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Old 08-15-2008, 10:40 AM   #571
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Good points, slayda. I certainly don't think people who don't read (or listen to music, or look at paintings) owe those content creators anything. They may choose to support the arts in a general way, on principle, but it's a very different situation than someone who enjoys the arts but feels no obligation to pay the artist.

What I was trying to get at is that I sometimes hear people justifying their behavior by railing against capitalism... which is fine, but working alternatives to capitalism all involve "paying back" by some other means. There's no free lunch, no matter what economic system you use. Not in the long run, anyway.
Guess I tend more to rail against socialism due to real workers supporting lazy god for nothings just because they're people and therefore deserve to be supported. I agree that giving back to the "environment" (whatever you want to include in that) is imperative.

I am sometimes reminded of something I once hard on a public radio broadcast. They said that of all "functional adults" (this does not include children, mentally incompetent, sick, extreme elderly, etc.) that 50% could not even take care of themselves. Of the remaining 50%, 30% could only take care of themselves. The remaining 20% were carrying society. I initially thought this was a very harsh and pessimistic statement. But then I began thinking of people I knew and ultimately concluded that it was rather optimistic.

What I'm getting to is that the 20% carrying society are the only ones who can be expected to support the "Arts". I realize that as my financial abilities have increased, I have become more supportive of the Arts, even those that I find little to appreciate because I now understand what I did no as a younger person, everyone sees art differently.

Maybe sometimes we just need to set a good example and wait for others to gain both wealth and appreciation.
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Old 08-15-2008, 11:53 AM   #572
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I am sometimes reminded of something I once hard on a public radio broadcast. They said that of all "functional adults" (this does not include children, mentally incompetent, sick, extreme elderly, etc.) that 50% could not even take care of themselves. Of the remaining 50%, 30% could only take care of themselves. The remaining 20% were carrying society.
Was this meant to include all the adults in the world, or only those in a particular country, or what? It doesn't match up very well with my experience. I'd say 90% of the functional adults I know are taking care of themselves and their families, at least for the most part.

I'd agree that only 20% are carrying society... if that. Everyone else is dodging whatever they can. At least in the US.
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Old 08-15-2008, 02:38 PM   #573
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You don't have to agree with me. I'm thinking of a specific author who has 19 books in print, including some on bestseller lists, who really did have to file bankruptcy and lose his house due to medical bills. He did have a full-time job, up to the point that he got laid off, wrote a book, and started pulling in enough money to make it worthwhile to write full-time instead. Until the medical bills rolled in. Writers don't get health insurance through their publishers.
But, that wasn't because he didn't get paid for his work. It was because he didn't buy some medical insurance. You can get an emergency medical (no well care included) coverage with $1000 deductable for a few bucks a month.

I don't see how this means that he didn't get paid for writing?

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Old 08-15-2008, 04:25 PM   #574
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But, that wasn't because he didn't get paid for his work. It was because he didn't buy some medical insurance. You can get an emergency medical (no well care included) coverage with $1000 deductable for a few bucks a month.

I don't see how this means that he didn't get paid for writing?

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Depends on what you're calling "a few bucks" but otherwise you're correct.
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Old 08-15-2008, 04:36 PM   #575
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Was this meant to include all the adults in the world, or only those in a particular country, or what? It doesn't match up very well with my experience. I'd say 90% of the functional adults I know are taking care of themselves and their families, at least for the most part.

I'd agree that only 20% are carrying society... if that. Everyone else is dodging whatever they can. At least in the US.
This broadcast was aimed at the US. I have not conveyed the logical arguments of the broadcast since I don't remember it, just the conclusions. And based on the admittedly very small sample of people I knew at the time and my estimation of their abilities. Note; I include myself in that sample.

Look at the number of "street people". Are they taking care of themselves. If you're only talking basic survival, then yes, but otherwise the answer is no. Look at the number of people who are now having their home foreclosed on. Many, but certainly not all, are there due to being overextended in their personal debts. Can we honestly say they are able to take care of themselves. Is you artist/writer friend who has declared bankruptcy able to take care of himself. As Bob pointed out he could have had health insurance had he planned properly. (And I am not trying to offend you are your friend who may have planned well - I don't know.) But there are many people who are in financial trouble just because they were not able to plan properly for bad possibilities and probably many more who also have not planned well but have just been lucky.
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Old 08-15-2008, 04:43 PM   #576
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Depends on what you're calling "a few bucks" but otherwise you're correct.
I just did a quick quote at Blue Cross. For $50 a month they have an Emergency Hospital and Illness plan with $1000 deductible, 80% coverage and $5000 max out of pocket.

That's less than alot of people pay for their Cell phone or cable TV. And that is high considering it is Blue Cross.

No one with a decent income should leave themselves open to going broke due to a serious illness.

BOb
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Old 08-15-2008, 04:54 PM   #577
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I just did a quick quote at Blue Cross. For $50 a month they have an Emergency Hospital and Illness plan with $1000 deductible, 80% coverage and $5000 max out of pocket.

That's less than alot of people pay for their Cell phone or cable TV. And that is high considering it is Blue Cross.

No one with a decent income should leave themselves open to going broke due to a serious illness.

BOb
I don't know if that would have kept this author out of bankruptcy or not. As I understand it, a large portion of the debt was incurred by a couple of short hospitalizations due to infections. One would need to look carefully at the insurance policy to see what is actually covered. My impression is that such policies tend not to actually cover very much.
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Old 08-15-2008, 04:59 PM   #578
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I don't know, Slayda... if we exclude from the "able to take care of themselves" category anyone who hasn't managed to "plan properly" (perfectly) or been very lucky, I think the percentage of the population who would qualify is even lower than 20%.

It's apparent that you and I disagree on how things like health coverage should be provided, and I think we've wandered pretty far afield of questions of ebook "piracy" and IP ownership or compensation. So I'm going to drop out of the conversation, and you (or anyone else) who wants to have the last word is welcome to do so.
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Old 08-15-2008, 05:25 PM   #579
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Old 08-15-2008, 07:20 PM   #580
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I don't know, Slayda... if we exclude from the "able to take care of themselves" category anyone who hasn't managed to "plan properly" (perfectly) or been very lucky, I think the percentage of the population who would qualify is even lower than 20%.
Basically what I was trying to say.

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It's apparent that you and I disagree on how things like health coverage should be provided,
I just believe that there ain't no such thing as a free lunch. It's just a matter of who pays and how it is paid.

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I think we've wandered pretty far afield of questions of ebook "piracy" and IP ownership or compensation.
Not to worry. It seems to be a recurring theme on the forums.
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Old 08-16-2008, 04:56 AM   #581
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Not to worry. It seems to be a recurring theme on the forums.
This is AFAIS not a specific trait of forums, but of human discussion in general. Its only because forums always make it more appereant what the topic "should" be, people get the idea its a trait of forums. ...
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Old 08-17-2008, 11:25 AM   #582
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I still wouldn't worry much. When someone downloads that many books at once, the odds are good they'll never even read all the titles, much less read all the books. No lost sale there. That's just torrent hoarding.
"Torrent hoarding"--maybe I'm just old but I've not heard that expression before. Does it mean downloading stuff off BT and then never even looking at it? 30 years ago, in the CP/M era, I knew a guy who would pirate every 8" floppy disk any of his friends had, and then just keep them in a box. I doubt he ever even ran most of it. Same psychology, I'd guess.
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Old 08-17-2008, 02:38 PM   #583
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I'm wondering if "taking care of yourself" was defined as contributing more to the tax base than the cost of the services you consume. If that's the case then, I would wonder what time scale they're using. If they look at a person in a year that they have children in school or after they retire, then most are not a net gain. They may have many other years where they are putting a lot more in. There is also the difference between the value their productivity adds to society and their actual salary and tax payments.

As for the author and his health care, if his coverage has ever lapsed and he had a pre-existing condition, he may have healthcare but no coverage for that condition. I had a friend who was recently diagnosed with a heart issue. Her coverage had lapsed for a few months a year before. She's rather overweight. Her insurance company denied coverage for the heart issue because her weight was pre-existing. They will go to great lengths to avoid taking care of you. It may not be so simple as him not bothering to get insurance.
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Old 08-19-2008, 07:14 PM   #584
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"Torrent hoarding"--maybe I'm just old but I've not heard that expression before. Does it mean downloading stuff off BT and then never even looking at it? 30 years ago, in the CP/M era, I knew a guy who would pirate every 8" floppy disk any of his friends had, and then just keep them in a box. I doubt he ever even ran most of it. Same psychology, I'd guess.
I think the motivating force behind this (or any other kind of "hoarding") can be stated as "it's available now but may not be later--get it before it disappears". I can think of examples that share this motivation that I do regularly, such as making offline copies of web pages and PDF files for long-term reference (half-life of a typical Web link is probably well under 2 years).

I often buy large quantities of consumer goods that are regularly "improved", but where the current version meets certain requirements that the vast majority of such products do not, such as comfortable shoes or the special hats and sumglasses I need to function in normal lighting situations.

Such "hoarding" behavoiur is based on past experience or on expectations (sometimes irrational). So this would imply that many downloaders fully expect the files to be removed or blocked at any time. Probably with good reason.
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Old 08-19-2008, 08:07 PM   #585
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Such "hoarding" behavoiur is based on past experience or on expectations (sometimes irrational). So this would imply that many downloaders fully expect the files to be removed or blocked at any time. Probably with good reason.
I don't think that's it, actually. I assume that when you buy several pairs of those comfortable shoes you make a rational calculation taking into account your projected life expectancy and don't buy enough to keep you shod until 3100 (if the Singularity hits you can keep yourself happy with digital copies until the heat death of the universe). Judging from the sizes of the torrents, the "torrent hoarder" mentality seems to be one of raw collection, gathering more books than the hoarder could ever possibly read in the next hundred years.
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