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(Tech Crunch)   The key to innovation? Shameless copying   (techcrunch.com) divider line 41
    More: Obvious, innovations, copying, college credit, Techdirt, transparency  
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1725 clicks; posted to Geek » on 24 Jan 2014 at 10:49 PM (31 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



41 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2014-01-24 08:09:53 PM
That's what John Houseman told my dad, actually.
 
2014-01-24 09:42:49 PM
We have patent laws for a reason

Yes, they are insanely out of date and need to be shot into deep space

But, by allowing shameless copying, we are kinda shooting ourselves in the foot. Many companies spend significant amounts of money in research and development. They do this out of profit motive. We, consumers, benefit with these advances in science. If you dont give them the proper financial incentive, they will most likely not innovate at all as they expect everyone else to do it.

Without patent laws our nice technological paradise would be impossible.
 
2014-01-24 10:55:10 PM

cman: We have patent laws for a reason

Yes, they are insanely out of date and need to be shot into deep space

But, by allowing shameless copying, we are kinda shooting ourselves in the foot. Many companies spend significant amounts of money in research and development. They do this out of profit motive. We, consumers, benefit with these advances in science. If you dont give them the proper financial incentive, they will most likely not innovate at all as they expect everyone else to do it.

Without patent laws our nice technological paradise would be impossible.


However the laws need to be reigned in.

"If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants"
-- Isaac Newton
 
2014-01-24 11:12:01 PM

Odoriferous Queef: cman: We have patent laws for a reason

Yes, they are insanely out of date and need to be shot into deep space

But, by allowing shameless copying, we are kinda shooting ourselves in the foot. Many companies spend significant amounts of money in research and development. They do this out of profit motive. We, consumers, benefit with these advances in science. If you dont give them the proper financial incentive, they will most likely not innovate at all as they expect everyone else to do it.

Without patent laws our nice technological paradise would be impossible.

However the laws need to be reigned in.

"If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants"
-- Isaac Newton


Hence my second sentence.
 
2014-01-24 11:21:10 PM

cman: We have patent laws for a reason

Yes, they are insanely out of date and need to be shot into deep space

But, by allowing shameless copying, we are kinda shooting ourselves in the foot. Many companies spend significant amounts of money in research and development. They do this out of profit motive. We, consumers, benefit with these advances in science. If you dont give them the proper financial incentive, they will most likely not innovate at all as they expect everyone else to do it.

Without patent laws our nice technological paradise would be impossible.


Except that only works under a capitalist worldview, where "profit" is the ultimate motive.
 
2014-01-24 11:26:48 PM

Mangoose: That's what John Houseman told my dad, actually.


Well, Rand Paul said it first.
 
2014-01-24 11:27:40 PM
www.eonline.com
 
2014-01-24 11:31:32 PM
"Good artists copy. Great artists steal." ~ Pablo Picasso Shia LaBeouf
 
2014-01-24 11:34:51 PM

rocky_howard: cman: We have patent laws for a reason

Yes, they are insanely out of date and need to be shot into deep space

But, by allowing shameless copying, we are kinda shooting ourselves in the foot. Many companies spend significant amounts of money in research and development. They do this out of profit motive. We, consumers, benefit with these advances in science. If you dont give them the proper financial incentive, they will most likely not innovate at all as they expect everyone else to do it.

Without patent laws our nice technological paradise would be impossible.

Except that only works under a capitalist worldview, where "profit" is the ultimate motive.


Google the early years of the USSR when they completely removed money from society. Its effects were so devastating that Lenin had to reverse himself, which communist leaders hated doing.
 
2014-01-24 11:39:12 PM

Ishkur: "Good artists copy. Great artists steal." ~ Pablo Picasso Shia LaBeouf

Rand Paul
 
2014-01-24 11:42:31 PM

cman: rocky_howard: cman: We have patent laws for a reason

Yes, they are insanely out of date and need to be shot into deep space

But, by allowing shameless copying, we are kinda shooting ourselves in the foot. Many companies spend significant amounts of money in research and development. They do this out of profit motive. We, consumers, benefit with these advances in science. If you dont give them the proper financial incentive, they will most likely not innovate at all as they expect everyone else to do it.

Without patent laws our nice technological paradise would be impossible.

Except that only works under a capitalist worldview, where "profit" is the ultimate motive.

Google the early years of the USSR when they completely removed money from society. Its effects were so devastating that Lenin had to reverse himself, which communist leaders hated doing.


Getting history screwed up

He didnt outlaw money outright, he tried to do it by making it completely worthless so people would abandon it.
 
2014-01-24 11:45:30 PM
I copy from nature.

One of my gizmos I invented for the Navy is something I call the active hatch gasket. When we were putting together the conceptual design for what eventually became the DDG-1000 Stealth Destroyer, I knew it was going to need horizontal flush hatches on top for weapons/supply access, etc.  The only flush hatches we have that don't leak into the ship have conventional rubber strip seals, and a drainage trough inside that. Any standing water in the hatch seam *will* seep past any seal you put in, so the trough will intercept the seepage and drain it overboard. However, you need to spend manpower to keep those troughs clean so they won't clog up. How to get around this?

How does nature do this? Well, we have mouths that do a pretty good job of keeping water, dust, etc. from unwanted entry. You do this by sensing when something is trying to get past your closed lips and spitting it out before it gets in.

So I came up with a seal/sensor/air injector system that sensed when water was getting past the seal, and activating the air injector to blow it out. So the hatch would sit there passive in dry weather, and in stormy weather you would see the hatch seam "spit" occasionally as it ejected water from the seam.

Never did get any funding to build a prototype and test it. [Heavy sigh]

A lot of tech problems can be addressed by looking at how nature solved similar problems..
 
2014-01-24 11:46:58 PM

cman: which communist leaders hated doing.


Oh for fark's sake. There's plenty to criticize about the USSR and Leninism without making shiat up about communist leaders specifically hating to reverse themselves more than anyone else in any position of power.
 
2014-01-24 11:49:20 PM
Everybody copies everybody.

It's just what monkeys evolved to do.
 
2014-01-24 11:49:53 PM

Sergeant Grumbles: cman: which communist leaders hated doing.

Oh for fark's sake. There's plenty to criticize about the USSR and Leninism without making shiat up about communist leaders specifically hating to reverse themselves more than anyone else in any position of power.


Most farkers have a GED in history.  And it shows.
 
2014-01-24 11:50:05 PM

Sergeant Grumbles: cman: which communist leaders hated doing.

Oh for fark's sake. There's plenty to criticize about the USSR and Leninism without making shiat up about communist leaders specifically hating to reverse themselves more than anyone else in any position of power.


Point taken

You are correct
 
2014-01-24 11:51:13 PM

gingerjet: Sergeant Grumbles: cman: which communist leaders hated doing.

Oh for fark's sake. There's plenty to criticize about the USSR and Leninism without making shiat up about communist leaders specifically hating to reverse themselves more than anyone else in any position of power.

Most farkers have a GED in history.  And it shows.


His criticism didnt negate my main point.
 
2014-01-24 11:58:28 PM

cman: cman: rocky_howard: cman: We have patent laws for a reason

Yes, they are insanely out of date and need to be shot into deep space

But, by allowing shameless copying, we are kinda shooting ourselves in the foot. Many companies spend significant amounts of money in research and development. They do this out of profit motive. We, consumers, benefit with these advances in science. If you dont give them the proper financial incentive, they will most likely not innovate at all as they expect everyone else to do it.

Without patent laws our nice technological paradise would be impossible.

Except that only works under a capitalist worldview, where "profit" is the ultimate motive.

Google the early years of the USSR when they completely removed money from society. Its effects were so devastating that Lenin had to reverse himself, which communist leaders hated doing.

Getting history screwed up

He didnt outlaw money outright, he tried to do it by making it completely worthless so people would abandon it.


Yeah thats usually one of the tenets of Marxism, it would eventually phase money out. Although I don't know what the transitional stage between capitalism and communism in early 20th century has to do with this topic. Clearly transitional stages are imbued with upheaval and destruction of the status quo. That's kind of the point, y'know? :P

But I wasn't talking necessarily about full blown communism. You can have money or some equivalent and not being capitalist, at least not the pants on retarded version that thinks "profit" exists in a vacuum.

My point is: you can both pursue profit and be decent. It's not an "either/or" situation.

The other problem is capitalism being the ultimate act of selfishness and how it permeates the culture. So "progress" has to be faster because it's ME who needs to enjoy it. fark the future! Then we wreck the planet looking for short-term satisfaction.
 
2014-01-25 12:12:08 AM

cman: Point taken

You are correct


cman: His criticism didnt negate my main point.


Thank you.
Lenin trying to ad-hoc communism on an agrarian society like Russia was skipping the step that Marx said was required for the transition, an industrial society. It didn't always work.
 
2014-01-25 12:16:22 AM

cman: We have patent laws for a reason

Yes, they are insanely out of date and need to be shot into deep space

But, by allowing shameless copying, we are kinda shooting ourselves in the foot. Many companies spend significant amounts of money in research and development. They do this out of profit motive. We, consumers, benefit with these advances in science. If you dont give them the proper financial incentive, they will most likely not innovate at all as they expect everyone else to do it.



This is not true.

Historically speaking, scientific and technological progress is almost a completely arbitrary result of blind ambition mixed with luck, timing, and happenstance. And it is almost completely divorced from any sort of economic or profit incentive. Sure, affluent societies will spearhead more technological development because they can afford to support a larger portion of their leisure classes to pursue these matters, but by and large, money/capitalism/economics does not drive technological progress. Never has. Capitalism is never the inventor -- it is the exploiter of the invention.

For evidence, just watch any video essay by James Burke
 
2014-01-25 12:28:05 AM
did you know the key to innovation is shameless copying?
 
2014-01-25 12:35:14 AM

Ishkur: cman: We have patent laws for a reason

Yes, they are insanely out of date and need to be shot into deep space

But, by allowing shameless copying, we are kinda shooting ourselves in the foot. Many companies spend significant amounts of money in research and development. They do this out of profit motive. We, consumers, benefit with these advances in science. If you dont give them the proper financial incentive, they will most likely not innovate at all as they expect everyone else to do it.


This is not true.

Historically speaking, scientific and technological progress is almost a completely arbitrary result of blind ambition mixed with luck, timing, and happenstance. And it is almost completely divorced from any sort of economic or profit incentive. Sure, affluent societies will spearhead more technological development because they can afford to support a larger portion of their leisure classes to pursue these matters, but by and large, money/capitalism/economics does not drive technological progress. Never has. Capitalism is never the inventor -- it is the exploiter of the invention.

For evidence, just watch any video essay by James Burke


I'd agree with the facts and disagree with the conclusion.

Because what the bolded sentence means is that capitalism takes the idea, and then spends a lot of engineering effort driving the cost to zero and pushing it out to the masses.  Which then means that the masses are aware of the idea and able to afford and use the idea in their science/engineering.  Which means that after a few decades, your masses are doing a hell of a lot better, even at the bottom end.

Oh, and because it's possible to make a farkton of money in the capitalist country if you're both good and lucky, you see a lot of the best and brightest trying to leave their country to go to the capitalist country.  Which results in a fairly steady brain drain.  Which means that you have way more scientists and engineers in the capitalist country pursuing lots of different avenues of research in the hope that one of them pans out (and then makes them rich).  And the initiative that the capitalist country encourages is the big difference between capitalism and socialism, and is the reason why capitalism will always win.

/Now also I could argue that the richer society is spearheading more research because when you win the research lotto, your "jackpot" is so much larger, so you're willing to risk more money on research.
 
2014-01-25 12:50:13 AM

meyerkev: I'd agree with the facts and disagree with the conclusion.


You're actually not disagreeing with me at all, and everything you followed with supports my assertion.

First off, if Capitalism was the sole arbiter of technological progress, then whence come technological progress before Capitalism? And secondly, you're putting the ends before the means when talking about proliferation of technological progress. As I tersely explained, wealthy societies don't invent more because they are capitalist, they invent more because they are WEALTHY (which includes everything from a more affluent leisure class to spend their energy on specialized pursuits to brain draining foreign talent). It is a facet of apex civilizations that is actually divorced from economic jurisprudence. If socialist countries were wealthier than capitalist ones, they would invent more stuff too (and they have, when they've found the means. The Russians did get to space first, after all).

meyerkev: Now also I could argue that the richer society is spearheading more research


That's exactly what I said in my Boobies. Why are you saying you disagree with me and then counter with the same argument?
 
2014-01-25 01:06:38 AM

Ishkur: meyerkev: I'd agree with the facts and disagree with the conclusion.

You're actually not disagreeing with me at all, and everything you followed with supports my assertion.

First off, if Capitalism was the sole arbiter of technological progress, then whence come technological progress before Capitalism? And secondly, you're putting the ends before the means when talking about proliferation of technological progress. As I tersely explained, wealthy societies don't invent more because they are capitalist, they invent more because they are WEALTHY (which includes everything from a more affluent leisure class to spend their energy on specialized pursuits to brain draining foreign talent). It is a facet of apex civilizations that is actually divorced from economic jurisprudence. If socialist countries were wealthier than capitalist ones, they would invent more stuff too (and they have, when they've found the means. The Russians did get to space first, after all).

meyerkev: Now also I could argue that the richer society is spearheading more research

That's exactly what I said in my Boobies. Why are you saying you disagree with me and then counter with the same argument?


You are very wrong

Capitalism began as a system to divide up limited resources amongst a large group of people.

It has only recently (Industrial Revolution) evolved to encourage technological growl.

Capitalism has evolved into this thing that progresses us into the future.

/Industrial Revolution occurred at the same time as the rise of investment banking. Thats not a coincidence. All that money funded one of the greatest leaps in technological history
 
2014-01-25 01:08:10 AM

cman: Ishkur: meyerkev: I'd agree with the facts and disagree with the conclusion.

You're actually not disagreeing with me at all, and everything you followed with supports my assertion.

First off, if Capitalism was the sole arbiter of technological progress, then whence come technological progress before Capitalism? And secondly, you're putting the ends before the means when talking about proliferation of technological progress. As I tersely explained, wealthy societies don't invent more because they are capitalist, they invent more because they are WEALTHY (which includes everything from a more affluent leisure class to spend their energy on specialized pursuits to brain draining foreign talent). It is a facet of apex civilizations that is actually divorced from economic jurisprudence. If socialist countries were wealthier than capitalist ones, they would invent more stuff too (and they have, when they've found the means. The Russians did get to space first, after all).

meyerkev: Now also I could argue that the richer society is spearheading more research

That's exactly what I said in my Boobies. Why are you saying you disagree with me and then counter with the same argument?

You are very wrong

Capitalism began as a system to divide up limited resources amongst a large group of people.

It has only recently (Industrial Revolution) evolved to encourage technological growth.

Capitalism has evolved into this thing that progresses us into the future.

Industrial Revolution occurred at the same time as the rise of investment banking. Thats not a coincidence. All that money funded one of the greatest leaps in technological history


Whoops, didnt mean to slashie the last sentence and damn you autocorrect. Fixt
 
2014-01-25 01:41:28 AM

cman: Ishkur: meyerkev: I'd agree with the facts and disagree with the conclusion.

You're actually not disagreeing with me at all, and everything you followed with supports my assertion.

First off, if Capitalism was the sole arbiter of technological progress, then whence come technological progress before Capitalism? And secondly, you're putting the ends before the means when talking about proliferation of technological progress. As I tersely explained, wealthy societies don't invent more because they are capitalist, they invent more because they are WEALTHY (which includes everything from a more affluent leisure class to spend their energy on specialized pursuits to brain draining foreign talent). It is a facet of apex civilizations that is actually divorced from economic jurisprudence. If socialist countries were wealthier than capitalist ones, they would invent more stuff too (and they have, when they've found the means. The Russians did get to space first, after all).

meyerkev: Now also I could argue that the richer society is spearheading more research

That's exactly what I said in my Boobies. Why are you saying you disagree with me and then counter with the same argument?

You are very wrong

Capitalism began as a system to divide up limited resources amongst a large group of people.

It has only recently (Industrial Revolution) evolved to encourage technological growl.

Capitalism has evolved into this thing that progresses us into the future.

/Industrial Revolution occurred at the same time as the rise of investment banking. Thats not a coincidence. All that money funded one of the greatest leaps in technological history


More like industrial revolution allowed investment banking to thrive. In this context, something ethereal such as investment banking is a consequence, not a cause. There's a gap from agrarian to investment that doesn't follow. Money doesn't produce technology because it's inherently useless. But once te technology is there, money serves as fuel to move it faster and faster.

The rapid proliferation of industrialization and the economical benefits it brought were the means that allowed for the specialized economic class to thrive. Especially due to how means of transportation leapfrogged and made the world much smaller. Suddenly we weren't dependent on the elements anymore. Ships didn't have to wait for wind anymore. The locomotive made counties out of countries. Etc.
 
2014-01-25 02:53:39 AM

Ishkur: First off, if Capitalism was the sole arbiter of technological progress, then whence come technological progress before Capitalism?


Um, it didn't.  The world in 1500CE isn't *that* different than the world in 10000BCE.  And we've got records of currency and trade and capitalism and similar stuff since basically the development of farming.

Or it came from a sort of individual capitalism.  "Hey, if I tie this rock to this stick, I get a spear and I don't get eaten by that leopard and get some meat and an awesome fur coat which the ladies love.".  Done.

Ishkur: And secondly, you're putting the ends before the means when talking about proliferation of technological progress. As I tersely explained, wealthy societies don't invent more because they are capitalist, they invent more because they are WEALTHY (which includes everything from a more affluent leisure class to spend their energy on specialized pursuits to brain draining foreign talent). It is a facet of apex civilizations that is actually divorced from economic jurisprudence. If socialist countries were wealthier than capitalist ones, they would invent more stuff too (and they have, when they've found the means. The Russians did get to space first, after all).


This is the research cycle.

Wealth gets invested -> Science discovers thing -> Engineering uses thing to drive cost of other thing down to zero and spread it to the masses -> People use thing to create more things using invested wealth.

My Argument is basically that Socialism/Communism is absolute crap at the Engineering/spread to masses/get the researchers and engineers filthy stinking rich bit, and that that hurts their research, since you can't get those virtuous cycles.

And one of the things that I've noticed is that capitalism is pretty good at doing everything while centrally planned economies are really good at doing one thing.  Soviet Union said "We will defeat the Nazis" and they did.  And then they said "We will build nukes" and then they did.  And then they said "We will go to space" and they did.  And I'm not actually sure what happened between this and "'We will win in Afghanistan.'  And they didn't.  And then the whole thing blew up because Communism doesn't FARKING WORK over the long run."  And meanwhile they were having tons of trouble feeding themselves.  And the US was sitting over here ALSO going to space a little bit slower than them, but meanwhile having this computer revolution AND actually feeding themselves AND doing all sorts of other things that were completely orthogonal to the "go to space" mission.  And so by the end of the Cold War, our ghettos were better than their average.  Because on a cultural level, initiative matters.

Heck, just look at the differences between the USA and Continental Europe.  EU is sitting at about $27K/capita PPP.  US is sitting at about $50K.

List off any historically-significant cultural or technological innovation to have emerged from Continental Western Europe since World War II.    I mean there is a list, which makes them a hell of a lot better off than the USSR (Among other things, they did a lot of early work on the Internet before absolutely dropping the ball, Airbus does good work with some serious government subsidies to begin with, Phillips is an oasis in a wasteland, CERN is CERN, they have some good laboratories)  ButThree quarters of all Nobel laureates in science, medicine, and economics have lived and worked in the U.S. in recent decades.  A LOT of them were immigrants from Europe (Link from 2002, but I doubt the situation has changed).  Linus lives in Portland now.

There's basically 5 big operating systems that run the world
Windows
OSX
Linux
IOS
Android

The 4 corporate ones are based out of the US, and as mentioned, Linus lives in Portland.  Heck, if I add Windows Phone and Blackberry, we're at 6 US ones and 1 Canadian one and the Canadian one is dying.

Browsers are little better

IE
Chrome

Safari
Mozilla
Opera

4 American, 1 European.

Repeat that for pretty much every single piece of the new industries.  Europe is nice to have, they occasionally do very good work, but there's a lot of industries where Europe is either not playing at all, or late to the game and failing to do significant innovation.  I'm willing to bet that you can name more big high-tech companies in my CITY (Mountain View) and the next one over (Palo Alto) than you can in all of continental Europe.  Europe likes to think of themselves as world leaders.  What the FARK have they been doing for the last 60 years?  I don't know, but it's damn well not leading.

The USA is NOT researching heavily because they're rich, they're rich because they and not-China-East-Asia are the leading edge of technical advancement.  And that's because Bill Gates was able to become a multi-billionaire and because Steve Jobs was able to convince people to give him money for being an asshole and because millions of other people were willing to try and do something cool and occasionally succeed and get filthy stinking rich.  You cannot separate the one from the other.

/And given that the Soviets were sinking about 15-20% of their GDP into the military (keeping in mind that no one actually knows what the Soviet military budgets were or what the actual Soviet GDP was), other than the AK-47, I'm trying to think of one good piece of military hardware and coming up blank.   I've heard some good things about Hind variants, but not original Hinds.  And I can't stop giggling every time I read the description of the problems with the T-72.
 
2014-01-25 06:36:19 AM

cman: We have patent laws for a reason

Yes, they are insanely out of date and need to be shot into deep space

But, by allowing shameless copying, we are kinda shooting ourselves in the foot. Many companies spend significant amounts of money in research and development. They do this out of profit motive. We, consumers, benefit with these advances in science. If you dont give them the proper financial incentive, they will most likely not innovate at all as they expect everyone else to do it.

Without patent laws our nice technological paradise would be impossible.


Right, because no advances were made before copyright law.

Ooooo, electronic doodad...
 
2014-01-25 06:38:45 AM

mark12A: I copy from nature.

One of my gizmos I invented for the Navy is something I call the active hatch gasket. When we were putting together the conceptual design for what eventually became the DDG-1000 Stealth Destroyer, I knew it was going to need horizontal flush hatches on top for weapons/supply access, etc.  The only flush hatches we have that don't leak into the ship have conventional rubber strip seals, and a drainage trough inside that. Any standing water in the hatch seam *will* seep past any seal you put in, so the trough will intercept the seepage and drain it overboard. However, you need to spend manpower to keep those troughs clean so they won't clog up. How to get around this?

How does nature do this? Well, we have mouths that do a pretty good job of keeping water, dust, etc. from unwanted entry. You do this by sensing when something is trying to get past your closed lips and spitting it out before it gets in.

So I came up with a seal/sensor/air injector system that sensed when water was getting past the seal, and activating the air injector to blow it out. So the hatch would sit there passive in dry weather, and in stormy weather you would see the hatch seam "spit" occasionally as it ejected water from the seam.

Never did get any funding to build a prototype and test it. [Heavy sigh]

A lot of tech problems can be addressed by looking at how nature solved similar problems..


Well, your not rich so obviously your idea was stupid.
 
2014-01-25 07:40:28 AM
mark12A:
So I came up with a seal/sensor/air injector system that sensed when water was getting past the seal, and activating the air injector to blow it out. So the hatch would sit there passive in dry weather, and in stormy weather you would see the hatch seam "spit" occasionally as it ejected water from the seam.

Never did get any funding to build a prototype and test it. [Heavy sigh]


If it's any consolation, in 20 years someone would just use it as an example of profiteering and government excess.  "The Navy spends $5000 on a hatch seal!"
 
2014-01-25 07:53:07 AM

StoPPeRmobile: cman: We have patent laws for a reason

Yes, they are insanely out of date and need to be shot into deep space

But, by allowing shameless copying, we are kinda shooting ourselves in the foot. Many companies spend significant amounts of money in research and development. They do this out of profit motive. We, consumers, benefit with these advances in science. If you dont give them the proper financial incentive, they will most likely not innovate at all as they expect everyone else to do it.

Without patent laws our nice technological paradise would be impossible.

Right, because no advances were made before copyright law.

Ooooo, electronic doodad...


I thought every bit of technology came to this earth when Adam Smith was born. Thank you for correcting me.
 
2014-01-25 08:13:05 AM

cman: Capitalism began as a system to divide up limited resources amongst a large group of people.


That's not what Capitalism is. That's what economics is.

cman: It has only recently (Industrial Revolution) evolved to encourage technological growl.


I never said Capitalism had anything to do with technological progress. He did.

cman: /Industrial Revolution occurred at the same time as the rise of investment banking. Thats not a coincidence


No it didn't. Investment banking has roots all the way back to the Middle Ages when corporate shares, debt and promissory notes were frequently leveraged as a means to finance expeditions to the near east. In essence, it was the Crusades that necessitated investment banking. The first joint-stock company was created in 1250 in France when the Bazacle Milling Company optioned 96 shares for trade. The first promissory note in 1325 in Milan. The first fractional reserve bank in Florence (the Medicis) 1397. As for the official transition from Mercantilism to Capitalism, it was a gradual process and didn't happen everywhere, but a good year I like to use is 1602, as that's when the first stock exchange (Amsterdam Stock Exchange) officially went into effect, to track the securities of overseas merchant empires like the Dutch East India Co. and the Hudson's Bay Co. Incidentally, the first speculation-based bubble and crash -- the so-called Tulip craze -- was thirty years later. So we've never been able to fix the problem of banking panics and stock market crashes ever since we came up with them. But I digress.

The Industrial Revolution is considered to have officially started in 1712 with the development of the Newcomen engine by Thomas Necomen. It was the first device ever built that did not require human operation, used for pumping water out of mines. There was an earlier engine developed by Thomas Savory using steam to push a pump, but it did not have a piston or a cooling system and so was considered a forerunner but not an instigator. The Industrial Revolution has nothing to do with investment banking or money; it is quintessentially characterized by the ability to automate repetitive tasks with machines, in most cases so fast and so efficient that the machines produced the work of 1000 (or more) people better, more exact and 24 hours a day. As soon as that ability was mastered, production skyrocketed and quality of life steadily improved.


/I watch a lot of James Burke
 
2014-01-25 08:29:45 AM

cman: rocky_howard: cman: We have patent laws for a reason

Yes, they are insanely out of date and need to be shot into deep space

But, by allowing shameless copying, we are kinda shooting ourselves in the foot. Many companies spend significant amounts of money in research and development. They do this out of profit motive. We, consumers, benefit with these advances in science. If you dont give them the proper financial incentive, they will most likely not innovate at all as they expect everyone else to do it.

Without patent laws our nice technological paradise would be impossible.

Except that only works under a capitalist worldview, where "profit" is the ultimate motive.

Google the early years of the USSR when they completely removed money from society. Its effects were so devastating that Lenin had to reverse himself, which communist leaders hated doing.


This bullshiat right here is harmful innovation. The insinuation that we have have either a choice between capitalism and socialism/communism is complete and utter bullshiat. It is a false dichotomy. The fact that in the United States we cannot have a discussion about the shortcomings of capitalism without being labeled a communist by some douche-bag like you may prevent us from implementing economic reforms that prove to be superior to both capitalism and socialism. You're boxing yourself and everyone else in with this drivel.

Besides I'm willing to bet that if you asked most great innovators why the did/do what they do, most of them wouldn't say "money". Profit is a poor motivator. You can only do so much with money and if earning it is your primary drive you will probably lose your passion after accumulating so much you don't know what to do with it. One of the laws of capitalism is that it assumes human beings are naturally greedy and motivated by that greed. Most of the people I've encountered in my life (common working folk) would be happy just to have enough resources to live comfortably. If people were able to live without fear of medical bills, not being able to pay their electricity, etc, they would most likely pursue what they love rather than try to accumulate more useless material things.
 
2014-01-25 09:33:13 AM

meyerkev: The world in 1500CE isn't *that* different than the world in 10000BCE.


Actually, I can think of a million things that are different between 1500 CE and 10,000 BCE. People in 1500 CE were working with gunpowder, steel, and crop rotations. People in 10,000 BCE were nomadic wanderers who didn't even have boats or understand how the seed worked. People in 1500 CE were using the printing press. People in 10,000 BCE didn't even have a written language yet. Know your history.

meyerkev: And we've got records of currency and trade and capitalism and similar stuff since basically the development of farming. Or it came from a sort of individual capitalism. "Hey, if I tie this rock to this stick, I get a spear and I don't get eaten by that leopard and get some meat and an awesome fur coat which the ladies love.". Done.


No. That's not Capitalism. Both of you don't seem to understand what Capitalism is. It is not "trading things with money". That's what economics is! You saying that's capitalism is like calling every sport with a ball soccer.

meyerkev: Wealth gets invested -> Science discovers thing -> Engineering uses thing to drive cost of other thing down to zero and spread it to the masses -> People use thing to create more things using invested wealth.


Science is not depended upon wealth. Though affluent societies tend to produce more science.

Historically, science and technological advancement -- the evolution of ideas -- seems to really proliferate in areas heavy in communication and trade. Because cities along important trade routes get to collect all the knowledge and data from everyone they encounter. And they pool this knowledge for their inhabitants, and that seems to spurn advancement. You see this all across the ancient world, cities along key trade routes, like Miletus, Alexandria, Damascus, Baghdad, Constantinople, Florence, etc... churning out brilliant thinkers and inventors over and over again. They weren't necessarily the wealthiest cities (although at times some of them were the seats of important empires). But they were certainly hubs for travelers and they took advantage of their geographic disposition to become relay stations for knowledge and communications. It is from this unique vantage that they spurned technological achievement.

meyerkev: My Argument is basically that Socialism/Communism is absolute crap


Yeah, I'm not sure why you brought up Socialism at all. No one's advocating it.

meyerkev: And one of the things that I've noticed is that capitalism is pretty good at doing everything while centrally planned economies are really good at doing one thing. Soviet Union said "We will defeat the Nazis" and they did. And then they said "We will build nukes" and then they did. And then they said "We will go to space" and they did. And I'm not actually sure what happened between this and "'We will win in Afghanistan.' And they didn't.


Okay, I see what your problem is. You're using the unique failure of the Soviet Union and claiming it's a failure of Socialism altogether. It wasn't.

meyerkev: 4 American, 1 European.


Why are you comparing America and Europe in the latter half of the 20th century? You do understand America's success is entirely due to the quiet industrial monopoly it enjoyed for an entire generation as the only first world country not blown to smithereens, right? It took 30 years or more for many countries to restore their smashed infrastructures and even longer for others to consolidate politically. And notice that United States economic might has declined in recent decades as these other countries have finally gotten back on their feet and started to compete in the global marketplace.

Your argument is a non-starter and completely frivolous.
 
2014-01-25 10:01:45 AM

numbquil: cman: rocky_howard: cman: We have patent laws for a reason

Yes, they are insanely out of date and need to be shot into deep space

But, by allowing shameless copying, we are kinda shooting ourselves in the foot. Many companies spend significant amounts of money in research and development. They do this out of profit motive. We, consumers, benefit with these advances in science. If you dont give them the proper financial incentive, they will most likely not innovate at all as they expect everyone else to do it.

Without patent laws our nice technological paradise would be impossible.

Except that only works under a capitalist worldview, where "profit" is the ultimate motive.

Google the early years of the USSR when they completely removed money from society. Its effects were so devastating that Lenin had to reverse himself, which communist leaders hated doing.

This bullshiat right here is harmful innovation. The insinuation that we have have either a choice between capitalism and socialism/communism is complete and utter bullshiat. It is a false dichotomy. The fact that in the United States we cannot have a discussion about the shortcomings of capitalism without being labeled a communist by some douche-bag like you may prevent us from implementing economic reforms that prove to be superior to both capitalism and socialism. You're boxing yourself and everyone else in with this drivel.

Besides I'm willing to bet that if you asked most great innovators why the did/do what they do, most of them wouldn't say "money". Profit is a poor motivator. You can only do so much with money and if earning it is your primary drive you will probably lose your passion after accumulating so much you don't know what to do with it. One of the laws of capitalism is that it assumes human beings are naturally greedy and motivated by that greed. Most of the people I've encountered in my life (common working folk) would be happy just to have enough resources to live comfortably. If people we ...


First off, want to talk about false dichotomy? Why dont we talk about the two party state first? Its either D or R. Anything else is throwing ones vote away. We only have two choices there. We perpetuate this system by continuing to do the same thing over and over again: vote for Ds and Rs because if you dont the other side will win.
the
Secondly, Google "ascent of money". It is a long ass documentary that goes through the history of banking. It will surprise you to see what technological booms happened when we had evolutions in banking.

Thirdly, I am not an advocate of an anarchic market. I dont believe in pure capitalism. What I do believe in is that whatever system we have in the United States is infinitely better than what happened in those Marxist-Leninist states. Capitalism is far from perfect indeed. I see those nations up there in the Nordic belt and understand that we could learn a thing or two from them.
 
2014-01-25 10:17:25 AM

Odoriferous Queef: cman: We have patent laws for a reason

Yes, they are insanely out of date and need to be shot into deep space

But, by allowing shameless copying, we are kinda shooting ourselves in the foot. Many companies spend significant amounts of money in research and development. They do this out of profit motive. We, consumers, benefit with these advances in science. If you dont give them the proper financial incentive, they will most likely not innovate at all as they expect everyone else to do it.

Without patent laws our nice technological paradise would be impossible.

However the laws need to be reigned in.

"If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants"
-- Isaac Newton


-Shia Laboof
 
2014-01-25 10:30:59 AM

meyerkev: Heck, just look at the differences between the USA and Continental Europe.  EU is sitting at about $27K/capita PPP.  US is sitting at about $50K.


Did you literally use average as a valid figure representing what each person has access to?

USA is sitting at about $50K because it has like 95% of the world's billionaires, not because every person in America is suddenly well off. Not to mention per capita uses every living person as a reference point, even toddlers. It doesn't work on the individual level, just the nation level.

And funny you mention Europe and discredit socialism. I guess that's why Norway, Sweden and Denmark are all above USA in GDP per capita (although only Norway is above if we switch to PPP. Not that Sweden and Denmark are too far behind anyway).

And your entire US vs USSR or US vs EU comparison is flawed because you're ignoring the rest of the world. Y'know, where the valuable resources come from. Because the abject reality is that capitalism and by extension the US and Europe, only thrived by exploiting other countries and raping entire continents. Congratulations, you achieved success by stomping on your fellow man. But keep drinking the Kool-Aid of that American Exceptionalism cup though.
 
2014-01-25 11:16:10 AM

cman: Capitalism began as a system to divide up limited resources amongst a large group of people.


Which, incidentally, is why it's freaking out over the digital information revolution. What happens when a resource that was limited becomes unlimited?
 
2014-01-25 11:18:34 AM

meyerkev: And I'm not actually sure what happened between this and "'We will win in Afghanistan.' And they didn't.


So what does it say that the U.S. is also losing in Afghanistan?
 
2014-01-25 01:13:04 PM

cman: We have patent laws for a reason

Yes, they are insanely out of date and need to be shot into deep space

But, by allowing shameless copying, we are kinda shooting ourselves in the foot. Many companies spend significant amounts of money in research and development. They do this out of profit motive. We, consumers, benefit with these advances in science. If you dont give them the proper financial incentive, they will most likely not innovate at all as they expect everyone else to do it.

Without patent laws our nice technological paradise would be impossible.


We had slavery for a reason.
 
2014-01-25 07:51:02 PM

cman: What I do believe in is that whatever system we have in the United States is infinitely better than what happened in those Marxist-Leninist states.


WHO in this thread is advocating for Marxist-Leninism?! You are attacking an argument no one made.
 
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