Concentrating on the inequities of others is a hurdle to self improvement. Widespread introspection is what would actually make the world a better place.
I’ve been involved in and lurking a conversation on pirating. The facts about what actually happens as a result of pirating is just completely overlooked. Justifications like “they wouldn’t have been able to afford it anyway so there isn’t really a loss of revenue” and “they steal from us every day and find a way to make it legal” just don’t fly when you consider that it’s the innocent that suffer the consequences. DRM and other forms of added security are a hassle for those who have done nothing wrong. It also adds overhead to the endeavors in question thus adding to the price of the product. Wealth is also aggregated in security solutions as well. Protection of IPs has been a blight on our economic system for centuries because of the lack of will to improve within. Piracy makes the situation worse any way you slice it. It breaks the system because the social contract is just ignored. Theft or not, it really does worsen the situation as well, as it is the second wrong in place of a right.
This is a fact that just doesn’t get through to those justifying their behaviors. Individualism is destructive beyond moderation. Randian ideology has produced a divided collective that impulsively conflicts with itself to the point of dysfunction.
Negative Utility is the removal of one or more aspects of a system. Positive Utility is the adding of one or more aspects to a system. Cory Doctorow explains Negative Utility as the impulse to get rid of “what pisses us off”. We’re not thinking about the consequences of our actions when we address issues this way. We’re just trying to pull the thorn out of our side. Positive Utility makes room for the change that we viscerally loathe. The change that is the only real source of improvement. This is required, like it or not for normalization. The payoff is novelty and advancement. This is how we move forward. The Negative Utility associated with legislation just will not fit the bill. Legislation is more often than not protecting systemically deficient behaviors.
For more than two decades I’ve thought that the pinnacle of artistic expression is when a piece invokes epistemic self-reflection. When art causes pause and consideration for ones thinking and actions, it contributes to society in the most favorable way. It creates the mental conditions required for real improvement.
…and yet we pat ourselves on the back for conforming with the status quo.