In a world dominated by magical thinking, superstition and misinformation, give yourself the benefit of doubt. This is one skeptic's view of the Universe.
"Tell people there’s an invisible man in the sky who created the universe, and the vast majority believe you. Tell them the paint is wet, and they have to touch it to be sure."
“If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed”.
“Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense.”
The person who is certain, and who claims divine warrant for his certainty, belongs now to the infancy of our species. It may be a long farewell, but it has begun and, like all farewells, should not be protracted.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is at the forefront of efforts to pass the Internet Censorship Act, which fundamentally threatens the internet as we know it.
If the bill passes, corporate copyright holders would be able to demand the government shut down a website based on nothing more than an allegation that the website contains copyrighted material. And the government could do this even without a court order…
Google, which is strongly opposed to the Internet Censorship Act and has an unofficial motto of “Don’t be evil,” is a member of the Chamber of Commerce. But the Chamber’s all-out support of this incredibly dangerous legislation has reportedly caused Google to consider quitting the rightwing organization in protest.
So, I just shared that article about how Louis CK made a million dollars in twelve days with DRM-free downloads.
Then, earlier this month, Universal had a video Megaupload owned taken off of youtube, then claimed that they couldn’t be sued for it.
I wonder how much of the million Louis CK would have seen had he gone though a label. I’m guessing they would have gotten a pretty big cut, and that’s exactly why we have things like SOPA making their way though congress.
The big media companies don’t want to be cut out, they’re the middle men, they make their money off the distribution of media, but today when we have such high bandwidth and anyone can figure out how to use a torrent client or download an MP3 file, there isn’t actually a whole lot of use for a distributor when it comes to home media.
Anyone could release their work online and directly take the profits and cut the distributors out of the picture.
And if it sounds like I’m veering into tinfoil hat territory, remember when the RIAA flipped shit over internet radio?
It turns out that of that 56% of music and 70% of unique songs played on streaming internet broadcasts back in 2006 were from independent artists and labels (as cited in the link above).
These big media companies don’t want to be cut out of the game, and they’ll bring down the internet as we know it to accomplish this.