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1
General / Re: Cut the IP crap
« on: January 24, 2012, 02:14:16 PM »
So here is my problem and why I take the stance that I do with IP.  I am a college professor (boo, hiss) and I create two types of intellectual property:  academic research and course materials.  

Much like performance artists, I receive little, if any, remuneration for my academic research.  However, it is important to me that my publisher receives income from publishing my work because they provide the infrastructure for my work in terms of editors, peer reviewers, and distribution channels.  If they didn't receive income from it, that infrastructure would disappear.  

The course materials hit me pretty hard.  Two years ago, I spent the summer developing materials for a course.  I'm not compensated for summer work, but knew that I could use those materials for several years to teach a class that I would be paid for.  According to my university, I own the rights to any course materials that I produce.  This year, the department needed an additional section of the course that I designed these materials for to be taught.  A member of our faculty who is retiring in a few years was offered the course first and took it.  As a member of my promotion committee, he also had access to the course materials that I had developed.  Without those materials, it wouldn't be worth his time to develop the course to teach it once.  I know that he is using my materials because he came to me yesterday and had questions about how to implement a program that I had included in the materials.  

I would have liked to teach the course and would have received an additional $6,000 for it.  So, in this case, I lost out on $6,000 because someone violated my IP rights.  

The issue isn't that there is a scarcity in supply.  I fully acknowledge that the marginal cost of producing a copy of an IP work is virtually zero; the issue is that there is a scarcity in demand.   Only so many people have the knowledge and interest read my academic work.  Only so many students can sign up and take my classes.  If the IP that I create is given away for free, then I won't be compensated for creating it and then I won't be able to continue to create it.  

This is called the argument from pity.  It's not a valid argument.  If the world changed, you'd change too.  That world might have better opportunities for you.

Pointing out that the issue isn't a scarcity in supply, but a scarcity in demand isn't an argument from pity-it's a statement of fact. 

2
General / Re: Cut the IP crap
« on: January 24, 2012, 01:22:35 PM »

I'm sorry. I don't understand why they don't own their property, and why they can't benefit from the efforts of their labor.

Of course they "own their own property." But they do not own my property. I have a hard drive on my computer.....and I should be able to arrange 1's and 0's in any order I choose, should I not?

And they can "benefit from their labor" all they want....so long as they don't infringe upon the property rights of others.

Have you read Kinsella's work on this topic? I strongly suggest you do, as I shared your position prior to my reading it.
http://mises.org/journals/jls/15_2/15_2_1.pdf

The irony is that Kinsella's article is copyrighted.

3
General / Re: Cut the IP crap
« on: January 24, 2012, 12:55:56 PM »
So here is my problem and why I take the stance that I do with IP.  I am a college professor (boo, hiss) and I create two types of intellectual property:  academic research and course materials. 

Much like performance artists, I receive little, if any, remuneration for my academic research.  However, it is important to me that my publisher receives income from publishing my work because they provide the infrastructure for my work in terms of editors, peer reviewers, and distribution channels.  If they didn't receive income from it, that infrastructure would disappear. 

The course materials hit me pretty hard.  Two years ago, I spent the summer developing materials for a course.  I'm not compensated for summer work, but knew that I could use those materials for several years to teach a class that I would be paid for.  According to my university, I own the rights to any course materials that I produce.  This year, the department needed an additional section of the course that I designed these materials for to be taught.  A member of our faculty who is retiring in a few years was offered the course first and took it.  As a member of my promotion committee, he also had access to the course materials that I had developed.  Without those materials, it wouldn't be worth his time to develop the course to teach it once.  I know that he is using my materials because he came to me yesterday and had questions about how to implement a program that I had included in the materials. 

I would have liked to teach the course and would have received an additional $6,000 for it.  So, in this case, I lost out on $6,000 because someone violated my IP rights. 

The issue isn't that there is a scarcity in supply.  I fully acknowledge that the marginal cost of producing a copy of an IP work is virtually zero; the issue is that there is a scarcity in demand.   Only so many people have the knowledge and interest read my academic work.  Only so many students can sign up and take my classes.  If the IP that I create is given away for free, then I won't be compensated for creating it and then I won't be able to continue to create it. 

4
General / Re: Cut the IP crap
« on: January 23, 2012, 11:15:51 PM »
Your post doesn't appear logical.

"If you don't think you're doing anything wrong, then stop doing it!"

I do think it helps to download or copy something that you wouldn't have consumed through the producer's methods.

Think of it like this. If I DL your movie that I wasn't interested enough in to go to the theater or pay $25 for the DVD or whatever, then you're no worse off because you weren't going to make money off me anyway. So no downside there. However, if someone asks me about your movie, I might have some really nice things to say about it. Now maybe due to my positive review, they do go buy the DVD or pay $5 to pay-per-view it or whatever. Me DLing has helped.

If I haven't DLed it, then all I have to say about your movie is that it didn't look interesting enough to pay for. Not a very impressive review. IF what you made is actually decent, then the free-peepers can be excellent promotion.

Also, I've bought a lot of DVDs but it's almost unheard of for me to buy a DVD before I've seen something. That might be that I've seen it in the theater "legitimately" but sometimes it means I saw it on tv or I DLed it or any of a number of ways that I got a free preview.

So if I own the road in front of my house and set the speed limit at 40 mph and you decide that going 80 is alright, is it okay for you to drive down the road that I own at twice the speed limit that I set because you don't think that you are doing anything wrong?

5
General / Re: Cut the IP crap
« on: January 23, 2012, 10:40:26 PM »
I dont really disagree with this, but does it really change anything in terms of how much money a copyrighted product makes? The people who support it, will still buy it. The people that dont support IP, yet still gank it for free aren't really costing the owner of the copyrighted material anything since they wouldn't buy it anyway. The profit still comes out the same in the end.


Just a thought.

I'm just listening to some of the recent podcasts and the strained logic about how pirating media actually helps the artist.  If the people that are taking it for free wouldn't pay for it, then why are they taking it anyway?  If they have to spend the time to find it, download it, and then consume it, they must find some value in it.  I support the idea of getting rid of IP laws, but I support letting the artist determine the distribution model.  I get the feeling the hosts of FTL don't feel that the artist should have control of their creation after they let it out of their direct control. 

A great example of this is the program "R" - a statistical computing program.  The user agreement states that if you are using it for educational purposes, then it's free.  However, if you are using it for commercial purposes, then you are required to pay $400 per license (or something like that).  If you don't like the terms of the agreement, then don't use the product. 

6
General / Cut the IP crap
« on: January 23, 2012, 10:09:08 PM »
If you don't want to support IP, stop consuming copyrighted material.  Don't use your opposition to IP to justify pirating content.  You will not die if you don't watch that copyrighted movie or listen to that song.  Support artists that don't use IP if you want to get rid of it. 

7
The Show / Ian...please read this.
« on: July 24, 2011, 05:27:53 PM »
Ian,

Please click on the link and then listen to the pronunciation. 
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/behemoth

{It's like nails on a chalkboard}   :twisted:

8
Episodes & Show Prep / Re: 2011-01-31
« on: February 01, 2011, 02:47:46 PM »
Ian, this is a quote from the actual research article referenced in the news piece:

"Given the problem of potential unmeasured confounders, it is not possible to assert causality between CP [capital punishment] and child aggression in observational studies such as this."

emphasis mine

9
General / Ian is amazingly limber
« on: January 21, 2011, 04:24:56 PM »
I'm listening to the 1/19/11 show and it's amazing to see the degree to which Ian (and to a lesser degree, Mark) can twist and bend to continue to defend Momma Ally.

The Fixes (sp?) were pissy customers who perceived they were wronged.  All businesses, no matter how well run, are going to have customers that act this way.  Momma Ally and her partner clearly don't know how to deal with these types of customers.  How to deal with them?  Make a reasonable offer to fix the problem.  If they refuse it and continue to escalate, restate the offer publicly and then WALK AWAY.  Let them trash talk or post on blogs or whatever.  Momma Ally royally messed up by using angry rhetoric and further escalating the situation.  Additionally, publicly posting what could easily be considered to be a racist statement on Facebook is an incredibly bad business decision.  As was mentioned on the show, the Fixes never said that she was a racist, they just copied and pasted her words and let people draw their own conclusions. 

I'm from the South too and going around saying the "N" word would have been considered racist and/or stupid.   Posting it online would have been considered a career limiting move. 

What should Momma do now?  Cut the angry rhetoric, don't engage the Fixes other than to offer them a free meal at PorcFest (delivered to the Fixes site), and  leave your "guard" dogs at home when going to PorcFest.

10
General / Re: Outing myself
« on: January 19, 2011, 03:50:56 PM »
If I were you I'd double check the strength of that golden leash. From what I understand many State pensions were tied into the housing stuff and took an enormous hit which I don't think they have recovered from yet. Yours might be different or it might not be. Check it out, remember you are dealing with government promises here which we all know never end the way people expect.

The state that I work for actually has a very well run retirement system.  I believe that it is fully funded, that is, current employees are not making the payments for current retirees.  I've personally met many of the people that make the investment decisions for the fund.  They are top notch and very open about what they are investing in. 

11
General / Re: Outing myself
« on: January 19, 2011, 03:48:21 PM »
What do you teach?


I don't want to be too specific, but I teach in a quantitatively heavy business area.

12
General / Re: Outing myself
« on: January 19, 2011, 03:47:26 PM »

 My problem (likely yours too) is the funding, not the institution.


Come on Mark, where could a person get a quality higher education at the cost of public universities. As a graduate of the largest private university in America I can tell you the price difference is astronomical. I paid 5x what tuition would have cost me if I had went to Florida State.

Without state funding, who would fund these schools, and keep them at a pricepoint to make it worth going. I know Ian disdains higher education, but in the real world, it does have it's advantages when looking for work.

About two-thirds of the funding of my school comes from tuition and outside grants (primarily tuition).  We could go to 0% of funding if we could raise tuition.  We have a weird tuition schedule with the same tuition for between 12 and 18 credits.  Maxing out the amount of classes you can take, an in-state student would pay about $5 per hour of instruction and and out of state student would pay about $10 per hour of instruction.  This includes books (we have a book rental program) and fees.    We could easily increase the tuition to cover the subsidized portion and still make school affordable. 

13
General / Re: Outing myself
« on: January 19, 2011, 03:40:31 PM »
I feel that as a former Amplifier, an FTL listener, and sometimes poster on this message board, that I need to come clean....I am a state government employee.  In fact, while I am not an LEO or participate in the war on drugs, I am still probably one of the worst in the eyes of Mark and Ian as I am a college professor.  I have a state pension.  I have really great healthcare. 


Easy on the flagellation, Doc :). I have no problem with a liberty minded individual working at a state funded university. In fact I want you there. My problem (likely yours too) is the funding, not the institution.

You also sound like a man who has found his life's work and that is always inspiring. I will put this into show prep, as I think people should hear it.

Hi Mark,

I was trying to be a little sarcastic there.  I think that funding really is the problem.  Many public universities (mine included) could easily self-fund if we could get away from government mandates and the idea that everyone, regardless of motivation or the ability to pay, should go to college. 

14
General / Outing myself
« on: January 18, 2011, 11:35:47 PM »
I feel that as a former Amplifier, an FTL listener, and sometimes poster on this message board, that I need to come clean....I am a state government employee.  In fact, while I am not an LEO or participate in the war on drugs, I am still probably one of the worst in the eyes of Mark and Ian as I am a college professor.  I have a state pension.  I have really great healthcare. 

Working for the state can be extremely frustrating.  The level of bureaucracy is mind-numbing.  But I love teaching and participating in the campus community, especially the great campus that I work for.  Unfortunately, the state has a near monopoly on higher level education, so I had few options elsewhere. 

I'd like to clear up a few things that I hear on air.  The pensions are a blessing and a curse.  The defined benefit is good, but, as my colleagues like to refer to it, it is a "golden leash".   One of the purposes of the pension is to keep you from looking for opportunities elsewhere.  The value of the pension benefit is practically nil in your first few years, but increases in value the longer you stay. 

As a result of the motivations to not look for opportunities elsewhere (i.e. pensions and the tenure clock), academics face wage compression.  For example, my department has hired three additional faculty  since I was hired, each one receiving a higher salary than I currently receive. 

While the pensions and healthcare are great, the salaries are often not competitive with those in private industry (at least not for business professors).  I was offered a higher paying corporate job before I took the academic job that I have now.  I really wanted to be a professor, so I took a pay cut.   

At best, we receive a 3% cost of living increase each year, even in good times.  Merit pay is virtually nonexistent, which I don't agree with.  For the past 2 years, we've taken a 5% pay cut.  I hear a lot of people saying that we're lucky that we even have jobs, but the unemployment rate for business PhDs is still pretty close to 0%.

The nice thing about my school is that we only receive about 1/3rd of our funding from the state.  The administration and many of the faculty would actually like to receive less because state funding hampers our ability to serve students.  Each in-state student is subsidized by tax dollars.  When the fixed amount of subsidy dollars runs out, we can't take anymore in-state students in and so we focus on bringing in out-of-state and international students, who pay full price.    We turn away good in-state students because they are automatically subsidized. 

I somewhat agree with Mark and Ian when I hear that college is  overrated.  It is certainly overrated for unmotivated students.  For motivated students, it truly is a chance of a lifetime.   At my school, most of your instructors have PhDs, meaning that they likely spent around 10 years in college learning about the subject that they are teaching you.  You really have to love the subject to spend that much time learning about it.  Many of us (including myself) also have private industry experience and we can introduce students to people in the industry to get their careers started. 

There are endless opportunities for motivated students.  I set up a program at my school last year that allows students in my major to get experience working with industry professionals to compete in a competition.  We set up internships to give students industry experience.  I encourage students to complete independent studies to focus on something that they are passionate about.

When we find a motivated student, they are celebrated in our department.  We let good employers know about them.  We push them to apply for scholarships.   We work hard to make sure that they are successful.  Unfortunately, many students aren't very motivated.  Well, at least not beyond hitting the bars on the weekends. 

I get frustrated with unmotivated students.  Students that just want a grade.  It's those students that say that college is a waste of time.  And for them, it is. 

A lot of kids go to college without knowing why they are going to college or what they are going to study when they get there.  I would advise anyone in high school to work for a few years before going to college if they don't know what they want to do.  I have two children and we are homeschooling them.  My plan is to have them finish their schooling at 16 and then work at something for two years.  Ideally, they'll start businesses providing a good or service.  It will give them a chance to earn money for college and get to work in the real world for a while.  I think it also teaches responsibility and time management.

I set this up in the hijack-free zone to answer any questions that you might have about college or the college experience.  If you come to bash, I'll just erase your comment. 

15
travel with small children.  My family went on vacation to Orlando last week and on our way out there (from Milwaukee, WI) and back (from Orlando International), we were at security gates that had body scanners.  On our way out, we weren't in the direct line to use the scanner, but we also could have been waved over.  On our way back, we were in the line for the scanner and the TSA guy blocked us from going through it and directed us to the metal detector along with everyone else that had small children.  It turns out that it is against DHS/TSA regulations to separate parents from their children as part of the security screening (I found it on their website) and the body scanners are a one person at a time thing. 

What does this mean?  This screening method is absolutely useless.  All you have to do is bring a small child with you and you can blow the airplane up along with an additional child. 

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