I Want Everything for FREE! Part1

// 19th Mar '11 I Want Everything for FREE! Part1

Free Ideals

Freedom ...live free ...get it for free ...there's no such thing as a Free lunch. "Free" surely qualifies as the first Meme. With a list of definitions as long as your arm, the real question is why are we so fascinated with this concept of getting something for nothing? "Free" certainly has it's brand on the Internet, where to get lots of stuff for free it seems all one needs is access, and sometimes that's free. It's like using your free Miles to fly to a remote beach, where all the seashells you can collect in your little bag are free. Well, that is not how it tallies with the local Game and Fisheries Warden. You can take home all the open[source] clamshells you find, but anything with meat in it ...well $ir, you are going to need a license.

Some things are given to us for free, some things we expect for free, and then there's the "five finger discount". Like two dogs stealing each others identical chew bones, apparently "free" improves the flavor of stuff. Where would the Marketing Dept. be if "Free" was off the menu? This Christmas I plan to sell little bottles of hot sauce with a label that says ~FREE~, because for Humans too, a dash of Free promises to make everything taste magically delish. I think that's why there is a Commandment against it. "Thou shalt not get near thy neighbor's wife with any kind of free sauce?" Free Sauce, have your people call my people, seriously. What price? ...duh, Buy One Get One Free.

We humans are known for our ability to upwardly rationalize the free-ness level of things that honestly ain't so free. Printer paper from work ...pens, paperclips, envelopes, office furniture, laptops ...you know who you are. So theft and "free" are like squares and rectangles. A square is a rectangle but a rectangle is not necessarily a square, if you know what I am stealing ..uh saying. Theft and Free run parallel in the scheme of things. In both cases we are getting something we did not pay for, but too often our consciences fail and the parallelisms collide ...and some of you need Moral Collision insurance. Laptops? Really?

Don't let the right hand know what the right hand is doing

"I forgot I had that pen in my pocket, no biggie." Ahh, the slippery slope to Hell is paved with 3M sticky notes, and good intentions... maybe some AA batteries, oh and the big rolls of Scotch tape that are supposed to go in office dispensers but are perfect at Christmastime. Tsk tsk [finger wag]. Where ever did we get this Communistic notion that everything was for sharing? Especially other peoples' stuff? Is it really evil or some type of personality disorder? Should we just turn ourselves in, or even bother bringing the leftover Scotch tape back to work on January 2nd? Please allow me to answer the obvious question "Well if I'm stealing 10 sheets of printer paper, am I any more guilty if I steal a whole case?" Yes, you need help ...those cases of paper are heavy!

I shouldn't joke. A pair of handcuffs will put the quick chill on a case of the thieving giggles. That's the basis for a new TV series where the police plant cars with keys in them (and cameras!) then wait until they are stolen. The crooks are always very self-satisfied for about 30 seconds ...until they see the flashing lights. "Bait Car", I think it's called, now that's funny. Hey, I know. I'll make a TV series where I join in bittorrents for porn movies, get your IP address and tap into your webcam, then wait to knock on your door with the police until your hand is down your trousers ...and the lights start flashing. I'll call it "Master ..." what!? ...that joke wrote itself.

People dedicating themselves to stealing everything in their path is not really how the highest volume of theft occurs. We call those remorseless people "Criminals", and there are plenty to go around, but it's the 98% of non-criminals that steal a little ...something. It's a human fact. I think, pound-for-euro it adds up to be much more than anyone could imagine. The difference with the non-criminals, is feeling guilt. To quote from the movie "The Grifters", "...you are either stealing a little, or you're stealing a lot." The real problem is that when a majority is taking just a little, it adds up to be beaucoup. 98%? you say? The other 2% are obviously liars, and clearly are stealing a lot. Make no mistake that Law Enforcement makes no distinction.

Really? You never stole anything? Alzheimer's can be a good thing ...but have you noticed I have moved past "free" meaning getting a free pickle with your sandwich, to stealing? That's right boys and girls let's take a moment to talk honestly. I have to repeat this constantly because my goal is to spark communication, and not try to convince the Children of the World to install News clients. Piracy is illegal. It's bad, but being on Usenet does not automatically equal thievery, oh No! However, if you are performing illegal acts of research, or sampling, or evaluation, don't tell yourself it's not stealing because it is simply the current legal definition ...if the shoe fits ...and it's not your shoe. I think we should vote with our money, and if you are enjoying someone's hard work, you should pay them sticker price. We all got babies to feed.

Part 2?

Yeah, I have become worried I may run out of righteous indignation, and I think you peeps may enjoy some shorter articles. "Free" part 2 is the History behind Free and how that impacts our cultural perceptions about what Free means to different generations. Remember this is all satire, so I am not trying to make a claim that my readership is naughty. Part 2 will clarify, as I am only using my Devil's Advocacy to keep it real and capture one perspective, and in part 2 you will get another. There are reasons we think and act the way we do, a long list. I think it's important to talk about them, comments below.

Be sure to subscribe to the usenetSHACK RSS feed and Twitter and you won't miss out. You may have noticed we ran a little light on content over the Holidays, but that didn't mean I wasn't busy writing. Usenet? Who Cares? blossomed into some crazy-long thesis with a life all it's own. Through the powers of a certain severe editor [MizDark] it turned out I have enough Righteous Indignation in the bag, at least for 2011. Thank you Mistress, can I have another!?

Youch!

Bo

BoDark posted by BoDark
This entry was posted in Commentary and tagged drm, free, piracy, usenet. Leave a comment. Header image by juliejordanscott

2 Comments

  1. Posted May 9th, 2011 at 20:05 p.m.

    When you take stuff from one writer, it's plagiarism; but when you take it from many writers, it's research.

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  2. Posted May 9th, 2011 at 20:05 p.m.

    A tree is known by its fruit.

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