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News links and a little of my commentary

Some links taken from frumiousb


  • A frightening article in the Chicago Sun Times about a key gap in data privacy laws Your phone records are for sale. - Since according to this article, potentially law enforcement records could be accessed, I'm sure this hole will be plugged soon. Big Brother is very much at work in this country.

  • Susan Crawford's post on public ownership of the Internet as commons - I think it's an interesting blog, but she completely misunderstands the basic point of what a commons is. A commons is something where you can't assess or pay for the entire value of the resource, and the cost of polluting or destroying said resource has far wider repercussions which are difficult to control at the source and nearly impossible to control once the resource has dispersed. You can't pay for the entire value of air or water, because for the most part, it's freely available and polluting the atmosphere above one country leads to acid rain in another. In contrast most people directly pay for Internet access, free library access, not withstanding. I guess you can argue the cost of spam harms others and cost money. However unlike polluting air, pollution of the Internet, spam can be regulated at the other side at some cost by installing antispam software, as well as regulating it at the source. You can't do that with air. So the Internet isn't actually a commons in the strict sense of the word.

  • Local vs. global in The Baker who beat McDonalds. - To me this illustrates why capitalism still works better than any other system. Nobody forces anyone to eat at McDonalds. Unfortunately many people choose to do so, but in a small town in Italy, they chose a bakery instead.

    and C

  • Kayaking in the Galapagos - A new form of travel in the Galapagos. Someday C and I will take our honeymoon here, but I'm not sure if we'll kayak

  • DNA Offers New Insight Concerning Cat Evolution - because I love science and like cats.

Comments

( 5 notes — Leave a note )
yes_justice
Jan. 9th, 2006 01:15 am (UTC)
A commons is something where you can't assess or pay for the entire value of the resource, and the cost of polluting or destroying said resource has far wider repercussions which are difficult to control at the source and nearly impossible to control once the resource has dispersed. You can't pay for the entire value of air or water, because for the most part, it's freely available and polluting the atmosphere above one country leads to acid rain in another

Well said Thida. I like this post. Thanks for the travel and science links.

yes_justice
Jan. 9th, 2006 01:19 am (UTC)
Though I tend to an obviously more insane idea that commons are things we all need.

Free market is great for things beyond necessity.
yes_justice
Jan. 9th, 2006 01:29 am (UTC)
Fewer than 15,000 tigers, cheetahs and snow leopards remain in the wild, they estimate, and pumas and jaguar populations have been reduced to about 50,000 each.

I don't know how the snow leopards have been counted effectively since the Afghanistan conflict, but there were around 5,000 in 2001.

"The dolphins and the whales still left alive
cry to the stars in the deep blue night
there is no where to hide
the people on earth will not be denied
what a legacy
were leaving behind
" - adrian belew
frumiousb
Jan. 9th, 2006 06:55 am (UTC)
I agree with your points regarding Crawford´s article-- still, I think that she may have some kind of a point. The Internet as it becomes more essential to daily life will become more vulnerable to the tragedy of the commons-- on a small scale I think of the practice of people writing fake reviews on Amazon. Or possibly when people were posting visible spoilers of Harry Potter all over lj after the book had been released.
waterowl
Jan. 11th, 2006 04:07 am (UTC)
I still think that it's not a commons, because you can regulate people's access to the Internet -- you do need an account to post on LJ and Amazon. And in fact people have been fired for what they have posted on LJ.
( 5 notes — Leave a note )