from and called in sick tomorrow the stock market would crash, no planes would fly, and e-commerce.. well, it wouldn't be "e", and there would be no "commerce".

I do have to wonder how we can effect a change given this power.. and perhaps you could reply with an answer as I have none right now!

By Way Of Encouragement (4)

Stormbringer (3643) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478456)

Anybody who doubts that the citizenry can unilaterally take something back from government control need only tune their HF receivers to 27 MHz, then look up the history of that stretch of radio spectrum.
When over 10% of the American public owned CB radios, enforcement of the extant ill-advised rules for Part 95 CB Radio (ill-advised because the rules were appropriate for a VHF or UHF service with no over-the horizon propagation, not for the most interesting global propagation ham band at sunspot maxima) became impossible.
The result is a jungle in this case, but the impact on a government body of the stubborn mass refusal of a populace to comply with onerous regulations is so-far permanent: faced with the impossibility of obtaining funding for effective enforcement, the FCC backed off and effectively told CBers "don't bother other radio services." This, without a shot being fired, without any boxes of tea being dumped in the harbor.

DX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1478457)

IF YOU CAN'T BEAT IT.....

SUCK IT!!!!!

DEGENERATE 69

Re:... (1)

binarybits (11068) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478458)

With a few exceptions (you may have one or two at work who are well known for it), most geeks don't have an issue with copying software or other information (audio) for personal use.

OK, well maybe I'm in a tiny minority, but I'm one of those geeks. I don't approve of software piracy for the simple reason that I may be the one selling a software product some day. Creating a piece of software is a lot of work, and I think its authors deserve to be paid for their work. Even if you are not "stealing" in the conventional sense, I think you are recieving an unearned benefit from the author of the software, and you have an obligation to pay for it out of respect for the efforts of whoever made the software in the first place.

If everyone made unauthorized copies of software, there would be no commercial software at all, and that's certainly not in anyone's interest.

What if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1478459)

Ok, let's say I pick up an old SGI 4D/440. I get it, it has no OS. I am just a hobbyist wanting to just learn Irix. Would it be wrong for me to just pirate Irix 5.3 or should I lay down the $1500 or so it would take to buy it properly licensed from SGI?

Let's say I'd also like to compile some freeware on this box. Ok, so I pirate the SGI IDO which they want $1200 for. Is this understandable? Remember, I can't even compile things with gcc w/o the IDO.

Wow, I guess I'm a bigtime criminal. There's no way I'd ever pay $2700 for any software. The 4D/440 isn't even worth anywhere near that. Would piracy be an acceptable option in this case? I think it would, but I'm open to critizism.

Re:... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1478460)

With a few exceptions (you may have one or two at work who are well known for it), most geeks don't have an issue with copying software or other information (audio) for personal use.

Wow. So ethical constraints only count when they're personally convenient? I have at various points made my living by selling software, but I think there's a more important point here: the right of the author to determine how her product is distributed. Free software is a fine and worthy thing, but only if that's what the author intends.

Re:People get the government and laws they deserve (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1478461)

You know... I was aware of the rumors of the NWO, many years ago. I am happy with my current job, and think life has been more or less good as well. But I sometimes feel i am like cattle, just being fed and herded for the slaughter, at a later time. Distractions like NFL football and T.V. are huge emotional appeasers to people who would otherwise stand up and vote. Whether or not you believe in democracy today, you can't ignore that someone like Jesse the Body could get elected, over the Dem's and Rep's. Which shows that there are still surprises that should encourage all patriots out there! (even if you don't him...which i don't) I am glad that there are people out there (see above ^^^) who are bright enough to see the dangers with the WTO,GATT. These treaties, as mentioned before in a previous article, are a huge threat to our independent way of life. The New Democrats take away our freedoms domestically (no guns,100k new cops), while the Republicans on the other front reduce our long term economic way of life with "excessive" Free Trade... They both have a collective (unconscious?) agenda. We must insure that no Intergovernmental agency is set up that will have the ability to thwart our federal and state laws. If this occurs, two possible actions will have to happen: 1) Appeal to our reps, for the repeal of the treaty(s). If this obviously fails... 2) Creation of Private Revolutionary Action Committees. nuff said.

Re:By Way Of Encouragement (1)

Dr. Sp0ng (24354) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478462)

cb is fer rednekz

Man, these fuckin' AC's crack me up sometimes... :-)

"Software is like sex- the best is for free"
-Linus Torvalds

Re:my (knee-jerk?) reaction. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1478463)

-just my two cents.
Much more than two cents IMHO.
Yah, beeng alert never hurts, but beeng sheepish can cost us the skin...

We Are? (1)

Dolohov (114209) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478464)

Yes, the IMF may have effectively removed Suharto with their demands -- but how often have other governments done similar things?

I think what we're beginning to see here is the rise of the alternative-government structure. Corporations control a significant amount of capital, labor, intellectual property (Whether you recognise it or not) and in some cases land. However, they have not really ever exerted a very strong influence on the way the world works except in small, limited affairs. In many countries, there is an ultimate authority of several layers above the heads of these companies.

Is it any wonder, then, that these corporations are looking toward organisations that give them the power to negotiate with these authorities on more equal terms, more commensurate with their resources and effect on society? Forget conspiracy -- this is being done completely transparently. Huge corporations by their very nature strain at any and all legal bounds placed on them. By banding together -- unionizing, in some respects -- they can further common goals to ensure their own well-being. Among these goals is cheap labor, wide markets, maximized revenues -- all those things that corporations have explicitly sought for years.

We look at the WTO and we see that when they band together with a few sycophantic politicians, they have power. Who gives them that power? We do, in one form or another. Our governments make concession after concession to corporations over land and mineral rights. Grants from our taxes support their research while they reap the rewards. Our money flows into their coffers whenever we buy Pokemon cards, Office 2000, Chevy trucks and Nike shoes.

So who controls that power and for whom does it work? Us. Almost every one of us owns stock in these companies in one form or another -- outright ownerships, bank accounts, pension plans. The problem is, we aren't using this power effectively for the sheer reason, I think, that we don't know we have it, and we don't know how to use it. For the reason that we allow certain people to amass incredible economic power under the sole criterion that they can make money.

If there's anything I've learned from the geek community is that a lot of people bound by common goals can do a hell of a lot. We build world-class OSes from scratch. Using thousands of desktop machines we break strong encryption (distributed.net, anyone?) We unite like-minded people from around the world and spread information like wildfire. Instead of watching in horror as these organizations do things we can't stand, why don't we hack these things, figure out how they work, and see what we can do? That's the sort of article I'd like to see, anyway. If I want doom and gloom, I'll go watch TV.

Re:Revolution-proofing the elites (4)

Demona (7994) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478465)

Real revolution isn't the mindless action of the mob, but rather the education and empowerment of the individual. Richard Mitchell, the Underground Grammarian [aol.com] , has written extensively on the subject of education and its popular use to produce followers rather than people who can be leaders in and of themselves.

More on the original topic, I recall a recent post here that said people don't like using tools that serve someone else's purposes. Crippling hardware and software is working against the design of the machine, impeding the progress of bits from point A to point B. Recall David Aucsmith of Intel:

The actual user of the PC -- someone who can do anything they want -- is the enemy.
To any entrenched elite, the enemy is those who can and do think for themselves -- and those who do for themselves without relying on the "elites" to guide them down the "approved" path of life.

Re:Subverting the process with external systems... (2)

Chompster (97289) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478466)

A short point i would like to present, however...

The leaders of the hierarchical system marginalize themselves.

Despite this fact being true, there are situations where it didnt matter that this happened (like with Napoleon. He did extreme things, but after his escape he still managed the 100 days) More modern leaders exist who are self-serving enough to marginalize themselves, but still recover their power because they have the charisma or intelligence to re-rally the people they once controlled. And because many of said people were ignorant of important issues to begin with (and made their original decision to rebel not based on what the real reason would or should have been) it would be easy to convince them to rejoin with promises and the like.

These people seem to be very malleable. Changing their lives in the hopes that these new promises will fulfill their needs or wants. Or perhaps, following along because they do not feel(or believe) that they have the power to resist

It also seems to me that people have an amazing ability to adapt. This is to say that despite excruciating conditions, they can still survive. A good example of this could be Bad Software. Some configurations of computers (hardware and software) using Windows crash very frequently. One would think that this sort of thing would put a halt to business, but people still manage to adapt to this and get on with things. Adaptation is generally a good thing, but is it possible that our ability to survive in these situations blinds us from the reality that it should not have to be that way?

Knowing is half the battle, right?

I think it is a very good argument for our founding fathers' ideals that a properly educated populace could fend for itself. [sorry about the absence of a refernce here; i am looking for the document that I found this in] (Of course, as we can see today, it has become er, Trendy, almost, to be Ignorant.) I feel that education and foremost understanding are the real problem with the issue with WTO and almost any other issue facing us. If we can understand and define our problem, we are that much closer to solving it. But with so many ignorant people, how are we going to do that? Perhaps an overhaul to our idea of what education is(or should be) is in order? Still there are many questions and few answers.

Relating to what i said above, the hardest part about making a judgement about the WTO is understanding the problem that they pose.(or don't, for that matter) It is very hard to discuss a issue such as the actions of the WTO with someone without inadvertantly regressing into the use of a large number of possibly mis-based assumptions. Perhaps if we had been trained better as children on how to think rather than what to think, we could determine the root of this problem and fix it.

But the saddest part of all, as i see it, is that our ancestors (as Americans, at least) worked for freedom, giving up their lives and work in its pursuit. And what do we do to thank them? We break the golden rule to gain more for ourselves, and destroy what they had worked to create.

Oh, and that education reform? Are we going to get it? No.

-Chompster, in his infinite pessimism
Unexpected Kernel Trap at 101010
Don't Panic!

P.S. Sorry about the lack of references. I'm workin on it :)

Re:Trendy? How 'bout gratuitous WTO-bashing? (1)

asparagus (29121) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478467)

Right on, baby! What scares me is the thought that we're going to be seen video clips of this for the next few years: "The brave protesters at Seattle risking their lives, blah, blah, blah..."

On a personal note, am I oversimplifing this whole thing? Certain people are against the 'evil' explotation of third-world countries for cheap labor. Instead, this labor should be done by the honest, god-fearing americans who formed unions to raise prices and eliminate competition in the marketplace? (the same people who are raising a stink?)

It sounds like unions have all of a sudden realized that there's 5 billion people in the world who will work for $5/day, while they've been bitching about benifits.

Re:Revolution-proofing the elites (3)

konstant (63560) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478468)

disagree with that. The power base, atleast in the US, is dominated by the upper middle class right now - NOT the established social elite

That's what they want you to think... :)

Keep in mind that the middle class is also the consumer class, and thus most susceptible to propaganda. Sound-byte warfare against insurrection is shaping up to be the real safeguard against grassroots movements, not tanks. See how easily the "powerful" upper middle class was turned against the Seattle protests by a simple bandying of the term "violent".

I don't disagree with you that the middle class has power. However, I stipulate that it lacks organization and driving will. Those things are supplied artificially by "elites" through news, entertainment, and commercials.

Anyway, don't expect a revolution from the middle class. The middle class is all about social stabilization, not overthrow. That's what the middle class is all about - giving poor people hope that they can be elevated to the middle class, and giving the middle class hope they can be elevated to the upper class. The middle class is one of the reasons 20th century society has been so stable despite yawning inequities between the richest and the poorest. It is a buffer of people who have a lot (but not too much!) to lose.

-konstant

I really dislike this sort of article (3)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478469)

To me this article is really lacking. Certainly organizations like the WTO can do a lot of harm, but the fact of the matter is that globalization cuts both ways, both good and bad. Authors like this may have some pet ox gored, but the long term effects of globalization contain too many positive effects to ignore.

Global trade clearly benefits consumers in a lot of ways by making the marketplace more competitive. If a country is a low cost producer, or the goods they produce are of higher quality they should not be excluded from a market for nationalistic reasons. Consumers in Japan pay far more for food than in the US, and it is only because of government interference with trade that they do so. Surely there would be dislocation in the Japanese farm community if Japan imported more food - BUT the same money that is spent on subsidies not could be spent to restructure the Japanese economy, and the labor that is inefficiently spent on food production could be applied to far better value added activities that would ultimately result in improving the standard of living in Japan.

Concerns about WTO creating a more stable system of government are interesting - but what is the alternative? The 20th Century has been marked by the two greatest wars in human history. One of the great hopes of globalization is that it will make war obsolete. Nations will become interdependent and have far more to lose by going to war. The ultimate hope is that the productive capacities used to maintain armies at large fractions of GDPs in third world countries will be turned towards production of consumer necessities.

Many third world countries are concerned about globalization resulting in massive cultural changes. Certain globalization will result in cultural change. But what ways of life are worth maintaining at the expense of illiteracy, poverty and disease?

Globalization is often cited as a powerful force towards democratization and rule of law rather than law of ruler. It appears now that any totalitarian regime that engages in open competition will have powerful forces towards openness directed at it. Rampant inefficiencies due to corruption will be forced out of existence. Stong man governments (the Phillipines and Indonesia are powerful recent examples) will be forced out of power.

What are the downsides? Certainly in an interdependent global society some lack of local soveriegnty is lost. Is this a bad thing? In my opinion xenophobia and nationalism have been the two greatest forces for destruction over the history of mankind.

Losing the old growth forests of the Pacific Northwest is painful, and should be avoided, but we should also work to prevent mass murder at the hands of despots. Is the sacrifice of a few trees to prevent a world war worthwhile?

I think so.

The fact is that we have an unusual opportunity to positively influence future history by globalization. The key is not whether we want to globalize, but to understand the reasons for it, and to manage our institutions to take advantage of the benefits.

One thing that people everywhere will have to get used to is that world organizations will have some unusual powers. It is impossible to manage a global economy with national level institutions. There will probably be a lot of problems at the start, and some xenophobic reaction to these problems. But the potential is worth it.

People on /. realize very well that the Internet is already beyond the regulatory capacity of any one nation. Even in China the government has found that it's goals of trade with the west are inconsistent with their desire to censor news. They are finding that their only choice is to favor openness because the alternative is the gulag and stagnation.

The future of mankind is with transparency at the world level, not with petty xenophobic nationistic views. The goals we need to be working for are making the international organizations needed for globalization transparent and open, while not being blind to the ultimate benefits of globalization.

my reaction to your reaction (1)

Teach (29386) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478470)

To them the letter W = 6 and www is the mark of the beast

You know you've been teaching C++ too long when you immediately think:
"That should be W == 6 . Remember kids, we're comparing, not assigning...."

Code as Law (1)

Demona (7994) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478471)

On a slightly related note, I have the opposite reaction from Lawrence Lessig when it comes to "code as law": I think it's a good thing, and want to see more of it. Not crippling code, but empowering code: stuff like IPSEC, not lame brained "copy protection".

Back in my heavy MUDding days I recall endless flamefests over various issues ranging from social to technical to everything in between, which always boiled down to being annoyed at something someone was doing. In the end, my response was always the same: It's your bloody world! You've got the code -- if you don't want someone to be able to do something, write it into the code. Don't waste your breath and raise your blood pressure complaining about it.

That's why "cypherpunks write code": To address problems that can never be wholly solved by "behavior modification." There will always be dishonest and unscrupulous people, but if enough people are educated and empowered then their ability to prey on others is significantly reduced.

Re:Are they all the same ? (1)

Stonehand (71085) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478472)

He did label it as more trivial...

Keep in mind that it's also possible to kill via trade embargos and other interfering with logistics. In the case of intra-EU disputes over everything from beef to the true meaning of chocolate (mmmmmmmm), that's not the case... but it can be done.

Re:Revolution-proofing the elites (1)

Stonehand (71085) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478473)

Hrrrrrrrrm. So, according to your labelling of the wealthy and the governmental folks as "elites", Bill Gates and Bill Clinton should be mind-controlling just about everybody.

Somehow, neither seems to be doing a good job at that lately, eh?

You're missing something about these folks -- they *need* the sanction of the supposedly non-powerful middle class. Take Gates, for instance; what power he has comes from money. That money comes from his company. His company depends on customers...

Politicians are even more vulnerable to discontent; recall, impeachment and refusal to re-elect all come to mind, not to mention the constant ridicule by Leno...

There are more middle-class folks, and they have a LOT of power. Witness what happened to Mondale when he proposed raising taxes during the election.

Re:InterSuperQuasiGovernmental Controls (1)

Stonehand (71085) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478474)

* Define speech.

There is peaceful protest, such as putting up signs and fliers in a public place without obstructing or otherwise harrassing anybody. Flooding a representative's mailbox with well-reasoned letters is another approach.
Blocking traffic and dancing in the streets veers a bit away from speech; now, these folks are simply sending the message that they've failed to come up with a coherent, cogent means of expression.
Vandalism and looting are no longer "peaceful protest". This is along the lines as the strange way of celebrating, say, a championship game by overturning cars and starting fires, or expressing support for a football/soccer team by punching the fans of others.

* In this case, the WTO has lately sided *against* the wealthy nations by rejecting discussions of labor laws. It's distinctly not in the tax-base interests of governments to have much stronger labor laws than others, except in industries where it does not matter because one needs the infrastructure and/or highly-trained people who aren't elsewhwere.

Go pyrex! (1)

esperandus (97729) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478475)

Although its not very nice...If I had moderator points, youd be 'funny.' Come on Signal, ya gotta admit it...sometimes, whether wemean to or not, we all spout out vacnat emptinesses, and this guy called you for it in a clever manner.

Re:I really dislike this sort of article (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478476)

The problem is not that organizations are global. There are two separate problems.

First problem is that there is no mechanism that implements their responsibility to population. Governments have this mechanism -- they can be re-elected, overthrown or in the very worst case placed in situation where they have either to make decision that population demands, or get rid of large part of population.

Second problem is that countries are not in equal position in global economy. While UN is based on the idea that countries' influence on UN policy is not entirely based on its political, military or economical strength (and if it was, such organization would be near to worthless), and even heavily US-dominated NATO allows every country to veto a decision (even though such action will definitely more dangerous for military weaker country in the long run), organizations that handle trade, business and finances in the worst case represent the interests of few strongest players, and in the best case are preserving status quo even when it hurts some countries that don't have resources to perform serious economical pressure. When the only mechanism that implements the decision is threats ("if your country won't implement our policy, we won't give loans/disallow trade/increase tariffs" vs. "if your organization will make decision that we don't like, we won't pay for it") it becomes a tool to increase pressure on weaker players, and in this case pressure on population goes through governments even if otherwise it could be done only through companies. In general treaties have power over governments while governments have power over companies, but when large international organization is controlled by companies, and its power is accepted by governments through treaties, it gives companies one more, and very efficient way to affect governments' policies, something that they would do by only indirect, less efficient ways otherwise.

Re:Nothing new here... (1)

Dolohov (114209) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478477)

Users will never support a format that includes self-destruct "features".

Why not? They use Windows, don't they?

"Mommy, why is the screen blue?"

REBOOT THE PLANET! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1478478)

Let's mobilize the internet against corporate domination. Let's Reboot the Planet!

Re:Trendy? How 'bout gratuitous WTO-bashing? (1)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478479)

> > were it not for the yahoos [ ... ] the peaceful protesters
> > would have been politely ignored as they always are
>
> And you say you don't understand them.

I understand the dynamic perfectly. I feel it every time I fantasize about taking a lead pipe to a spammer's skull because they just won't stop, no matter how many ISPs kick them off. That doesn't make acting on my impulse right.

Likewise, the fact that peaceful protest is generally ignored when compared to violence is a bummer. It does not, in general, justify violence.

And it sure as fsck doesn't justify what happened in Seattle, as it appears that most of the violent yahoos trashing downtown didn't give a damn about the WTO one way or another, they just wanted to raise hell for its own sake. IMHO, for most of the yahoos, the legitimate protest that was going on was merely a convenient cover story.

Re:What if... (1)

binarybits (11068) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478480)

Ok, let's say I pick up an old SGI 4D/440. I get it, it has no OS. I am just a hobbyist wanting to just learn Irix. Would it be wrong for me to just pirate Irix 5.3 or should I lay down the $1500 or so it would take to buy it properly licensed from SGI?

No, probably not. The reason being that you are not one of their target customers, and if forced to pay for it, you would simply choose not to use it. Thus you are not recieving much of an unearned benefit.

I do the same sort of thing with old versions of Mac OS. I've borrowed copies of 7.6 to install on old Macs. I figure that I probably couldn't buy a copy of 7.6 without more trouble than the price tag anyway.

I don't see IP as a hard-and-fast moral rule, where it is intrinsically evil to copy any copyrighted software. I just think it's appropriate to compensate a programmer for the benefit a software package gives you.

So no, I don't think you're a "big time criminal." I'll agree there's a problem in that it is all but impossible to enforce the law as it stands, so perhaps there needs to be some changes, but I think there is something wrong with making unauthorized copies of someone else's work without his consent.

Re:who is the government? (1)

keil (83681) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478481)

We have to remember the government doesn't (yet) have total control and in many cases, not really much at all. Our internet is too abstract to make silly rules like who can see what. If it's filtered one way there are a billion of ways to get at it another way..

If DeCSS is on a server in Antarctica, what can the motion picture association do? Influence the government funding the outpost there? Try to get the lines cut? This simply doesn't work when there are a million copies everywhere.

Nobody wants someone telling them what to look at online, and because nobody can actually do this from the top down, it takes the end-user (you) to agree to it. Otherwise you can get around any means of restricting information.

Tear gas can't be lobbed at millions of angry netizens.

anti NWO resortiments (5)

dermond (33903) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478482)

NWO. what does that mean. "new world order" and what people usually mean
with that is globalisation and a shift towards a kind of world government.

i would say NWO (the shift towards some kind world government) is more or
less inevitable. we will have that in some form or another anyway. the
question is not if we want that kind of thing but how we want
it to look like.

  • if national governments do not try to solve global problems on a global
    scale (and the most important problems are usually global problems) then no
    one will solve those problems. instead big corporations will more or less
    rule the world. small countries can not afford to object those big
    corporations.. "if you do not give us the right to pollute your environment
    we will take our $$$ elsewhere.." etc.. only very big countries could afford
    to object here.. the USA comes to mind. but unfortunately the USA is mostly
    in the hand of big $$$ corporations anyway because the political system
    allows bribery (lobbying, donating money to senators etc..) and is not
    really democratic.. so i guess big corporations are not unhappy with the
    status quo of competing national government. as long as there is no real
    international political power which could stand up against big corporations
    then they are the king of the hill...

  • so to avoid the disadvantages mentioned above we need some political power
    that can operate on a global scale. we need institutions where these
    problems are discussed but moreover we also need institutions which have the
    legal power to do something about the problems. so international
    organisations are necessary. but we want them to be democratically
    controlled. until we have world wide voting this could be achieved if the
    national governments send representatives there and each one has votes..



so when arguing against international organisations like WTO etc: it is
important that people argue against the politics this organisation makes in
case it is too much oriented towards the interest of corporations but not
against the institution as a place where there would be power to do
something to control international corporations

an example: international corporation wants to produce something very cheap
and the cheapest way to produce it is in a way that pollutes our atmosphere.
now they say ask: "which country has no laws to prohibit the pollution about
the atmosphere" of course they will find one somewhere.. (bribing a senator
in the USA or going 3rd world country..etc.). now each sovereign small
country can say: oh but we will not buy these goods from this company
because they pollute the environment... but will they really do it? after all
it gives them competitive disadvantage compared to the other nations which
do not hesitate to buy that goods.. when it is a small country then they can
not do but buy.. (maybe they have a little bit more tax on it so they can
tell the environmentalists among the voters that they are doing something
but most of the time they will just buy it). would there be a powerful
organisation then they could just say "producing with this kind of
environmental is not allowed."

somehow the reason why we want supernational organisations is the same as
the one why we want workers unions => so that the people together are strong
against too much capitalism. and i guess most of the resortiments against
NWO is actually promoted by big corporations and right wing parties.
(together with a few left who are just to stupid to grasp it).

greetings from vienna, austria.

der mond.

The Ministry of Truth (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1478483)

http://www.drudgereport.com/seattle.htm Drudge hit the nail right on the head with this one.

Ignorant diplomats. (1)

Pyrrus (97830) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478484)

Electronic signatures where feasible(sp?). I hope they know what is feasable. This is not to start a diplomat bashing or anything but take the following example: My father is a chemist. The lawyers making the pollution regulations decided that there could be ZERO pollutants in the soil of a refinery. ZERO! With chemicals measured in parts-per-million(ppm) or even parts-per-billion(ppb) this is ridiculus(sp?) I hope they get actual programmers to tell them what is feasable.

Re:I really dislike this sort of article (2)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478485)

First problem is that there is no mechanism that implements their responsibility to population. Governments have this mechanism -- they can be re-elected, overthrown or in the very worst case placed in situation where they have either to make decision that population demands, or get rid of large part of population.

In current circumstances there is a very real mechanism - if a country believes it is better off not participating it can simply not participate. There is no manditory membership, which is quite unlike being a citizen who is subject to mandatory rules (i.e. laws) of the nation he is a member in.

In addition you are neglecting the representative nature of participants in global organizations. In the US elected officials represent the citizens in determination of their vote. Citizens do not have a direct say in each and every rule or law that is passed. Similarly governments represent their citizens in international organizations. If they do a poor job of it, their constituents will boot them out of office.

While UN is based on the idea that countries' influence on UN policy is not entirely based on its political, military or economical strength (and if it was, such organization would be near to
worthless), and even heavily US-dominated NATO allows every country to veto a decision.


This is not correct. The UN does not allow any and all individual countries to veto decisions. The UN only allows members of the Security Council, which includes all the major world powers on a permanent basis and some representatives from the General Assembly on a rotating basis to veto decisions THAT ARE BEFORE THE SECURITY COUNCIL. Many decisions taken at the UN are in fact implemented solely by majority or 2/3 vote in the General Assembly. One of the main power struggles at the UN is always which matters are taken before the Security Council, and which are voted on by the General Assembly. Many organizations within the UN have a long history of adopting policies that the US does not agree with because they are in fact controlled and funded by the General Assembly where the US has neither a veto or more than a single vote along with the 180 or so individual nations present. All of this is why Congress sometimes has a tough time getting payment of dues passed.

In general treaties have power over governments while government have power over companiess

Historically governments abide by treaties only when it is to their best interest. Governments are the makers and breakers of treaties at their own whim. A treaty at an international level has no power over a government other than the self interest of that goverment.

but when large international organization is controlled by companies, and its power is accepted
by governments through treaties, it gives companies one more, and very efficient way to affect governments' policies, something that they would do by only indirect, less efficient ways otherwise.


International organizations (regardless of who they are controlled by) can only affect the actions of soverign nations on a very marginal basis. The inability of the WTO to reach a consensus on some relatively simple trade issues in fact highlights the degree of marginalization that is present. If there were in fact some international cabal of companies running the WTO, we would not see this level of disarray.

Re:my reaction to your reaction to your reaction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1478486)

What is C++?

Re:Revolution-proofing the elites (2)

konstant (63560) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478487)

What you are missing about Bill Gates and Bill Clinton is that they have fallen from grace due to the action of other "elites". The populace emphatically wanted to ignore BillC's indiscretions and they steadfastly want to ignore BillG's as well. Only through the action of other powerful individuals (congressional republicans/DoJ) was the powerful individual brought lower. What middle-class individuals did act were without exception mobilized by elite propaganda. Think Rush Limbaugh and Larry Ellison.

But, you say, that only proves the powerful middle class chose not to act. It doesn't prove the middle class is powerless.

My contention is that the middle class has power, but that any possible organization is suffocated by the propaganda machines of the elites. The middle-class could overthrow the normal order of society, but it won't. The MC has been trained by the media to believe that it has "too much to lose" in an upheaval.

Anyway, that's my opinion.

-konstant

Yes, he really said that. (3)

Paul Crowley (837) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478488)

I foudn the quote from this comment hard to believe, so I did a search, and sure enough: he really said it [zdnet.co.uk] .

Boggle.
--

Oh Puhleeze (2)

FallLine (12211) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478489)

"See how easily the 'powerful' upper middle class was turned against the Seattle protests by a simple bandying of the term 'violent'." Nevermind the millions of dollars this cost Seattle. Nevermind the fact that the protestors blocked the downtown area off for several days. Nevermind the fact that there are sound economic arguments for free trade. Nevermind the fact that many stores were looted and vandalized. Nevermind the fact that Seattle has never been a very entrenched city (it is a largely middle class and diverse city). Because you disagree with the WTO, obviously it is the upper middle class who're the fools. Right? Give me a break. Though I don't agree with the previous poster, the "middle class" and the "upper middle class" are largely different groups--you are confusing the two. You are forgetting your history if you believe it is the lower classes that are the politically active ones; the lower middle class have carried many more significant revolutions and political shifts. America's middle class fears change because they lead a relatively comfortable existance, and the marginal costs of revolution far outweigh the marginal benefits revolution could bring. Thus no revolution.

Do you really believe that the bulk of the upper class (or even the upper-middle class) would have elected Bill Clinton, or any other democrat, president? How many lobbies / interest groups represent upper class constituencies? Do you believe the upper class would have opted to be taxed at steeper effective rates? (e.g., income, capital gains, estate taxes, luxary taxes, etc.)

Furthermore, who do you believe most of protestors were? They were largely middle and upper middle class (college aged/long hair types). Not many "poor" or "upper class" people there, I assure you. Does the WTO represent the status quo (static)? Not exactly. The WTO wants to drastically step up "free trade". The only coherant (arguably) and unified voice against WTO was labor vs. exportation of jobs. What you saw was, in fact, a somewhat violent (and blind in my opinion) back-lash to change by mostly middle class individuals (e.g.: Unions).

Somewhat off the subject, it strikes me that most of the cries for "human rights" are some what hypcritical. The fact of the matter is that the vast majority of these 3rd world countries don't need to use slavery (it costs more!) to support industry; their people want to put food on the table. Though 50 cents may be dirt by American standards, the people of these countries have no other options. They work at these "low" wages of their own volition, because it's the best choice they've got. Who are these liberals (and Union ploys under liberal* causes) to say they can't work them? [empirically there is a lot of evidence that these manufacturing positions ultimately bring greatly increased mobility] I've yet to see these same activists provide them with more palatable alternatives. Nor do they protest for lack of industry, only when Union jobs are at stake do they voice "concern". These Unions fear losing their jobs/salaries--change; it is as simple as that (well almost).

You underestimate the middle class. Though there is a certain amount of apathy in the middle class and the upper/upper-middle classes are disproportinately more powerfull, the reigns of control rest largely in the hands of the middle class. The government hardly makes any significant sustained actions (atleast those under political purview) that runs significantly afoul of the middle class. This has been demonstrated numerous times. Though I suspect the "globalization" initiatives will not be entirely scuttled, it will not happen if there is wide disapproval amongst the middle class. No amount of "media control" [I think this is mostly bullshit] by the "social elite" will change this. If, for example, the middle class learned (or came to believe) that they lost 20% of their salaries to 3rd world nations in the next year, the WTO and all its corresponding laws would vanish, for all intents and purposes.

Re:Go pyrex! (1)

Signal 11 (7608) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478490)

Vacant emptiness? Oookay, well... let's just skip over that for now. I didn't take it personally. I simply can't quite understand his.. ummm.. unique way of doing poetry.

Re:Hipocrites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1478491)

Because our (US) government is a poorly representative constitutional republic (not a democracy) which is riddled with electoral and legislative/judicial corruption, and political inbreeding, and corporate/industry influence to the point where it is effectively an oligarchy in which multiple political viewpoints are unrepresented. (Thus both political parties in power tend to vie for the same electorate, in the "middle" or "moderate" ground. In this sense it is not much unlike the PRI in Mexico which holds a lock on political power, except here it's under the quise of the the "choice" offered by a two party system. The parties periodically change but the status quo remains.)

To cast a vote for an alternative party (i.e. Libertarian or Green) essentially means throwing away your franchise in a symbolic protest. You may as well vote for Pat Paulsen for what it's worth. Unlike the various parlimentary systems the US system offers no voice to monority political parties/viewpoints through coalition government.

So, in summary, we voted for those in power not because we agreed with them or because they represented our positions, but rather because the existing political system contrained our choices of candidates, much more so than in a more democratic, representative, less-corrupt form of government. (Or in many cases we didn't vote, due to disillusionment in the current system.)

Rather than blame the voters, who are the victims of this process, why not blame the career political hacks and special-interest extremists who steadfastly resist election reform, lobbying reform, term limits, government accountability and other pro-democracy measures? Those with the most invested in the current system love to blame the electorate. Are you on their side?

Re:my reaction to your reaction to your reaction (1)

Fruan (105302) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478492)

Around these parts, thats kinda like asking what chocolate is :o)

Re:Revolution-proofing the elites (2)

pos (59949) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478493)

Moreover, it is in the best interest of the upper class to keep the middle class happy. The upper class is a very very small group of people comparitively who depend on the midddle and lower classes for labor and votes.

One way of getting the middle class to protect the upper is to let them think that they are on the same level. A lot of people will describe their lifestyles as upper-middle class when they are probably just average. Middle class workers think they are just a few more years from "making it big" when really they will probably never make it big. They will however, blame all of their problems on the lower/middle classes because they are "upper-middle class going on upper class"

I don't disagree with you that the middle class has power. However, I stipulate that it lacks organization and driving will. Those things are supplied artificially by "elites" through news, entertainment, and commercials.

Even if they had organization it would be in the wrong direction. If the will were ever against the upper class then it would be labeled a small group of extreme thinkers.

I see lots of people debating on /. for the WTO like it is their god and safety. Like it cares about the hacker workforce. The WTO worships money and will dispose of your precious rights and freedom as soon as it stands to make money. Worship that ;)

-pos


The truth is more important than the facts.

Re:Hipocrites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1478494)

Response to paragraph 1: You've got it backward. Because our constitutional republic has been corrupted and perverted into a legislative democracy is the reason it has become the oligarchy of which you speak. No one should have to worry about wether the mojority is going to vote "correctly" or not, and wether some right will turn into a crime next week. Your rights are not up for debate and are not matters or opinion. But, often our legislators blatantly ignore consitutional protections because they present an inconvenience to carrying out their socialist policies. Response to paragraph 2: Since every vote you've ever cast has not resulted in increased freedom and prosperity, it could be argued that you've thrown away every vote you've ever cast. I don't see voting Libertarian as throwing my votes away. Even though it's unlikely that my candidates will be elected, I can feel good when I exit the voting booth knowing that I didn't vote for a socialist. Response to paragraph 3: It's convenient to blame the "system" for giving you a lack of choices. Nobody is forcing you to vote for anybody you don't want to. A "representative democracy" is a far more corrupt government and that's precisely what the founders wished to avoid. They spoke about the dangers of democracy in the Federalist Papers. In a democracy your rights are debatable, not guaranteed. Response to paragraph 4: With people being inherently lazy and apathetic you don't have to look far to asign blame for the current state of affairs. But, it's very difficult to move people to action. Most people won't move unless they are forced, which means things may need to get worse before they will get better. "Pro-democracy" is not synonymous with "pro-freedom". It is impossible to be free if you are living under somebody's rule, wether it be one person, a minority, or a majority. I am on the side of personal freedom and free-enterprise. My email is alanc123@hotmail.com in case somebody wants to flame me.

Re:We Are? (1)

elthia (119370) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478495)

((Yes, the IMF may have effectively removed Suharto with their demands -- but how often have other governments done similar things? ))

This makes no sense to me. In many cases I agree with what you are saying, but this is NOT a reason to do things. How often have governments practiced - or attempted to practice - genocide based on race? Is that any reason for us to tolerate it being done by our government, if it were (it was, now they just repress the natives instead of killing them, but it's still no excuse). This is not an argument that is worth opening your statement with, as I feel you have a few good points, and this argument undermines them.

I don't think we are seeing the start of an alternate government so much as a larger, broader one. World government. Whether it's bound by corporate agreements (is anyone else seeing shades of Shadowrun and Cyberpunk here?), or by various smaller (national) governments, it's the idea of one government over all the world. Corrupted, maybe, but a single one.

Every government is corrupt, by the way, it's the political nature of the human being. But we still need them. Anarchy may not be corrupt in that sense, but it's definitely not preferable - I have no desire to become the forced wife of some random gorilla just because he's bigger and stronger than my chosen, or because his gang is bigger and stronger. As a result, I feel violence should be a last resort. Revolution is necessary only when you have tried _everything_ else, and _nothing_ has even seemed like it might someday work. Because you never know, what you wind up with after the revolution might be worse than what you have now - the only way to assure that it won't be is to be sure that it _can't_ get any worse than it is now. Until then, the best option is to try to work within the system, even if you don't think it will work as fast as you want it to.

So, if you don't like the way the laws go, try to change them. Start letter-writing campaigns. Find people who have relevant lawsuits going on, and help them work on it. Push your local grassroots organizations and civil liberties groups (PIRG and the ACLU come to mind, along with a handful of others) to take these things on as 'issues'. Bring it to the largest group of people you possibly can - because popular opinion _does_ affect law, whether you like it or not.

I wouldn't recommend just ignoring the laws, even if the penalty is minor. Keep in mind that if putting whatever it is into law is gotten away with the first time, it could get worse. Unless there's an outcry, noone will know how wrong it is until it's too late. So, even if you don't get penalized heavily for, say, having a porn website that some idiot parents got pissed at having their kid see, you could get penalized the next time, and perhaps it will eventually even become illegal to _have_ that website. Snowballs have a good chance in legislative places, despite the similarities between politics and That Other Christian Place.

-Elthia

"poetry" (1)

esperandus (97729) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478496)

>I simply can't quite understand his.. ummm.. unique way of doing poetry.

Be glad for that one.

PS--malign.net is a very cool domain name. Hope you do something especially rockin' with it--are you into the whole protest thing? You could use it as a public forum for exposing political/corporate/bigwig corruption/evil/greed/stupidity. "Acidic Satire" is perhaps the tone I'm picturing...make of that phrase what you will.

PPS--"vacant emptinesses"-silly things we say that we think sound important and that make sense to us when we say them, but that are really more superficial than they seem at first. Most often a problem of communicating a good idea effectively (stupid inadeqauacy of language!!).

Sorry, but I cant see "Information doesn't want to be free-it already is" as anything else. What is this supposed to mean? Information may be 'free' (widely disseminated), 'free' of charge(a la open source software or public info about a book), 'free' (open to anyone who wants it), etc etc etc. In all of these meanings there are many possible degrees of freedom, and it does not seem that there is some fundamental way in which information is free in all of them.

Therfore: what the Fsck?!!

Don't take this criticism personally--You probably did mean something, maybe even something cool, but the meaning you had in mind is too much for most of us to extract with accuracy without help, since it is not obvious ftom the accepted meanings of the words employed. Therefore it is a "vacant emptiness" (redundant to stress point). We all need to try and be a little more precise/careful. When we arent, it is fun to laugh and not take ourselves too seriously. Karma bait? I dunno, a lot of slashdotters seem to prefer cloudy pseudo-profundity to clarity, but I find the accusation tasteless and mean.Ad hominem attacks contribute nothing in a disussion concerning the content of the post. Hope you dont think Im being an ass.

later.

Re:Yes, he really said that. (1)

Demona (7994) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478497)

Yes, and I apologize for being lazy and not hyperlinking the original quote, especially since I recently did a search to verify it myself, since I first saw it in someone's sig here on /. :) It pops up in all sorts of diverse spots on the web.

So many parallels -- "Use a debugger, go to jail." Only so much may ye know, and no more, unless ye be Approved.

Re:InterSuperQuasiGovernmental Controls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1478498)

Yes, but who is listening? We can see how much the Seattle riots are making a difference to the WTO summit. The people who are speaking out against these groups seem to be portrayed fairly often as lunatic commies who dont seem to know that a global economy run by a select few organizations with mammoth political power is the way things should be.

I wish to point out that not all areas of the media have been proclaiming the WTO protesters as "lunitic commies". During and after the WTO protests in Seattle, the CBC radio show "As it Happens" interviewed a number of people, both pro WTO and anti-WTO protesters. The coverage was admirably even handed, and I must say that at the end of it all, I came away with the idea that the host of the show agreed with the anti-WTO protesters. Also, the CBC radio show "The House" interviewed a member of the Canadian deligation (did I spell that right?) to the WTO talks, and a rather vocal anti-WTO activist. And yes, I am a dedicated CBC radio listener.

Do not forget though, that even in Canada, we have had our black marks as well. I'm not sure how high a profile this has had in the world press, but at the APEC summit in Canada, the PMO (Prime Minister's Office) seems to have been directing the RCMP security apparatus. Officers arrested "potential troublemakers" and pepper sprayed non-violent demonstrators. Even more scarry, for myself as a Canadian citizen, was the fact that forigne security personal were allowed to carry weapons. That was a first for Canada. Also, the RCMP was asked by an Indonesian (sp? again) security guard if he was allowed to shoot protestors!

I am scared of this "New World Order" that seems to be coming about. Shades of "1984" and "Animal Farm" are becoming more and more wide spread.

I'll drag my soapbox back now. Thanks.

Re:... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1478499)

Pick up a copy of the "Eric's Ultimate Solitaire" manual and read it.

Re:Hipocrites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1478500)

Response to paragraph 1: You've got it backward. Because our constitutional republic has been corrupted and perverted into a legislative democracy is the reason it has become the oligarchy of which you speak.

So excess democracy, in your view, is the cause of excessive global corporatism? Well, I'd say that's a minority viewpoint, to say the least. Some people have a simpler (economic) explanation: the trans-national corporations own the governments lock, stock, and barrel, via corruption and subversion of democratic processes.

No one should have to worry about wether the mojority is going to vote "correctly" or not, and wether some right will turn into a crime next week. Your rights are not up for debate and are not matters or opinion.

It's too bad you don't trust the people to govern themselves, or vote "correctly." It's too bad you don't trust the constitutional checks and balances in government, or the constitution itself. Let's just say that, likewise, I would not trust your (purely hypothetical) "Libertarian" utopia to ensure my rights, and neither would the vast majority of voters.

But, often our legislators blatantly ignore consitutional protections because they present an inconvenience to carrying out their socialist policies.

Why pick on socialists (are there any to speak of in power in the US?) v. any other political interest when it comes to subverting the constitution? The trans-national corporations and national security thugs are at least as adept in that department, don't you think? It makes you sound like a red-baiter or wingnut who buys into the line (for example) that "liberals" control the media. (I guess it's true if Jesse Helms is your idea of the "liberal.")

Response to paragraph 2: Since every vote you've ever cast has not resulted in increased freedom and prosperity, it could be argued that you've thrown away every vote you've ever cast. I don't see voting Libertarian as throwing my votes away. Even though it's unlikely that my candidates will be elected, I can feel good when I exit the voting booth knowing that I didn't vote for a socialist.

Feeling "good" about your vote does not make you any less disenfranchised, or is that stating the obvious?

Response to paragraph 3: It's convenient to blame the "system" for giving you a lack of choices. Nobody is forcing you to vote for anybody you don't want to.

Nor is anyone preventing the kind of special interest-control and corruption that prevents my choice from ever making it to the ballot, or getting equal time in the media. For someone who is so critical of the "system" you sure can change your tune quickly when it suits your argument.

A "representative democracy" is a far more corrupt government and that' precisely what the founders wished to avoid. They spoke about the dangers of democracy in the Federalist Papers. In a democracy your rights are debatable, not guaranteed.

Bullshit. Back that statement up or retract it on the grounds of the ignorance that it's based on. You are just spewing the same tired old argument of despots, and tyrants, and military dictatorships.

Response to paragraph 4: With people being inherently lazy and apathetic you don't have to look far to asign blame for the current state of affairs.

More arguments directly from the playbook of the dictator. No wonder you are so anti-democratic, since in your view, people are so "inherently" incompetent to govern themselves. I take a slighly different approach, which is that representative government is designed to precisely avoid the dangers of government by people who think like you.

But, it's very difficult to move people to action. Most people won't move unless they are forced, which means things may need to get worse before they will get better.

More of the same anti-democratic bullshit. Well there are a few of us left who still believe that a well-informed populace is eager to defend their freedoms and don't need government bullies and thugs to protect them or coerce them into "freedom." Your viewpoint has been overused in the past by dictactorships on both the left and right. (But then as a student of history, you already knew that, right?

"Pro-democracy" is not synonymous with "pro-freedom". It is impossible to be free if you are living under somebody's rule, wether it be one person, a minority, or a majority. I am on the side of personal freedom and free-enterprise.

Well I somehow doubt that you are correctly presenting the Libertarian viewpoint here. I can imaging many of them cringing while reading your words. You seem to be suggesting that free-enterprise is not compatible with democracy or personal freedoms, or even government for that matter, and this is what I (and I suppose many true Libertarians) would take strong exception to.

My email is alanc123@hotmail.com in case somebody wants to flame me.

Not intended as a flame, just a reality check, and I applaud your willingness to register your opinion with Big Brother's great political opinion dossier database in the cybersky.

Re:"?", "?", "?", "?", and even "?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1478501)

And courtesy of Netscape 3.01:
Editor, O?Reilly & Associates?andyo@oreilly.com

Author?s home page

dah-bum! rimshot! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1478502)

From The Idiot's Computer Dictionary: [h2g2.com]
C++
1.Not quite as good as getting a B-

2.Control language for submarines
From the Jargon File [tuxedo.org] :
C++ /C'-pluhs-pluhs/ n.
Designed by Bjarne Stroustrup of AT&T Bell Labs as a successor to C. Now one of the languages of choice, although many hackers still grumble that it is the successor to either Algol 68 or Ada (depending on generation), and a prime example of second-system effect. Almost anything that can be done in any language can be done in C++, but it requires a language lawyer to know what is and what is not legal-- the design is almost too large to hold in even hackers' heads. Much of the cruft results from C++'s attempt to be backward compatible with C. Stroustrup himself has said in his retrospective book "The Design and Evolution of C++" (p. 207), "Within C++, there is a much smaller and cleaner language struggling to get out." [Many hackers would now add "Yes, and it's called Java" --ESR]

(Internal links omited. The complete entry is here. [tuxedo.org] )

Re:"poetry" (1)

timster (32400) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478503)

woo, tell it like it is man

Re:The Rock (1)

cheese63 (74259) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478504)

lol, awsome. on a similar note, i was in a bathroom stall one day, and on the toilet paper holder, what do i see, but this:

"The rock says wipe your damn candy ass"

Thats funny stuff. You go to drexel buddy?

Re:"poetry" (1)

Signal 11 (7608) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478505)

Okay, I guess on that you're right. I've been reading too many philosophy books that are filled with little abstract saying like that. They make sense and sound intelligent when you think it.. but a few seconds of additional thought renders them impotent.

Anyway, about the domain name - I'm planning on creating a slashdot-like site eventually that would be hosted there and sport a variety of improvements over the current slashdot engine (like user-defined forums / root thread postings and usenet/e-mail integration)... but until then...

No, I don't take it personally. I have already admitted that many of my postings until recently (not anymore, however) were to a large degree testing the moderation system. The results so far: People moderate things that they agree with up and things they disagree with down. This isn't how the system is supposed to work.. but that *is* how it's working right now. My new slash engine will have a different system which will hopefully defeat this. I will also learn from cmdrtaco's mistakes and not post karma publically but instead keep that internal to the system or only rate them in general terms "excellent, good, average, none, poor, terrible, troll" instead of exact numbers.

More than you wanted to know about charsets (1)

jaed (99912) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478506)

They're legal Unicode [http] .

HTML 4.0 [w3.org] and later uses Unicode as its character set [w3.org] , Unicode being an 16-bit character set in which you can write most human languages. Unicode is a superset of the 8-bit ISO-Latin (which in turn is a superset of 7-bit ASCII), the character set of HTML 3.2 and previous versions. It also has some nice things like typographic characters that aren't in ISO-Latin (m-dashes, curved quotes, and so forth) and some math characters.

The upshot of all this is that if a browser doesn't support Unicode, it'll still work with documents that use it...as long as those documents don't stray outside the first 8 bits. If they do, the resulting character will show up as however the browser handles indeterminate characters. Your browser gets the credit and/or blame for this.

Re:I really dislike this sort of article (1)

Lysander Luddite (64349) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478507)

Even if I were to agree with everything you said, why must I succomb to this? Why can't I have the option of not being in either system?

To survive in history you need one of two things: guns or money. Neither is a guaranteed winner and it is better to have both, but you need one or the other.

The thing about globalization is that it is an increase in vertical hierarchies. The common person has no means to change the system to his benefit. I may have some tenuous ability to change my country in the US, but it is many times more than some transnational corporation or international gov't agency.

Re:What if... (1)

symbolic (11752) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478508)


This sounds to me like a cop-out. The rule is: if you don't pay for it, you don't use it. Why is software any different from a car, for example? BOTH provide benefit, and despite the actual *physical* resources required to manufacture the car, the benefit derived from using software can be very substantial. I believe that the free market really does work...people just have to *allow* it to work. Taking without paying, for whatever reason, undermines the entire system.

Re:New World Order in cyberspace (0)

cynthetik (97316) | more than 14 years ago | (#1478509)

Sadly what few of you seem to realize is that thw WTO is an essentially US institution. Its primary function is to serve the corporate interests of the USA in providing leverage into markets which they have limited access.
Second it hes been used to keep a pool of cheap labour where US industry needs it.
Someone posted earlier that they did not like the articles linking of Security and commerce. For a great many slashdotters capitalism is their new god. But it is not a system of ethics. It is merely a way of doing business and can not be substituted for a functional moral code. The major cause of wars have been territory of which commerce is just another aspect.

Sorry I was just possessed by the rant beast
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