Discussions

April 14, 2014

Episode 440: The Art Of Philosophical Piracy

illegal downloads

Are you versed in the “art of philosophical piracy”? What we morally should and shouldn’t do or legally can and cannot do is based on our philosophical disposition. The accusation of piracy–or robbing parties of that which does not belong to you–must be weighed against a discussion about what things are actually subject to the notion of ownership. On this episode of The Axiom Amnesia Theory, Heit & Cheri challenge philosophies from politics and societal standards to intellectual property.

Topics discussed include Black libertarians on Facebook, identifying with groups whose culture is contrary to your best interests in spite of agreement on core principles, the “Six Strikes” Copyright Alert System aimed at stopping illegal Internet downloads, corporations wanting to serve as the sole Internet content provider–not wanting individuals to provide their own content without businesses in the mix, “private courts” that can deny you of service, prison inmates planning high-tech startup companies and the people who seek to capitalize off of their ideas, EEOC guidelines may deter discrimination against applicants with criminal records, a law student who successfully talked his way out of police harassment over legally carrying a gun, a shooting in Las Vegas that killed a rapper and how the white female “person of interest” is viewed differently than her Black counterpart, and more!


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Segment 1

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  • Discussion about our friend Rashad’s Facebook page, “African Americans for Libertarianism.” According to the page, it “was created to promote and spread Libertarian and Voluntaryist Ideas in the African American Community.” Interestingly, the most active people on the page are not Black.
  • Discussion about the African Americans for Libertarianism posting yesterday’s podcast on the Trayvon Martin case. Some of the commenters objected to our characterization of Zimmerman as a “murderer.” They pointed to the fact that he hasn’t had a trial yet.
  • The trial is no determinant of fact, especially from a Libertarian perspective.
  • Why are we looking to other people–a jury or anyone else–to tell us what is true? How many trials have there been where people were found “not guilty” when we KNOW they committed the act.
  • Discussion about the fact that Libertarian culture tends to be racist. This is not based on the principles of the group, but rather the culture of the organization. Therefore, it is problematic for Blacks to identify themselves as Libertarians.
  • Discussion about scenarios where Blacks come together to discuss Libertarianism from a Black perspective.
  • Discussion about identifying with groups whose culture is contrary to your best interests in spite of agreement on core principles.
  • Discussion about how the African Americans for Libertarianism Facebook could not predict who would be attracted to their discussions–most of them are not Black.
  • Discussion about how people of other groups find it interesting when Blacks depart from traditional political stances of Democrats to have more meaningful discussions.
  • Discussion about Ron Paul being a racist.
  • Libertarians promote having the government out of the affairs of the businesses, and letting them do what they want independent of the government–often to the detriment of individuals.
  • illegal downloads

  • Discussion about the “Six Strikes” Copyright Alert System aimed at stopping illegal Internet downloads.

    A controversial strategy to combat Internet piracy took effect Monday, meaning subscribers who illegally share movies or songs could be punished by losing Web access or having their broadband speeds slowed to a crawl.

    The new “Copyright Alert System,” or “six strikes” system, is the result of a partnership between major Internet service providers and the entertainment industry to deter theft of copyrighted material online. The film and recording industries say online piracy costs them billions of dollars in lost revenue each year. A trade group representing the entertainment industry and Internet providers announced the move in a blog post on Monday.

    Under the new system, Internet subscribers accused of online piracy will receive a series of alerts. Critics have called the system “six strikes” because the sixth copyright violation is expected to lead to punishment from the Internet providers.

    The details of each Internet provider’s alert system are still unknown, but each one is expected to be slightly different. Under Verizon’s proposed plan, which leaked online last month, alleged copyright violators could have their Internet speeds slowed to dial-up speeds for two to three days.

    Under Time Warner Cable’s plan, the company will temporarily suspend Internet service to alleged copyright violators until they call a customer service representative and agree to stop pirating copyrighted material, Time Warner Cable spokesman Alex Dudley told The Huffington Post last month.
    Source: Huffington Post

  • Discussion about these companies forcing people to admit to an illegal act, which will allow them to take you to court for more money.
  • Discussion about the planned tactic of slowing the Internet speed on suspected piraters.
  • Even without government, businesses and corporations will team together to be against the people.
  • Discussion about digital media and the desire of the corporations being the Internet content providers. They don’t want individuals to be able to trade information without going through them.
  • Discussion about Megaupload re-launching its site. Of course, it ain’t the same old Megaupload.
  • Discussion about the businesses’ ultimate goal being to make deals with themselves so that they can claim ownership to basically everything–which in turn will give them the opportunity to seek financial remedies against people for copyright violations.
  • Discussion about this notion of having a “private court” that will determine if you are guilty, and in this case, can withhold services from you. They can essentially blackball you from service–just like with a credit report.
  • Discussion about the potential effect on companies who allow customers to use free Internet.
  • Discussion about the possibility of the requirement of registration of all devices used on the Internet. This could be done completely outside of the law.
  • Discussion about how EEOC guidelines may deter discrimination against applicants with criminal records.

    The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s guidelines warn businesses about rejecting minority applicants who have committed a crime and recommend they eliminate policies that “exclude people from employment based on a criminal record.”

    The EEOC says civil rights laws already prohibit different treatment for job applicants who are of a different ethnic background but have identical criminal histories. The update was issued out of concern that employers might disproportionally exclude minorities from getting hired because more African Americans and Hispanics are getting arrested and going to prison, according to the guideline report.
    Source: Fox News

  • Discussion about how conservative blogs took up this story so that people will protest so that the discriminatory practices can continue.
  • We know that “minorities” are disproportionately targeted for criminalization, so discriminating against those with criminal records has racial implications.
  • Discussion about the fact that MC Hammer was supposedly on his way from a community service event on the day he was stopped and arrested in the Bay Area. We discussed this on Monday’s show, Episode 149: It’s Hard To Explain Genius Under Authority. The media is trying to twist the story to make it sound like he was doing something wrong.
  • Discussion about the connotations of the term “community service”.
  • Discussion about prison inmates planning high-tech startup companies. This is the community service event MC Hammer had attended before being arrested.

    Live stream has gone mainstream. Mobile video usage went up and is expected to increase by 28 percent over the next five years,” said Eddie Griffin, who was pitching a music streaming concept called “At the Club” and happens to be finishing a third stint for drug possession at San Quentin State Prison, near San Francisco, after spending the last 15 years behind bars.

    Griffin was one of seven San Quentin inmates who presented startup proposals on “Demo Day” as part of the Last Mile program, an entrepreneurship course modeled on startup incubators that take in batches of young companies and provide them courses, informal advice and the seed investments to grow.
    Source: Reuters

  • Discussion about how people in prison have grand ideas that may allow others to capitalize from them.
  • Discussion about the notion that becoming a capitalist for yourself is considered a great thing in this society. When it comes to prisoners, the pitch is that since their criminal record might prevent them from getting hired, then they should start their own business–and make money for people the “legit” way.
  • Discussion about people who seek to exploit prisoners.
  • Discussion about street hustlers who have good business minds.
  • Discussion about how people in the Black community are taken advantage of by people who claim to want to help them. Ponzi schemes in churches, pre-paid legal plans, and other pyramid schemes are mentioned as examples.
  • Discussion about how pre-paid legal attorney services really work.
  • Cheri recounts an episode of COPS where a “suspect” says he needs to call his pre-paid attorney right before being arrested.
  • Discussion about a video that Heit & Cheri watched where a guy who was legally carrying a gun is stopped by police. The cops were attempting to get information from the guy, but the guy’s knowledge of the law allows him to successfully challenge the police.
  • Discussion about how the cop admits to routinely harassing people.
  • This guy was able to get away with this tactic because he is white. A Black person would have been cuffed and on the ground with their cheek to the cold, hard concrete.
  • Discussion about how the cops would have treated a Black person differently in the same situation–solely on race.
  • vegas shooting

  • Discussion about the recent shooting in Las Vegas that killed a rapper.
  • Police say they are looking for a woman who was supposedly in the Range Rover with the shooter. She is an attractive woman who appears to be a white person or a white Hispanic. People commented on the article with questions about why she was with his guy.
  • People view her as different than the “Black thug” with whom she was hanging out. People don’t want to lump her in with “those people.”
  • When you look at their photo, people will make assumptions about both of them solely based on their appearance.
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Heit & Cheri