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Why don't we just legislate ourselves back to the Stone Age?


© January 2006 Anthony Lawrence

I would like to think that the proposed law mentioned at New Senate Broadcast Flag Bill Would Freeze Fair Use will immediately be recognized as idiotic and tossed out, but I'm not sure we can count on that: our politicians seem to love big business and are often willing to sacrifice just about anything to keep corporate money flowing steadily.

Had our ancestors been as foolish, we would still be in the Stone Age. Steam boats never would have been invented because they affected the income of bargemen, automobiles would have been outlawed because they competed with the horse and carriage. Am I exaggerating? Maybe, but had this law existed before, we never would have seen VCR's (of course the motion picture folks tried to squash VCR's anyway).

Entrenched power always tries to stay entrenched. I suppose you can't blame movie and record folks for trying to protect themselves from the inevitable, but I hope our legislators have enough sense not to help them.


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On two occasions, I have been asked [by members of Parliament], "Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?"...I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question. (Charles Babbage)




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