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The fall of the Templars

The Templar Knights were the most powerful order following the Cruzades. Their presence reached from northern Europe to the Near East and commanded vast military power, wealth and influence. However in 1307 their luck changed. Accused of unchurchy things they were witch hunted in France and then across Europe. The same knights who lead the charge through the Muslim kingdoms were now being arrested, tortured and burnt at the stake by king Philip IV of France and pope Clement. Within the year the order was disbanded and only small pockets remained, powerless and poor.

The Templars were not only a military force but became europe’s first banking infrastructure. They offered deposits and travel checks for pilgrims and obviously lent money to credit worthy people like kings. Coincidently, at the time of the prossecution, France owed the Templars a crippling debt that was endangering the sovereignty of the king himself. By the years end the debt problem was solved and France was a rich kingdom again.

The moral of the story is, I guess, don’t lend people with armies into a corner.

/politik | edited on 2011/12/24 -- permalink, click to comment

Horray for ACTA

You probably heard about ACTA by now. If you didn’t, ACTA is a secret treaty that’s being negotiated by nobody knows who, to cover nobody knows what in nobody knows where. Having said that, it seems to imply HADOPI for everyone. And it’s going to make me RICH RICH RICH.

The thing about 3 strikes laws is it doesn’t involve court proceedings or pesky things such as evidence. It only involves accusation by a copyright holder. And that’s excellent cause everything’s easier that way. The plan is simple. (this is prior art! don’t rip me off or I’ll go ACTA on you!)

  1. Establish myself as a copyright holder. I’m already a copyright holder but it seems having some volume might help. Fortunately, computers help a lot in this cases and the random number generator can churn out a bunch of popmusic in no-time.
  2. Send friendly letters to medium business telling them “we” (better to be an Association, sounds more credible) found them at fault but we’re the good guys and we’re all businesses and understand what’s at stake so we’d b e happy to settle through some licensing. A small payment and they’ll never hear from us again.
  3. After funding myself with medium business it’s time to go for the meat. Chose a mid tier ISP and start firing infringement letters at them. I’d say 2% to 5% of their user base in a month. That will get their attention, afterwards “we” send them a nice letter saying we’re noticing a lot of infringement from them and understand how losing that much customers would hurt their business so we’d like to help them by settling for a reasonable amount. Rinse, repeat.

Let’s just hope it’s that easy. Otherwise I’ll have to put up a popular webpage, which is hard work. Said page would have T&C’s which would explicitly prohibit it from being browsed with say, Internet Explorer. Then, it’s just a matter of automating the letters and letting the cash run in.

/politik | edited on 2009/11/15 -- permalink, click to comment

The value of a download

A Minnesota court says each downloaded song is worth 80000USD. That’s a lot of money for a song, but how does it relate to real world things ? Say, body parts.
Luckily, the state of Connecticut puts a value on lost body parts to help us make sense of the court’s decision. According to SimplyHired the average salary in Connecticut is 884 USD/week. Let’s round it down to 800USD/week cause high salary lawyers seldom lose a thumb and figure out what’s worth 100 weeks compensation.
One good candidate is loss of hearing in both ears for 104 weeks. Losing a penis, uterus or vagina can also go up to 104 weeks. The 4 finger menu is worth 103 weeks. But in my opinion the 2 fingers and one nose menu is the winner at exactly 100 weeks.

So, in summary, illegally downloading a song inflicts the same damage as the loss of two fingers and one nose.

/politik | edited on 2009/07/01 -- permalink, click to comment

Yes, they can!

Barack Obama will be the next president of the USA. People, let’s get optimistic again and get the economy going.

On a side note, life is imitating 24:! Quick, get Jack Bauer on speeddial!

/politik | edited on 2008/11/05 -- permalink, click to comment

O triunfo do comunismo

Parece que Marx tinha razão. O mundo convergiu natural para o comunismo.
O presidente dos USA é comunista, a FED é comunista, os chefes de estado europeus são comunistas. Depois desta onda de nacionalizações restam poucas bolsas de resistência capitalista no hemisfério ocidental.

Esperamos que o PREC seja calmo e sereno.

/politik | edited on 2008/10/12 -- permalink, click to comment

Damn It Feels Good To Be a Banksta

Sinfest++ Sinfest comic, follow the link

/politik | edited on 2008/10/06 -- permalink, click to comment

Who’s the communist anyway ?

As an habit, Open Source as been equaled to communism, particularly on the USA where “communist” seems to be an insult. Let’s deconstruct that and see who the real communists are.

Communism is characterized by monopolistic entities controlled by a single head. Everyone buys from and works for the entity. There are no alternatives.
The goal of a capitalist company is maximizing shareholder return. This simply means minimizing expenses and maximizing income to yield more profit. Maximizing income means selling more at higher prices which means end game for a capitalist venture is achieving 100% market quota and staying there. Once The Company is the sole employer and raw materials buyer in that market the minimizing costs problem solves itself. Also, without competition quality isn’t an issue which also helps lowering the cost.
Sounds familiar ? It should. The end game for a capitalist company is creating a communist market where The State is The Company. All aspects of the market are dictated by The Head of The Company and competition is kept out of the market through a number of mechanisms from dumping to unnecessary incompatibility. For a case-study of nearly all the mechanisms see the history of Microsoft. If you join Apple’s story you get basically all the mechanisms, probably except murder.

Now lets look at the Open Source market. By definition, there is no monopolist entity because property must be licensed to everyone and noone can turn it back into a closed monopoly. There are no artificial technological barriers so it’s a level market. In fact it’s not much of a market at all. So where’s the market ?
In the Open Source market software is a commodity and services are the actual traded good. In the monopolist model services are also traded goods but secondary and tied by the monopoly. In the Open Source economy services, be them support, custom development or whatever the market requires, are the unique scarce resource. Scarcity isn’t generated artificially as the tools and knowledge to create services are readily available. It’s natural as service interactions are singular.
Since there are no barriers to entry the Open Source service market is a truly open market where price is regulated only by quality of work and delivery capacity.

So turns out the end goal of the software capitalist enterprise is to create a communist market and the end goal of Open Source is to create a capitalist market.
All the western states have laws in regulations in place to keep capitalist enterprises from reaching their end goal but none have laws to keep Open Source from reaching its end goal.
So, who’s the real Stalin ?

/politik | edited on 2008/08/03 -- permalink, click to comment

Peak Oil

Peak oil is definitely here to stay. Oil states have figured out they need to milk their resources for all they’re worth as opposed to keeping price controlled for the sake of USA internal politik.
While there’s some very interesting analysis out there on how we got here and where we’re heading in the near future some insta-pundits are doing forecasts on the 30 to 40 year range which is idiotic and in some cases down right funny.

Around one week ago I caught a debate on BBC Prime (or was it World ?) about the oil crisis where a commenter declared the oil would keep rising in the 40 year scale, there was no way out of it and and there was no way technology could save us.
That’s it, people are declaring on TeeVee there’s no way technology will rid us of oil based economy in the 30 to 40 year time frame.
Luckily there was someone with some sense on the show who pointed out the peak blubber oil crisis 100 years ago where everybody was worried about how they would be able to light and warm their homes given the rising price of (blubber) oil. So, you don’t need to be a technologist, engineer or scientist to figure out there will probably be a technology way out of all this. All you really need is a brain!

More about this in /green

/politik | edited on 2008/06/09 -- permalink, click to comment

Dig the Wig!

Vote Wiggum’08

I dig the wig
Pick Wiggum

/politik | edited on 2008/05/06 -- permalink, click to comment
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