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R-F
18-11-2011, 11:45 AM
I really don't understand this. Gamers who defend ridiculous EULAs and the like, saying they're perfectly legal. Who happily sign away their rights with statements like "I've entered a binding contract THERE IS NOTHING YOU OR I CAN DO", despite the fact most EULAs are a massive breach of statutory and consumer rights.

Can someone explain this to me?

thegooseking
18-11-2011, 11:54 AM
Maybe because (in the UK at least) consumer rights cannot be waived and any EULA that attempts to do so is, in those clauses, legally non-binding.

metalangel
18-11-2011, 11:56 AM
You might try asking people on Eurogamer if you want the pro-'I'm happy to sign away my life' angle.

R-F
18-11-2011, 11:59 AM
Maybe because (in the UK at least) consumer rights cannot be waived and any EULA that attempts to do so is, in those clauses, legally non-binding.

I know this. THEY DON'T.

When I try to educate them on it, it ends up being a case of me being told I'm wrong because COMPANIES DON'T DO ANYTHING WRONG. D:

sabrage
18-11-2011, 12:01 PM
Who cares. Nobody wants to have someone else's views forced on them, and nobody likes reading EULAs.

R-F
18-11-2011, 12:03 PM
Who cares. Nobody wants to have someone else's views forced on them, and nobody likes reading EULAs.

WHAT.

/10char

Drake Sigar
18-11-2011, 12:12 PM
It's cool. Lots of people wouldn't mind signing away their consumer rights for convenience. What's important is that they can't, as Goose pointed out. At least in the countries that don't suck.

deano2099
18-11-2011, 01:16 PM
It's cool. Lots of people wouldn't mind signing away their consumer rights for convenience. What's important is that they can't, as Goose pointed out. At least in the countries that don't suck.

Which I get. I get people that just can't be arsed with it and so don't feel the need to take a stand against it. 90% of the time I'm one of them.

But who the jibbering fuck are the people in comments threads and forums that feel the need to defend it? That take time out of their day argue the cause for big business? Are they all EA shareholders? It baffles me, it really does, and frankly it's dangerous when it comes to the future and actually get new consumer laws to get this stuff fixed.

DRM and EULAs are quite transparently not for the benefit of the consumer. Even the companies behind them admit they're an inconvenience and only defend them as a necessity. It's like someone complaining they got bad service at a restaurant, the restaurateur admitting the service was poor, and then some random bloke turning up and saying "how dare you criticise the restaurant, there is no guarantee of service, they can serve you whatever they want, so just shut up".

R-F
18-11-2011, 01:19 PM
Which I get. I get people that just can't be arsed with it and so don't feel the need to take a stand against it. 90% of the time I'm one of them.

But who the jibbering fuck are the people in comments threads and forums that feel the need to defend it? That take time out of their day argue the cause for big business? Are they all EA shareholders? It baffles me, it really does, and frankly it's dangerous when it comes to the future and actually get new consumer laws to get this stuff fixed.

DRM and EULAs are quite transparently not for the benefit of the consumer. Even the companies behind them admit they're an inconvenience and only defend them as a necessity. It's like someone complaining they got bad service at a restaurant, the restaurateur admitting the service was poor, and then some random bloke turning up and saying "how dare you criticise the restaurant, there is no guarantee of service, they can serve you whatever they want, so just shut up".

If it irritates you, go look here (http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/thread/332034/page/1). You will fucking rage.

Hirmetrium
18-11-2011, 01:39 PM
The behaviour in that linked thread is disgusting. People are laying in and just saying "don't be an arse, your behaviour will reoccur, its justified". When you ignore the fact that INNOCENTS are being banned, then yes. I am also of the crowd that, POTENTIALLY, if you are being a dick on forums you will be a dick in game and thus need to be banned from both.

But, they are ignoring the entire article, and don't seem to have read it at all - at which point they would realise that simply posting in EA's forums puts them at risk. And there is no arbitration(spl?) process whatsoever if they are ever banned from anywhere for any reason.

This goes far beyond forums - we're talking about a major impact to the wider EA network. I don't think many people understand that.

arienette
18-11-2011, 01:57 PM
First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

Someone who isn't at work can take the time to replace with more relevant groups.

Taidan
18-11-2011, 04:57 PM
First they came for people who didn't have internet connections...

vinraith
18-11-2011, 05:05 PM
Maybe because (in the UK at least) consumer rights cannot be waived and any EULA that attempts to do so is, in those clauses, legally non-binding.

This argument has always struck me as absolutely fascinating. Speaking as someone from the US I'm quite confident I have no such protections anyway, but this absolute faith in the government to protect you from corporations is just so completely alien. It strikes me as akin to saying "I'm not worried about that guy pointing a gun at me, it'd be illegal for him to shoot me."

Smashbox
18-11-2011, 05:22 PM
I understand what you mean, but the main difference is that they would have to bring legal action against you, and laws protect you in that arena. Also, some US states will protect you more than others from underhanded EULAings

metalangel
18-11-2011, 05:27 PM
this absolute faith in the government to protect you from corporations is just so completely alien. It strikes me as akin to saying "I'm not worried about that guy pointing a gun at me, it'd be illegal for him to shoot me."

He couldn't have a gun anyway, guns are all but illegal, because why would people (in the UK) need guns? The government will protect you with the police and military. If he does have a gun he must be a criminal and the police will catch him because that's what they do, so sleep soundly in your bed, we'll ensure he's dealt with, you don't have to worry, citizen.

Zetetic
18-11-2011, 05:27 PM
This argument has always struck me as absolutely fascinating. Speaking as someone from the US I'm quite confident I have no such protections anyway, but this absolute faith in the government to protect you from corporations is just so completely alien.
At the very least consideration is a fairly major part of any developed nation's contract law. Certainly I'd suggest that there are EULAs that companies would struggle to enforce simply on the basis that the restrictions and demands placed on the consumer are so utterly disproportionate to the benefit afforded to them. (Edit: However, I hadn't realised that this too is less of an issue in the United States. So, perhaps you're absolutely right, alas.)


It strikes me as akin to saying "I'm not worried about that guy pointing a gun at me, it'd be illegal for him to shoot me." Well, it shouldn't. Ultimately the companies have to enforce the EULA via the legal system - while there are issues there, with representation being linked to how rich you are, whether or not the contract is legally viable is the core of the issue.

Of course, these days, there's the issue of technical restrictions, and the infringements on legal rights in that manner. That's perhaps much harder to tackle, because it requires pro-active consumers, and arguably the money-power issues are much worse in that case.

vinraith
18-11-2011, 05:35 PM
I understand what you mean, but the main difference is that they would have to bring legal action against you, and laws protect you in that arena. Also, some US states will protect you more than others from underhanded EULAings

Well no, in the instances I'm thinking about they turn off my access to the game and in order to get it back *I* would have to bring legal action against *them.* That's probably not going to happen, and they know it. If it did, it would doubtless be a long and expensive process to fight their "right to discontinue my service at any time" per the contract I agreed to. That the whole thing may technically be illegal doesn't provide much practical protection.

Smashbox
18-11-2011, 05:38 PM
Oh yes, true indeed. I was thinking less along these lines and more along the 'forfeit your rights to class action lawsuits or legal actions' clauses that have been appearing more often.

But you're right, if you agree to their right to turn off your 'service' (your game!) they can do that. Good luck arguing it in court, too.

Zetetic
18-11-2011, 05:41 PM
Expanding on vinraith, above, I don't think that this is at all limited to games. Copyright and the issue of licensing media has perhaps been largely undermined by both the technical ease of duplication that's been afforded by digital media in some cases, and the excessive (and largely arbitrary in so far as they aren't something that's been decided democratically or even in a free market but oligopolies) technical restrictions imposed in others. The legal issues have been largely overtaken by the technical ones.

I think vinraith does neglect class-actions, which in the United States are all the more important. That will most likely provide a recourse in the event of any major moves by, say, Steam. Doesn't much help those that are fighting their personal battles with the service today, I appreciate that.

Smashbox
18-11-2011, 05:49 PM
Did somebody mention a broader copyright conversation?

US-RPSers should be very worried about the SOPA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop_Online_Piracy_Act) bill in the House right now.

"Opponents of the bill include corporations and organizations such as Google, Yahoo!, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, AOL, LinkedIn, eBay, Mozilla Corporation, and Wikimedia Foundation, as well as human rights organizations such as Reporters Without Borders, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Human Rights Watch."

vinraith
18-11-2011, 06:11 PM
Expanding on vinraith, above, I don't think that this is at all limited to games. Copyright and the issue of licensing media has perhaps been largely undermined by both the technical ease of duplication that's been afforded by digital media in some cases, and the excessive (and largely arbitrary in so far as they aren't something that's been decided democratically or even in a free market but oligopolies) technical restrictions imposed in others. The legal issues have been largely overtaken by the technical ones.

I think vinraith does neglect class-actions, which in the United States are all the more important. That will most likely provide a recourse in the event of any major moves by, say, Steam. Doesn't much help those that are fighting their personal battles with the service today, I appreciate that.

I'm mainly thinking in terms of individual cases, but it's worth noting that the present USSC has been steadily dismantling the entire class action system. I'm not even sure it'll be an option by the time they're done.

Taidan
18-11-2011, 08:03 PM
Did somebody mention a broader copyright conversation?

US-RPSers should be very worried about the SOPA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop_Online_Piracy_Act) bill in the House right now.

Not just the US-ers among us, sadly.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/access.3cdn.net/ea0af5a75bcbfe15c4_v0m6bxvv4.pdf

Smashbox
18-11-2011, 08:08 PM
What an incredible demonstration of poorly informed decision-making/understanding of digital technologies.

deano2099
18-11-2011, 08:21 PM
Well no, in the instances I'm thinking about they turn off my access to the game and in order to get it back *I* would have to bring legal action against *them.* That's probably not going to happen, and they know it. If it did, it would doubtless be a long and expensive process to fight their "right to discontinue my service at any time" per the contract I agreed to. That the whole thing may technically be illegal doesn't provide much practical protection.

Yeah, but you're ignoring the elephant in the room. The one with 'piracy' tattood on his trunk.

Because that's your practical fix. Sure, they can take my games away. But truth is, I only paid for their games because I chose to or wanted the convenience. Which makes the whole thing a joke. "Oh no, they took my games whatever will I do?" - install the crack from GameCopyWorld if it's already installed. May take ten minutes. If I hadn't downloaded it already, may take a few hours.

Fact is, they're not taking our stuff, they're taking the time from us that'll it'll take to get it back. I have over 300 games on Steam. I do occasionally worry I might end up getting hacked and have some misunderstanding make me lose them. But I don't worry that much. Because if that happened I'd just never buy another game in my life.

Fun fact: the people using digital distribution services for games are well ahead of the curve technologically. They're the exact same people that know where to get pirated stuff. Remember when music piracy became ridiculously widespread so everyone was doing it? That why iTunes doesn't have this shit. That's why even the DRM'd stuff can be backed up and moved about and there are never stories of it being 'turned off'. The music industry had already lost.

So that's why I'm not bothered. Because to stop me pirating, they have to sue me. They have to take me to court. Me, and my receipts showing I legitimately bought those games. And the fun thing about that is that a judge that knows what he's talking about will see it's unfair, and one that doesn't will equally just see someone suing me over stealing something I've paid for.

[Sidenote: it's also why I'm a lot more careful with, say, my WoW account, as the time put into that is something I can pirate].

archonsod
18-11-2011, 10:10 PM
This argument has always struck me as absolutely fascinating. Speaking as someone from the US I'm quite confident I have no such protections anyway, but this absolute faith in the government to protect you from corporations is just so completely alien. It strikes me as akin to saying "I'm not worried about that guy pointing a gun at me, it'd be illegal for him to shoot me."

A lot of it is simply incorrect and woefully optimistic. The EULA thing is a good one for example. The reason a EULA would not stand up in court has nothing to do with the terms within it, but how you agreed to it. If you're old enough to remember the retail release of Windows 95 you probably recall the boxes had a seal on them with a notice that by breaking the seal you agreed to Microsoft's EULA. The EULA of course was contained inside the box. Now that would immediately be thrown out, since you have to agree to the terms of the agreement before you're allowed to see the agreement.
These days it doesn't apply. Particularly in relation to things like Steam, which not only presents the EULA before you purchase the game, but makes you tick a box to say you agree before you do so too. Consumer law protects you against predatory companies, it does nothing to protect you against your own stupidity. Checking that box is treated the equivalent of signing a contract, and the first thing you'd be asked if you took it to court is why you agreed in the first place if you had a problem with it. "I wanted the game" is not likely to hold up as an excuse. Another thing regarding the access to games - the box you tick says you understand and agree with the terms of service, and in those Steam state explicitly you are buying a subscription to their service, and they may terminate said service at any time. It's perfectly legal for them to sell said service, and since they have explicitly stated they are doing so you can't even claim misleading advertising. Unless of course you didn't read the EULA, but that's why they tell you to read contracts before you sign them.

Oh, and in respect of enforceability, the thing to note is that there's no such thing as a legally enforceable contract as such. The only people who are allowed to make legally binding decisions are judges. A contract is simply a formal agreement between two parties, ultimately it would be up to a court to decide what parts did or did not apply, should it ever come to arbitration. There's a wealth of guidelines and the like, but there's no such thing as a bulletproof contract, nor should you assume that just because the agreement is heavily weighted in favour of one party over another a court would dismiss it either. The judge is there to arbitrate the disagreement, not enforce the prior agreement.

db1331
18-11-2011, 10:14 PM
I read the title of this thread as:
Gamer's Willingness to Sign Away Their Statutory Rape (http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/forums/showthread.php?2083-Gamer-s-Willingness-to-Sign-Away-Their-Statutory-Rights/page2)



I was extremely confused in the two seconds it took for the page to load before I looked at the title again.

Wulf
18-11-2011, 10:34 PM
The funny thing is that we have a few of these people here amongst the RPS ranks, so this is... I don't know, I wish I could find it funny, but it's not, is it? It's actually just basely disappointing.

See, a few days back we were talking about Origin. The discussions surrounded EA's banning antics, something that is supported by their EULA, where if you get banned from the forums, you get banned from the game. This was working the way they planned it (not sure if they've back-pedalled since), and I found that disgusting. Sure, you might blow up on the forums and disagree with a moderator, a biased moderator might get you banned from the forums. No big deal, right? Except that also locks you out of games. Lots of fun for everyone.

Now, I spoke out against that, as did others. But those who did were told to shut their dirty mouths and to just deal with it, because everything was all good and right, and we were just spewing blind hatred for EA. Yeah, blind hatred. Really. That's a thing that happened. I could name names, but I won't, the guilty parties there will know who they were, especially since they tore one person apart for having the stones to disagree with them a tiny bit.

The ganging up that happened in that thread was... I don't have a word for it, can you help me? It wasn't disgusting, it was something much worse. Is there a word that combines disgusting and insidious in equal amounts? If so, it was that. But it was worse than that, it was rot. They really should have known better. I've never aimed 'mindless corporate shilldrone' at any RPS reader, but that day? That day... I was tempted to.

It seems that if a publisher publishes a game you like, then any unlawful wrongs they commit get a free pass, and anyone who dares speak the truth of these unlawful wrongs, you get torn apart by fans of the game. Really, that's just... yeah. If ArenaNet pulled this shit, or Cryptic did, then I'd be the first to yell at them about not having any scruples, I'd definitely not defend that sort of shit. I guess I just can't get my mind to understand that way of thinking.

There are many days when I wonder to myself... when I was being constructed, in the womb, were there simply just ways of thinking that were left out? That I'm just completely incapable of? This seems to be one of them.

deano2099
19-11-2011, 12:47 AM
Another thing regarding the access to games - the box you tick says you understand and agree with the terms of service, and in those Steam state explicitly you are buying a subscription to their service, and they may terminate said service at any time.

That's actually where my layman's reading sees the problem as being. Because contracts generally have to have to have at least some sort of balanced consideration on either side. So, for example, I'd be protected from a contract that said I was going to give you 200 a month for the next three years for no reason. And where software as a service is traditionally offered, it's in business where there are clauses on either side: eg. the provider has a right to cancel the service at any time, but if they do they have to pay a given fine and so on.

The problem with things like the Steam EULA is it's saying: "You give us $50 and we promise to give you nothing". Steam could, theoretically under the EULA, cancel the service the second after you pay for the game. That's the legal problem as I see it. Steam are taking money for doing nothing at all. In reality they provide you with the game, but legally they don't have to. I don't think you can do that.

The deeper point is that consumer goods are not meant to be sold this way. You're not meant to constantly sell lots of small in-perpetuity contracts for services for a one-off payment. Even where we have laws, they weren't written to handle this. You either buy goods, a one-off payment for ever, a recurring subscription, where you're guaranteed service for period X, then you pay again for more, or a one-off subscription (rental) where you pay once for access for so long.

Not to say that Steam's way of doing things is wrong, just the laws that we try to fall back on were really not written with Steam in mind.


There are many days when I wonder to myself... when I was being constructed, in the womb, were there simply just ways of thinking that were left out? That I'm just completely incapable of? This seems to be one of them.
I think it stems from this bizarre thing in gaming where everything has to be a moral issue. We all have to fight for our core beliefs, and there are only two sides: DRM, piracy, DLC, Origin, Steam... you're either with them or against them. On all five of those, I see shades of gray. I'm not sure. Both sides have merit to their arguement. People really don't like that on internet forums. It's frowned upon to have a discussion rather than an argument. It's frowned upon to talk logically instead of just espousing your deep-seated moral belief that Steam is either evil or Jesus. Either you're a hater or a fanboy. No in-between.

So then when you get something that really should be a proper, moral issue. An issue of rights, things get confused. People just fall back into their camps. It becomes another case of anthropomorphising companies and deciding that they're evil or good. Instead of looking at the wide picture.

DigitalSignalX
19-11-2011, 12:53 AM
I read the title of this thread as:
Gamer's Willingness to Sign Away Their Statutory Rape (http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/forums/showthread.php?2083-Gamer-s-Willingness-to-Sign-Away-Their-Statutory-Rights/page2)
I was extremely confused in the two seconds it took for the page to load before I looked at the title again.

So, you work in college athletics, amiright?

Taidan
19-11-2011, 12:55 AM
There are many days when I wonder to myself... when I was being constructed, in the womb, were there simply just ways of thinking that were left out? That I'm just completely incapable of? This seems to be one of them.

This problem, of course goes, a lot deeper than Gamers simply being unthinking arseholes at times, and not appreciating that it should be our demand that fuels what the industry supplies us with, instead of the other way around.

It's the single most harmful thing that's happening to our entire species right now.

It's a mode of behaviour so destructive that it's f**king up pretty much everything that Humanity stands for.

The problem is that Humans don't naturally know how to think. It's something that has to be taught, and worse still, its polar opposite, "unthinking" can also be taught. Humans are strange creatures. In modern society, there is no "normal" method of behaviour that our biological evolution compels us to follow. Instead, we mimic. We take cues first from our parents and family, and then as we grow older from other authority figures, and from our peers.

The entire educational system has been perverted and twisted in such a way that the poor bastards who go through it usually emerge practically useless, except as simple slaves to be exploited for the current economic system. Very few people are taught to question everything and to learn for themselves. Instead, they are taught at a very vulnerable age that being a successful person means being better than the person next to you at whatever arbitrary task is thrown your way by an authority figure.

"Follow this simple task, and do it better than everyone else, or you won't get a nice job when you graduate, and thus won't be able to live the lifestyle that TV advertising and Hollywood movies have brainwashed you since birth into believing is how normal happy people live."

(TV advertising and Hollywood movies in this case being what we know as a "Super-Peer". A form of peer-pressure that supersedes and even sometimes replaces the traditional influence of the immediate peer group.)

Now, there's no great conspiracy theory here. I mean, there might be, but it's a lot more likely that this is just a natural result of the ineffectual design of the modern school system, and its simple need to provide workers for industry far surpassing any noble ambitions anybody might have about actually educating people to be better... people.

(This isn't just a modern phenomenon by any means of the imagination, either. Before this, we had religious dogma, rueful superstition and just plain ignorance pretty much having the same effect.)

Uh... crap. losing train of thought here. Back on topic!

Anyway, the net result of all of this is that that we have entire swathes of the population who have no idea how to think or behave, and worst of all, have no idea of their own self-worth. Instead, they put their blind faith in the authority of whoever the hell wants to put on airs and tell them what to do, what to think and whether or not they are doing a good job of being a person or not.

This why some people gleefully throw their money at game publishers who treat them with increasing contempt, and who continually keep moving the sliding scale of what we get for our money when we pay for games to the effect that we're getting an increasing bad deal so that the publishers can profit more. This is why they so vocally defend these actions that are clearly against their own interests in favour of making already rich complete strangers ever more rich, to their own detriment.

It's because they simply don't understand how the system works, they don't want to understand, and so they just put their trust in the authority in question, and then try to justify this argument after the fact.

This is also why some people blindly bow to absent, imaginary Gods and refuse to take responsibility for their own lives, even though it's plain to the rest of us that they've just been hoodwinked by other men, and why these people will sometimes even commit acts of violence and murder to defend this deception.

This is why people believe in and vote for politicians that clearly don't represent their interests, but instead represent only themselves and powerful rich lobbyists who are only interested in ever more inventful ways of making themselves richer at everyone else's expense, and will vehemently argue blindly in favour of these same bastards that are continually screwing them.

Hell, This is why people vote at all, and that will argue blindly that their vote makes a difference, despite the fact that the deck has clearly been stacked against them from the start and whichever one of the two main parties get in won't make a jot of difference to how their lives are run.

This is why bullshit like SOPA and the like get seriously considered and sometimes passed into law by governments, the very same governments that we only permit to exist to serve us, the people, despite the fact that they are clearly only there to benefit hugely rich private corporations, while infringing on the privacy and rights of the rest of the population.

This is why people talk about the economy as if it was some kind of natural phenomena, such as the weather or the tides or such, and why many people suffer and even starve as a result of this economy, that our leaders to seem to be complete unable to tame and repair, despite the fact that it's actually an entirely arbitrary man-made construct that should only exist to serve us, and not the other way around as it is at the moment.

This is why people will fight blindly in favour of not letting an imaginary economy suffer in favour of the very real health of our Earth's environment, and who are leading us on a desperate gamble that could very probably lead to billions of deaths, or possibly even the extinction of our whole species.

Et cetera, et cetera, so on and so forth.

/RAGE

Nalano
19-11-2011, 01:18 AM
The problem is that Humans don't naturally know how to think. It's something that has to be taught, and worse still, its polar opposite, "unthinking" can also be taught

The devastation of the educational system (which used to be excellent, by the way, not only in making innovative engineers but also in making free-thinking activists) and the predominance of economics and marketing propaganda in any discussion of society at large points to what I believe to be the problem at heart: Our capitalist system. It is destroying our democracy in the name of wealth redistribution towards the top.

Hopefully we progress to a system of Eudaimonia, but until then virtue is currently defined as economic success. It's corrupted our government, in that under normal circumstances the state should do everything that facilitates the smooth running of the state, which we've defined over the past eighty years as everything that isn't profitable (as private businesses will do those things for us). However, now we demand that the government also run profitably, and are willing to undermine the smooth running of the state to enforce that, to the point where we put business moguls in government positions and let them dictate public policy.

This current EULA thing is of the same bent as the banks' predatory policy towards the poorest of their customers, and the fact that, even if the customers are cognizant of the imbalanced relationship (thanks to marketing propaganda, misinformation campaigns, and wholesale defunding of education), the laws (thanks to lobbyists, misinformation campaigns, and CEO "experts" in the White House cabinet and Congressional committees) are already enforcing the status quo.

Zetetic
19-11-2011, 01:27 AM
In reply to Taidan:
I think you're adverting to mechanisms that are really quite unnecessary for the issue at hand.

While I'm sure modelling and so forth of acceptability of Origin and Steam (say) has some effect, I think you're being obtuse and frankly condescending to suggest that there's no way that a rational human being could choose to use these services. (Although, this presumably bottoms out on your belief that you are one of a select group of such creatures who have managed to unleash their potential, and that the way that those other apes reason is quite unacceptable.)

The likelihood (of losing access to ones games or some feature of them) has thus far been shown to small. Some people have certainly lost access to their games, some for reasons entirely beyond their control; but the numbers are small (and if anything disproportionality over-reported in the gaming press), and many people did have control over their banning from EA's forums, or VAC bans and the like. The past is no guarantee of the future, but it's not a bad guide. Now, whilst you and I may suggest that the very surrender of the power is bad step, we would struggle to argue that there's an actual likelihood of loss in the near future at this point.

The cost of the risk is also relatively small, although I appreciate that this is more contentious.

I wouldn't suggest that there aren't risks of irrationality on both these points - it's probably very difficult to accurately and precisely estimate the risks involved, and human cognition isn't perfect at such things. But let us assume that people can get a vague grasp on the risks involved; even if there were no benefits to Steam or Origin, then I think it's more than sensible to say that people who place great value on, say, playing MW3 or HL2 can make a rational and sensible choice to use those services.

(There are, of course, benefits to using these services which further suggests that it's far from irrational.)

If there is an argument that such people are really being short-sighted, that they're not acknowledging probable (based on previous evidence) risks in the distant future... then we're making quite a number of assumptions about what they really perceive the costs of such distant future risks to be. Certainly, if this is the argument, then I think you're barking up the wrong tree as regards it being a taught aspect of cognition; there's good reasons for (broadly) innately granting greater importance to shorter-term risks and rewards, even if it sometimes doesn't serve our ultimate interests. But again, I say that you'd be imposing some pretty large judgements of your own on these individuals.

I think that failure to acknowledge the (relative) rationality of the decisions of Origin and Steam users, and instead to talk of them as subhumans, is actually quite damaging if your intention is to alter their behaviour.

On the other stuff.
Then you started making claims about the origins and success of religion in the individual that seem to come more from dogma than research. Even those in the field who are somewhat convinced that religious beliefs are best conceived as non-innate and not of significant individual or group benefit would on the whole suggest that there is considerable pre-disposition to the kinds of belief that include religion (e.g. 'in minimally violating entities' or what have you, to take, very broadly, the Cambridge research group's position). Frankly, the idea of Dawkins-esque viral meme propagating only because people are brainwashed from generation to generation can be rubbished on variety of evidential bases.

And then some stuff that more tended towards tragedy of the commons, which again I think you'd struggle to argue results in principle from taught cognition and behaviour. (Indeed, interestingly one suggestion for the historically observed success of religion is that it provided a limited solution to such seemingly innate aspects of cognition.)

Megagun
19-11-2011, 01:35 AM
This why some people gleefully throw their money at game publishers who treat them with increasing contempt, and who continually keep moving the sliding scale of what we get for our money when we pay for games to the effect that we're getting an increasing bad deal so that the publishers can profit more. This is why they so vocally defend these actions that are clearly against their own interests in favour of making already rich complete strangers ever more rich, to their own detriment.

I was nodding in agreement with your post up until this very point. Allow me to elaborate with a simple example.

I love the fact that Modern Warfare 3 has sold bucketloads. I love how it has made Activision a lot of money.

This might make me seem like an idiot, someone who obviously isn't thinking and is merely a dumb sheep throwing money at a company that is solely in it for the money. Couldn't be further from the truth, though. I enjoy the money-making aspects of Modern Warfare 3 because it allows Activision to innovate on other areas of their lineup. Take a look at Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skylanders:_Spyro's_Adventure). A game for kids that blends the real world with the virtual world. Games are saved in physical toys, and kids (read: their parents) can buy physical toys to unlock more characters in the game. I think it's quite cool, and Modern Warfare 3 has probably been a part of the reason why the game was able to get an extra year of development time, a score by none other than Hans Zimmer, and a story by some of the guys from the original Toy Story.

Now, I can already see you facepalming: "Megagun, this game is only in it for the money! Can't you see? It's a shameless attempt to get MORE MONEY, rather than an attempt at innovation!". Again, allow me to take this further. Although I mostly agree with you, I still think it's nice. More money for Activision seems like a good thing, no? After all, it's not MY money (I'm not buying the game, as it doesn't seem like a game I would enjoy). I guess you make the argument that this creates some kind of bad precedent that will lead to horrible things in the future, or something. A fair point, but..

You see, the real reason why I want that Skylanders game to do well is because it was developed by Toys for Bob (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toys_For_Bob). Found in 1989 (the same year I was born) by Paul Reiche III and Fred Ford, they've been responsible for some games for kids these past few years (mostly licensed Disney games).

They have also been responsible for a 1992 classic, called Star Control 2 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Control_II:_The_Ur-Quan_Masters). This game has been the single most influential influence in my entire life. It had been a major reason why I got interested in astronomy and video games. My newly-found interests in astronomy caused an interest in science, and my interests in video games caused an interest in computers. My interest in computers combined with an interest in video games caused my interest in programming. My interest in programming, sci-fi, science and video games has shaped my life in such a way that I can truly say that if it weren't for this single game, I would be an entirely different human being. After all, aren't one's profession and hobbies one of the largest parts of one's identity?

So, yeah. I want to see Modern Warfare 3 do well, so that Activision has a lot of money, which I hope will lead to Toys for Bob making the sequel to the one game that I care about most. So, is Modern Warfare 3 doing well in my best interests? Since I think a sequel to Star Control 2 is important (for me): yes. A thousand times, yes!

What I mean to say with this all, is that there's probably a reason for many people's apparant evilness regarding their support for evil companies. They might not immediately tell it to you at the first oppurtunity, but there probably is a good reason somewhere. They're not purely assholes or dumb people...

You know what made Star Control 2 an amazingly awesome game? The big evil in the game has a very damn good reason for their evilness, and you'll learn to respect and understand that during the course of the game. You'll even feel sorry for them, and cheer for them in their own little war. If supporting Origin or Modern Warfare 3 makes me an Ur-Quan Kzer-Za, then so be it.

Taidan
19-11-2011, 02:14 AM
In reply to Taidan:
I think you're adverting to mechanisms that are really quite unnecessary for the issue at hand.

My post wasn't aimed at Origin or Steam, it was a direct reply to Wulf's comment, and the terrible examples we've been seeing of people blindly defending their own mistreatment at the hands of various publishers, and worse still attacking those who do have genuine complaints. (As I hoped would have been obvious by, y'know, the quote I replied to.)

I'm personally a huge fan of Steam. (Although I am wary of Origin, mainly because it appears to be of no benefit to me at all.)


Then you started making claims about the origins and success of religion in the individual that seem to come more from dogma than research. Even those in the field who are somewhat convinced that religious beliefs are best conceived as non-innate and not of significant individual or group benefit would on the whole suggest that there is considerable pre-disposition to the kinds of belief that include religion (e.g. 'in minimally violating entities' or what have you, to take, very broadly, the Cambridge research group's position). Frankly, the idea of Dawkins-esque viral meme propagating only because people are brainwashed from generation to generation can be rubbished on variety of evidential bases.

And then some stuff that more tended towards tragedy of the commons, which again I think you'd struggle to argue results in principle from taught cognition and behaviour. (Indeed, interestingly one suggestion for the historically observed success of religion is that it provided a limited solution to such seemingly innate aspects of cognition.)

Perhaps I should have clarified that my criticism of religion is firstly only aimed at the organized kind, and even then only aimed at it's (mis)use in modern times. I take no issue with the important role that it played in mankind's early development. Like, when we didn't know any better, and stuff... ;p



What I mean to say with this all, is that there's probably a reason for many people's apparant evilness regarding their support for evil companies. They might not immediately tell it to you at the first oppurtunity, but there probably is a good reason somewhere. They're not purely assholes or dumb people...

The guys behind that really expensive and slightly exploitative toy made Star Control 2? Hey, that's pretty cool. While I don't follow through with the rest of your train of logic that that toy's success will lead to Star Control 4, thus must sadly disagree with the entirety of your post, it's really nice to know they're still alive, kicking and working in the industry. In some form. Ick.

soldant
19-11-2011, 03:59 AM
The devastation of the educational system (which used to be excellent, by the way, not only in making innovative engineers but also in making free-thinking activists) and the predominance of economics and marketing propaganda in any discussion of society at large points to what I believe to be the problem at heart: Our capitalist system. It is destroying our democracy in the name of wealth redistribution towards the top.
One thing I've always noticed is that it's only ever baseless propaganda if it goes against what one believes to be true. Fact is all sides are biased and blind in pushing their viewpoint, which is my biggest problem with movements like the Occupy movement (aside from the fact that their only common goal seems to be "occupy everything and shout about the 1%.")


Hopefully we progress to a system of Eudaimonia, but until then virtue is currently defined as economic success.
This is because ultimately "economic success" by and large sustains the species. Governments might make poor decisions (for the US I'd argue the biggest is the ridiculous opposition to public healthcare, at least on a limited basis!) based on financial policy, but for the most part the goal is to drive people towards roles that actually supply society with what it really needs, whether that's directly in production or in researching new ways to sustain us. You might like to live in a world filled with artists and political activists, but unless they're spending most of their time producing things or providing services that supply society, everything collapses and their contributions are absolutely worthless. A dead person is a useless person.

The capitalist system might be abused by self-interested individuals but any system you can come up with will have the exact same problem. Fact is humans can make crap decisions or self-interested decisions thanks to human intelligence and free thought. We're not a colony of bees or ants filled with people who care about nothing but ensuring the colony survives. We have the same problems as these colonies at large, but we have a world of people with their own individual thoughts and motivations. Getting everyone organised into a society which functions is hard, but capitalism so far has largely done a good job.

So by all means, try to get people to care about politics and so on, and rant and rave about the political system. We need people like that to keep us thinking. But never forget that we need the 'drones' in society so that our base needs are met. At the end of the day it's still a numbers-game, and all the art or academia in the world won't help you. Except science of course.

Nalano
19-11-2011, 04:11 AM
This is because ultimately "economic success" by and large sustains the species.

Oh dear god you're funny.

The only social value capitalism gives is the collectivization of investment for infrastructure. This concentration of wealth at the cost of greater society - this Gilded Age - is the exact opposite of that. Suffice it to say, our system has failed multiple times (that inevitable bust), has worked largely by breaking the backs of the wider world, and the only reason it remains the system in place is because a government has always been there to stop people from killing the rich - be it by jailing them or enforcing regulation and protections to make life livable.

soldant
19-11-2011, 05:07 AM
The only social value capitalism gives is the collectivization of investment for infrastructure. This concentration of wealth at the cost of greater society - this Gilded Age - is the exact opposite of that. Suffice it to say, our system has failed multiple times (that inevitable bust), has worked largely by breaking the backs of the wider world, and the only reason it remains the system in place is because a government has always been there to stop people from killing the rich - be it by jailing them or enforcing regulation and protections to make life livable.
Your "social value" is absolutely worthless if we're unable to produce enough food to feed ourselves. I didn't say that the concentration of wealth with the top 1% (if the Occupy propaganda is really 100% factual) but to suggest that we're going to get by simply on social merit is ridiculous. You will produce and you will consume, or you will die. Our system may have "failed" several times but it's by and large better than anything else that's come before it. The state-planned economy of the USSR ended up with massive lineups for the absolute basics.

Governments have always been there to stop people from killing the rich? Oh come on, governments exist to organsie humans into some sort of structure which means we'll actually be able to accomplish something. The same government also demands that nobody kill you, and if you lived here in Australia you'd also get social welfare and support. Did you know that we're also a capitalist economy? Yet we still have free public healthcare. It's ridiculously expensive but we still have it, and we're still counting coins as well. The US might have descended into a pit thanks to corporate greed, but not everybody was crushed under the capitalist bootheel.

I'd love to hear your alternative, beyond "educate everyone and hope for the best". I'd also love to hear how it'd handle the allocation of finite resources, ensuring everybody contributes, ensuring production is maintained, and everyone is well supplied, and still finding time for production of culture. After all it's still just a numbers game, do we have enough X for Y? No philosophy will get you out of that.

Taidan
19-11-2011, 09:27 AM
Your "social value" is absolutely worthless if we're unable to produce enough food to feed ourselves.

On the flipside, there are still people out there starving, despite the fact we're creating far greater amounts of food than we can actually eat, mainly because feeding those people isn't "profitable". (About 1/3rd of global food production is currently estimated to be going to waste. I don't know how many people are out there starving to death.)


I'd also love to hear how it'd handle the allocation of finite resources, ensuring everybody contributes, ensuring production is maintained, and everyone is well supplied, and still finding time for production of culture.

Well, that system surely isn't the pure, barely regulated system of capitalism we're currently using.

When you look at the amount of people on the planet who aren't actually producing anything, and are instead spending all of their time unemployed, concerned with only the movement of money and goods, or just plain unproductive, it's clear we could be deploying a lot more manpower to solve our problems. When you look at how the supply chain works, it's a fact that the incredible amounts of waste and the resulting environmental damage that is produced by excessively profit-seeking manufacture and shipping under this system is insane.

...and the production of culture? Let's not get me started on how capitalism has adversely affected that particular branch, as the resulting rant would probably collapse these forums.

The idea with Eudaimonia is that it isn't the method of getting these "small problems" sorted, it's the ultimate aim. I'd much rather see people making the best of their short, meaningless lives, rather than spending most of it slaving away for 40 hours (or more) a week while usualy achieving nothing more than sating the greed of the already incredibly rich.

soldant
19-11-2011, 10:23 AM
On the flipside, there are still people out there starving, despite the fact we're creating far greater amounts of food than we can actually eat, mainly because feeding those people isn't "profitable". (About 1/3rd of global food production is currently estimated to be going to waste. I don't know how many people are out there starving to death.)
As you said, the current system isn't well managed. But that doesn't mean that capitalism is entirely lost and should be abandoned. Again under the state-planned economy of the USSR you still had people starving or lining up for basic foodstuffs. Capitalism and money is particularly good at figuring out what people want, and the process of demand ensures that resources ultimately go towards what people demand. Does greed impact the system? Sure, but greed will break any system and it's a product of human thought, you will never, ever eliminate it from any system. Unless you use violence, but you just end up with another tyrant anyway, so what's the point?


When you look at how the supply chain works, it's a fact that the incredible amounts of waste and the resulting environmental damage that is produced by excessively profit-seeking manufacture and shipping under this system is insane.
And yet everybody wanted the higher standards of living that comes about with advancement, and the resources for that has to come from somewhere. Unless you want to tell people exactly how to live, under what conditions, and implement strict control, people are always going to seek something higher and self-advancement, because that's what humanity does. The incredible amounts of waste and environmental damage can apply to any system which doesn't have environmental conservation as its highest priority. Look at sections of Africa with overpopulation and extensive farming, all simply to provide sustenance farming and keep a family alive. Capitalism is largely pointless for those people, who live isolated from the greater world save for occasional handouts. Even without the greed associated with money, there are still problems with greed and demand and resources. These problems aren't specific to capitalism, nor are they impossible to resolve with responsible governance.


...and the production of culture? Let's not get me started on how capitalism has adversely affected that particular branch, as the resulting rant would probably collapse these forums.
Yes, because clearly science and culture hasn't flourished under capitalist societies or where money has existed. Everything went backwards right after governance commenced and the first coin was minted. Freeing people from having to barter for food with other goods, or growing it entirely themselves on farms has made it so much harder for culture to develop.


The idea with Eudaimonia is that it isn't the method of getting these "small problems" sorted, it's the ultimate aim. I'd much rather see people making the best of their short, meaningless lives, rather than spending most of it slaving away for 40 hours (or more) a week while usualy achieving nothing more than sating the greed of the already incredibly rich.
Eudaimonia is a poorly defined concept which has no practical purpose at all. It's yet another way for people to talk about goals for humanity without having any idea of what it should actually be or how it should be achieved. People making the best of their short, meaningless lives is absolutely useless if those people end up with a life spent starving or in total disarray without access to the basics. You can carry on about satiating the greed of the rich, but there's always going to be a caste above you, whether they're separated by money or status or office. The 1% will always exist, they will never be equal, and you will either be apart from them or become one of them. The dream of complete equality is never going to be achieved. Nor should it; we rely on each other to survive and we need organisation and structure. Mass organisation has for the most part increased our living standards over a long timeline. Everyone's talking like capitalism set humanity back several hundred years when it clearly hasn't. Until everything is produced by robots from nothing in absolute abundance there's always going to be a struggle to allocate resources and you'll still be needed to produce, and there will still be people above you calling the shots with some sort of carrot to encourage you to climb higher.

Nalano
19-11-2011, 10:31 AM
I'd also love to hear how it'd handle the allocation of finite resources, ensuring everybody contributes, ensuring production is maintained, and everyone is well supplied, and still finding time for production of culture. After all it's still just a numbers game, do we have enough X for Y? No philosophy will get you out of that.

The goal is not to "make everybody contribute," but to ensure the well-being of everybody. You have it backwards. The government is already well-involved with allocating finite resources; indeed, that's what all the rich are complaining about when they talk of "wealth redistribution" and "class warfare."

Culture is the aggregate of everybody's method of dealing with the world. That's all it is.

And I certainly expect you've heard the phrase, "the police are the army of the rich?" Somehow, human rights are a relatively nebulous concept yet property rights are well protected. The national guard has aimed rifles far more often at striking miners than at their exploitative bosses.

soldant
19-11-2011, 10:45 AM
The goal is not to "make everybody contribute," but to ensure the well-being of everybody. You have it backwards.
And the resources for this "well being" comes from nowhere? You still need people working for society for society to look after itself. Without an input, there's no output. Your labour is a resource. You are a resource at the end of the day, and your effective worth depends on what you're contributing. That could be fine art, that could be medical services, it could be picking up garbage or writing software. Whatever it is, it's still a contribution. Without that input you look after nobody's welfare.


And I certainly expect you've heard the phrase, "the police are the army of the rich?" Somehow, human rights are a relatively nebulous concept yet property rights are well protected. The national guard has aimed rifles far more often at striking miners than at their exploitative bosses.
Funnily enough plenty of striking workers over here have tried to paralyse industries when they weren't actually being unfairly treated. Unions are simply the reverse of the exploitative boss when they attain too much power; they're yet another power structure which is ultimately self-interested dressed up as being interested in worker's rights at the expense of absolutely everybody else. The police aren't the army of the rich, that's a ridiculous expression. If they are, there's an awful lot of rich people around here, way more than 1%.

I can sort of understand where you're coming from, being based in the US where things are a lot worse than somewhere like Australia where we have a more centrist government (or by US standards I guess you'd call even our conservatives left-wing), but there's way too much hate for capitalism as an entire system when the problems are more endemic to your particular governance. It's more a flaw with the democratic system or governance, not capitalism. Capitalism and socialism are designed principally as economic theories, which people decide are synonymous with governance. They form part of governance, but there's still a system over them which controls them. I think your real problem isn't with capitalism but with the inability to ensure adequate separation of power in your government.

archonsod
19-11-2011, 03:40 PM
That's actually where my layman's reading sees the problem as being. Because contracts generally have to have to have at least some sort of balanced consideration on either side. So, for example, I'd be protected from a contract that said I was going to give you 200 a month for the next three years for no reason.

Erm, no. In legal terms consideration simply means both parties are offering something, which is the minimum required for a contract to be legally recognised. So you're right in the sense that you offering me 200 for no reason wouldn't work, since unless I'm also offering something it isn't a contract.
There's no actual requirement that the consideration be equal though. We could freely enter into a contract where I sell my house to you for 1p; in fact such contracts are frequently used to avoid taxes or other legal complications (in this example for instance I've legally sold you my house rather than given you it as a gift, which can make a difference to the taxman).


And where software as a service is traditionally offered, it's in business where there are clauses on either side: eg. the provider has a right to cancel the service at any time, but if they do they have to pay a given fine and so on.

No they don't. A service provider always has the right to terminate service, the only thing they're legally obliged to do in such circumstances is refund any outstanding balance on the account. Whether they accept a penalty or not is entirely up to them - usually they won't because the main use of such clauses is to protect the service provider if they're forced out of business.


The problem with things like the Steam EULA is it's saying: "You give us $50 and we promise to give you nothing". Steam could, theoretically under the EULA, cancel the service the second after you pay for the game. That's the legal problem as I see it.

It's not as the law sees it. Bear in mind however that there's a minimum length of time they'd need to give you access to their service imposed by the rules regarding statutory refund limits and contract cooling periods - if Steam were to deny access within 28 days of you paying them you can simply invoke your right to refund, at least in the EU.
The only complication there comes from jurisdiction.


The deeper point is that consumer goods are not meant to be sold this way.

It's not a good, it's a service. What's more, services operating on a similar method as Steam (from private libraries to gentlemen's clubs) have existed for several centuries. If the law had a problem with them, I think it's safe to say they'd have been dealt with long before we invented the computer.


This problem, of course goes, a lot deeper than Gamers simply being unthinking arseholes at times, and not appreciating that it should be our demand that fuels what the industry supplies us with, instead of the other way around.

Which fails in all the creative industries. The problem is simply one of competition - a specific game is produced by a specific developer for a specific publisher. Since the consumer generally wants the specific game, they have little choice but to do business with the single source of that game. Just like if I want to read a particular book, I have no choice but to ultimately pay the author. It inverts the usual market where multiple versions of the same product can be produced by multiple companies.

So really, I guess you could say the problem stems from our unwillingness to see (purely for example here) Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3 as the same game from different sources, instead we see them as unique games from unique sources.

hamster
19-11-2011, 04:45 PM
No they don't. A service provider always has the right to terminate service, the only thing they're legally obliged to do in such circumstances is refund any outstanding balance on the account. Whether they accept a penalty or not is entirely up to them - usually they won't because the main use of such clauses is to protect the service provider if they're forced out of business.

It's not a good, it's a service. What's more, services operating on a similar method as Steam (from private libraries to gentlemen's clubs) have existed for several centuries. If the law had a problem with them, I think it's safe to say they'd have been dealt with long before we invented the computer.

What the hell kind of contract allows the seller to unilaterally terminate all contractual obligations? The termination isn't even conditional to anything.

Your libraries and gentlemen club is a subscription where the seller provides continual value for the duration of the subscription. The terms of the subscription including duration and conditions of use are well defined. But here?

The point about consideration seems to warrant some looking at as well. Yeah, consideration can be anything. But is the essentially non-binding promise to provide service (access to games) really sufficient consideration? Give me 50 bucks and I may or may not sweep the floor?

Why would you need an insolvency clause anyway? There's a whole body of statutory law dedicated to procedure, priority etc.

deano2099
19-11-2011, 05:02 PM
Erm, no. In legal terms consideration simply means both parties are offering something, which is the minimum required for a contract to be legally recognised. So you're right in the sense that you offering me 200 for no reason wouldn't work, since unless I'm also offering something it isn't a contract.
Exactly. So what does Steam have to provide me with in exchange for the money? The answer is: nothing. They probably will provide me with access to the game, because if they didn't no-one would buy from them. But legally they have no obligation so legally they're not offering anything.

No they don't. A service provider always has the right to terminate service, the only thing they're legally obliged to do in such circumstances is refund any outstanding balance on the account. Whether they accept a penalty or not is entirely up to them - usually they won't because the main use of such clauses is to protect the service provider if they're forced out of business.I find that hard to believe, given the number huge businesses that use things like content management systems, online publishing solutions, web hosting and so forth that would have a huge impact on them if the supplier suddenly terminated the service, to the point of nearly destroying their business. I don't believe they'd go into that with zero legal protection. Else what's to stop the provider turning around and asking for 10x the original amount or they'll switch them off?


It's not a good, it's a service. What's more, services operating on a similar method as Steam (from private libraries to gentlemen's clubs) have existed for several centuries. If the law had a problem with them, I think it's safe to say they'd have been dealt with long before we invented the computer.Not sure how they match up. With those examples, the consumer gets the value of the thing as they pay for it, or immediately afterwards. Not the case with Steam, where someone may buy a game expecting to play it in three month's time.

Keep
19-11-2011, 05:08 PM
there's way too much hate for capitalism as an entire system when the problems are more endemic to your particular governance. It's more a flaw with the democratic system or governance, not capitalism. Capitalism and socialism are designed principally as economic theories, which people decide are synonymous with governance. They form part of governance, but there's still a system over them which controls them. I think your real problem isn't with capitalism but with the inability to ensure adequate separation of power in your government.

That's a good point. Economics isn't governance. But in the US, how things have developed, it may as well be.

I remember when I lived there watching a State of the Union address. I boggled. It was all about industry, and patents, and corporations, and ensuring economic growth. And not a whiff of culture, the arts, sports, education (except in terms of teaching the next generation of engineers and innovators), ethics, language, social issues, none of those things that you'd regard as central to what makes a society, what's important to talk about.

In theory it may be a misdirected argument, but in practise, criticising capitalism is actually a fair way of criticising the current state of the American system.

archonsod
19-11-2011, 08:34 PM
What the hell kind of contract allows the seller to unilaterally terminate all contractual obligations? The termination isn't even conditional to anything.

Pretty much any service contract will. You're right in that it's superfluous, since most non-essential service providers have a legal right to deny service anyway. It does however protect against potential damage claims arising from them doing so (i.e. you trying to sue your ISP because them cutting you off means you can't work from home. By having a termination clause, you have already agreed that they may do this at any time).


Your libraries and gentlemen club is a subscription where the seller provides continual value for the duration of the subscription. The terms of the subscription including duration and conditions of use are well defined. But here?

Access to the games in your account would occur to me to be the primary value of the service. Your payment is also adding a game to your account; I suspect you'd struggle to try and argue neither were of value. Conditions are stated in the EULA you agree to prior to signing; duration is irrelevant, by omitting a distinct end date then it implies perpetuity, though usually a court would interpret it as "provisioned for a reasonable length of time" (which is yet another reason for a termination clause).

But legally they have no obligation so legally they're not offering anything.

They're offering you access to a service, that is what they tell you you're paying for. They simply reserve the right to terminate that at any time. Legally, you have agreed before giving them any money whatsoever that they may do this. Like I said, consumer laws work to protect you against predatory behaviour by corporations, not your own stupidity. If you're unhappy with allowing them to terminate the service at any time, you're not supposed to agree to the contract in the first place.


Else what's to stop the provider turning around and asking for 10x the original amount or they'll switch them off?

Nothing, beyond the fact that it's more likely to result in the customer going to a competitor. Companies can and have collapsed because service providers they were dependent on decided to increase costs or deny service; again, the law is there to keep the peace, not protect people from idiocy.

deano2099
19-11-2011, 09:18 PM
Access to the games in your account would occur to me to be the primary value of the service. Your payment is also adding a game to your account; I suspect you'd struggle to try and argue neither were of value. Conditions are stated in the EULA you agree to prior to signing; duration is irrelevant, by omitting a distinct end date then it implies perpetuity, though usually a court would interpret it as "provisioned for a reasonable length of time" (which is yet another reason for a termination clause).


Right, so it's perfectly legal for me to set up a company, have the same EULA as Steam, take pre-orders for Mass Effect 3 for $20, then on release day say "no, actually, I'm terminating the service" and run off with everyone's money?

Because if that really is the case (and you seem to be saying it'd be fine for Steam to do that, it'd just drive away customers, which I don't care about, because it's scam) then let me know because I am a) poor and b) a bit of a cunt, and this sounds like fun.

deano2099
19-11-2011, 09:22 PM
Pretty much any service contract will. You're right in that it's superfluous, since most non-essential service providers have a legal right to deny service anyway. It does however protect against potential damage claims arising from them doing so (i.e. you trying to sue your ISP because them cutting you off means you can't work from home. By having a termination clause, you have already agreed that they may do this at any time).

And that's why large companies don't use Virgin Media for their internet connection. They use separate, business-based companies who provide a guarantee of a certain level of service and uptime.

soldant
20-11-2011, 01:08 AM
In theory it may be a misdirected argument, but in practise, criticising capitalism is actually a fair way of criticising the current state of the American system.
But it's still not actually capitalism, it's your government deciding that those factors you mentioned are unimportant. It's one of the reasons why I don't agree with capitalist systems that run on an entirely free market without intervention. But I'm curious, what other aspects of education do you believe are important for society as a whole, and how do they result in provision of something of value to society? Also by sports do you mean community programs designed to encourage fitness, or elite athletes?

hamster
20-11-2011, 02:02 PM
Pretty much any service contract will. You're right in that it's superfluous, since most non-essential service providers have a legal right to deny service anyway. It does however protect against potential damage claims arising from them doing so (i.e. you trying to sue your ISP because them cutting you off means you can't work from home. By having a termination clause, you have already agreed that they may do this at any time).

ISP T&A's typically specify the conditions to termination. These conditions include breach of the other terms in the T&A, substantiating what qualifies as anticipatory breach and the specific conditions that warrant termination (illegal use etc.). It also details the procedures for termination of the contract from the consumer (notice, compensation etc.). Even if they have a clause stating the unilateral right to terminate without notice or condition the ISP probably knows it's standing on waifer-thin ground. Otherwise, why bother listing specific conditions that entitle them to terminate?

Just because some ISPs or other service providers include clauses in their contracts doesn't mean that they're automatically enforceable. There are all sorts of promotions with clauses like "in the event of a dispute, the final right of decision will be determined by Dishonest Ltd": this doesn't mean that the clause is enforceable.


Access to the games in your account would occur to me to be the primary value of the service. Your payment is also adding a game to your account; I suspect you'd struggle to try and argue neither were of value. Conditions are stated in the EULA you agree to prior to signing; duration is irrelevant, by omitting a distinct end date then it implies perpetuity, though usually a court would interpret it as "provisioned for a reasonable length of time" (which is yet another reason for a termination clause).

You're not reading it together. We're talking about access to games that they're not obliged to give you access to. Also, "reasonable length of time" is a term potentially inferred by the court which in any case, surely, supersedes whatever existing clause is in the contract, right? Which is sort of thinking it backwards. Because with the termination clause (unqualified by conditions or time) you make a mockery of "reasonable length of time".


They're offering you access to a service, that is what they tell you you're paying for. They simply reserve the right to terminate that at any time. Legally, you have agreed before giving them any money whatsoever that they may do this. Like I said, consumer laws work to protect you against predatory behaviour by corporations, not your own stupidity. If you're unhappy with allowing them to terminate the service at any time, you're not supposed to agree to the contract in the first place.

Statistically, how many people actually read the EULA? And even if they do, understand the implications? How is the unilateral and fully discretionary right to terminate the agreement not predatory? In fact I think that termination clause ought to be classified as an unconscionable clause.

[quote]Nothing, beyond the fact that it's more likely to result in the customer going to a competitor. Companies can and have collapsed because service providers they were dependent on decided to increase costs or deny service; again, the law is there to keep the peace, not protect people from idiocy.

Companies dealing with companies are a whole different thing. Companies are out there to make money. They have access to legal advice and even if they don't, they should adequately understand the agreement they have entered into; furthermore, it is recognized that companies require the extra flexibility of atypical contractual terms that would otherwise be severed by the court in a heartbeat if the agreement was made between consumer and company. Historically in fact, before the enactment of consumer protection legislation, courts used to screw around by construing contractual terms between consumer and company VERY strictly, often finding in favor of the consumer. I'm not even talking about the traditional no-no's such as liability waivers - i'm talking about substantive terms of the contract relating directly to the goods and/or services provided. Now that we do have legislation it's still not the be-all-end-all. The judicial sentiment is still there and with something as broad as unconscionable contracts/clauses being part of the common law you could see that there is quite a bit of leeway available.

Historically, for games there isn't much support anyway. When have games sold retail, in boxes, ever been cut off from the user? The industry never worked that way. Of course digital distribution is a new thing, but remember that many games sold retail are "bundled" with whatever digital distribution platform. So suddenly you can lose access to games just with the snap of the fingers.

I would imagine that if the service agreement specifies the conditions under which the contract may be terminated then it would be easier to acknowledge.

Taidan
20-11-2011, 03:07 PM
As you said, the current system isn't well managed. But that doesn't mean that capitalism is entirely lost and should be abandoned. Again under the state-planned economy of the USSR you still had people starving or lining up for basic foodstuffs. Capitalism and money is particularly good at figuring out what people want, and the process of demand ensures that resources ultimately go towards what people demand.

The USSR experiment failed for exactly the same reasons that Capitalism is failing us: Piss-poor management, and insufficient checks and balances against corruption. The main difference being that the USSR only screwed itself up, whereas the current unsustainable system is eventually going to bring our entire species down.


Does greed impact the system? Sure, but greed will break any system and it's a product of human thought, you will never, ever eliminate it from any system. Unless you use violence, but you just end up with another tyrant anyway, so what's the point?

I disagree. I think that this greed is a current result of the system, rather than vice-versa. People will always attempt to compete with other People, (As will any living creature that reaches the top of it's food-chain, yay evolution) as that's our biological programming, but there are other ways of doing this rather than seeing "who can acquire the most stuffs". There are already examples strewn throughout history of certain communities living this way successfully


And yet everybody wanted the higher standards of living that comes about with advancement, and the resources for that has to come from somewhere. Unless you want to tell people exactly how to live, under what conditions, and implement strict control, people are always going to seek something higher and self-advancement, because that's what humanity does.

An interesting statement, an apt description of our current way of life, and a very powerful argument against capitalism which will become increasing apparently to just about everybody unless we start changing things pretty damn soon.


The incredible amounts of waste and environmental damage can apply to any system which doesn't have environmental conservation as its highest priority. Look at sections of Africa with overpopulation and extensive farming, all simply to provide sustenance farming and keep a family alive. Capitalism is largely pointless for those people, who live isolated from the greater world save for occasional handouts. Even without the greed associated with money, there are still problems with greed and demand and resources. These problems aren't specific to capitalism, nor are they impossible to resolve with responsible governance.

This problems aren't specific to capitalism, but they're deeply exacerbated by it. Profitability and sustainability can work together, but often they do not. Under the current system, when they clash, sustainability usually loses, and we all suffer as a result.

Free-market capitalism is essentially chaos, run only to the benefit of a small minority (and to the detriment of the larger population as a whole) while producing vast amounts of waste. A well-managed alternative could solve all of these problems at once, and share out the planets resources in a much more equitable way.


Yes, because clearly science and culture hasn't flourished under capitalist societies or where money has existed. Everything went backwards right after governance commenced and the first coin was minted. Freeing people from having to barter for food with other goods, or growing it entirely themselves on farms has made it so much harder for culture to develop.

I'd argue that indeed, science and culture have not flourished under capitalist societies. They've certainly continued at an satisfactory pace in some (profitable) sectors, but as a whole? If anything progress has been a lot slower than it would have been under a well-managed system that was being for for the benefit of all.

Why have we not yet even put a man on Mars? We've had the knowledge needed for decades. We have the man-power and the natural resources. We should have been colonizing and mining space decades ago, but no. It wasn't profitable, so the science slowed to a crawl. The brief but massive boost in space exploration we saw in the 50's/60's was a great example of doing things without capitalism as a driving force. (Although, to be fair, military paranoia isn't much better. "The Enrichment of Mankind" is where it's at.)

And Culture? Certain aspects of culture are doing pretty well, but that's not due to the advantages capitalism in any way, shape or form. In fact, it's usually in spite of it, as when you get to the point where you're "in it for the money" you're usually compromising whatever it is you're doing in order to reach a wider market. (We call it "Aiming for the lowest profitable common denominator", or simply "dumbing down".) I'm sure we can all think of some fantastic examples of this.

As to how it can all go wrong? Let's use Hollywood as a driving example of how that can go badly wrong.


Eudaimonia is a poorly defined concept which has no practical purpose at all. It's yet another way for people to talk about goals for humanity without having any idea of what it should actually be or how it should be achieved. People making the best of their short, meaningless lives is absolutely useless if those people end up with a life spent starving or in total disarray without access to the basics.

This is a great example of what I would call "Unthinking". You're parroting the same well-trodden rubbish we were all fed in high-school, without applying any critical thinking or logic to the situation at hand. There are plenty of alternatives to the current system that not only wouldn't result in shortages of "The Basics", but would in fact drastically increase supplies of these things, and for everybody.

The goals of Humanity should be, at their most basic, providing everybody that is currently alive with food and shelter. Capitalism fails at this badly, despite the fact that we have the natural resources, know-how and manpower to easily achieve it.

After that goal has been achieved, then we can worry about stuff like Science, Culture and other personal ambitions. Capitalism just about does this for a minority, but fails the vast majority in the chaos that follows the "every man for himself" mentality. There are millions out there wasting away in ill-suited professions due to economic reasons, just as there are those working in science, engineering, culture and leadership that absolutely have no justification for being where they are.

Instead, we have untold millions of people who are wasting a sizeable proportion of their waking lives doing little for for us other than keeping the wheels of capitalism turning. They're not producing anything, food, spaceships, luxuries or otherwise. They're not advancing the species scientifically, or culturally. Instead, we have people working in retail, insurance, banking, etc. etc., we have unemployment, and we have so much wasted potential. With a correctly managed non-capitalist system, we could properly apply our available manpower and increase education, production, service and scientific research, and still wind up working a lot less hours, giving us plenty of time left over for culture.

Sure, there will still be areas that people won't want to work in. Very few people would want to work in the garbage industry if they had a choice, but what is the better alternative? Force them into it because otherwise they don't eat, or to apply and stack on added incentives until people do want to work there? (And with a properly managed system, personal waste as a whole would drop dramatically, and people would take more responsibility for their own waste anyway, so it would be a much easier job.)


You can carry on about satiating the greed of the rich, but there's always going to be a caste above you, whether they're separated by money or status or office. The 1% will always exist, they will never be equal, and you will either be apart from them or become one of them. The dream of complete equality is never going to be achieved.

I don't think people would be so upset if that 1% was made up of various facets of the best of Humanity, and if that very same 1% was dedicated to using their status and ability to raise up Humanity as a whole, instead of just wasting that status to enrich themselves to the detriment of the rest of us.


Nor should it; we rely on each other to survive and we need organisation and structure. Mass organisation has for the most part increased our living standards over a long timeline. Everyone's talking like capitalism set humanity back several hundred years when it clearly hasn't. Until everything is produced by robots from nothing in absolute abundance there's always going to be a struggle to allocate resources and you'll still be needed to produce, and there will still be people above you calling the shots with some sort of carrot to encourage you to climb higher.

Capitalism has certainly served us well to a limited extent, but this isn't just about hitting the basics, (but again, we're not even doing that) it's about taking us to the next level. It's about enriching society for everybody. It's about solving crime, and world hunger, and environmental damage, and every other problem that brings us down as a species. It's about being the best we can be, instead of just settling for drudgery and suffering that could be avoided if we just applied ourselves.

Sure, it's a problem that's not that easy to solve without some tough thinking, but that doesn't mean the problems are insurmountable. It's not something we can just rush into from where we are at the moment either, because the resulting chaos would bring us all down, but it's something we should write off just because it's hard.

We can start working on these problems right now without sacrificing what we already have. The First step is teaching people that there is a better way, to think for themselves to actually want it, and then work together to achieve it.

Second step is to reign in the non-productive excesses of society, and bringing about a greater equality within the existing system. That's what OWS is about, and it should be the absolute f**king least we see in the next half-decade. it's a worthy ambition, but it's still only a start.

After that, we put our heads together, and we fix everything else. I have a few ideas about that myself, but that's a entire book that's waiting to be written, not a PC-gaming forum post.

We're not animals, chained to this economy and this way of life we have created. We are Human Beings, and we can do anything we f**king want. What we want is equality and the true freedom to be the best we can be.

Nalano
20-11-2011, 08:07 PM
Communism and capitalism are two sides of the same coin. Communism was born because capitalism existed. Nothing more.

Capitalism succeeds only because of the immense amount of regulations and protections put in place, having been fought for with blood, to ensure a reasonable standard of living for the have-nots. On its own, capitalism has lowered the living standard of the general populace: 16 hour workdays for slave wages in poisonous environments, only to sleep in warren-like barracks... that's a net loss. Our current standard of living is the result of many decades of violent retribution, and union and socialist rallying.

To put it more succinctly, "a rising tide lifts all boats" only works if you have a boat.

soldant
21-11-2011, 04:10 AM
Okay I can't really quote everything you guys said because it'd end up as a wall of text, so I'll just have to distill responses down. I did read all of it though, I promise.

Taidan
The USSR and socialist economy suffered from bad management because it's a massive task to try to organise every single step of the chain of production for every single product and service. Forget corruption and mismanagement, the logistics of it alone are insane. That's the major benefit of capitalism over socialism; the concept of supply and demand largely works this stuff out for us, you don't need somebody to plan the entire lot. Government intervention is still possible to ensure a balanced playing field (which is largely what we lack right now) but it doesn't have to worry about every step of the process for getting (for example) wheat from a field to bread on your plate.

Re: Greed. If greed was a cause of the system, it wouldn't exist in any other system. But it does, it exists in every single system you can find as the number of people in the system increases. As for "higher standards of living"... well, wasn't the socialist catch-cry that life would improve for everybody else? It's hardly an improvement if you just drag the 1% down to everybody else's level. Socialists will try to improve your quality of life as well, otherwise nobody would bother to listen to them. But the far left are just as bad as the far right at doing that.


Why have we not yet even put a man on Mars? We've had the knowledge needed for decades.
I'm just love this quote. The problem with trying to put a person on Mars ignoring cost is simply the logistics of the process and ensuring that they'd actually likely get there alive. Mars is a hell of a lot further away than the moon, and even then the chances of success aren't particularly good. Yes, we've had quite a few robotic explorations, but even they have a fairly decent failure rate. Plus why would we risk human life if robots are doing a better job? And funnily enough the space race probably had a lot more to do with the Cold War and the rush for technology than capitalism or socialism. I guess that's an argument for tension and hostility then?


The goals of Humanity should be, at their most basic, providing everybody that is currently alive with food and shelter. Capitalism fails at this badly, despite the fact that we have the natural resources, know-how and manpower to easily achieve it.
I'll ignore the personal attack (which amounts to "You don't agree with me therefore you're stupid") and just focus on the content. Anyway, capitalism doesn't provide this for everyone but neither can socialism. Either system with appropriate regulation could theoretically provide what you're asking... so long as people don't mind what they're eating or where they're living. The USSR shoved people into massive apartments and refused to let them move unless they could find somebody who was willing to swap. I doubt most people would enjoy living like battery hens eating gruel all day. Pretty much any argument you make about "providing for people's best interests" can be a negative for any system or a positive for any system, since it's largely governance and intervention which will determine those things. But if you really want to act in everyone's best interests the standard you can apply drops sharply, and you'll end up with a lot of people who aren't particularly happy. Again it's a simple numbers game when it comes to resources, and it will always be that way until all resources end up in abundance. That's not to say that the system is currently efficient and well-maintained, but that's not a criticism of capitalism or socialism.


It's about solving crime, and world hunger, and environmental damage, and every other problem that brings us down as a species.
Friend I admire your idealism but these ideas are just... solving crime? I honestly can't believe you put that. Environmental damage is possible, world hunger is difficult in a sustainable way but not unthinkable, but solving crime? Impossible. You'll never eliminate crime. And you know the reason why:


We are Human Beings, and we can do anything we f**king want. What we want is equality and the true freedom to be the best we can be.
I can do anything I f**king want? Cool. I'm going to go burn down a hospital because I want true freedom to do so. I want to go rape somebody because I want sex and I should be able to do that. I'm going to kill my neighbour because I think they're a tyrant and infringing on my right to sleep with their loud music. I'm going to burn down that rainforest because I need the land for farming. I want to go take your money because you have more than me and I think that's unfair. I'm going to drive recklessly and endanger other motorists because I should have the true freedom to be an awesome street racer. I'm going to do X because I think it's the best thing for me. You will never get rid of that thinking because it's part of being human, it's part of having all the individual motivations and the decision making process that other collectivised species (like insects) ultimately lack. You can't eliminate crime because crime ultimately is going against societal norms.

The entire Occupy movement's initial goal, reducing the increasing power of the 1% in governmental policy, is fine and something I can agree with. The confused rantings about capitalism, money, and so on however don't hold the same weight. Fun fact: the Occupy movements here in Australia got bugger all support, maybe a few hundred at the various protests. I guess it's because it sounds pretty hollow when we're in a country with free healthcare, extensive social welfare (compared to most places), job access services, free state education and government subsidisation of university courses. We're still capitalist though! Again it seems like people just have a problem with the US government, not capitalism.

Your "other systems are available" line does not actually work. Yes, there are other systems available, but the question is if they really are better, and you're going to have an extremely difficult time proving that because socialist systems don't seem to work in practice on a large scale. Even if they did, you'd still have a central, state power which you'd need to lobby to get what you need. The state can easily turn around and say "We don't really care much for artists, so we're not going to give you the resources to produce your art" and then what do you do? It's not like you can go buy the supplies.

Nalano
There's nothing wrong with government intervention with capitalism. As for the '16 hour workday living in trenches'... the general world disagrees with you. Standards of living have risen since the introduction of capitalism. You're living longer, on a long timescale working less, and your standard of living and quality of life is much greater. That's largely due to government and union balancing. If you were under a perfect socialist system (ignoring the managerial nightmare), you'd still have to lobby your state to ensure your needs were met (or they'd just do whatever they figured was best, which might not be in your interests at all).

Arguably your political freedom to criticise capitalism has come about from the implementation of capitalism, which necessitates a particular amount of freedom from the government, otherwise you end up with a state-planned economy and resulting repression. The capitalist system isn't perfect, but it's your government that's failing you. The Occupy movement is sadly being hijacked by a anarchists and far-left nutjobs looking for their day in the sun, while muddying the water and making it look like a confused mess.

Taidan
21-11-2011, 10:52 AM
Again, I'll avoid quoting and replying to to entirety of you post Soldant, as we've already reached the point when we're running in circles and repeating the old viewpoints over and over. Pretty much nothing in your reply applied to a single thing I hadn't already covered, as you're hinging on technicalities and assumptions, and ignoring some pretty key facts, and even then, your argument is entirely that what I'm suggesting is "difficult", or requires "complex logistics". Not insurmountable.

These deserve a reply:


I'll ignore the personal attack (which amounts to "You don't agree with me therefore you're stupid")

You're going to have to bear with me here, as this is going to be quite condescending:

It's not a personal attack, it's a criticism, and it's one that you've earned. Get over it. You get that because you're a prime example of the problem I was talking about in the original post. You're not thinking these problems through in a clear or logical manner, you're straw-manning me on what are ultimately minor technical problems in order to defend the undefendable conservative bubble you're living in.

Now, we all understand it's not easy for people who are living in a bubble to see outside of it, but that's something that can be taught. There is not only "One way of life" that works, and even if there was, that way would certainly not be capitalism.

It's also clear that you don't understand quite how bad things currently are in a lot of other parts of the world, and how a decent proportion of these problems are directly caused by how we in the first-world are living right now. Again, that's not entirely your fault. The current system (and the self-interest of the people running global media) doesn't go out of it's way to make its shortcomings obvious.

You're not stupid just because you don't agree with me. Having an opinion is a fine thing, and we're all entitled to them. You're stupid because you're locking in on a destructive and harmful viewpoint, and you're refusing to look at alternatives, instead trying to justify the status quo after the fact with half-arguments and disingenuous mis-readings.

Why not instead try to find a way to learn about the world, to solve these problems and to help make things better?

Don't take all of that personally, by the way. We can still be besties in all of the other nice threads about videogames ;)


but solving crime? Impossible. You'll never eliminate crime. And you know the reason why:


I can do anything I f**king want? Cool. I'm going to go burn down a hospital because I want true freedom to do so.

That's particularly disingenuous. You can clearly see that when I say "we can do anything we want" I'm talking about our potential as a species, but you instead reply as if I'm advocating "complete anarchy" and a complete lack of ethical behaviour.

And yes, perhaps when I used the term "Solving crime" I gave you a chance to read it a little literally. What I should have said was "Reducing crime to a tiny fraction of it's current levels." Because that is an easily achievable goal, as capitalism and many of it's side-effects on society are the current root cause of most crime.



Your "other systems are available" line does not actually work. Yes, there are other systems available, but the question is if they really are better, and you're going to have an extremely difficult time proving that because socialist systems don't seem to work in practice on a large scale. Even if they did, you'd still have a central, state power which you'd need to lobby to get what you need. The state can easily turn around and say "We don't really care much for artists, so we're not going to give you the resources to produce your art" and then what do you do? It's not like you can go buy the supplies.

Again, you're unthinking the problem too deeply. You don't know anything about these theoretical "other systems", but you're already applying arbitrary rules and limitations to them? Why don't you try and think your way around these problems, instead of just just giving up on them?

Think outside the box. Don't settle for second best just because "That's the way things are". Life is short, and instead of resenting people for trying to make the best of it for everybody, why not chip in and help?

soldant
21-11-2011, 12:05 PM
I'll pick out a few select points too, to prevent this from becoming the Great Wall of Text. I'll also have to let some things slip just to keep it focused.


You're not stupid just because you don't agree with me.
Actually, that's pretty much what you're saying here:

You're not thinking these problems through in a clear or logical manner
I am thinking them through in a clear and logical manner. The problem is that my opinion differs from yours, which you've decided is a logical fallacy. Which you're entitled to do, of course.


It's also clear that you don't understand quite how bad things currently are in a lot of other parts of the world, and how a decent proportion of these problems are directly caused by how we in the first-world are living right now.
More than interested to hear how the entire world's problems are entirely caused by 1st world capitalism and not other concepts like imperialism or despotism, which aren't exclusive to capitalist economies. Except for environmental concerns, but again environmental damage occurs under any economic system with a total disregard for sustainability. Also, maybe highlight how your proposed system (I'm guessing it's socialist in nature?) would solve it, and why it couldn't be done under a capitalist system?


You can clearly see that when I say "we can do anything we want" I'm talking about our potential as a species, but you instead reply as if I'm advocating "complete anarchy" and a complete lack of ethical behaviour.
Yeah I went a bit overboard on that, sorry, but I was just highlighting how human motivations can be entirely self-interested and what I decide is best for me might encroach of what you decide is best for you, and what a group decides is best for society can easily be against what another group decides is best. But again this isn't a criticism of capitalism, it's about governance.


What I should have said was "Reducing crime to a tiny fraction of it's current levels." Because that is an easily achievable goal, as capitalism and many of it's side-effects on society are the current root cause of most crime.
I'm going to have to slap a Citation Needed on that one, because while the motivation of money might be a motivator for some crimes, there are so many more which can't be tied to money itself, just simple self-interest, which you're not going to eliminate. Crime is just way too complex, there's no major root cause, whether you're looking at it from a societal or individual perspective. It's one of the reasons I stopped studying criminology; every lecturer shoved their own viewpoint of what causes crime and how to solve it down my throat, which clearly contradicted everybody else's statements and ended up having no real point at all!


Think outside the box. Don't settle for second best just because "That's the way things are". Life is short, and instead of resenting people for trying to make the best of it for everybody, why not chip in and help?
I think this is the fundamental misunderstanding here: I agree with you that the current system as you see it in the US, and with western governance at large, needs review and repair. I agree that corporations treated as a separate, individual legal entity needs review. I agree that government intervention in the economy needs review and must be greater to ensure equality as much as practicable. I find it frankly unbelievable that the US has such staunch opposition to public healthcare! I don't like how much input corporations have in influencing government policy. But I disagree that the root cause is capitalism. I disagree with some of the factions in the Occupy movement trying to dismantle an economic system which actually does work and serves us well, when it's appropriately managed. Largely though I disagree with the concept that people will always act for the greater utopian good, which is what many factions in Occupy seem to be suggesting. I disagree because I know humanity has far too many individual motivations and decisions on what is best, and without proper governance, you're going to run into the exact same problems regardless of economic system. To me, the Occupy movement is largely blind because it can't see the flaws with some of its own proposals and simply rejects anything too "conservative" as... well, frankly as being evil.

I'd respond to "other systems" if you mention one you'd like me to give an opinion on specifically. Since we're talking about economic systems I was just focusing on criticisms of socialism.


Don't take all of that personally, by the way. We can still be besties in all of the other nice threads about videogames ;)
I don't take any of it personally, I love a good argument and can't resist posting. At the end of the day it's a difference in opinion, I'd be pretty callous and vindictive to launch an epic hate campaign over this ;) Love all around!

Tikey
21-11-2011, 12:37 PM
This is the most educated heated argument I've seen. Love you guys

Taidan
22-11-2011, 01:49 AM
More than interested to hear how the entire world's problems are entirely caused by 1st world capitalism and not other concepts like imperialism or despotism, which aren't exclusive to capitalist economies. Except for environmental concerns, but again environmental damage occurs under any economic system with a total disregard for sustainability.

Well, after the environmental concerns, for starters there's the entire supply chain of materials and labour for the cheap goods we enjoy, with the well-documented economic exploitation and other harms which directly occur across much of the globe as a result of that. I'd almost recommend "The Story of Stuff" for a quick, basic explanation of that, but I couldn't do it with a straight face, as their given examples are terrible and they exaggerate for effect when they should just stick to the facts.

Secondly, there's the whole issue of inaction concerning problems that we, as a whole, have the physical resources and man-power to solve, but do indeed go unsolved because "We can't afford it" in the case of governments and the public, or "It's unprofitable" in the case of private institutions.

In a rational, sane system, if we have the physical resources, the manpower and the know-how to do things, then they can be done if we so desire.

Under capitalism, you also need to accumulate the non-substantive signifiers of "wealth" to achieve these things, which requires the consent of the non-elected holders of said "wealth", which is very rarely given, (Unless the act will result in a greater share of "wealth" for the holder) possibly due to the fact that most of these people didn't get where they are today by being nice, caring people. (This is why so many charities have to resort to begging the general public, which hold the tiniest portions of the "wealth", to make a tiny dent in problems that we should have practically fixed on ethical grounds at least half a century ago.)

Thirdly, for a more direct example, there's the whole issue of how America uses it's control of the World Trade Organisation, the World Bank and the IMF as tools of their own less-than-wholesome foreign policy, which causes a whole heap o'hurt around the planet. It's true that this is more a problem with Global politics than with capitalism, but it's a problem that is only possible due to capitalism.


I'm going to have to slap a Citation Needed on that one, because while the motivation of money might be a motivator for some crimes, there are so many more which can't be tied to money itself, just simple self-interest, which you're not going to eliminate. Crime is just way too complex, there's no major root cause, whether you're looking at it from a societal or individual perspective. It's one of the reasons I stopped studying criminology; every lecturer shoved their own viewpoint of what causes crime and how to solve it down my throat, which clearly contradicted everybody else's statements and ended up having no real point at all!

It's not just money as an object that contributes to crime. It's the larger effects of money on society that do the real harm. It's about creating a culture that values the accumulation of wealth, (and conspicuous symbols of) more than ethical, humanist values. It's a culture that promises people everything, and smoothly persuades them that leading a happy, worthy life means living in a house like the woman from the advert for the sofa, or driving a car like the man from the Coke advert, or living a celebrity lifestyle, before rudely dropping them into minimum-wage servitude, or worse still, hopeless unemployment. (Remember, the first thing that capitalism does when an artificial economic shortage is triggered to is sacrifice the income of more innocent workers to maintain profit margins. Insanity!)

If we move on from using a currency-based economy, You can eliminate most of the crime which revolves around property or finances straight off the bat, which I believe is just over 50% of the crime in my country. Modern poverty in the western world, which is the root cause of most crime that revolves around property, is an artificial construct of capitalism. (Remember, most people have to have a lot less so that a minority can have a lot more.)

25% of further crime (According the the vague, out-dated statistics I remember) was due to simple vandalism, usually a result of the disillusioned youth from poorer areas reacting angrily to the circumstances that they barely understand, which is pretty much all down to being subjected to an idealized view of how modern capitalist consumer society works by a mass media that is eager to sell things, then being rudely denied it by the realities of that same capitalism. (See London Riots 2011.)

That leaves us with violent crime at about 20%, and drug offences at about 4%. Most of which is also committed by the poorer segments of society, of course. Are they poor because they're violent, or are they violent because they're poor? Difficult question. Let's split it down the middle. 10% either way? It's a dangerous assumption, must do more research. Drug offences? I'd imagine they'd drop by a good proportion if there was literally no money to be made from smuggling drugs. (And let's legalize weed while we're at it, to drop the figure a hell of a lot more.)

Anyway, after the pressures of capitalism are removed from society, all that you have left in the way of crime are violent crimes that result from our frail Human emotions, (You Earthlings call it anger!) and the truly unwell.


I think this is the fundamental misunderstanding here: I agree with you that the current system as you see it in the US, and with western governance at large, needs review and repair. I agree that corporations treated as a separate, individual legal entity needs review. I agree that government intervention in the economy needs review and must be greater to ensure equality as much as practicable. I find it frankly unbelievable that the US has such staunch opposition to public healthcare! I don't like how much input corporations have in influencing government policy.

It sounds like we're both pushing towards a similar aim, but from two different directions. You're advocating installing further regulations and control, and reducing the freedom within the capitalist system, but still ultimately still leaving a chaotic mish-mash of self-interest and greed to ultimately govern our lives and the future of the Human race, and I'm pushing to scrap it in favour of a more controlled, yet more democratic and equitable distribution of the worlds resources (Both Human and economic) to be installed in its place.

Sadly, while the majority are still too immersed in their bubble to be able to see the possibilities and potential, your way is more realistic. But my way is still ultimately better. :p

I suspect that time will tell, and one day, in the distant future, people will look back on these days as yet another dark age, and view the current economic system that rules our lives in pretty much the same way we look upon the way that religious fundamentalism ruled some parts of Europe hundreds of years back.

(I'm a big fan of the theory that capitalism has more in common with religion than science, by the way, but that's a whole other can of worms to be opened.)


I disagree with the concept that people will always act for the greater utopian good, which is what many factions in Occupy seem to be suggesting. I disagree because I know humanity has far too many individual motivations and decisions on what is best, and without proper governance, you're going to run into the exact same problems regardless of economic system.

I disagree with your disagreement with the concept that people will always act for the greater utopian good. I think the current outlook and actions of society-at-large is a result of the stresses of living under capitalism, rather than the other way around.

I think that something as simple as the mass media unilaterally championing and making celebrities of those who give selflessly for the betterment of mankind, instead of glamorising wealth and personal ambition, would make a vast difference.

If the stars that appeared on Saturday evening reality-talent shows were actually doctors and scientists competing for scientific progress, instead of being talentless buffoons that brandish tasteless jewellery and unrealistic looks competing for lucrative record deals that will buy them fast cars and big houses, I bet that kids would also grow up wanting to contribute, rather than to just take.

As I said before, Human beings will always naturally seek to compete with each other, and always will do until the day we're knocked off the top of the food chain. (If if there are shortages in food, shelter or viable mates, even then.)

The problem is the environment in which this competition happens. In a capitalist society, this competition naturally manifests itself as greed, and the endless march to acquire more "stuff" than the next person. Societies can also champion and be based around other concepts though, where people compete in other ways, such as knowledge, self-sacrifice, piety, etc.


To me, the Occupy movement is largely blind because it can't see the flaws with some of its own proposals and simply rejects anything too "conservative" as... well, frankly as being evil.

For what it's worth, I also disagree with a lot of the Occupy movement, but for different reasons. I disagree because I think that a lot of them are a bunch of blind muppets who sat on their asses and didn't see the problem coming until after it was too late, and only then were ignorant to it until it affected them personally. I disagree because I think that they're trying to slap a band-aid over the problem, instead of attacking the root cause. I also disagree because I'm yet to hear anything truly constructive to come out of that particular camp, apart from their displeasure at current circumstances.

I still support them, because I still think they're doing good, but I think they're doing good largely by accident and ignorance, rather than by any intelligent, organized plan for the change that we so desperately need.

archonsod
22-11-2011, 02:58 AM
Right, so it's perfectly legal for me to set up a company, have the same EULA as Steam, take pre-orders for Mass Effect 3 for $20, then on release day say "no, actually, I'm terminating the service" and run off with everyone's money?

Legality can only be determined by a judge. Under Steam's EULA you'd be obliged to offer refunds - it defines each purchase as a separate subscription, I'd expect a court would consider a pre-order to be the same as any other service contract where you pay money up front to engage the provider at a later date - if the provider doesn't provide the service then they need to refund you.
You could on the other hand terminate the service five minutes after the game was added to everyone's account, but you'd be dependent on sufficient people not exercising their statutory refund rights to make any money.

And that's why large companies don't use Virgin Media for their internet connection. They use separate, business-based companies who provide a guarantee of a certain level of service and uptime.
Erm, all ISP's guarantee a level of service and uptime. And companies do indeed use Virgin Media. Generally speaking the only difference with a business account tends to be the bandwidth and lack of fair use policy.


Even if they have a clause stating the unilateral right to terminate without notice or condition the ISP probably knows it's standing on waifer-thin ground. Otherwise, why bother listing specific conditions that entitle them to terminate?

The ISP is usually taking money off you at regular intervals for a defined period of service, hence the conditions. If you pay for 30 days internet and the ISP terminates on day 3, then you could rightly demand 90% of the money back as the service you paid for was never provided. By setting out specific terms they can get around this by claiming it as a punitive measure for your breach of contract.


Just because some ISPs or other service providers include clauses in their contracts doesn't mean that they're automatically enforceable.

Well no, as I said it's entirely up to the court what does and doesn't apply if it goes that far. As long as the agreement doesn't break the actual law the judge can opt to enforce or ignore virtually at whim.


You're not reading it together. We're talking about access to games that they're not obliged to give you access to. Also, "reasonable length of time" is a term potentially inferred by the court which in any case, surely, supersedes whatever existing clause is in the contract, right?

They are, because each game you buy is a subscription. If I engage you for a service and you never provide me with that service you are breaking the law, in that instance it's no different from what happens when you purchase goods and the seller doesn't give you them.
The reasonable length of time would merely be the default if a time clause isn't present. If there was a clause then there would be no reason for the court to apply a reasonable time interpretation - if Steam stated up front you were paying for an hour's access to the game, then you're paying for an hours access to the game. It's not up to the court to determine if you made a good deal with the agreement, simply what you actually agreed to. It is not within the power of the court to tell a business it can't charge 40 for ten minutes access to a game.
Not including a clause would imply the service is to be provided forever, which is an equally unreasonable expectation, hence the court would fall back on a "did you get access to the service for an amount of time commensurate with how much you paid for it" methodology.


Statistically, how many people actually read the EULA?

Irrelevant, since the box you check to sign the EULA specifically states I have read and understand the terms of the agreement. As the old saying goes, ignorance is no excuse in the eyes of the law. If you attempted to argue that you didn't read or understand the EULA the court is likely to decide against you (in fact if you checked the box saying you did, you could face a counter-suit for fraud).


I think that termination clause ought to be classified as an unconscionable clause.

The right of a service provider to stop service is enshrined in law, not a simple clause. You couldn't get it considered an unconscionable clause because it's a statutory right of the company - neither you nor they have the power to agree to remove it. All it does for someone like Steam is provide clarity - it's only really needed in the case of ongoing payments, and then only to determine what happens to any outstanding balance (on either side) should service be ended.


Historically, for games there isn't much support anyway. When have games sold retail, in boxes, ever been cut off from the user? The industry never worked that way.

In theory it did. It was simply never enforced; consider the price of hiring a lawyer compared to buying a game, it simply wasn't worth taking to court for either party. Of course when the stakes were bigger - business applications for example - it's a different story. The only thing digital distribution has done is swing it back into the favour of the publishers by making it possible to enforce the EULA without needing to go to court.

deano2099
22-11-2011, 03:26 AM
You could on the other hand terminate the service five minutes after the game was added to everyone's account, but you'd be dependent on sufficient people not exercising their statutory refund rights to make any money.
Where does that right to a refund come from? Distance Selling Regs don't apply to contracts as far as I know?


Erm, all ISP's guarantee a level of service and uptime. And companies do indeed use Virgin Media. Generally speaking the only difference with a business account tends to be the bandwidth and lack of fair use policy.
Fairly sure most consumer ISPs have similar EULAs that state they can just not provide service whenever... I've had loss of service from ISPs for up to 5 days in the past and never got any money back. I can't imagine most large business would work in the same way...


Not including a clause would imply the service is to be provided forever, which is an equally unreasonable expectation, hence the court would fall back on a "did you get access to the service for an amount of time commensurate with how much you paid for it" methodology.
I don't see that 'forever' is unreasonable. In fact, given that what you pay for a game on a digital distribution service is the same as what you pay for the box, and box gives you access to the 'service' forever then surely forever is a reasonable length of time? Surely it's the only reasonable amount of time?
Obviously there are issues with DRM and activations these days, but with the disc I can install the game at any time I want (even if the activation servers are since dead). Should Steam not offer the same, given that it's charging the same?


Irrelevant, since the box you check to sign the EULA specifically states I have read and understand the terms of the agreement. As the old saying goes, ignorance is no excuse in the eyes of the law. If you attempted to argue that you didn't read or understand the EULA the court is likely to decide against you (in fact if you checked the box saying you did, you could face a counter-suit for fraud).
I think the UK Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Act might apply - haven't got time to look it up now.

archonsod
22-11-2011, 04:05 AM
Where does that right to a refund come from? Distance Selling Regs don't apply to contracts as far as I know?

Pretty sure you have a right to a refund within a certain time even in the States.


Fairly sure most consumer ISPs have similar EULAs that state they can just not provide service whenever... I've had loss of service from ISPs for up to 5 days in the past and never got any money back. I can't imagine most large business would work in the same way...

Haven't got much choice until someone invents a method that can guarantee 100% uptime. Businesses work around it via resiliency/redundancy; for most corporate connections it takes a near total failure of the ISP's network to take them down, which is incredibly rare.


box gives you access to the 'service' forever then surely forever is a reasonable length of time?

Nope, CD/DVD's have a limited lifespan before oxidation and degradation of the dyes render them inoperable. Moot anyway though, you're not buying a retail game and the court would have no reason to consider it in the same terms. Or in short, try that argument and you'll just get told you should have bought it retail.


Should Steam not offer the same, given that it's charging the same?

That is beyond the scope of the court to decide. It's the kind of thing we rely on the principals of the free market rather than legislation to sort out; if people thought Steam should be offering the same they'd be buying retail rather than Steam.


I think the UK Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Act might apply

Nope, only applies if the contract either attempts to limit your statutory / common law rights or else places an unfair burden on the consumer. Steam's EULA does neither.

soldant
22-11-2011, 04:34 AM
Taidan: I'm going to just refer to blocks between quotes, saves quoting :)

Block 1: The key phrase is if we so desire. Yes, you've raised some valid criticisms of individual motivation. But that same rule applies to a socialist system as well. It's easy for whoever is in control of the economy to simply say "Well, that has no real value to us, so we're not going to allocate resources for it." In that instance "value" doesn't mean "price" but simply a measure of importance, or the concept of "happiness" to use a slightly difficult term. There's no reason why the rational sanity applied to capitalism would preclude investment in, say, developing nations. But developing nations have problems of their own unrelated to capitalism. The exploitation of workers in China for example is entirely due to party policy, and since there's nobody to oppose them, it doesn't really matter what system they're under because they're still locked down by their government.

As for the USA's control of the IMF etc, while it's true that it's specific to capitalism in that it's about money, you could argue the same for any centralised, global system of resource allocation. Money at the end of the day just makes it easier to determine how to convert one good into another as well as figuring out resource allocation through supply and demand. You could just as easily horde a particular essential resource without money and still influence foreign policy.

Block 2: Most of your information about crime is unsourced but even taken at face value I could spend an entire post on its own taking apart all the broad groupings of crime you give and find a multitude of reasons unrelated to capitalism. Coveting a better lifestyle has nothing to do with wealth and everything to do with self-interest. As I've said, humans have individual motivations and don't act like collectivised insects, despite the fact that we ultimately have to emulate that behaviour in order to function in full societies. You can divorce money from the equation simply by recognising that money is just a tool used to obtain material goods, and with or without corporate influence people want what's in their own best interests. Say for example the poor. You argue that they steal because they are poor and it's the fault of capitalism that they're poor. But is it the fault of capitalism, or are they poor for other reasons? Is it institutionalised racism in the case of an ethic minority, unrelated to capitalism? Is it that their own motivations lead towards criminal tendencies. Are they not really criminals at all and are just different from an assumed norm? Were they born into a criminal household and simply learned criminal behaviours? If money was entirely removed from the system, can you definitively state that all property crime would be abolished?

It's hard to figure out crime statistics for "socialist" states because most of them have authorative governments who won't release accurate statistics. But even then that just introduces another problem - what do we define as "property crime"? If someone takes public property for his own personal use for an indefinite period, is that a crime? If someone converts public resources without express permission, is that a crime? Does his intentions have any bearing on whether it's a crime? If a person believes that another has more private property than he does, which be believes to be unequal, and then takes this property for himself or another to improve apparent equality, is that a crime? Can state-sanctioned theft occur? If everything is publicly owned is theft even possible? If it isn't, then does the inefficient distribution of resources become a crime? I could go on and on but I think you get the idea. It's a fairly shallow way to determine a "cause" for crime by simply stating "it's money". As for the London Riots... well, after reading some of the views of the rioters it sounds like the bulk of them didn't have any idea why they were rioting at all, so if there was a real point to it, it was probably a handful who had an actual problem and a vast majority being herded like sheep with baseball bats.

Block 3: Actually in some ways religion is closer to what you're suggesting than capitalism, given that religion preaches a moral code and sense of community that capitalism doesn't require to function. Basically what you're asking for is for everyone to act in society's best interests which will be in everyone else's best interests. Which essentially means we'd have to override our individual thoughts and desires to ensure that society was looking after someone else. You'd need everyone to take a healthy dose of altruism with their daily meals. The only way you can effectively do that with humanity is through authority, because there's always a section of society seeking to attain more power and who will exploit it. It'd be nice if we lived in a nice world where everybody was interested in only helping people, but that world doesn't exist and probably won't ever exist until we're all identical in thought. Differences create a lot of problems but it's one of humanity's greatest strengths. Self-interest and greed are going to be a problem under any system you can name, because you're basically demanding people override their survival mechanisms. Humans evolved to be self-interested and yet still function in societies, because our greatest asset has been our unmatched intelligence (as yet unmatched at least) which breeds self-interest and self-concept. Insects like ants are awesome at looking out for the colony's best interests and have no concept of greed, but they're also just little insects doing important jobs until they die.

Block 4: You're not likely to find people "competing" for self-sacrifice because it's basically a race to self-depletion. Humans sacrifice extreme amounts to their own detriment for people that they care about, or if the end result ultimately makes them happy. That sort of thing still happens under a capitalist economy (plenty of people donate money or resources), and it could still be prevented under a socialist economy. While I agree there's too much focus on pointless celebrities I don't agree that mass media doesn't bother to mention acts of sacrifice. "Competition" doesn't work for sacrifice unless what you're sacrificing goes to the benefit of something useful. Meaningless sacrifice without actual benefit is a waste of resources.

Block 5: I kind of agree with you there in terms of the Occupy movement not actually doing anything intentionally. They're successful in making a mess and drawing attention to themselves, but the media reports on them basically amount to "They're angry about the 1% because of... jobs?" or picking out factions and presenting their individual statements as representative of the entire movement. Clearly few have any idea what the point of it is. I support the idea of change but not the far-left stuff. For the record you can probably put me centre-left on the political spectrum, though by Australian standards I'd be fairly centrist (given that all our political parties, even the 'conservative' Liberal Party, are still reasonably left-wing by US standards).

Zetetic
22-11-2011, 04:46 AM
I'm a big fan of the theory that capitalism has more in common with religion than science, by the way, but that's a whole other can of worms to be opened.
What I would say on this is that the rule of law and the power of the state has ultimately eroded a substantial part of the social function of religion. Demonstrable shared belief in transcendent judgement is no longer a requisite for trust and transactions, because we have a moderately effective system of judgement in the here and now.

I bring up this perspective because it's relevant to this:

Societies can also champion and be based around other concepts though, where people compete in other ways, such as knowledge, self-sacrifice, piety, etc.But they don't. Why?

You go on about the 'chaotic mish-mash' of 'self-interest'. What are you going to do about the attraction of self-interest, the massive overwhelming drive of self-interest that permeates the psychology of the human, the mammal indeed anything that we recognise as having life and behaviour? Don't get me wrong, humans can often transcend this - we have compassion and empathy too. We have intelligence and thought which makes us more than the average social creature.

But any society still has to take account of self-interest. It has to recognise that at times, a man will place his well-being - or at least his perceived well-being - and those close to him ahead of others.

"Oh", you say, "but we can rebuild them. We can show them how to think rationally and sanely - coincidentally as I do."

We have to question if that's really the case; that one could really rebuild every man in this way. True, there are ways of encouraging sacrifice of one's labour and time to the common good - but what are these ways historically?

Religion perhaps, it seemingly works better than various forms of socialism and the like (see Sosis, 2000 for an interesting examination of a particular time and place) at encouraging self-sacrifice. Perhaps the old ways - actual intellectual discussion and apparent attitude change (as in Sosis' early 19th century communes) or the crude propaganda of the Soviet and Chinese systems - are not so effective as whatever mind altering experiences you believe are the way forward.

In which case, I must defer to you, and I beg you tell me how you really change the behaviour of the human once and for all to no more compete for food and status and so on, but instead for something irrelevant to such desperately innate drives. Perhaps you really can change the perception of the human in this manner, but I've yet to see it happen.

--

The thing is, that I consider myself utterly committed to both democracy and equality. I am a democratic socialist.

However, I recognise that selfishness and greed is a core part of the heart of man, and further more that, at the societal level, relatively free markets are are often efficient, regardless of their unacceptable outcomes of inequality.

This is highly problematic for anyone seeking to establish any manner of society with greater equality. Any such society has to compare incredibly favourably both in terms of how psychologically attractive it is and how capable it is of defending itself. Furthermore, more efficient societies are seemingly highly attractive to a great many individuals, regardless of inequalities and average happiness, because some people find themselves with a very great quality of life.

This is a miserable conclusion, but I find it very hard to shift.

--
More editing!
I think I should expand on the Sosis stuff that I referenced above. Sosis produced a interesting paper (link (http://www.anth.uconn.edu/faculty/sosis/publications/SosiscommunesCCR2000.pdf)) where he examined the longevity of various 19th century American communal 'utopian' societies.

Broadly, he divided the groups into religious and areligious (which included self-identified socialist and anarchist and communist communes for example), ignored the really long-lived religious ones (the ones that are still around today!) and tried to control for factors like people dropping out of areligious ideologies more quickly (which they did).

So, although the study is imperfect it's a fairly interesting demonstration of how areligious societies really, really struggled to engender the kind of cooperation needed to survive (despite very little external pressure) at particular time and in a particular place. (Sosis is actually pushing the 'costly signalling' theory which I find attractive, but you don't need to subscribe to it to get this point.)

It's a fairly depressing result to my mind.

hamster
22-11-2011, 11:37 AM
The ISP is usually taking money off you at regular intervals for a defined period of service, hence the conditions. If you pay for 30 days internet and the ISP terminates on day 3, then you could rightly demand 90% of the money back as the service you paid for was never provided. By setting out specific terms they can get around this by claiming it as a punitive measure for your breach of contract.

I was under the impression that you were saying that ISPs are fully exempt from providing service because they have a clause to that effect. Now they have to refund you? From what I recall, my ISP contract says nothing about compensation for downtime. However it is common practice (at least in these parts) to phone up customer service and receive some sort of refund.

So how does this apply to Steam, then? Are you saying if Steam terminated the agreement pursuant to that clause, contrary to the ISP contracts, they're entitled to compensate you nothing?


Well no, as I said it's entirely up to the court what does and doesn't apply if it goes that far. As long as the agreement doesn't break the actual law the judge can opt to enforce or ignore virtually at whim.

I was under the impression that you were relying on common practice as evidence, that's all.



They are, because each game you buy is a subscription. If I engage you for a service and you never provide me with that service you are breaking the law, in that instance it's no different from what happens when you purchase goods and the seller doesn't give you them.

So they provide you with the service for 5 seconds then pull the plug and you think that's what, substantial performance?


The reasonable length of time would merely be the default if a time clause isn't present. If there was a clause then there would be no reason for the court to apply a reasonable time interpretation - if Steam stated up front you were paying for an hour's access to the game, then you're paying for an hours access to the game. It's not up to the court to determine if you made a good deal with the agreement, simply what you actually agreed to. It is not within the power of the court to tell a business it can't charge 40 for ten minutes access to a game.

Yes, i know it's inferred in the absence of a time clause. But what are you saying here? That the contract can specify "as long or as short as the service provider desires"? That in this instance consumers are entitled to a reasonable amount of time?


Not including a clause would imply the service is to be provided forever, which is an equally unreasonable expectation, hence the court would fall back on a "did you get access to the service for an amount of time commensurate with how much you paid for it" methodology.

Court'll look at the industry norm. So far every game's been around forever.


Nope, CD/DVD's have a limited lifespan before oxidation and degradation of the dyes render them inoperable. Moot anyway though, you're not buying a retail game and the court would have no reason to consider it in the same terms. Or in short, try that argument and you'll just get told you should have bought it retail...

That is beyond the scope of the court to decide. It's the kind of thing we rely on the principals of the free market rather than legislation to sort out; if people thought Steam should be offering the same they'd be buying retail rather than Steam.

That's a technical limitation which can be bypassed by backing up your game for personal use anyway (you are entitled to do that). Also i don't think it's that clear cut since both retail and DD offer essentially the same thing. To draw a line would be a very arbitrary distinction. Analyzing how industries operate is something that courts do all the time anyway.


Irrelevant, since the box you check to sign the EULA specifically states I have read and understand the terms of the agreement. As the old saying goes, ignorance is no excuse in the eyes of the law. If you attempted to argue that you didn't read or understand the EULA the court is likely to decide against you (in fact if you checked the box saying you did, you could face a counter-suit for fraud).

This...is not true.


The right of a service provider to stop service is enshrined in law, not a simple clause. You couldn't get it considered an unconscionable clause because it's a statutory right of the company - neither you nor they have the power to agree to remove it. All it does for someone like Steam is provide clarity - it's only really needed in the case of ongoing payments, and then only to determine what happens to any outstanding balance (on either side) should service be ended.

What? I didn't say a service contract cannot have a termination clause; i'm arguing that the termination clause cannot be so broad as to render the entire contract meaningless. The termination clause in question allows the company to terminate the agreement just-like-that *snaps fingers* at any time. Also what statutory right are you referring to? The UCC?

Heck in the UK they have the The Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations (we probably have an equivalent 'round here but no idea what it's called). Schedule 2 lists examples (non-exhaustive). Just take a glance at a.), b.), c.), d.), f.) and g.).


In theory it did. It was simply never enforced; consider the price of hiring a lawyer compared to buying a game, it simply wasn't worth taking to court for either party. Of course when the stakes were bigger - business applications for example - it's a different story. The only thing digital distribution has done is swing it back into the favour of the publishers by making it possible to enforce the EULA without needing to go to court.

They could have declared: "ooohlala we hereby exercise our contractual rights pursuant to clause ABC to terminate the licensing agreement between UnScrupulous.Ltd and all its buyers. Please uninstall the game. Any further use of the software will constitute a breach of copyright."

Of course, no reason to do so. But that already sort of defines the industry as it was back then and still somewhat is now.

deano2099
22-11-2011, 07:19 PM
Haven't got much choice until someone invents a method that can guarantee 100% uptime.

My point was my ISP contract doesn't guarantee any sort of uptime. There's no 95% or 90% thing in there. Or even 50%. I'm fairly sure my company's contract does.


Nope, CD/DVD's have a limited lifespan before oxidation and degradation of the dyes render them inoperable. Moot anyway though, you're not buying a retail game and the court would have no reason to consider it in the same terms. Or in short, try that argument and you'll just get told you should have bought it retail.
But how else would you determine what a reasonable amount of time was? What other comparative is there? No, a retail copy isn't exactly the same but it's as close as we can get. As you say, courts have to determine 'reasonable' and fine, maybe they'll go with 'life of a DVD' and call it 20 years or something. But there's no other comparative. Plus don't retail copies have EULAs too, like you said earlier, it's always been this way, so by that token the retail and download is the same thing.


Nope, only applies if the contract either attempts to limit your statutory / common law rights or else places an unfair burden on the consumer. Steam's EULA does neither. True for certain values of 'unfair'.

deano2099
22-11-2011, 07:25 PM
They could have declared: "ooohlala we hereby exercise our contractual rights pursuant to clause ABC to terminate the licensing agreement between UnScrupulous.Ltd and all its buyers. Please uninstall the game. Any further use of the software will constitute a breach of copyright."


This is key, I think. Even if we accept that it has always been this way, from a strictly legal perspective, consumer law has always been fairly reactionary - it gets made when a company is seen to be doing something that's unfair on the consumer. So even if they always had the rights to do this thing, if they never exercised those rights, then there's no reason for consumer advocate groups to spend resources on lobbying for laws to prevent a non-existent threat.

But now the mechanics exist for companies to use these rights then perspectives will change, laws will adapt and so on. As I've always said, things like Steam or Origin being able to take away things you 'bought' may or may not be legal under current laws. But I am certain that if the legislatures who drew up Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts, Distance Selling Regulations and other such statutory instruments were doing so now, they would totally cover this. Because it flies in the face of the spirit of these laws.

Taidan
23-11-2011, 01:27 AM
Right. We've been around in circles all over again, gotten truly off-topic, and I really can't be bothered to do the whole blow-by-blow thing anymore, as I have a feeling that I've already rebuffed all of those arguments in earlier posts, and they're either differences of core moral values, or minor straw-manning again on technical points, so we're basically getting nowhere.

Also, you're both basing all of your assumptions on human behaviour, motivation, crime etc. entirely on how we have observed humans operating in a capitalist (And yes, I'm including the USSR and other failed "half-socialist" experiments.) system, which I'm still insisting has corrupted this very nature.

We've got a whole difference of opinion on which way around the causes and effects are in the current system, for example Soldant's example of the exploitation of workers in China. You say it's entirely due to party policy, I believe that that very party policy is formed due to the effects of capitalism. I don't know, it just seems a little more likely, given those particular policies seem to exist to exploit those workers in order to keep costs low and profits high, just to improve China's financial standing within the world markets. Maybe I'm wrong...

The core of the counter argument is, as Zetetic put it:


In which case, I must defer to you, and I beg you tell me how you really change the behaviour of the human once and for all to no more compete for food and status and so on, but instead for something irrelevant to such desperately innate drives.

So one last time, why compete on food? (Or any of the things we need to keep ourselves alive and healthy.) There is still more than enough for everyone, and room to make a hell of a lot more if we need it. (If we're driven to make food, and not just making food as a by-product of profit-seeking.) And yes, we all always still compete on "status", but "status" only means the acquirement of materials in a material culture. A healthy culture would assign status to those who work for the betterment of mankind, such as great scientists, artists, doctors, engineers, leaders, etc., not just those who have the most shiny things.

(Of course, that situation will only last so long. If we carry wasting natural resources at the rate that capitalism needs them to be wasted to maintain itself, one day we really will be competing for "The Basics", and a lot of people are going to lose out very badly.)

Also, I'm guilty here of not clarifying at all a system of replacement for the economic (and political, and educational, and global) systems, which as I have mentioned would be extremely lengthy in nature, and also incomplete in detail without a broad bunch of experts in various fields to bounce ideas off of, so you're both replying according to assumptions of details of various socialist theories, instead of the broad strokes I'm trying to communicate with. (That which I mockingly refer to as "Unthinking the problem too deeply".)

What it ultimately appears to come down to is a difference of opinion on the value of human life, and whether or not we should use a (THEORETICAL UNSPECIFIED) system to democratically share the natural resources of this planet for the betterment of every person alive, (And the planet itself) or whether or not it's better to be chained to system of arbitrary wealth that doesn't in any way signify the true wealth of the planet and it's people, and leaves the majority practically enslaved to an ever dwindling elite that run the planet in an almost complete moral vacuum, as well as the many unpleasant side-effects I've mentioned so far. (As well as a lot more that I haven't.)

The answer to that one should be obvious. I despair that apparently it is still not.

Nalano
23-11-2011, 01:32 AM
I bow out of internet arguments that start talking about human motivation, because suddenly everybody thinks they're experts and start spouting this composite of received wisdom, 'common' sense, and gut reactions that make me want to punch babies.

Taidan
23-11-2011, 01:38 AM
I bow out of internet arguments that start talking about human motivation, because suddenly everybody thinks they're experts and start spouting this composite of received wisdom, 'common' sense, and gut reactions that make me want to punch babies.

Quitter. Everybody knows that getting the last word in is more important than just agreeing to disagree and shaking hands at the end. :p

Nalano
23-11-2011, 01:46 AM
Quitter. Everybody knows that getting the last word in is more important than just agreeing to disagree and shaking hands at the end. :p

Whoever said anything about shaking hands?

It's about stepping away and calling in the assassins.

Zetetic
23-11-2011, 01:51 AM
I bow out of internet arguments that start talking about human motivation, because suddenly everybody thinks they're experts and start spouting this composite of received wisdom, 'common' sense, and gut reactions that make me want to punch babies.


That, or make reference to historical examples and the considered writings of anthropologists and psychologists.


What it ultimately appears to come down to is a difference of opinion on the value of human life,I think you're misrepresenting me and, I believe, soldant.

It upsets me a little that you think my disagreement with you is through different values of human life (although actually I would have said 'experience' ;) ).


and whether or not we should use a (THEORETICAL UNSPECIFIED) system to democratically share the natural resources of this planet for the betterment of every person alive,...
The answer to that one should be obvious. I despair that apparently it is still not.I believe the disagreement is whether we can or not. As phrased, you've basically said (to the vast majority of Westerner), would you like the world to be nice?

'Democratically' is certainly a word that needs to be clarified here, and you really haven't done so. Worse, you've often talked as if humans can never 'rationally' have either divergent or openly conflicting desires.


Also, you're both basing all of your assumptions on human behaviour, motivation, crime etc. entirely on how we have observed humansYes.


operating in a capitalistOops, there's more.


(And yes, I'm including the USSR and other failed "half-socialist" experiments.) system, I'm still insisting has corrupted this very nature. The problem is what counter-examples do you have.

What societies and cultures are there that have come close to demonstrating the uncorrupted - in your eyes - nature of man? Have they scaled significantly? Importantly, unfortunately, have they managed to compete with supposedly 'corrupting' cultures? Because that's still going to be damn important.


So one last time, why compete on food?I don't know why humans - on the whole - are so intent on discontent with their lot, even when they've got 'enough'. I could throw out some bits of speculative evolutionary psychology here, possibly appeal to competitiveness of societies - but this would be speculative and I don't think it's so important when the onus is on you to provide suitable counterexamples to the massed ranks of selfish, greedy humans that the past and the present provide us with.

Some humans do, to one extent or another, do manage to free themselves from this competitive nature, but I don't think it's trivial and I don't believe it's a matter of attitudinal changes that can be brought about by rationalisation, because really it's a matter of fundamental - emotional or motivational - value changes and the like. I wonder if psychological work has been done in this area - it certainly seems likely and I'll try to have a look into it. I may be pleasantly surprised.

Edit: I should have clarified that my thoughts on this derive from (limited) experience with various Buddhist schools and practical experience and theoretical knowledge of cognitive-behavioural therapy. These seem interesting, if not the only, relevant examples of such change to me.


Also, I'm guilty here of not clarifying at all a system of replacement for the economic (and political, and educational, and global) systemsIndeed. And that's quite a significant thing. I return to the emphasis that any such replacement has to be competitive in a number of ways - no society or culture will start existence in a vacuum.


whether or not it's better to be chained to system of arbitrary wealth that doesn't in any way signify the true wealth of the planet and it's people, and leaves the majority practically enslaved to an ever dwindling elite that run the planet in an almost complete moral vacuumDo you really believe that's the question that I (and soldant) are concerned with? Of course I recognise that the current arrangement is horribly imperfect, and only ameliorated to various degrees in various countries than others.

I still recognise the power of free markets to allocate resources in a way which is often efficient within very narrow parameters, and perhaps more importantly for state intervention to widen those parameters (include externalities) at the possible loss of 'efficiency' within the more narrow ones. I recognise that 'fairness' is ripe for disagreement, I recognise that 'democratic' means compromising.

soldant
23-11-2011, 02:14 AM
Okay this thread is getting way too long and apart from just going over what I've said I can't really add much more in the way of conversation. Excellent debate though, been years since I've had this much fun in a single thread! And Godwin's law hasn't been applied yet, so there's still plenty of scope to continue on!

Though I will say:

I bow out of internet arguments that start talking about human motivation, because suddenly everybody thinks they're experts and start spouting this composite of received wisdom, 'common' sense, and gut reactions that make me want to punch babies.
Nobody here is saying we're experts, and none of us claim to have a definitive answer for why humans do what we do. All we're saying is that humans have their own motivations and are, for the most part, largely self-interested or have only limited interest outside their personal space (which could include family). You can figure that out just by looking at human history over all the various economic and governmental systems we've ever had. And thank evolution that we do, because the world would be ridiculously boring and stagnant if we just agreed with everybody else and never had a diverging thought. We're not logical AI machines, and none of us claimed as such. We're just putting forward that it's going to be hard to get the kind of large-scale cooperation demanded by this theoretical new system simply because humans act as individuals at heart.

Taidan
23-11-2011, 03:10 AM
You're still thinking inside the box, Zet. This was what my entire first post that started this thing off was all about.

Also, you're asking me to get back to refuting these things on a blow-blow basis again, and I'll just end up repeating myself yet again. Here's a choice few, before I get some sleep.


Democratically' is certainly a word that needs to be clarified here, and you really haven't done so. Worse, you've often talked as if humans can never 'rationally' have either divergent or openly conflicting desires.

Democratically as in "decided on by the elected representatives of everybody, according to the will of the people". And I have not talked as if Humans cannot have "divergent or openly conflicting desires". I don't see a problem with sharing what natural resources exist to chase all of these desires to the best of our abilities. As opposed to the current system. (See above posts for criticisms)


The problem is what counter-examples do you have.

What societies and cultures are there that have come close to demonstrating the uncorrupted - in your eyes - nature of man? Have they scaled significantly? Importantly, unfortunately, have they managed to compete with supposedly 'corrupting' cultures? Because that's still going to be damn important.

That also depends on how you view the "uncorrupted nature of man". In my opinion, that nature is nothing more than the need to survive comfortably, (Including, of course, finding a mate and reproducing.) that's evident in all animals. Next, we have the need to find self-worth and meaning within our lives, reflected by the values of the social group, and acceptance within that social group. Finally, for a portion (but not all) there is the need to compete, seek status and rise within the group.

What you're suggesting is that these particular values are fixed, and that capitalism meets these needs. What I'm suggesting is that these values are learned, and can be relearned in any number of better (or worse) ways, just as many other values that were once common have been learned and unlearned over time. (Equality for people of different races, sex and sexuality being a prime example of those values. Not that we're all the way there yet.) I'm not saying that it will be easy, of course. A lot of damage has been done, and a lot of attitudes run so deeply that they'd be felt for generations even if we did induce a catastrophic instant change to a new way of life. (Which as I've also already said, is not something I'm advocating.)

And the competition of so-called "'corrupting' cultures"? I think it'll be a while yet before we meet any non-human life that seeks to dominate us. (I think that's going to fall to the chance element of what levels of technological development we've both reached, and the social values of our respective races. ;) )


I don't know why humans - on the whole - are so intent on discontent with their lot, even when they've got 'enough'. I could throw out some bits of speculative evolutionary psychology here, possibly appeal to competitiveness of societies - but this would be speculative and I don't think it's so important when the onus is on you to provide suitable counterexamples to the massed ranks of selfish, greedy humans that the past and the present provide us with.

Some humans do, to one extent or another, do manage to free themselves from this competitive nature, but I don't think it's trivial and I don't believe it's a matter of attitudinal changes that can be brought about by rationalisation, because really it's a matter of fundamental - emotional or motivational - value changes and the like. I wonder if psychological work has been done in this area - it certainly seems likely and I'll try to have a look into it. I may be pleasantly surprised.

As I've already stated multiple times, I'm not suggesting at all that we should try to "free ourselves from this competitive nature". If anything, I think we should embrace it, I think it's one of our best characteristics.

What I'm suggesting is that we turn this competitive nature away from the current popular mode of "Gathering the most signifiers of personal wealth", as that's another arbitrary construct of current society, and aim it square at something that's actually productive, such as science, art, or whatever.


Indeed. And that's quite a significant thing. I return to the emphasis that any such replacement has to be competitive in a number of ways - no society or culture will start existence in a vacuum.

As I hoped would have been obvious by my constant references to "For the Good of all Mankind", I'm talking, on a theoretical level, about an entirely global change. As I've said above, I know that it's not a realistic aim in the short term. We're going to have to make do with what we've got for a long time, and hope we can improve it just enough that things start improving enough for us to turn it around before it wipes all of us out.

I don't have all of the answers. I have the teachings of a lot of very brilliant people, a few ideas, some circumstantial evidence, and a lot of idealism. I do know that there are a lot of people out there that are a lot smarter than me that do have some of the answers, and I'm damn positive that if the best of us put our heads together, we could come up with a solution to all of these problems and more, using a basis of science, mathematics and ethics, and put in enough checks and balances that they stay fixed for a long time to come.

I'm not advocating a sudden revolution and switch into an entirely new mode of thinking. That would do a lot more harm than good. I'm talking about a better way of life that we should start working towards. And, going all the way back to my very first post again, the first step on that road is going to be to teach people to want that, by teaching them to think for themselves, and showing them that this way of life is not the only way, and that there are viable alternatives.

The problem is that people aren't thinking. They see the way that society works, and that money works, and they think that that is how the world must always work. They're stuck inside a bubble, completely unable to see outside of it, not because it can't be done, just because they don't know how to.


I still recognise the power of free markets to allocate resources in a way which is often efficient within very narrow parameters, and perhaps more importantly for state intervention to widen those parameters (include externalities) at the possible loss of 'efficiency' within the more narrow ones. I recognise that 'fairness' is ripe for disagreement, I recognise that 'democratic' means compromising.

The fact we're having this conversation is testament to the fact that the current system works in some form. I'm just saying that that form is not working in our best interests, is actually causing an incredible amount of harm, and that there's a much better way. We just have to find it.

Instead of fighting me on this one, help me. While you're at around doing whatever it is you do, try and think up ways to answer the very questions you've asked for yourself. It's an interesting mental exercise, if nothing else.

Zetetic
23-11-2011, 04:40 AM
You're still thinking inside the box, Zet.
I'm trying to argue from my observations.


Also, you're asking me to get back to refuting these things on a blow-blow basis again,I'm asking you defend your claims.


Democratically as in "decided on by the elected representatives of everybody, according to the will of the people". 'The will of the people'


That also depends on how you view the "uncorrupted nature of man".Of course. I'm deeply sceptical of your apparent view of the nature of man. Why? Because historically there's very great deal of evidence of the overwhelming majority of men acting primarily out of self-interest and material greed.


What you're suggesting is that these particular values are fixed, and that capitalism meets these needs.I'm suggesting neither of those things. I'm suggesting that certain psychological drives are best broadly construed as innate and that we have to theorise about possible social systems given the existence of such drives. I appeal to history and the present, citing the apparent nigh-ubiquity of such drives, in support of this.


What I'm suggesting is that these values are learned, and can be relearned in any number of better (or worse) ways, just as many other values that were once common have been learned and unlearned over time. Equality for people of different races, sex and sexuality being a prime example of those values. Not that we're all the way there yet.Notably, those values have a very long history of great variation, and of course, there remains variation in the world today. Without trying to make claims about learnt or innate tendencies in these areas, this is good evidence for such attitudes being (relatively) malleable.


And the competition of so-called "'corrupting' cultures"? I think it'll be a while yet before we meet any non-human life that seeks to dominate us. (I think that's going to fall to the chance element of what levels of technological development we've both reached, and the social values of our respective races. ;) )I think you've misunderstood me. Any society that arranges itself on Earth has the problem of every other ideology and nation to deal with on two bases - that other ideologies may be more attractive (for whatever reason), and that the practisers of such other ideologies may well seek to work against such a new society (believing themselves to know the moral, correct way of doing things, or for other reasons expressed in the ideology).


As I've already stated multiple times, I'm not suggesting at all that we should try to "free ourselves from this competitive nature".No, you in fact earlier that reject that we (all) have such a nature.

In my opinion, that nature is nothing more than the need to survive comfortably, (Including, of course, finding a mate and reproducing.) that's evident in all animals.
If anything, I think we should embrace it, I think it's one of our best characteristics. What I'm suggesting is that we turn this competitive nature away from the current popular mode of "Gathering the most signifiers of personal wealth", as that's another arbitrary construct of current society,So you claim. Which is why I've asked for evidence that this is the case, for example the existence of other societies that had utterly different constructs.

You might want to cite feudalistic societies, although I believe that you'd struggle to argue that the mode is truly different. You might get more luck with religious communes (or even monasteries), but I think that these can often be shown to be highly limited and historically existing only by the beneficence (certainly only by tolerance) of other societies.


I don't have all of the answers. I have the teachings of a lot of very brilliant people, a few ideas, some circumstantial evidence, and a lot of idealism.I'd genuinely like to see some of this circumstantial evidence, particularly regarding your convictions about the nature of man.

I'd like to see more evidence about either its innate form matching the contentedness with


I'm damn positive that if the best of us put our heads together, we could come up with a solution to all of these problems and more, using a basis of science, mathematics and ethics,Whose ethics?


and put in enough checks and balances that they stay fixed for a long time to come.So long as you're sure that you've got it right. ONCE AND FOR ALL.


And, going all the way back to my very first post again, the first step on that road is going to be to teach people to want that, by teaching them to think for themselvesWait, which one?


and showing them that this way of life is not the only way, and that there are viable alternatives.I don't think it's questionable that there are largely viable alternatives, albeit ones that are perhaps difficult to head towards because of those who truly do enjoy the status quo. I think that the major question of such alternatives in many people's minds is what sacrifices they involve, either economically or in terms of freedom, and for which benefits.

I might defer to the historical example of Soviet command economies and the West in the '70s (to pick a reasonable decade). The West clearly showing huge inequality of resource distribution (again, varying from nation to nation), and indeed many other inequalities of the kind you've mentioned, but with considerable personal and political freedom, albeit in democratic systems that were often biased by wealth. The Eastern Bloc conversely showing much better equality of income, in many places showing remarkable progress on gender equality and the like, but only achieved through an inefficient command economy that was maintained by considerable force and brutality.

Clearly, a great many people in each case believed in the morality of their position and fought long and hard to defend it. Each side had good reason to do so despite the failings of each one. The politics of the final half-decade of the Soviet Union is a great testament to the absolutely firm convictions that people hold on quite different values.

There are many and various trade-offs on which people strongly disagree - indeed, we see in Western Europe today a great variety of positions on government intervention into people's personal and economic lives.


The problem is that people aren't thinking. They see the way that society works, and that money works, and they think that that is how the world must always work.They're stuck inside a bubble, completely unable to see outside of it, not because it can't be done, just because they don't know how to.I think you simultaneously have a very dim, even condescending view of the masses, paired with the idea that they just need someone to liberate them from their humdrum minds. This does down the very many people who do believe in the morality of other economic and political systems.


I'm just saying that that form is not working in our best interests, is actually causing an incredible amount of harm, and that there's a much better way. We just have to find it.You still seem to ignore perhaps the overriding issue, greater even than your faith in human nature to turn out be quite unlike its mass expression for the vast majority of recorded history, that 'better' is invariably going to be a matter of opinion. See above, the constant interplay of market and command economies.

I do think that we can improve on the systems that have gone before, sure. Command economies can be considerably more efficient, after a fashion, as our tools and knowledge have improved and so we may be able to more readily entirely replace markets in more places, improving issues of equality and other impacts. This, of course, already occurs where there is sufficient will.


Instead of fighting me on this one, help me. While you're at around doing whatever it is you do, try and think up ways to answer the very questions you've asked for yourself. It's an interesting mental exercise, if nothing else.You're certainly sticking to a dim, condescending view of me, but perhaps I've only myself to blame for this. I respect your idealism, but I think you're overly simplistic and as you freely admit yourself you are advocating little in the way of usable change.

We find ourselves with the people around us and the system as it is. Currently, it's clear that much of our financial system on which our markets of resources, capital and labour rely on does not serve to enable those markets but instead serves to create new ones for the benefit of very few. I don't see that as an inherent problem with 'capitalism', or rather markets, but in our relatively recent implementation of it. I think that's a fairly popular opinion, and it's certainly not a novel one.

Edit: To me, the issue isn't that I hate happiness or don't care about the seemingly avoidable misery of human capitalism, and you do. It's that we disagree on two points - the extent to which humans can reasonably and respectably hold conflicting value systems, and the extent to which greed is a fundamentally human (rather than Western or capitalist) drive. The first of those is broadly a moral point I suspect, whilst (alas) I believe that the evidence is firmly on my depressing side for the latter. What you see as 'thinking inside a box', I see as the rational constraints imposed on me by what view I feel I must tolerate in others and my evidence for human psychology as I construe it.

Cooper
23-11-2011, 06:01 PM
Just to check:

You are all, of course, backing up your game folders for any digital ditribution service, Steam or otherwise.

So that, when they go bust / deny you access to the games / ban you / remove their half of whatever contract for goods or services you entered into with them, you can just download a 'NoCD' crack and keep playing?

Making any EULA utterly pointless.

Right?

R-F
23-11-2011, 06:14 PM
What has my topic become? *psyduck*

deano2099
23-11-2011, 06:37 PM
Just to check:

You are all, of course, backing up your game folders for any digital ditribution service, Steam or otherwise.

So that, when they go bust / deny you access to the games / ban you / remove their half of whatever contract for goods or services you entered into with them, you can just download a 'NoCD' crack and keep playing?

Making any EULA utterly pointless.

Right?

Nope. Unless by 'backed up' you mean 'they're on Pirate Bay'.

Nalano
23-11-2011, 07:01 PM
Nope. Unless by 'backed up' you mean 'they're on Pirate Bay'.

Ahh, Bittorrent, the only consumer rights agency we need.

Taidan
23-11-2011, 08:34 PM
It's that we disagree on two points - the extent to which humans can reasonably and respectably hold conflicting value systems, and the extent to which greed is a fundamentally human (rather than Western or capitalist) drive. The first of those is broadly a moral point I suspect, whilst (alas) I believe that the evidence is firmly on my depressing side for the latter. What you see as 'thinking inside a box', I see as the rational constraints imposed on me by what view I feel I must tolerate in others and my evidence for human psychology as I construe it.

Well, I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree and leave it at that. On the first point, I believe that a single form of ethical principles and standards can, and eventually one day will, be formed from a basis of logically and candidly assessed Humanist values and the real needs of the whole of the society that they serve, based upon the sanctity of sentient life. On the second, I again see a conflict of the order of cause-and-effect given the evidence that is being considered, rendering said evidence highly circumstantial. (In my own completely un-humble opinion.)

And I swear, I'm done. Time to get back to some gaming of real importance.

Although I do value the time spent here, thank-you for indulging me. ;)

b0rsuk
23-11-2011, 09:20 PM
Can someone explain this to me?

The same reason men dream of working in games industry, and women would love to work as models. It sounds like fun, and both are willing to endure a lot of abuse to work there. Porn websites are filled with pop-ups, malware, and other crap...