Post for Jan 6-12 2013

TaN: In this Information Age (via the World Wide Web), are patents, copyrights, and intellectual property rights still “viable” – and, more importantly, morally defensible?  There is ever increasing pressure and effort to obstruct and hinder the free flow of information through restrictive legal claims over every innovation and invention to the point that it is no longer encouraging but rather stifling and strangling creativity and human flourishing.

At this point in our evolutionary journey we should have attained that level of (intellectual, emotional, spiritual, and all other) maturity where we no longer quarrel over trivial things such as private ownership, as money, as power.  These should have been outgrown in our immature years when we resolve issues with physical violence, when we resort to trickery and deception to put ourselves above others, when we conspire and scheme to covet what belongs to others.

Mainstream mindset has been “convinced” that patents and copyrights and intellectual property rights are the way to go because it incentivizes people to innovate and to invent and to pursue knowledge because they can “monopolize” it (for a duration), ensuring that they will gain (financially) without fear or apprehension that others will unjustly also benefit from their labor.  This is the mindset of greed.

Especially for products, this stifles progress because, since man’s products are never perfect, there will always be inherent flaws and defects.  However, due to the prohibitions of patents, of copyrights, and of intellectual property rights, the flaws cannot be corrected or remedied by anyone else but the patent or right holder.  If the holder is unable or is ignorant of the flaw, the product remains unimproved.  In a way, this violates the consumer from availing of the full potential benefit derivable from the product.

If we take the perspective of advocates of openness and freedom, releasing the product to everyone means more minds will be able to work on the product and develop myriads of remedies to the flaws.  This way, everybody wins – even the patent/right holder.  Aside from recognition – from his altruism and philanthropy – a nominal royalty may be awarded for every direct variant of his/her product.

Contrary to what is being espoused and heralded by stooges of corporate greed and of control, knowledge is one of two things in this world that is NEVER diminished when given away.  In fact, it grows and feeds on sharing.  The more it spreads, the more people will benefit.  To restrict the spreading and free flow of knowledge is to impede advancement or progress.  It is through the free sharing of knowledge that people flourish.

Only by our labor should we gain.  Natural resources were provided – including our ancestors – freely.  It is not right to have propriety over things just because we happen to chance upon them before anyone else.  Ownership should come from labor, but not from natural resources and materials.  And, property should only be applied to material things.  Property over ethereal things should be limited to being acknowledged as the discoverer or originator.

Insofar as information is concerned, it should have no impediment whatsoever and human flourishing will soar and spread exponentially.  The only risk is the danger that openness and freedom can bring when it is used by irresponsible and immature people.

TaN: Blue zones bely claims of Big Business – Big Pharma and Big Chemical (that disease and sickness are natural progressions of aging), Big Food (that processed (read: junk) and fortified foods and even (synhesized) food supplements (and worst of all, GE & GM foods) are better than natural food and water), and Big Ag (that GM and that GE crops are the savior to fight hunger and poverty).

Blue zones are remote, isolated areas (scattered all over the world) where people live long and (relatively) disease-free lives.  They differ in environmental conditions and in cultural lifestyles.  Some even indulge in activities conventional medicine considers unhealthy – like smoking and like drinking alcohol.  Because of this, it belies the claims of conventional medicine regarding healthy and unhealthy habits.

However, before we jump to incorrect conclusions and even add to the already confusing and contradicting information being perpetuated, let us examine the circumstances more closely because we may be mislead into situations we do not want.

First, it is important to understand that what is healthy to a particular blue zone does not necessarily follow that it is, likewise, healthy in another.  There can be a world of difference between what is healthy in different blue zones.  It must be understood that, as in all else in this universe, everything is relative – especially when it comes to what is beneficial and what is detrimental (i.e., what is beneficial to one may be detrimental to another, what is healthy to one may be unhealthy to another).  One must be aware of how to interpret and understand and properly apply the wisdom of God.

Case in point is the notion that, for us, plant foods are healthy and animal foods are not.  However, for the Inuit (of Alaska and of Greenland) not only animal food (as in walrus and in seals) are particularly healthy but their traditional diet consists of 60-70 animal fat or blubber and the rest meat – in contrast to the popular idea that their diet is fish.  And, as mentioned above, some inhabitants of blue zones smoke tobacco and drink alcohol and lead healthy lives.

Finally, hundreds – even thousands – of years before there was even the slightest notion of pharmaceuticals and of processed foods and of chemical agriculture, people have been living, getting sick, getting cured, and getting immunity and all without the benefit of Big Pharma, of Big Foods, and of Big Ag.  If they are as essential to our survival and health as they claim, mankind would have died out eons ago and there would be no Blue Zones (today) attesting to the contrary.  And, as the reports of the United Nations and many other international studies have been showing – that we are producing more food per area of planted land as never before even before the advent of genetic engineering – there is no reason for people to be hungry and even less reason for genetically engineering and modifying our food to increase yields.

Wake up, it is all about CONTROL, POWER, and the MONEY.

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