Friday, March 22, 2002

Testimony: Microsoft still intimidating - Tech News -

You can't control this kind of thing with consent decrees. The only thing to do is break up the company and let the pieces use this aggression on each other.

The Salt Lake Tribune -- Mormons Help FBI Update ID Technology

This story is innocuous, but I predict that within a week we'll see letters to the editor of the SLTrib accusing the LDS Church of supporting Big Brother.

Big Brother is a powerful idea and symbol, but it would take massive resources to make it work. If you are really worried about it, think of how well the INS and FBI and CIA did keeping track of Arab terrorists running loose in the country. Could the agencies responsible for this "massive intelligence failure" really make a system like Big Brother work? They can't even keep track of people with student visa, let alone monitor everyone in the nation.

So next time you feel like fretting over national id, surveillance cameras, etc. Just remember, the bureaucracy itself is the best defense against Big Brother.

Thursday, March 21, 2002

InstaPundit.Com "Funny: we just had a 'campaign finance reform' bill and now we have an absolutely outrageous example of corporate paybacks to big donors."

First, the new law won't take effect until after this year's elections. This will give them time to get used to the new ways of getting around the law.

Second, whom do you think Disney will be running voter information ads for in 2004?

Pull Up a Chair

This is a really, really, really, really bad idea. I hope it never sees the light of day again. Friedman used to make sense. Too bad.

Wednesday, March 20, 2002

Scientific American: Feature Article: Tragedy of the Cyber Commons: April 2002

Usually any reference to the "tragedy of the commons" makes my eyes roll, because it's usually used by environmentalists to claim that they should control the commons and keep the rest of us off. This however is a discussion of the effect owning the means of delivering content will have on the creative use of the internet.

I think that he makes some excellent points about the difference between Congress' encouragement of cable TV and its hosility to anything similar for music. He compares Napster to cable tv. Food for thought.

Tuesday, March 19, 2002

Campaign Finance Heads for Vote

I think the worst thing about this is that when it doesn't work the answer will be more controls over free speech. It's by small steps that freedoms are taken away.