Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Why am I doing this?

A lot of times when I tell people what my blog is about, they look at me as if I'm an alien from outer space.  I know why.  It's kinda abstract.  It seems very far removed from anything actually useful!

"Seems", that is.  I know I am an unusual (relative to the populace) sort of person who frequently ponders abstract ideas, ethics, and morality.  It's my thing.  Or a thing.  It's really the inevitable conclusion of trying to do complex concrete stuff--when sufficiently complex, the concrete looks abstract.

Take the idea of expanding fair use to encompass all non-commercial use.  Pretty abstract.

Take the idea of downloading the latest Hugh Grant movie and dubbing it over with zombie sounds.  That's a little more concrete.

Take the idea of sitting around listening to whatever music you can think of.  Kinda in between, but relatable.

But the point is it's the things we do that people can relate to.  Even today, ordinary folks are starting to understand why DRM "protected" media is such a terrible thing to waste your money on.  It's taken some time, but that's to be expected.  I know we're not going to change anyone's mind overnight.

I learned a long time ago that shrill argument actually works against you.  Sometimes I still forget a bit :-)  But I've also learned that with time, you actually can convince people of stuff.  Which is why we're here today.  If you read this blog regularly, you most likely agree with the premise, and I urge you to just work on the people around you, one idea at a time.  Short "zinger" style arguments seem to have the best impact, I've found.  People almost never change their mind right away, but they will think about it after you've left the building.  Real change always happens slowly.  If they feel like it's a personal contest, they will resist you out of principle.

Mind you, if you read this blog regularly and disagree, I applaud your intellectual honesty, and encourage you to rebut my feeble attempts at logic in the comments.  I promise you a civil reception.  I believe that sincere, serious dialog is the only path to human progress.

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