Are you planning on calling me a relativist in all your posts? It doesn't make any sense - nothing I've said is indicating I'm a relativist. I don't agree with you - that's true, but that doesn't make me necessarily wrong or relative. Seriously, when did I claim there is no single right way to deal with reality? I said there are many possible strategies, and the best strategy will depend on the situation (ie the current reality). However, I use words like "best" rather than "right". When I say best, I mean best in terms of some given goals (like, say, survival, or happiness, or economic wealth - whatever you like).
When you say "right", I'm not sure what you mean. Right in a moral sense? Right in a best sense, like I mean. What? I guess you said it - "derived from reality", but I'm just not clear what your point is there. I can indeed devise many strategies to deal with reality - all are arguably "derived" from reality. Could you give an example of something derived from reality?
Here's why I'm not a relativist, but why you perceive me as one. Take the reality of a chess game. At any given stage, one could say there is one "best" move (assuming one is trying to win the game). However, what that best move is would depend on the position of the game. Now, in chess, there are certain heuristic rules that you can use to help you decide what's a good move and what is not. Such things as "knights of the rim are grim", or "control the center", etc. However, these are only guidelines that sometimes must be ignored to find the right move. This may seem relativistic to you (that there can be rules that don't always apply), but that's not really the case. The chess board is an extremely deterministic and objective reality. A loss is a loss. A good move is good because it leads to a win, and a bad move is bad because it leads to a loss. A bad move is bad regardless of who makes it or who the opponent is. This is objectivity at its finest - there is no room for a relativist "well, all moves are equally good if only you understood better" kind of crap.
I'm suggesting there's an analogy between the chess guideline "knights on the rim are grim" and the idea that "strictly enforced property rights are best". In general, it's an excellent rule and you won't usually go wrong following it. But being religious about will get you in trouble - you will avoid moving your knight to the board edge even when it's necessary to avoid losing. The odd thing is that, to other people, it becomes apparent that not moving your knight to the edge has become more important to you than winning the game. Just so, it appears to me that preserving property rights has become more important to you than the original goal that property rights was intended to accomplish - namely the most efficient and socially stable/safe distribution of economic resources.
So now, when the situation has changed (ie, copying digital information is virtually without cost for individuals), you cling to what is now a sub-optimal strategy (property rights) because you have forgotten what the game was all about.
I think we all tend to fall into the trap of religious-type thinking. After decades of learning so many things, it would be impossible to be able to think meaningfully without layering our knowledge. Such heuristics as "property rights" is a layer of thought that covers a lot of complexity (economic theory). One might have spent a lot of time learning economics, and come to the reasonable conclusion that property rights are a great way to go. But it only makes sense to let go the details that went into that reasoning, and instead remember the basic rule. After years and years of learning and experience, we have many such layers. Sometimes, it's necessary to go back into an underneath layer and review the details, because sometimes we find ourselves in new situations that just don't respond to our learned simplified rules. That's a hard process, and worse, we've usually forgotten that there was a layer underneath at all. So, our thinking hardens and we lose the ability to go back to the detailed underpinnings of our beliefs/learned rules.
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
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