Archive for the ‘ So What? ’ Category

On Posts On Roissy’s Disappearance has disappeared, but the blog seems to be at now.

This change has prompted bloggers in the “man-o-sphere” or whatever to report it like news.

Hawaiian Libertarian

Alpha Game

Half Sigma

Only Half Sigma asks interesting questions about the changeover.

… maybe the original Roissy no longer runs the blog, and the guys currently running the blog got sick and tired of people thinking they were Roissy, so they got rid of the old domain name which was Or maybe Roissy just wants the world to think he’s no longer running the blog?

Maybe the real question should be, “Who gives a shit?”

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not merely being dismissive of the contributions that Roissy has made. I’m simply observing that there’s a difference between the artist and the art. The only salient question is the impact the writing has on your life. If people care who the current authors are or whether Roissy is continuing other another name, the understandable reason would have to do with the reputation he’s developed and the attendant expectations about his writing being reliable when applied.

Right now, it’s all just speculation about fact; speculation which will bear no fruit. Instead, wait to see if the future writing, assuming there is any, is as good as it was. Why care who writes it?

You need Pollock to explain his art? Too bad, he’s dead. Time to walk on your own.






The Library of Congress and DMCA – So What?

From The Organization of Transformative Works on July 26th:

The Library Of Congress is about to release a  ruling granting a DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) exemption to makers of noncommercial remix, which includes vidding, anime music videos, political remix videos and the like. Previously film studies professors had the only exemption: now documentary filmmakers, makers of noncommercial video, and media studies teachers are also permitted to circumvent DMCA technologies if they need to in order to teach or to make artistic statements. (The DMCA exemption applies to you if you are in the U.S. or if someone tries to apply U.S. law to your work.)

The exemptions to DMCA also extend to protections for cell-phone jailbreaks.

Great news, right? Of course this means that the likelihood you’ll be prosecuted or otherwise held accountable for engaging in this “infringement” on a copyright goes from way less than 1% to even closer (but not actually) to 0%.

DMCA infringement, and indeed most piracy, is subject to The Enforcement-Expedient Rule (which probably has an actual name that someone else thought of before I did):

The resources expended on solving a crime is directly proportional to the political expedience of solving those crime.

This means that more famous, powerful, or rich the victim or the suspect, the more resources will be expended. The resource expenditure is also related to the seriousness of the crime. Murder, for example, becomes instantly important if someone finds out about it (a photograph of a dismembered arm in a landfill appears in the newspaper), or if the person murdered missing is a rich white girl. This is because resources are limited, even resources dedicated to the prevention of, solution of, and retribution for crimes.

It would be totally easy for anyone who cared to bust the average movie pirate, and even easier to bust a mashup artist. This rarely happens, though, and when it does, it’s for the purposes of making an example of someone by completely ruining their life. The expenditure for litigation by the Recording Industry Artists of America, for example, was massively greater than the funds recouped, and is a losing PR battle as well. The upshot? Nobody cares if you rip off movies, and nobody cares if you mashup copyrighted materials, really, nobody cares if you copy and duplicate DVDs and sell them (visit Little Italy or Times Square sometime), and unless you become a big enough target, then nobody will take you down.

So the Library of Congress ruling isn’t really a “victory” for pirates, it’s an acknowledgment that there’s no money in robbing them.

Communication and Convention

Yesterday, I emerged from my cave and heard on the radio, for the first time, “Rude Boy” by Rihanna. Not gonna lie, I like this track. I downloaded it when I returned home and have listened to it half a dozen times in the past day.

The lyrics “Come here rude boy, boy is you big enough?” doesn’t use the correct form of the verb “to be.” The “correct” version of this would be, “… boy, are you big enough?”

But we’re talking about entertainment and communication, here, so this is a big, fat SO WHAT?

(nsfw blogger) puts it nicely:

I am aware of most of my errors. However, this is a blog and I’m not going to go back and check and correct every little error. If I have the time, I’ll proofread, or go back and correct little errors. However, when I write, I usually only have 10-15 minutes free, which basically means that I’m not going to check for every little error or look up the proper way to word something. The way I see it is that this isn’t a term paper, and almost all of you get what I’m trying to say anyway, so it’s not that big of a deal.

I’m not saying convention isn’t important, I’m just saying it isn’t always necessary.

Say Goodbye to Free Stuff

CNN has an article pointing out the obvious: Full-time jobs with benefits are on the outs.

Jobs may be coming back, but they aren’t the same ones workers were used to.

Many of the jobs employers are adding are temporary or contract positions, rather than traditional full-time jobs with benefits.

This is what I like to call a “so what?” moment. Employers are trying to find ways to cut costs. In a buyer’s market for jobs, what is the incentive for employers to pay for benefits? Benefits are provided at the expense of the employer, but so is the salary of the employee. Salary and benefits, combined, represent the compensation package for an employee. It’s totally reasonable that an employer could arrange with an employee (full-time or not) to increase take-home pay and decrease benefits. Both come from the same place. Of course, many people think of benefits as something full-time employees have a right to (and if indeed they do, a change to employment patters is even more to be expected).

HT: The Crybabies at C&L.

Christians are hypocrites, but so what?

Voting for a political party and representing that party aren’t the same thing. “One time, I saw a Republican kick a dog.” This doesn’t mean the Republican platform is a bad thing. “George Bush kicked a dog.” This also doesn’t mean the Republican platform is a bad thing. However, to a great extent, Bush speaks for the Republican party, and some people will reject the Republican platform for such a canine-abusive indiscretion. So it’s probably better for the party if Bush doesn’t go around kicking dogs.

“George Bush voted to raise taxes.” This also doesn’t mean that the Republican party platform is a bad thing because raising taxes isn’t a part of that platform. As in the previous case, though, Bush speaks for the Republican party, and this act of tax raising is not consistent with that platform, and more than in the dog-kicking case, people may perceive a change in the platform itself because someone who represents that platform has done something inconsistent with it. People might reject the Republican platform because they either don’t like the new take on it, or they don’t like inherent conflict between the supposed platform and the actions of its representative.

Now suppose there is an immutable platform for another political party. Let us call this party “Christianity.” ‘Christians’ might be ‘voters’ and ‘Prophets’ might be representatives of this platform. All the time voters will be doing things that contradict the platform, yet when asked who they’d vote for, these people would still vote for Jesus Christ. People get confused that there is only one “Prophet” and that, as person X is concerned, he can’t contradict himself or betray the platform, because either he’s perfect, dead, or nonexistent, depending on person X’s perspective. All Christians are going to betray the platform. While this may very well mean they are full of crap, it doesn’t mean the platform is.

I think you have to trust that people are capable of distinguishing the two, the preponderance of evidence aside.