I've been hooked on politics for a long time. Started before I was in university. It's a drug to me, the intellectual equivalent of methamphetamines. Enough to get me riled up like a motherfucker only to crash head first into a pit where I wonder why I bother, what the point is when I am only me. Politics is whatever happens between more than two people, but essentially it's the fundamental mechanics of that wonderful thing known as liberty and the opposing force of control. Somewhere in there some retard gave corporations quasi-human political status and since then the whole thing has blended economics with all the other variables to the point where someone just about has to be an obsessive freak with abnormal mental wiring to have a keen interest in any of it over a length of time without getting better involved.
Hi. I'm an obsessive freak with abnormal mental wiring.
My real problem is that I tend to extremes, especially in areas whoch are controversial: IP and copyright, DRM, government and corporate surveilance. Were I with an organisation like the FSF or the EFF then I'd stand a chance of communicating with people of similar bent, or at least with people who don't consider my position insane.
I'm not with an organisation like that. I sit on my arse 9-5 at a job where anything that looks vaguely like non-work activity is stamped on hard — but apparently only I receive this treatment, given the open IE windows I see looking around the orifice. I'm forced into doing bullshit make-work tasks rather than using my initiative when things are quiet to maybe make things easier on all of us by following a side-project. I daren't doodle on my notepad any more, let alone write more than five lines of personal e-mail (despite everyone else yadda yadda). I'm surrounded by anti-intellectualism and a general air of me needing to be given bullshit so as not to "waste time" by doing something heinous, like thinking.
I've tried finding UK groups I can volunteer with who share my general outlook. Of the little I can find in the UK, all of it seems to be geared to students or people living far away from me. I can't get in to offices in London. I don't have the time or the chance to go to conferences, I didn't even manage NotCon. I'm not happy just donating to the EFF or siimilar group, I need to feel like I'm doing something, but the job seems to be actively conspiring to prevent that. Times like these I wonder how people who manage to be activists for this kind of thing manage to eat or make their rent, and even so how they got into that position in the first place, because I want in but can't find the door, let alone the key. I get the feeling that there's a hidden wall there, if you want to do any kind of activism you either have to be working for shit at McD's or so priviledged you don't need to work in the first place. I do hope I'm wrong, but cannot find any counterevidence.
Awaty from that tangent, there's no release at home, either. This has been compounded by the recent thing going on in the closest I have to a social circle: the DRM/RPG thing about which I have written before. No release there, either. Just about all the game industry people I read are defending the idea of DRM'd books (so far only eyebeams has come out with a balanced view of the situation that I can see). Me being anti-DRM for numerous practical, political, and philosophical reasons, I'm lumped into their camp of "freeloaders who want shit for free". Just goes to show what thinking about this shit gets me. It's like the Free Software movement being tarred with the label of "pirates" just because they distribute software without cost. Both groups prefered the same situation (software without monetary cost, though this wasn't the goal of the FS lot, they were after free-as-in-liberty software), but the likeness tarred the SFS in the public eye. People stopped listening to them, thought they were cranks trying to justify criminal behaviour.
That's the same feeling I get reading people in the industry like bruceb or artbroken. They don't seem to accept that there are valid arguments against their position, instead making blanket statements and sweeping anyone with intelligent counterpoints under the rug. And the number of supporters they have is truly staggering, as is the way anyone going against them is dismissed as a crank or a whiner.
I'm neither. I'm a very intelligent person with some long-term revolutionary ideas about intellectual property and copyright and some short-term insights and possible solutions. That these insights and solutions do not mesh with the general industry consensus should be no reason to ignore me or to set up a situation where I personally can see no reaspon to post because I can already see the flames I'd get in response. It's a controversial, hot-button topic. It's one I also appear to be on completely the wrong side of if I want to be taken seriously.
I can envisage a world where the economics of scarcity are remembered as nothing but a bad joke. Where supply and demand and the idea of a zero-sum game are distant memories. Where money as we know it has no value at all. Where intellectual property is finally treat as a seperate entity to physical property, with legal institutions set up to enforce the original idea of copyright: to promote the exchange of ideas and to ensure that people using one person's work gave proper credit. That's the position from which I present my point. I realise that this is a long-term thing, that in the mean time I need to work within the system. I just don't agree with the way the system is taking it.
If I knew of any way in which I could get this point across without appearing confrontational, and without being intimidated by the probable outcome or flamed beyond credibility I would take it. But as it is all I have to look forwards to is a weekend talking to people and hoping not to distance myself too far from people I once liked reading.
: Piracy is robery on the high seas. Theft is depriving someone of physical property. "Intellectual property" is something that cannot logically be shoehorned into common property laws regarding theft because of it's infinite replicability. Copyright violation is neither theft nor piracy. It is (at present, and rightly for the moment) a crime, but to use one of those other terms is not only inaccurate, it is a fallacy of prejudicial language.