Print Story I think the time is right for a palace revolution
By R Mutt (Tue Jul 10, 2007 at 10:06:48 PM EST) MLP (all tags)

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I think the time is right for a palace revolution | 17 comments (17 topical, 0 hidden)
A fine collection today ! by Phage (2.00 / 0) #1 Tue Jul 10, 2007 at 11:39:32 PM EST
Pirates - Couldn't be any worse than the Royal Navy.
Cheat sheets - Exactly how I learned enough HTML tags to do comments.
Terror Logos - They all sound a little too close to the Popular People's Front of Judea.
I was amazed recently that N did not recognise the silhouette of an AK47 or an M16, two images that I thought were iconic. She and many other people seem almost wilfully blind to some things. Like steaks to a vegetarian.
Book carts ! - All they need is an engine.

Luddites by Merekat (4.00 / 1) #2 Wed Jul 11, 2007 at 02:47:50 AM EST
While I buy the definition of Luddites as feasible, I do take issue with the idea that the product of the internet is empowerment. That's just hippy techophilia and as yet unproven.

it seems more like by sasquatchan (2.00 / 0) #3 Wed Jul 11, 2007 at 09:45:15 AM EST
just namecalling. Oh, so-and-so doesn't think my latest gee whiz cool neat-o bang-out gizmo is the coolest most revolutionary gadget ever. Therefore, so-and-so must be a luddite.

Folks still think it's 1998 and if you put it on the internet it will be revolutionary. putzes.

[ Parent ]
The definition he proposes is by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #4 Wed Jul 11, 2007 at 09:51:11 AM EST
A Luddite argument is one in which some broadly useful technology is opposed on the grounds that it will discomfit the people who benefit from the inefficiency the technology destroys.
When the music industry suggests that the prices of music should continue to be inflated, to preserve the industry as we have known it, that is a Luddite argument, as is the suggestion that Google pay reparations to newspapers or the phone company’s opposition to VoIP undermining their ability to profit from older ways of making phone calls.
I don't think it's just namecalling.
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
[ Parent ]
yes, but then by sasquatchan (2.00 / 0) #5 Wed Jul 11, 2007 at 10:24:32 AM EST
in TFA, the author makes this "I'm a moron" statement:
The internet’s output is data, but its product is freedom, lots and lots of freedom. Freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of association, the freedom of an unprecedented number of people to say absolutely anything they like at any time, with the reasonable expectation that those utterances will be globally available, broadly discoverable at no cost, and preserved for far longer than most utterances are, and possibly forever.

Hello, 1998 called and what's it's "The Internet is a utopia" mindset back. He lost most credibility with me there and got lumped into the "anyone dissing the latest whiz-bang gizmo is a luddite" moron bin.

[ Parent ]
1998? by Merekat (4.00 / 1) #6 Wed Jul 11, 2007 at 11:11:05 AM EST
People have been making those kinds of claims about technology since at least the 60s. Still waiting for some kind of empowerment that transforms rather than reflects society...

[ Parent ]
Since the 60s? by LodeRunner (2.00 / 0) #8 Wed Jul 11, 2007 at 07:58:53 PM EST
I'm too young to know, but I think utopic outlooks on new technologies have been commonplace since, well, forever, no? Be it the internet, computers or the steam engine, I guess there have always been people ecstatic about the possibilities of any new technology.

[ Parent ]
yup by Merekat (2.00 / 0) #9 Wed Jul 11, 2007 at 09:44:13 PM EST
But I'm thinking specifically of the mass empowerment angle.

[ Parent ]
The mass empowerment angle by lm (2.00 / 0) #11 Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 04:17:57 AM EST
It's at least as old as Descartes' Discourse on Method where he suggests that technology will empower the masses by making them functionally into God.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
I'll take your word for it by Merekat (2.00 / 0) #13 Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 04:49:18 AM EST
Your knowledge is from a time a bit before mine. Did he have an opinion on the desirability of this?

[ Parent ]
He though it the perfection of morality by lm (2.00 / 0) #15 Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 06:56:40 AM EST
The whole Cartesian project was to create an infinity of devices capable of doing every imaginable labor so that no human would ever have to work and the perfection of medical science so that no human would ever have to die. He referred to any moral system prior to this point as ``provisional morality'' whose only purpose was to keep society from ending in chaos before it becomes possible for every human being to indulge all of their desires with no consequences.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
That's not a bad definition by lm (2.00 / 0) #12 Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 04:25:23 AM EST
But I think it misses two key aspects of the original Luddite movement.  The original Luddites were a populist movement. They also fought for morality at the expense of law and order.

The large music companies and the Luddites did have in common that they didn't want the status quo to give way to something new. But I think there are hugely significant differences.  On the one hand, you've got mega-corporation refusing to alter their business models and seeking to change the law to outlaw competing models. On the other hand, you've got individual persons who can no longer make a living wage going entirely outside the law for reasons of conscience.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
Was it really a matter of conscience? by R Mutt (2.00 / 0) #14 Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 06:36:54 AM EST
They broke the law and destroyed property in their own economic self-interest. That's not necessarily a matter of conscience.

Now you can argue that's the same as the old "steal a loaf to feed my starving child" thing. But that seems to me just straightforward consequentialist/utilitarian ethics.

It seems to me there's a difference between collective and individual action in this case. It seems unlikely that every individual Luddite comprehensively exhausted the options of getting any other employment: that would not have made a mass movement. Instead, as a group, they decided to act in the economic interest of that group.

[ Parent ]
I'd argue that it was a matter of conscience by lm (4.00 / 1) #16 Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 07:01:53 AM EST
But I'll certainly concede that it is a gray area. The best I could hope for would a coherent argument to support my point. I don't think a cogent argument can be made on either side of that particular equation.

But even then, the distinction remains between the Luddites forming a rebellion vs. the large music companies seeking to change the law to their benefit.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
Looks pretty black to me by Cloaked User (2.00 / 0) #17 Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 03:48:38 PM EST
They could no longer work as they had been, so they sought to smash the things responsible for that.

I'm not saying that I'd act any differently in their situation (although of course, I'd like to think that I would, I don't know because I wasn't there), but that doesn't change the fact that they were acting out of pure self-interest.

But even then, the distinction remains between the Luddites forming a rebellion vs. the large music companies seeking to change the law to their benefit.

I'd argue that - the Luddites acted outside the law (destroying property), while the music companies seek to act within the law, changing it where necessary.

Again, I don't necessarily support them...

(Actually, I'm not sure that on some level I'm agreeing with you, but it's late and I'm drunk)

This is not a psychotic episode. It is a cleansing moment of clarity.

[ Parent ]
popeye by alprazolam (2.00 / 0) #7 Wed Jul 11, 2007 at 05:48:11 PM EST
honestly can't say I was ever a fan. Except for Wimpy, he was hilarious.

I think you're more of a Bluto guy [nt] by R Mutt (4.00 / 1) #10 Wed Jul 11, 2007 at 11:02:08 PM EST

[ Parent ]
I think the time is right for a palace revolution | 17 comments (17 topical, 0 hidden)