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  • Monkeying around on a cable stayed bridge 

    jerwin Permalink
    4:57 pm on 06/03/2012 |   

    This video shows two russian kids climbing on the 1000 ft towers of the “Bridge to Russky Island”, near Vladivostok.To maximize the vertigo, please view at 1080p

    View Link [youtube.com]

  • Copyright infringement may be a crime, but it’s not theft. 

    jerwin Permalink
    8:57 am on 03/29/2012  

    Stuart P Green, a law professor at Rutgers reminds politicians that attempts to analogize copyright infringement as “theft”, and argue from that analogy, don’t work.

    The problem is that most people simply don’t buy the claim that illegally downloading a song or video from the Internet really is like stealing a car. According to a range of empirical studies, including one conducted by me and my social psychologist collaborator, Matthew Kugler, lay observers draw a sharp moral distinction between file sharing and genuine theft, even when the value of the property is the same.

    If Cyber Bob illegally downloads Digital Joe’s song from the Internet, it’s crucial to recognize that, in most cases, Joe hasn’t lost anything. Yes, one might try to argue that people who use intellectual property without paying for it steal the money they would have owed had they bought it lawfully. But there are two basic problems with this contention. First, we ordinarily can’t know whether the downloader would have paid the purchase price had he not misappropriated the property. Second, the argument assumes the conclusion that is being argued for — that it is theft.

    So what are the lessons in all this? For starters, we should stop trying to shoehorn the 21st-century problem of illegal downloading into a moral and legal regime that was developed with a pre- or mid-20th-century economy in mind. Second, we should recognize that the criminal law is least effective — and least legitimate — when it is at odds with widely held moral intuitions.

    View Link [nytimes.com]

  • Homophobic Billionaire uses threats to silence critics 

    jerwin Permalink
    4:50 pm on 02/17/2012 |   

    One of Mitt Romney’s big donors, Frank Vandersloot, threatens big libel lawsuits against anyone, large and small, who criticizes his questionable business tactics or his support for anti-gay political groups,

    View Link [salon.com]

  • How Goldman Sachs Created the Food Crisis 

    jerwin Permalink
    7:00 am on 04/29/2011  

    Frederick Kaufman argues that the structure of the Goldman Sachs Commodity Index, which for some reason “did not include a mechanism to sell or “short” a commodity,” is chiefly responsible for the runup in food prices. To take just one example, “imaginary wheat dominates the price of real wheat, as speculators (traditionally one-fifth of the market) now outnumber bona-fide hedgers four-to-one”

    View Link [foreignpolicy.com]

  • Potemkin Democracy 

    jerwin Permalink
    9:49 pm on 12/10/2010  

    New York Times article on the challenges of campaigning against United Russia, Putin’s political machine.

    “What displeased the Unite Russia operatives was this: Olga V. Safronova’s political party was supposed to be a fake opposition, created by the Kremlin to give the illusion that Russia was a thriving democracy. Now, though, this puppet party was rebelling here in Siberia — battling for votes, defying the governing party and even assailing Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin himself.”

    View Link [nytimes.com]

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