How fast things spin out of control. :-(
Any source as long as the license is *compatible* with Wikipedia's GFDL:
as this "age of semantics and data" is also the age of copyright violation
as a potential *felony* thanks to our so-called representatives. :-(
(which is absurd IMHO but nonetheless true).
So, you have to pay attention to such things.
That's one reason I wrote in 2001:
"License management tools: good, bad, or ugly?"
(and that would need to be part of a social semantic desktop IMHO. :-)
For example, consider the copyright on one of the sites you mention:
"Copyright 1993-2007 Mark Winter [The University of Sheffield and
WebElements Ltd, UK]. All rights reserved. "
Or on another:
"Copyright Š Jolyon & Ida Ralph 1993-2008. Site Map. Locality, mineral &
photograph data are the copyright of the individuals who submitted them."
I don't know if those sites have other policies in the fine print, but both
essentially have "no trespassing" signs as far as (other than trivial) cut
and paste at first glance.
One example on wikipedia attribution:
Anyone here know for sure about this wikipedia attribution issue in
practice? Maybe in the comment on adding people could at least attribute
the source (from Wikipedia). I'm not 100% sure of what constitutes proper
attribution though as content moves between systems.
"4B. List on the Title Page, as authors, one or more persons or entities
responsible for authorship of the modifications in the Modified Version,
together with at least five of the principal authors of the Document (all of
its principal authors, if it has fewer than five), unless they release you
from this requirement. ... 4I.Preserve the section Entitled "History",
Preserve its Title, and add to it an item stating at least the title, year,
new authors, and publisher of the Modified Version as given on the Title
Page. If there is no section Entitled "History" in the Document, create one
stating the title, year, authors, and publisher of the Document as given on
its Title Page, then add an item describing the Modified Version as stated
in the previous sentence."
And frankly, in many ways, that is the biggest problem on the web -- endless
incompatibly licensed (or non-licensed) works -- which is why I am a bit
annoyed at RMS for adding even more with the GFDL :-(
Of course you can't copyright facts, and their is limited "fair use" in the
USA (but non worldwide) but it is all a complex issue.
Wikipedia has some pages on that and I think we should adhere to their
And I'd suggest Wikipedia be the main source to draw from for now, with
other sources discussed on a case by case basis. Wikipedia is essentially an
enormous pool of stuff that is relatively safe to draw from (subject to the
GFDL etc). We can go very far with them:
Let's do the low risk stuff first, given there is lots to do.
Open source exponentially self-replicating machines most definitely,
most absolutely qualifies as 'fair use' no matter how much the scarcity
centrics kick and scream about it.
I wish that was true. And ethically I may even agree. There are times for
but you also have to pick your battles. And with so much free content, why
fight that battle? And how would you feel, if, say someone put your entire
site into their own without permission or attribution? :-(
Maybe the Wikipedia guidelines aren't perfect for us, but they are at least
a starting point for discussion. The cost of playing by these (essentially
legal) rules is we can cooperate as a community and perhaps ultimately have
tens of thousands of contributors (or at the very least merge some stuff
back into wikipedia). The cost of not playing by them is that any archive is
at best just private (out of fear). And there is only so much one person can
do. Or even just a handful.
When I was at IBM Research someone there said they had all the hardware and
software they needed to make every book available to everyone ten years
earlier (about twenty before now) but copyright stood in their way.
Obviously Google is doing just that, so what is the difference? Sure Google
can get away with a lot -- but they *literally* have billions of dollars
related to core business purposes to pay for lawyers (both as deterrence and
counterattack) and also lobbyists. We don't.
I certainly make fair use of that in my emails. :-) But I generally don't
expect others to make derivative works of them. And I try to adhere to (from
next URL): "Brief quotations of copyrighted text may be used to illustrate a
point, establish context, or attribute a point of view or idea. Copyrighted
text must be attributed and used verbatim. Any alterations must be clearly
marked, i.e. [brackets] for added text, an ellipsis (...) for removed text,
and emphasis noted after the quotation as "(emphasis added)" or "(emphasis
in the original)". Extensive quotation of copyrighted text is prohibited."
I err on going long sometimes true -- although I'm usually quoting stuff on
But here is what Wikipedia says:
"For purposes of this policy "non-free content" means all copyrighted images
and other media files that lack a free content license. Such material may be
used on the English Wikipedia only where all 10 of the following criteria
are met. ..."
And ethically speaking, see also:
"Plagiarism is different from copyright infringement. While both terms may
apply to a particular act, they emphasize different aspects of the
transgression. Copyright infringement is a violation of the rights of the
copyright holder, when material is used without the copyright holder's
consent. On the other hand, plagiarism is concerned with the unearned
increment to the plagiarizing author's reputation that is achieved through
false claims of authorship."
Even in terms of college, these laws and policies and norms are going to
affect every paper you write or project you turn in. Again from Wikipedia:
"In the academic world, plagiarism by students is a very serious offense
that can result in punishments such as a failing grade on the particular
assignment (typically at the high school level) or for the course (typically
at the college or university level). For cases of repeated plagiarism, or
for cases in which a student commits severe plagiarism (e.g., submitting a
copied article as his or her own work), a student may be suspended or
expelled. Many students feel pressured to complete papers well and quickly,
and with the accessibility of new technology (The Internet) students can
plagiarize by copying and pasting information from other sources. This is
often easily detected by teachers, for several reasons. First, students'
choice of sources are frequently unoriginal; instructors may receive the
same passage copied from a popular source (such as Wikipedia) from several
students. Second, it is often easy to tell whether a student used his or her
own "voice." Third, students may choose sources which are inappropriate,
off-topic, or contain incorrect information. Fourth, lecturers may insist
that submitted work is first submitted to an online plagiarism detector. In
many universities, academic degrees or awards may be revoked as a penalty
I know how frustrating that is. But "in order to command Nature, you must
first learn to obey Nature". (Bacon, I think :-)
As I see it, it isn't a real choice anyway. Any popular public web-oriented
system that does not play by these rules won't last long. :-(
Wikipedia tries, so it is still around.
Bah, I don't care. I don't think you understand how serious I am. I
wouldn't mind making some automated robots to figure out the
information, I wouldn't mind setting up something with NIST, or IEEE,
or some other standards body, I wouldn't mind having to bruteforce it,
that's the whole point.
In the interests of following my own (borrowed) advice of "Listen to your
users but ignore what they say."
"Listening to users considered harmful?"
let me try to address this in another, purely *hypothetical* for idle
amusement way. :-)
When the USA was young, it did not honor foreign copyrights or patents.
The British silk industry was by legend started after someone smuggled
stolen biotech out of China (silkworms hidden in a hollow cane, on penalty
of death if discovered),
"The Chinese guarded their knowledge of silk. It is said that a Chinese
monk smuggled silkworms, in a hollow stick, out of China and sold the secret
In the same way, the basis of US industry was built on the theft of British
industrial trade secrets (again, on penalty of death IIRC).
"Trade Secrets: Intellectual Piracy and the Origins of American Industrial
"Ben-Atar's penultimate chapter, on the construction of the American
understanding of intellectual property, is interesting. He sees the career
of Thomas Digges, scion of the Maryland elite and international migrant who
turned kleptomaniac and industrial spy, as symbolic of the U.S.'s
"Janus-faced approach" (p. 148) towards foreign intellectual property
rights. For a time even President Washington was minded to sponsor
technology piracy. Economic downturn and business failure in the mid-1790s,
associated with textile importations from Britain, dampened the enthusiasm
for copying the British example. Another official deterrent to intellectual
piracy were the Patent Acts of 1790 and 1793 which confined patents to
wholly novel inventions. Patents for introducing inventions from abroad were
nevertheless granted because, apparently, the head of the U.S. Patent
Office, William Thornton, did not insist on applicants swearing the oath of
This is the stuff they are not going to cover in most "American History"
Especially the ones RIAA designs. :-(
"My concern is that programs designed to teach kids about copyright laws
amount to little more than entertainment industry propaganda. Fair Use and
the Right of First sale are routinely left out of copyright discussions, as
are the concept and importance of the public domain. ... Now the Canadian
Copyright Licensing Agency has launched a new program to educate the
children of Canada about copyright. Leave it to the Canadians to beat
Hollywood at their own game by creating a new superhero - Captain Copyright!
Captain Copyright briefly acknowledges Fair Use and Public Domain on his
website, but the course material provided to teachers makes almost no
mention of these concepts, instead focusing almost exclusively on piracy and
other types of copyright violations. ... As Boing Boing points out, Captain
Copyright is apparently a Wikipedia pirate. ..."
So let me muse on your "proposal" but try to imagine addressing it in ways
that won't get anybody behind bars. :-(
First, there is nothing preventing the US Congress tomorrow from abolishing
copyright entirely (except the uproar of rights holders and rights-holder
"The cheap-labor conservative “minimalist government” social Darwinian world
view is just plain bullshit. It builds a new class structure, which just
like the ancient class structures, is based on a set of mythological
concepts. In fact, those mythological concepts like “property rights”,
“contract rights”, “corporations”, “stocks”, “bonds”, and even “money”
itself are socially created to regulate distribution and access to
resources. The “market place” is a human creation. The details of how it
operates are determined by the particulars of the institutions on which it
is built. It is “instituted among men”, and if its workings become
destructive of the lives, liberty and pursuit of happiness of people subject
to it, it may be “altered or abolished”."
So in theory, as far as the USA in concerned, this problem is social in
nature. Of course the laws have been going the other way:
"Rather than simply adding computer programs to audiovisual works and sound
recordings as works whose infringement can give rise to felony penalties,
the substitute harmonizes the felony provisions in section 2319 to apply to
all types of copyrighted works, as is currently the case for misdemeanor
There is also nothing to stop Congress tomorrow from making a list of free
and open source licenses and saying by decree they are all compatible and
are governed by some common simple rules. That might have more chance of
passage sooner. :-) And would hopefully at least make our lives as FOSS
developers easier IMHO. (Viral provisions like the GPL might not survive
Then there is the idea of copying the British and US American examples -- go
to (or make :-) a country that does not honor foreign copyrights (or at
least is a lot more permissive). For example, Russia hosts a company that
sells cheap music which claims it is legal under Russian law.
Or the server could literally be in space (a satellites) or international
waters or in Antarctica. Of course, without government protection and
treaties. the downside to this is there is nothing to keep the US Air Force
from shooting it down or the US Navy from sinking it or US Army from using
it for target practice. :-)
My suggestion if you were serious :-) about copyright violation pursued in
an *open* and *transparent* and presumably *legal* way would be to make a
deal with, say, Nauru to repudiate the Berne convention and the World
Intellectual Property Organization Copyright Treaty and do the work there:
"Revenues of this tiny island have traditionally come from exports of
phosphates, now significantly depleted. An Australian company in 2005
entered into an agreement intended to exploit remaining supplies. Few other
resources exist with most necessities being imported, mainly from Australia,
its former occupier and later major source of support. The rehabilitation of
mined land and the replacement of income from phosphates are serious
long-term problems. In anticipation of the exhaustion of Nauru's phosphate
deposits, substantial amounts of phosphate income were invested in trust
funds to help cushion the transition and provide for Nauru's economic
future. As a result of heavy spending from the trust funds, the government
faces virtual bankruptcy. To cut costs the government has frozen wages and
reduced overstaffed public service departments. In 2005, the deterioration
in housing, hospitals, and other capital plant continued, and the cost to
Australia of keeping the government and economy afloat continued to climb.
Few comprehensive statistics on the Nauru economy exist, with estimates of
Nauru's GDP varying widely."
This may sound far fetched, but as we are long term talking about building
new societies, why not start at somewhere appropriate: :-)
"They exploit phosphates inland leaving almost lunar landscape in the
middle of this small island"
But remember that you might never be able to set foot in the USA again. :-(
Or maybe you could? Lots of things are legal in other countries but not in
the USA and vice versa. Google leadership presumably have no fears traveling
through Europe even though they, say, routinely violate those labor laws:
And the internet links to Nauru (if any) might get regularly cut: :-(
"Fifth Cable Cut To Middle East"
So, no easy answers if you want to operate publicly and transparently (as I
do, and I heartily recommend, same as walking slowly across an intersection
so people can see you, :-)
"Elwood P. Dowd: Years ago my mother used to say to me, she'd say, "In this
world, Elwood, you must be" - she always called me Elwood - "In this world,
Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant." Well, for years I was
smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me. "
Again: "There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to
conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the
introduction of a new order to things." -- Niccolo Machiavelli
So much is possible within the law, and without abandoning the USA (which I
hope after another decade of repression might finally move past it). As
momentum comes from social forces like Wikipedia, the laws may change for
"License management tools: good, bad, or ugly?"
In the case of human slavery, laws were changed to make all people free.
This may happen with file "slavery" someday but until then we need a way
of keeping the papers of freedom with the free software or free content.
This happens now informally. I'm asking, what would happen if we
But, whether technical solutions might help, it is frustrating to see
progress towards a resilient infrastructure blocked by outdated dogma,
whether about copyrights or even just military posture: :-)
"DARPA Progam Manager Position on Self-Replicating technology"
Ultimately, on Mars or the Moon or the Asteroids there will be new laws
relating to digital materials. But I would suggest that even there, issues
of attribution and tracking branches and merges would still be of interest
based on "moral rights":
"Photons Be Free was a holonovel composed by The Doctor on the USS Voyager
in 2377. Its original version was released by Broht & Forrester against the
author's wishes, sparking a debate on the rights of holograms. The Doctor
had planned to revise the work in order that it not slander Voyager and the
I guess I'm just begging you to be more creative than a one man assault on
the Empire. :-)
"C-3PO: Sir, the possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid field is
approximately 3,720 to 1.
Han Solo: Never tell me the odds."
Or (paraphrased: :-)
Gold Leader: Pardon me for asking, sir, but what good are semantic wikis and
desktops going to be against Virgle?
General Dodonna: Well, the Empire doesn't consider a small cgi script on a
shared server or desktop to be any threat, or they'd have a tighter defense.
Commander #1: We've analyzed their attack on Knol, sir, and there is a
danger. Should I have your Golden Parachute standing by?
Governor Schmidt: Evacuate? In our moment of triumph? I think you
overestimate their chances.
Our biggest advantage is that no one takes us seriously. :-)
And our second biggest advantage is that our communications are monitored,
which provides a channel by which we can turn enemies into friends. :-)
And our third biggest advantage is we have no assets, and so are not a
profitable target and have nothing serious to fight over amongst ourselves. :-)
"The Art of War is one of the oldest books on military strategy in the
world. It is the first and one of the most successful works on strategy and
has had a huge influence on Eastern and Western military thinking, business
tactics, and beyond. Sun Tzu was the first to recognize the importance of
positioning in strategy and that position is affected both by objective
conditions in the physical environment and the subjective opinions of
competitive actors in that environment. He taught that strategy was not
planning in the sense of working through a to-do list, but rather that it
requires quickly responding appropriately to changing conditions. Planning
works in a controlled but competitive environment, and competing plans
collide, creating situations that no one planned for.
... Since at least the 1980s, The Art of War has been applied to fields well
outside the military. Much of the text is about how to fight wars without
actually having to do battle: it gives tips on how to outsmart one's
opponent so that physical battle is not necessary. As such, it has found
application as a training guide for many competitive endeavors that do not
involve actual combat."
But that is still a little stuck in a military metaphor, which limits
strategic thinking. :-)
Again. this book has a great paragraph on the difference between celebrating
peacemakers and warriors:
"To Become a Human Being: The Message of Tadodaho Chief Leon Shenandoah"
"Warriors are held up as heroes. They are praised for their gallantry,
exalted for their conquests, and used as symbols to inspire patriotism.
Monuments are built for them as reminders of past victories and to prepare
citizens for the next campaign. Leon Shenandoah was no warrior, yet no
warrior could stand up against his power. He carried no weapons, used no
harsh rhetoric, and made no demands. His strength was in gentleness. When he
spoke, those around him listened. His words were always soft, his kindness
evident. He was a spiritual man."
NIST, now that's a great idea and probably this information is presumably
"For many years, the Manufacturing Systems Integration Division (MSID) has
been involved in the definition of a neutral representation of product data,
most recently realized through the STEP standard. With that effort well
underway, another candidate area for a division focus is the representation
of manufacturing process. Like product data, process data is also used
throughout the life cycle of a product, from early indications of
manufacturing process flagged during design, through process planning,
validation, production scheduling and control. In addition, the notion of
process also underlies the entire manufacturing cycle, coordinating the
workflow within engineering and shop floor manufacturing. The Process
Specification Language (PSL) defines a neutral representation for
manufacturing processes that supports automated reasoning. Process data is
used throughout the life cycle of a product, from early indications of
manufacturing process flagged during design, through process planning,
validation, production scheduling and control. In addition, the notion of
process also underlies the entire manufacturing cycle, coordinating the
workflow within engineering and shop floor manufacturing."
"The purpose of PSL-Core is to axiomatise a set of intuitive semantic
primitives that is adequate for describing the fundamental concepts of
manufacturing processes. Consequently, this characterization of basic
processes makes few assumptions about their nature beyond what is needed for
describing those processes, and the Core is therefore rather weak in terms
of logical expressiveness. In particular, PSL-Core is not strong enough to
provide definitions of the many auxiliary notions that become necessary to
describe all intuitions about manufacturing processes."
I used to be on their announcements list but have heard nothing since 2002,
but they still seem active looking just now. I toured their facilities in
the 1980s and even then it was really exciting. If I had to do it all over
again, I'd try hard to get a job there way back then. In theory, they are
the one organization in the US government (outside defense) who should build
a free an open manufacturing knowledge base. Unfortunately, they are (were?)
stuck in this old subsidy publishing model:
"On funding digital public works"
where they give private firms public money so the private firms can create
more proprietary information and products -- the same logic that in its
extreme results in spending $100 of taxpayer money to put in logging roads
for logging $1 of irreplaceable old growth forest to export to Japan. :-(
What a messed up public policy, especially these days of the internet.
But maybe it is slowly changing. :-)
BTW, for robot building from the comfort of home without getting your hands
"Welcome to eMachineShop - where you can create real metal and plastic
objects in a virtual machine shop!"
I didn't see it here: :-)
Write a few moneymaking somethings to pay for that and you are all set to
build robots via the internet without even getting your hands dirty. :-)
To do the same with Lego: :-)
Also, even more serious:
"MFG.com is an online marketplace that saves you time and money by instantly
matching a buyer's drawings and specifications to qualified suppliers. No
more searching or worrying."
From mfgquote links:
"Welcome to 3D ContentCentral"
"Free 3D CAD Models of User-Contributed and Supplier-Certified Parts &
Assemblies, 2D Blocks, Library Features, Macros, and more, 3D
ContentCentral® is a free service for locating, configuring, downloading,
and requesting 3D parts and assemblies, 2D blocks, library features, and
macros. Join an active community of over 340,000 CAD users who share and
download user contributed and supplier-certified 3D parts & assemblies, 2D
blocks, library features and macros."
"Choose from millions of 2D and 3D models from leading manufacturers"
(might not be that "free"?)
and also the FreeCad site.
"FreeCAD.com is a directory of free CAD, CAM and CAE programs. There are
many excellent CAD, CAM and CAE programs that are being given away. Many are
fully functional programs that rival commercial products selling for
thousands of dollars. However, finding these programs may not have been easy
-- until now!"
In 2006 I wrote to someone on that: "Wow! I hadn't known those first two
repositories existed. Which makes me realize I have to rethink the value and
focus of some of my OSCOMAK plans and ideas in that light, especially
whether it is worth it to focus at all on making more free designs given
those repositories (so you can ignore the last half of that previous email
:-). Essentially, it looks like a critical mass is already there! There
still may be needs to think about a next step, and look at licenses in
regards to changing such designs, or a need for more details about
individual parts and processes (related to material amounts and so on), and
perhaps more emphasis on what you can do collaboratively with that
information, but it's just amazing to see those sites. "
So, lots of potentially "free" stuff to at least consider.
I've no doubt of your seriousness. That's what I am concerned about. :-)
See, for example:
"There are three things which are real:
God, human folly, and laughter.
The first two are beyond our comprehension.
So we must do what we can with the third." (John F. Kennedy)
"Stress" and "burn-out" have become household words in the 21st Century. A
report to the President's Science Advisor places the cost of stress to the
economy at $200 billion annually. Humor can be a powerful antidote to
stress– in the midst of challenging times, it can help us to move from a
"grim and bear it" mentality to a "grin and share it" orientation. This
notion is captured well by George Burns, who said that "You can't help
growing older, but you can help growing old." By using humor, we can prevent
what I call a "hardening of the attitudes." If you stand rigidly in the face
of stress, you are much more easily knocked off-balance. If you are flexible
mentally, you are in a much better position to "roll with the punches" that
life throws you.
Where would I be if, for example, I did not recognize, despite the pain and
trouble it caused me, the ultimate funny irony of people working in Von
Neumann Hall (and surrounds) at Princeton having no interest in studying
self-replicating systems? :-)
"Von Neumann also created the field of cellular automata without the aid of
computers, constructing the first self-replicating automata with pencil and
graph paper. The concept of a universal constructor was fleshed out in his
posthumous work Theory of Self Reproducing Automata. Von Neumann proved
that the most effective way of performing large-scale mining operations such
as mining an entire moon or asteroid belt would be by using self-replicating
machines, taking advantage of their exponential growth."
Although John von Neumann's life is so complex and full of contradictions
(whose isn't?) that they did have a lot of issues to chose from. :-) Maybe
arms control was more important. And at least a handful of people there were
thinking hard about green energy back then (even if the rest of the
University thought they were nutty, if they thought of them at all :-).
Here's a (rare) student from that general arena who started out thinking he
would make self-reliant islands in the ocean (and maybe space ones?), who
eventually scaled down to what he found possible and needed and spent twenty
plus years making the city of Trenton, NJ a better place to live:
The name remained "isles" though, even as he used his energy and idealism to
build a helping community of people having somewhat happier lives. But to do
that, he had to have a certain humorous flexibility of mind -- isles in the
ocean to isles (community gardens) in a big city. :-) Yet, in another way,
he is still as serious as they come. :-)
Anyway, that's all part of recommending the "Wizard of Earthsea" series.
And that is really every young man's story, in one way or another. It is
just that our shadow scales with our abilities. :-)
Actually, OSCOMAK text and annotations is under the GFDL 1.2 or later
(intended to be the same as Wikipedia). At least that is the license I
picked on installing the MediaWiki and there is a little footnote at the
bottom of the pages and a mention now on the main page. I think I am going
to have to give up my hopes for the semantic annotations also being GPL
compatible as well (for compatibility with other communities who are not
going to do that). So, you can put at least that one concern aside.
Also, would it make sense to link to Wikipedia for the main description of,
say "Carbon", rather than cut and paste a Wikipedia article that would get
out of date? I, for one, don't want to compete with Wikipedia so much as
supplement it, perhaps with the expectation that if Wikipedia goes semantic,
all this stuff will get merged in somehow (or at least interlinked). So,
consider, what if the page on, say carbon, starts with a link to wikipedia,
a brief (perhaps copied from Wikipedia) one paragraph description and then
all the new interlinked semantic information as semantic markup?
On green lights, as far as I'm concerned, based on what you found and what I
have experienced, I think making a note on the comment for the edit that the
material was copied from Wikipedia (and the source article name if
different) should be sufficient *ethically* (in terms of plagiarism) if
maybe or maybe not legally. :-) I certainly think that approach upholds the
"spirit" of Wikipedia and the license, as suggested in that great quote you
found. Which usually translates to low damages. So that minimizes the legal
risks (which can be minimized further by linking instead of copying where
possible). Also from that page you found:
"You can show respect to other people by saying they did this work. You can
add interlanguage links which link to the page that you got the information
from. You could write on the page where it was from, or write it in your
An I'm also more that happy to attribute big sources like Wikipedia on the
main page as well if drawing from there is a regular thing.
==== begin ramble on money and risk and the prison system
I also made a funny note on the wiki donations page, because it is safer
legally to not be asking for money. Also we don't need money (as a group,
even if we all need in individually :-) and managing money would just cause
more trouble than benefit at this stage IMHO. :-(
"Wikipedia COO was convicted felon"
Plus, a true Zen master never charges for teaching. Michael Phillips said in
his book the corollary to the first law of money:
"Don't worry about money. It will come if you're doing the right thing."
is "Don't expect the world owes you a living".
I found "The Seven Laws of Money" when at about age fourteen or fifteen or
so I went to my local library to find out how to be a millionaire. I found
several books that told me *how* to do it (essentially, start your own
business and hope you are one of the lucky ones while also doing a lot of
hard work -- probability of success about 1% :-) but Michael Phillips' book
was the one that asked me to seriously think about *why* I wanted a million
dollars or what I would do with it when I got it. And it pointed out there
is more to life than this (momentary, and ultimately for many, boring)
I know, a lot of people out there are saying they can stand a lot of that
kind of boredom and ennui. :-)
Remember, no good deed goes unpunished, but you've got to do them anyway. :-)
As long as you also remember:
As a last comment. on Philanthrocapitalism/Edwards:
"If I knew...that a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of
doing me good, I should run for my life." -- Henry David Thoreau
Versus on the Free and Open Commons/Surman approach to philanthropy:
"If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have
come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together"
In my case, we put the house in my wife's name a while back so as to
minimize our financial exposure to OSCOMAK etc. further -- something to be
said for matriarchy instead of corporatism and "limited liability". :-)
That doesn't protect me against copyright-violation felony charges for
trying to help the world though. :-( Which is a good reason to be careful
handling digital materials -- all of them are potentially explosive in that
felony prison sense. :-( (*)
"Stop Prisoner Rape seeks to end sexual violence committed against men,
women, and youth in all forms of detention."
"I'm proud to say that the U.S. is now the undisputed world leader in per
capita imprisonment, another example of how my administration is keeping us
on top. Why just the other day I had the U.N. building in New York City
locked down when delegates there started talking about prisoner civil
rights. Such trash talk should not be permitted on our soil. It should be
obvious that anyone found smoking marijuana, copying CDs, or talking about
the law without paying should face a death penalty from AIDS contracted
through prison rapes -- that extra deterrent make the system function more
smoothly and helps keep honest people honest. That's also why I support the
initiative to triple the standard law author's royalty which criminals pay
for each law they violate, because the longer we keep such criminals behind
bars, especially now that bankruptcy is also a crime, the better for all of
us. That's also why I support the new initiative to make all crimes related
to discussing laws in private have a mandatory life sentence without parole.
Mandatory lifetime imprisonment is good for the economy as it will help keep
AIDS for spreading out of the prison system and will keep felons like those
so called fair users from competing with honest royalty paying Americans for
an inexplicably ever shrinking number of jobs."
Would-be OpenVirgle rocket scientists need to learn to handle explosives
safely, anyway. So, if someone can not be trusted to handle digital
copyrights safely, (even if many of the rules are arbitrary) why trust them
to handle real explosives or future SR Nanotech?
"The only thing I know about [nanobots] is that episode of Star Trek TNG
where Wesley let some escape and they started to evolve and interfere with
the ship's computer."
A note on lawyers and digital copyright explosion risks, and where *I* went
wrong interpreting Eben Moglen's sound advice (previously mentioned).
Lawyers are good at telling you whether things you want to do are low or
high risk. A really clever and caring one may even be able to give advice on
how to change your approach to meet essentially the same goals but be less
legally risky. But *ultimately* the decision of whether the potential
benefits (to you or society) outweigh the risks is up to you. That's
something some CEOs learn early on -- Google seems to have learned it
quickly which is one reason they digitized books while IBM (being more
lawyer-driven than lawyer-advised sometimes :-) did not.
Either that, or Google's cache and now book digitization project
"Google’s Moon Shot: The quest for the universal library" by Jeffrey Toobin
is a lucky version of "Fools rush in where Smart People fear to tread." :-)
Just like maybe OpenVirgle or now OSCOMAK. :-) That's another reason Google
may be shooting itself it the foot by hiring only documented
quick-on-their-feet "smart people". From Theodore Sturgeon's "The Skills of
Xanadu" (about a future OpenVirgle society :-):
"Surely there are many differences between us, as there always are between
different worlds. But I am certain of this one similarity: the young at
times run straight where wisdom has built a winding path."
(And I'm not implying that is always a bad thing. :-)
[The Skills of Xanadu is not online sadly, even if it is about freedom, and
when I contacted the rightsholder years ago to try to free it, they were
still too consumed by greed. :-( Even though putting the text under a
non-commercial license might only *increase* the commercial value of the work.]
==== end ramble
By the way, to get back on track: :-)
"Ontologies and abstractions"
"This is not a criticism of ontologies. No one said that they're supposed to
represent all knowledge. They're only about abstracted entities and their
essential relationships. They're intended to help a computer at an airport
know that if something belongs to the class called "baggage," it doesn't
need to be asked to show its passport. But it is a reminder that knowledge
generally doesn't get useful or interesting until it goes way beneath the
radar of ontologies, knowledge representations, abstractions and generalities."
So, don't worry if your first try is not perfect. :-) More than anything,
beyond having "hard fun", we are learning tools and concepts that will
likely serve us well in the future. :-)
Just remember to treat the digital materials as potential explosives. :-)
But the good news is, on the internet, you can alphabetize chemicals in the
virtual stock room (Acids next to Bases) without putting anyone in danger.
:-( That's a good question to help sort know-nothing academic chemistry
people from the knowledgeable "rocket science" inspired ones by the way. :-)
Now if I just knew how to add a page to MediWiki (see how clueless I can be?
:-) then I'd add a "Project OpenVirgle" landing page into OSCOMAK for
coordinating this work. Anyone else able to do than or tell me how to?
(*)Now if we just had a lot of people on board who had already been to
prison (on an issue they had sincerely repented from) and who were not
afraid of just a little more risk. :-( Seriously, I've thought OSCOMAK (and
now OpenVirgle) might make interesting volunteer project for kids in
youthful offender programs (or even adults). Better than making license
plates. But I am not sure that is a good idea:
"Prisons - Prison Industries: Excellent Idea Or Exploitation?"
But at least in the OSCOMAK / OpenVirgle case it is all volunteer, like
training a seeing eye dog puppy, and so it might non be exploitive? Just a
way to pass the time and learn some skills? I know, endless other issues and
so on with security etc.