I just realized that intellectual property is probably a big contributor to environmental degradation.
If environmentally friendly technology was open-source, developing countries would have access to it and it would make its use cheaper even in developed countries.
@phryk Yes, "intellectual property", primarily patents, is a big contributor. — It's just one particular case of how "externalities" happen. Standard short-term vs long-term dilemma.
And, no, it's not about developing countries, but mainly the developed ones — they are the main contributor to the global environmental issues: may sound counter-intuitive, but the situation is due to the amount of resources utilized, not the population per se.
P.S. Wish I could cite some statistics, but anyway. 😕
@phryk Developing vs developed is a vague distinction, and should be viewed quantitatively, or at least relatively.
The "developing" countries, and generally not very technological territories, have little potential to draw a lot of benefits from the lack of patents and/or free availability of designs; plus they usually have lots of other problems, and nobody would sue them in court.
While copyright in education has more effect, since the materials are intended to introduce people to knowledge.
@phryk I have seen this in person. There's no probably about it. I spoke up at a sustainability summit talk when the presenter announced they had patented their tree-watering system. They didn't seem to clue in that they were legally preventing everyone else in the world(with patent agreements w canada/US) from managing trees/water efficiently for the next 20 years by doing so.
@phryk ... and other things https://plus.google.com/105395547687614433866/posts/SxC2TsbS3kM
it is usually a mistake to group even copyrights and patents together. Copyrights, patents, lumber distribution rights and virginity ...you very quickly get into a situation where most of the category have nothing to do with the rest of the category in any way that is important
@jeffcliff I'm still not sure on the Pinker guy. He seems to have some good ideas, but something always seems a little off about his arguments…
Whatever the case, I think this one isn't quite right. It pertains to *intangible property* which might be anything – Intellectual Property is having ownership and deciding authority over a technical pattern.
Nobody can own virginity, tho they can own people, which isn't IP.
Distribution rights don't entitle you to decide how other people use tech.
@phryk – "Intellectual Property is having ownership and deciding authority over a technical pattern." Intellectual Property is an intrinsically meaningless term and defining it in terms of a 'technical pattern' is misleading. Trademarks might be defined in terms of technical patterns, but Patents kind of aren't, and copyright really isn't at all. Patents mean not having authority over technical pattern but over an invention - though you could argue the patentable claims signify a pattern
@phryk Or at least copyright isn't when we're not talking about software / digital works. And the picture is even blurry when it is. You don't gain anything by referring to technical patterns as IP rather than, say, technical patterns (which may or may not be protected by law, paracopyright law or otherwise).
@phryk ..and domain names are certainly not 'patterns' in this sense https://www.wired.com/2000/08/this-sex-dramas-getting-hot/
@phryk > Nobody can own virginity, tho they can own people, which isn't IP.
Pinker's point is that over the long haul of human history, virginity was indeed considered "owned". To this day there are places in the US where there is an elaborate ritual where fathers give a ring or other object to their young daughters signifying that they are to keep their virginity, because they are owned.
@phryk It's worth pointing out that
Lysander Spooner was one of the first people who ever used the term 'intellectual property' and who thought about ideas in these ways. The very first people who were considering the idea considered reputational property/chastity/virginity as an example of one. It's simply false that they have nothing to do with eachother - the history is the same, for the same reasons. Because it's an expression of control over how we think and who is allowed to think what
The current state of affairs is that they **can't** choose the environmentally friendly solutions due to law being severely fucking retarded.
Of course there wouldn't be any guarantees but consider this:
We've reached the point where environmental degradation has an impact so big that we're bound to see more and more riots about environmental issues.
Capitalists might want to change to better tech before getting hung from their factory chimneys.
@StuC But the big hope I would have for this sort of arrangement of course is for it to jumpstart a top-to-bottom open-source lifestyle.
While patents only apply to commercial operations (i.e. we can legally reproduce them), we still don't have access to the knowledge about and designs of that tech.
Also as soon as you're selling kits of the tech you painstakingly reversed, patent law fucks you over again.
@phryk And still, the single largest consumer of energy in the world is the US Military. For no clear purpose whatsoever, other than killing random people.
I will believe that people really want environmentally sound policies when disbanding the US Military is at the top of their list.
@phryk I found this which may not support what I said, but I don't mind being wrong. Was a long time I heard about it.
Maybe there's something about the issues in this article though.
@maloki IIRC, Chinas MagLev trains are at least partially reverse engineered Transrapid technology from Germany.
So, yeah, that project has seen delays because of intellectual property.
Don't see the article (neither the related China Star one) mention anything from the last century tho, which I expect is when China built most of it's airports.
I might be wrong on that one, tho. :P
@dredmorbius There's a lot of potential solutions.
From a transition [hydro|aero|aqua]ponic agriculture to constructing big algae towers to bind CO² from the atmosphere, there's actually LOTS of things that can be done to get the environment into a less fucked up state.
The main thing of course is that most of our industry is just producing useless shit and we should probably fucking stop that. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯