Is Duplication Stealing?

This started out a comment response to Jax’s blog who basically blogged her agreement with this blog post that is attempting to make a case against copying music.  The original analogy in the post against copying music talks about a distributor who doesn’t lock up at night and has their product stolen with the aid of various other companies that charge for services such as maps, roads, or whatever else.  This analogy doesn’t stand up because the distributor doesn’t loose any product.

An artist’s official online Youtube channel, Hulu, Netflix, band website, or whatever is distributing data so it can be reproduced and displayed by your computer, X-Box, Wii, TiVo, etc. Taking a step back to talk about physical media doesn’t really change the story since music is data.  Copying data comes standard issue on every computer since forever because that’s what computers do.  Fact of the matter: Making something easily accessible means making it easy to produce.  You can’t have your cake and eat it too.  I have the same feelings for entertainers and artists that I do for any producer of a easily replicated product that everyone likes enough to copy but not enough to wait for innovations or pay for it.

I made another analogy of my own and I got it to a point that it was pretty solid.  But it was also overly elaborate.  It contained nanobots that could keep pastries fresh forever as long as people didn’t swallow which lead to people copying every kind of food including raw meat products.  In the end butchers and food artisans get the shaft since the copy machine replicated structure.  The bakers and other innovators aren’t as hard hit because they their product can adapt as time goes along

Mad as a Hatter

Life has stayed kind of crazy since we had the Austrian exchange student stay with us two months ago.  Becoming a house of five seems to have kicked the world’s timing into a higher gear but even though he’s been gone for a month and a half it doesn’t feel like things have slowed down any.  The weekend after that my sister was in town and we went to Canyon Beach, Oregon.  My father was also in town only he was around for two weeks.  Memorial Day weekend we drove around the Olympic peninsula in Washington to see the Twilight (book) locations before arriving in Seattle to hang out with an old friend and show our German exchange student the big city.  In subsequent weeks we’ve also gathered a bunk bed, done a thorough cleaning of rooms to Goodwill cloths away.  We also picked a dining room table up from Craigslist in preparation for a baby-shower.

We’ve also been doing some major prep for the baby in addition to the bed and crib.  The baby shower, which is coming up, will call for a major rearrangement of stuff and we have a full-on finance plan to follow now so that my wife can take 6-8 weeks off come baby-time.  Luckily it includes specific allowance for replacing my 2.5 year old phone.

Our German exchange student has been learning to drive while she’s here because it cheaper here.  They have to take classes in stuff in Germany.  With only a month left we’ve been trying to get her on the road as much as possible.  Her test is the day or two before she flies away so the pressure is on.

Somewhat related to our German exchange student I’ve recently discovered of a way I can immerse myself in a language and I started giving it a go last Sunday night when I loaded up the German version of Skyrim.  I’ve been taking screen shots and translating the subtitles when I’m not playing so lingual structure and vocabulary will eventually get more recognizable.  That’s the theory anyway, we’ll see if it works.  It’s the bee buzzing in my brain right now, I want to get that train moving while I have a German in the house to make sure the process is getting me straight.  Also, Skyrim doesn’t get much better than when you have Orcs with two-handed hammers taunting you in German.  It’s fantastic fun!

My buddy up in Seattle energized another bee in my head which is still buzzing, only lightly waiting for it’s turn. He’s working and coding up a project of his own and having someone to converse with about learning languages set me on course to actually start laying some track and set up a Java development environment on my computer.  I almost had it right but wasn’t getting the results tutorials suggested until my brother-in-law came back from college he showed me what I missed.  I’ll get right on that after the momentum for my German Skyrim Project has established a sustainable momentum of it’s own.

Another kind of silly occurrence is that everyone in the house now plays Draw Something with each other.  That’s been going on for over a week now.  My wife just drew me a sniper; hopefully she can guess the Yoda sent back to her.  But the game is pretty awesome.  It brings families together.

I’m sure there’s more cool multi-day stuff taking up my time which I’m forgetting.  This blog is actually a relatively new occurrence too I suppose.  I’ve also gone back to using Personal Brain as my mind mapping tool of choice.  I was using Evernote but the way you can associate ideas and whatever else in Personal Brain makes it easier to jump from one thing to another, or simply link it without having to move anything anywhere.  Evernote still shines because it auto-syncs using the internet.  With Personal Brain I have to sync files from one computer to another using phone storage because I don’t want to pay for the tool just yet.

That’s it for this update.

Waiting for Dovahkiin

Have you ever heard of Skyrim?  It’s an adventure world of swords, dragons, and Nordic-medieval grit and you get to play the dovahkiin, a human with kinship to the dragons.  It’s basically your job to adventure around and beat things up with the ultimate goal of saving the world from a pending apocalypse at the hands of an evil dragon.  It’s pretty awesome if you’re into that sort of thing.

Anyway, I was doing something monotonous the other day and amused myself by wondering what it would be like to be in the game as one of the random town people, bandits, or various other things you come across as a player.  Dragon’s don’t show up until he starts his reign over the land and even then they don’t come to town until the %#$ dovahkiin comes along bumping into people, knocking things over, and pawning pillaged wares on our shops for every scrap of gold.

Generally speaking the non-player characters don’t associate you, the dovahkiin, with their overall hardships.  On the contrary you’re the guy who helps them.  This morning I helped a town leader by paying off hired blades squatting in his town’s mine.  As a reward the town leader pays me more than what I payed the mercenaries, so the guy was able to help himself the whole time if only he had the programming.  And I have no sympathy for his workers, who were complaining about going back to work.  I started off in wandering around in rags and bindings and managed to make a decent amount of coin as a vigilante doing odd jobs for people.  Contrary to what you’d think based on my previous paragraph towns and shop keepers don’t seem to mind my bloody pilfered goods as long as I didn’t steal it from society.

There is a minor point to this post besides just bsing my tales in Skyrim… there are quite a few people that I have ran into in my life who remind me of non-player characters.  Content to live a life without variation where change is a matter of anxiety because it’s outside of their control or willingness to reach out and take control.  In reality each individual is the protagonist in their own life; there is no way to walk out of your own story.