2019-06-29 Property

Cory Doctorow writes in Locus magazine about Locke, property, Aloha, Poke, Terra Nullius, Australia.

The labor theory of property always begins with an act of erasure: “All the people who created, used, and improved this thing before me were doing something banal and unimportant – but my contribution is the step that moved this thing from a useless, unregarded commons to a special, proprietary, finished good.”

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It always feels weird to be that the relation of ownership is one-sided in the western culture, while all the human relations are always two-sided. You can still see it a little in ownership of pets: when you are the owner, you are responsible to caring about it, and if you are not doing your part, you will lose it. Today the only responsibility you have in owning most things is paying for them, once, when you acquire them. That doesn’t seem right, and I think the laws should reflect that.

deshipu 2019-06-29 12:26 UTC


Yeah. Same for company founders having shares and earning dividends. Yes, they took a risk, and they invested their money (not too much in IT, usually) and make money, and that’s fine. But for how for long would you think is fair? That’s what I often ask co-workers. How long should founders benefit from their decisions they made back then. Ten years? Twenty years? A hundred years? For ever and ever until the heat death of the universe? Our society appears to have settled on the last option and the only solace we have is family strife, war, and revolution, apparently. That’s not good.

– Alex Schroeder 2019-06-29 17:15 UTC


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