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How to Fix U.S. Patents

Montreal Geek Re:Correction (471 comments)

Those ideas would stay secret for who knows how long without the patent system. Are you sure you, as an academic, really want that?

You've never read a patent, have you? In most (almost all?) cases, they are worded in an obscure and roundabout way so that they no longer describe anything usable directly.

Patents are worded vaguely to try to include as many different things as possible (so as to be able to attack the competition) and to prevent anyone from being able to build anything out of them once they do run out.

Patents no longer disclose anything. Doing away with them would cause zero loss of knowledge.

For that matter, look at &@#^# copyrights. The point of copyright is to grant a limited monopoly on certain activities in exchange for insuring the work enters the public domain later. Nowadays, copyright keeps being extended over and over so that /nothing/ enters public domain anymore.

Businesses will twist and abuse ANY system that grants limited monopolies into weapons to crush competition, regardless of the original goal. Remember, they can hire packs of lawyers.

Only workable solution? Do away with laws that grant monopolies entierly, however limited.

-- MG

more than 9 years ago

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A bit about my vision of the world...

Montreal Geek Montreal Geek writes  |  more than 11 years ago I dare say being honest is likely to make me more enemies than friends, but I think my vision is so integral to who I really am that it's impossible to know or even understand me unless it is known.

Regardless of how politically incorrect this may be, I strongly beleive that most of the ills of our society (as a distinct entity, not as a collective of individuals) are caused by one very incorrect premisce:

All humans have equal value

Many (most?) of the laws, rules and strictures of our moden societies are grounded on that axiom. Look at legal systems derived from the British system: one of its basic principle is that a randomly selected group of individuals (jury) is able, likely even, to pronounce logical, impartial and fair judgment.

I'm sure with little effort you can think of entire systems derived from that presumption; like electoral processes (and democracy in general), public schooling, etc.

The most extreme example is (in principle at least) socialism which strives to enforce that axiom with law rather that simply presume it.

The problem is that our society has constructed around a presumption that is, fundamentally, not only false but so far off the mark that it's ridiculous.

All humans are not created equal. Be it genetics, fluke, fate or whatever else, individuals have fundamental differences. Not everyone is blessed with great intelligence. Not everyone has a pleasant voice, or is dextrous, or strong, or what-have-you. Charisma, organization, management skill, great oratory ability are all disjoint and orthogonal to one another.

We acknowledge that fact everyday by celebrating great scientists, artists and athletes. We give prizes to the "best of the best", encourage them to better themselves by pitting them in competition with one another. Ostensibly because that drive to be the "best" creates individuals whose value to society at large is worth the resources we spend encouraging them.

For instance, nobody I know of would think the Nobel prize useless or pointless; most will agree that this ultimate recognition of scientific ability serves very well as an incentive for research that, ultimately, benefits the species as a whole.

Yet everyday our society turns its back to that simple fact. Under the oh-so-humanist claim of everybody is created equal, we level from the base and attempt to reduce everything to the lowest common denominator. We create a governement where important life and death decisions are not taken by the most able to make the judgement call, but by people who were able to please the most individual with sweet lies.

The fact is, the very great majority of humans are selfish, ignorant drones who should not be given the same 'weight' in society than the superior few.

And this ignorance is not curable, as some will claim, by instruction. Go out and look for yourself: Joe Public knows very little and has no interrest whatsoever to strive to understand the world beyond his immediate field of vision. He will be content to mindlessly repeat whatever has been told by society, and not even want to try to understand of verify.

Yes, this is elitist. But species are not driven by the median, they are driven by the exceptionnal, the few who raise above the rest. Without the elite, we would still be living in caves, bashing rabbits with rocks for supper.

Any society which tries to enforce "equality" is not only doomed to failiure, but in fact detrimental to the species as a whole.

-- Marc-André Pelletier
(Montreal Geek)

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