South Africa is in a political crisis(again)

the problem with cencorship is ******** ******** ** ****** ***.

I feel that at this point I need to speak out, as a patriotic South African who believes that patriotism is a love for your country and countrymen, and not the politicians and dictators that govern it. For those who are not in the know on the issue I will summarize the 2 main points in the "debate". The South African ruling party, the ANC is trying to pass 2 piecies of legislation...

The Protection Of Information Bill
This bill is meant to enable government to classify any piece of information they see fit all the way down to municipal level. This legislation enables the government to imprison whistleblowers in government and the journalists that report on these things to be jailed for up to 25 years.

One of the main problems with the legislation is how they define information to include letters, faxes...snip... opinions. They actually want to make opinions classifiable. Authors and media bodies around the world are freaking out because this will effectively disable freedom of speech in South Africa.

The second problem is something they call "National interest" which is something defined as anything that hampers the advancement of the republic. Defining national interest by law scholars and courts will be difficult... but who needs them right, when you create a judge->jury->executionor

The Media Appeals Tribunal
The media appeals tribunal I will admit is something that I know less about. This watchdog body will answer directly to parliament and its incumbents. So effectively this means that the government decides whether they like the news or not and if they don't they send the journalists to jail.

But it's unconstitutional
We will see whether the constitution of our country, which is touted as the most progressive one in the world, is a valid document or just lip service from a regime kleptocrats that have been destroying this country for the past sixteen years, just after the wounds that were still open after the world renowned "apartheid".

Like all African countries, we are ruled by lying stealing motherfuckers who can convince uneducated masses that what they do for them is best. To make matters worse the majority of the electorate still vote based on skin colour, except now most of them are voting for their so-called liberators because they are black.

South Africa was a beacon of hope in the failed continent. We came up with some clever stuff. Our military used to be one of the finest, now even they are pathetic. Everything has slowly fallen apart, but now it is becoming blatantly obvious that my beloved homeland has become a disaster zone.

The revolution(s) are coming

The world is on the brink of a major change. [citation needed].

The new printing press
The printing press triggered a major change because now suddenly people from all walks of life had access to books. The internet is the new printing press. It just skips the step between the authors mind, the publisher, the editor, the distribution channels and the shops that sell the damn things. It is instant knowledge at your fingertips. 

There are still some who wonder, but many people have learnt to "google it" . This change might seem insignificant, until you start digging in the internet. You find Wikipedia, which informs you about anything. When someone gives you a soundbite about Ghandi you search the internet to see if there is any weight to their statement. The internet makes it cheap to learn new things if you can afford it and makes it cheap to be a skeptic. You get to question that which you usually would have taken for granted because you either had no way to disprove it, or it was too low priority to make you drive to the library and see whether the information was accurate. 

The internet also breeds a lot of bad information, but what I have seen is that right tends to have more search results than wrong. It is not surprising that you will find the right info on .edu sights and the wrong info on Pastor McLyingbitchMotherFucker's blog website where he explains that in addition to creationism being true, aliens like to stick lollipops up our asses when we are not looking because they find the taste of our poop most pleasing. This grouping of bad information certainly seems intentional, but the purveyors of bullshit don't realise how they are screwing themselves over by including all their ridiculous beliefs on their 1995 animated gif black background magenta comic sans text nightmare website. 

 

The industrial revolution 2.0
The industrial revolution was triggered by the water frame, which essentially ended up making those spinning wheels from that other stupid fairy tale redundant. What followed was mass industrialization of just about everything that people used to do for fun and profit. This caused chaos as it meant many people losing their jobs, over urbanization due to factories needing thousands of workers doing menial repetitive stress injury inducing jobs.

We are now experiencing another industrial revolution. Things that used to be done on paper is now being done by computers. Important functions are now being done by computers. How many people do online banking? Or should I ask how many people still do their banking at the bank? Where are the folks that filled those job positions? They have moved on, but a major change or revolution can happen at any time, rendering people redundant and costing jobs. The savings will be moved onto the consumer... NOT!!! Banks will charge more. They are increasing profit after all. The super rich will have another way to be super rich, by letting machines do peoples' work and not letting their customers win some of the advantages.

The textile industry will see another industrial revolution when robots start to make clothing. Yup... Clothing is still made in Chinese sweat shops, but if a robot can make clothes, who needs China? Just build your own robot factory and throw some yarn at the damn thing. 2000000 jeans are poured out the next day. What will happen to those sweat shop workers? Well just look at what happened to the workers in the last industrial revolutions... it aint pretty, but at least it's temporary.

An industrial revolution should trigger a major uptick in education. Because people these days cannot depend on spinning wheels or become blacksmiths, they have to go all the way through high school to be useful in society. After the next industrial revolution you will have to have a university degree in order to be useful. If you have one now, congratulations, you are safe. If you don't your job might become obsolete.

The energy sector is currently our biggest problem. We still rely on fossil feuls. Our alternatives are not that great at the moment(except maybe for nuclear power). When we figure out how to make efficient batteries that are small we will be able to store unused power for later use.A revolution without dancing is a revolution not worth having. And an industrial revolution without massive amounts of energy to drive it is a non-event. Once we solve this problem we will be able to move on with our lives, and no longer worry about powering our world. In the future we will take electricity for granted because we will not even need to know it exists to use it. All our devices and machines will use power that they get from the air. That's a topic for another story however.

One of most difficult things to produce in the world is food. Cows run around mooing and pooing everywhere and eating all the grass... farting methane merrily along the way. If we can manufacture meat from stem cells we can industrialize farming! Imagine getting a steak that was grown in a meat factory. No animal cruelty there. Just some stem cells used to grow meat. The cool thing about cells is that if you give them the right chemicals they will replicate. So what you can have is chemical energy to create food. This means that food can be really cheap, disease free and produced from premium genetic stock.

The social revolution
The net result of all of the above is a social revolution. Smarter people make smarter choices, the world moves forward and we look back on ourselves in our previous state and think of it as primitive. I lived in the time where cellular phones did not exist. We got by, but you often had to ask someone  whether they would be home at a certain time because you wanted to phone them, you had to arrange to meet someone somewhere, and if there was some misunderstanding there was no way to correct it. Fun times. Once I forgot that my mother was not picking me up from school and waited one and a half hours for her to pick me up.

My grandparents still took 2 days to travel 80kms into town, because they did it in a horse cart. The wheels of revolution were already spinning up.

The pyramid of needs that I posted in a previous article will mean that more people will closer to the top than to the bottom. It can be truly great, but be prepared for the evil elements of this world to somehow find a way to make our lives miserable in this futuristic utopia.

Patent Law: The revolution is coming!

Copyright law is an issue I think about from time to time,living in an era where you can make (near) perfect copies of any original work it is no surprise that this issue has become a popular one. The current way that things are going is pointing toward a stand off. The major players in the copyright versus the common folks with broadband internet.

Let's back up a bit into classic economics. When I create a new product the typical pattern is that I have to produce copies of it. So I created a toothbrush that automatically applies toothpaste. Initially my costs are extremely high and my production is driven by a huge bank loan and sleepless nights. I sell many copies before I make any of them to prospective buyers. This is so that I don't make too many that I cannot sell. I build my factory, lay out the machinery, and start producing toothbrushes.

Because of the initial cost the very first order is really expensive. But there are people willing to pay for this cutting edge product and I make enough sales to pay back my loan and then some. Then I am faced with a choice.

At this point my production costs become significantly lower. I can make a larger profit by selling the same goods at the same price as before. Because I am the only producer of this product i control supply of it. The best way for me to go is to smoothly increase production volume and smoothly decrease prices. I use a good part of my profits to increase my output and then engage in profit taking. I am doing this for a very good reason. Any day colfresh, a prominent tooth brush making company, can decide to grab my idea and make millions of these tooth brushes at a much lower cost because they have larger production volume. I do not want this to happen because it will sink my business. But what if I could get a law passed that will only allow me to create this product?

Say hello to patents. A patent will protect me while my business is growing. It will offer protection to the bank who I have lent money from and to potential investors. I can stop a competitor from creating the same product for a limited amount of time so that I can get the idea launched. That is what patent law is for.

If I don't act on it, or otherwise sell the patent to a company that will, it will expire and everyone will get my idea for free. The reason for this is that even though ideas are cool, they are pretty fucking worthless. But lobby groups for patent law don't see things that way. They have found a hole in the patent system and they are extremely ready to exploit it at every opportunity.

They push out ideas into patents constantly and then refuse to act on those ideas, instead waiting for others to have the same idea, act on it, and then they sue claiming that the idea was stolen from them. Even if it was, acting on an idea is worth much more than the idea itself.

The act of turning an idea into a product or service is entrepeneurshp or business and consists of getting money, planning, hiring people, marketing the product etc... patent trolling consists of creating a patent, suing and then reaping the profits without any of the intermediate steps.

To make matters worse there are so many ideas you will realise that any idea you have has already been patented by someone else, and you are simply lucky if you don't get sued. Sometimes they will lie in wait until your product has become extremely successful before they sue, because it's more profitable to sue you when you are successful.

Not only do these companies not take part in the actual work of developing an idea into something with actual value, they also avoid all the risk. They let others take a risk with an idea they are aware of and if they see it succeeding they simply sue to get a slice of a pie that they  knew the recipe to, but did not bake. It is a pure insult to hard working people that patents are used to make free money.

Litigation is costly, and I have a feeling that many settle out of court because they simply want to avoid the mess of a law system that favours the couch potato. I have seen ideas that I had had before being implemented. Of course I did not have patents on them, but the fact that someone else had the same idea proves something.

The human race lives in a global village that, by becoming bigger is feeling a whole lot more cramped. Your neighbours now consist of everyone. Our thoughts converge and connect the same dots to come up with new ideas. How can it be fair that somebody who had an idea and acted on it, should pay someone who had the same idea, but only registered it as HIS idea? He is the god of that idea, even though other's thoughts converge to make the same conclusions that result in the creation of that idea.

The most indefensible concept behind patent law is patent law pertaining to the medical world. Every little medical discovery, however small, is patented. When new researchers come along they have to make sure not to step on patents in the minefield of patents that already exist.

Essentially the medical companies sitting on these patents and not developing products based on them are choosing not to potentially save lives so that they can make more money. There is no price on human health, unless you are one of these assholes.

"You mentioned revolution in your title... did you forget?"  Nope. The revolution started when people started to give back software to communities for free. I am typing this in Firefox on the Kubuntu operating system, both free software applications. Both free and open source. If these philosophies make it into medicine we might have hope in the future.