Book prices

This is a discussion on Book prices within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; Originally Posted by Mario F. So use that question instead. Don't ask me why anything should be done if we ...

  1. #46
    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    So use that question instead. Don't ask me why anything should be done if we can't stop it. Ask me if it is right to do something about piracy.

    And you know my answer to that.
    Yes we should do something about the whole piracy situation, like hang all the greedy corporations that overcharge for shoddy applications and hide behind a worthless return policy.
    Until you can build a working general purpose reprogrammable computer out of basic components from radio shack, you are not fit to call yourself a programmer in my presence. This is cwhizard, signing off.

  2. #47
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Yeah. I'm sure those are the only victims of piracy.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  3. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    I'm not speaking of consumers of pirated goods. I'm speaking of the producers and distributors.

    Deal with pirated software and music the same way we deal with counterfeit pants and shirts.
    Allow the recent PirateBay trial to bring some light into new laws that sentence and shutdown these places. Foster better international agreements that make it harder the life of distributors on pirate heavens like Russia or China. Once and for all criminalize pirated materials distribution.

    You asked for other solutions. So here it is. Just because piracy has came to stay, doesn't mean it shouldn't be fought. There's a whole world of other nasty things out there that also came to stay and we don't think making them legal. We live in states of law governed by the letter of the law. Even anarchists defend the book of law.

    Decriminalization of behavior and attitudes based solely on their irrevocability is destroying forever the fabric of our societies since ancient times. That's not how good or bad has been formulated by Law. The question you should pose yourself, Neo1 is not why should we fight what we can't destroy. Instead you should ask yourself, is what we fight worth fighting for? That is the true question. Once it is answered in definite, then our societies make the necessary changes. Like they did for oral sex and like they are doing for homosexual marriages.

    So use that question instead. Don't ask me why anything should be done if we can't stop it. Ask me if it is right to do something about piracy.

    And you know my answer to that.
    But i'm not so sure myself however, you will say we fight for the right to private ownership and the law of the state, something i will be hard pressed to argue. But with that fight also comes inequality and overpriced goods. Is it not unethical that someone with little to no money to spend each month, has to pay the salaries of CEOs sitting on 8 malibu mansions and a tank full of money? Is it less unethical than pirating Britney Spears' latest album?

    I'm not sure myself anymore, you make good points Mario, i must give you that.
    How I need a drink, alcoholic in nature, after the heavy lectures involving quantum mechanics.

  4. #49
    Registered User whiteflags's Avatar
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    The idea that authors actually get rich by their books is laughable. Many, many authors have meager royalties. They only get rich when people start making movies about the books.

    Besides I can't understand stealing a digital copy of a book. I hate reading pdf files.

  5. #50
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neo1 View Post
    But with that fight also comes inequality and overpriced goods. Is it not unethical that someone with little to no money to spend each month, has to pay the salaries of CEOs sitting on 8 malibu mansions and a tank full of money? Is it less unethical than pirating Britney Spears' latest album?
    Naturally I would answer yes, it is unethical to fight against what we believe is immoral through immoral means. We won't be building a better society with those tools. When will it stop? What's the horizon event that will determine "Ok. We won. Now let's stop pirating." As you can surely agree, that wouldn't ever happen. For many reasons, but mostly because behind piracy there is really no social conscience movement. No intention to change the world for the better. That thought is an afterthought meant to justify an attitude. It may even be a true motivation among a small fringe within the movement, but it falls flat on the wider reality of what indeed the word Piracy means on the web.

    Piracy damages small vendors trying to make a living launching a piece of (often very good) $15 software, more than they damage companies like Microsoft whose structure allows them to even benefit from piracy (1, 2, 3). Piracy also damages the small reseller trying to make an honest living selling and promoting technical books on a small corner bookstore. Sometimes doing so to fulfill a childhood dream. Piracy damages the consumer by increasing prices and attaching to itself an whole underworld of malware producers (which incidently made giants of companies like McAfee). The economy adapts, the giants often faster and more efficiently than the small ones. Piracy hasn't removed one iota of these companies profit margins who keep growing to huge values. But it has put many small entrepreneurs out of business.

    Piracy removes the midleman, fostering the growth of the large already implanted businesses and denying or making it very difficult for the common folk to start their own.

    ...

    Now, a society that fosters huge fortunes and yet experiences extreme levels of poverty; do I agree with it?

    No. I don't. Every cell of my humanist nature screams against it. But this is an whole different level of discussion. For one, I'm not the type to forget to mention that if I were given the opportunity to make 10 million an year, I'd screw on the poor and take it with open arms. And almost certainly you would too. So facing that, any debate becomes a lot harder, do you agree?

    I could probably argue against Britney Spears in the sense that one day or another we will indeed have to start questioning ourselves where did we go wrong so that today we promote entertainment to the point it created the second or third largest industry in the world. Our role models today are singers, soccer players, comedians or actors. Many of them highly questionable as role models in a society we want just. No more a scientist holds fame on their hands, or the school teacher is one of the more revered and respected person of the community. But then, I don't have the nerve to start that discussion because the implications are that I would have never learned of George Romero or Portishead.

    ...

    A Portuguese comedian recently interviewed the general secretary of the Communist party over here in Portugal. At some point he asked him: "Could you please tell me which of these democracies you would like to live in? Sweden, Norway or North Korea?". As you can guess, he didn't answer.


    The point is; people are full of it. That when we are faced with the hard evidence of our own thoughts and ideals, we are confronted with the fact that it is no wonder things are the way they are. They are this way because they are how we are.
    Last edited by Mario F.; 09-22-2009 at 04:16 PM. Reason: North Korea, not south of course. fixed.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  6. #51
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neo1 View Post
    Is it not unethical that someone with little to no money to spend each month, has to pay the salaries of CEOs sitting on 8 malibu mansions and a tank full of money?
    It seems to me that many of the people upset about piracy who claim to be potentially affected by it (eg, programmers) completely avoid this issue. To me, that equals asskissing -- you want to be your bosses PR piece, so they don't have to go "This isn't about padding my pockets or that of shareholders, it's about protecting the rights of artists to make money." HOGWASH! You're a puppet. You just take sides with the rich and powerful because you figure they will win and maybe you can be one of them. It has nothing to do with wrong and right, it is all pure self-interest.

    Self-interest vs. self-interest inevitably creates conflict. Somebody told me a funny joke a while ago about those Reaper/Predator drones, the use of which has a very mixed record:

    Q: What does a goblin say to a ghoul?
    A: HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
    Last edited by MK27; 09-22-2009 at 04:20 PM.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

  7. #52
    Registered User whiteflags's Avatar
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    You're a puppet. You just take sides with the rich and powerful because you figure they will win and maybe you can be one of them. It has nothing to do with wrong and right, it is all pure self-interest.
    Blanket statements about everyone in high societies are always correct, true or false?

  8. #53
    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    Sometimes doing so to fulfill a childhood dream.
    Mario, you can't mature as an adult until you have had at least one childhood dream crushed like crackers in a fat man's bed. I do sympathize with the closure of your business, though I will say that the numbers thrown about as to how much money is 'lost' because of piracy is very misleading. First, most people that pirate software or other IP only do so because it is available. If it were not available, they would not immediately rush out and buy said material. It is ludicrous to believe that every 13 year old that downloads AutoCAD with all the Advanced Modelling Extensions has $4000 and would rush right out to buy it if they couldn't get it for free. It also fails to appreciate the fact that more than zero 13 year olds that get autocad for free then go on to get a job latter in life and that experience they 'stole' turns into new products and services, plus sales for AutoDesk that they would have missed out on if piracy was non-existent. The same argument holds true for Music as well. I bought more music when the original Napster was around than I did before or since, simply because i could listen to it for free, search and find the songs I liked, and then purchase the CD when my finances warranted.

    That said, I take issue with CEO's, unless they can crap solid Uranium-235 bricks all day long, making 100 million a year and at the same time laying off thousands of workers, whose combined salaries are less than 10% of theirs. I think the wealthy have lost touch with the fact that the working class is the source of their wealth, and if they continue to cripple it with excessive taxes, poor education, and stifled opportunities, their wealth, and the lifestyle based on it, are as transient as a campaign promise from a black president.
    Last edited by abachler; 09-22-2009 at 05:07 PM.
    Until you can build a working general purpose reprogrammable computer out of basic components from radio shack, you are not fit to call yourself a programmer in my presence. This is cwhizard, signing off.

  9. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    Naturally I would answer yes, it is unethical to fight against what we believe is immoral through immoral means.
    You got me, I have used the exact same argument in many other political debates, albeit with vastly different topics. Fighting fire with fire is the root of many conflicts in todays society.

    What's the horizon event that will determine "Ok. We won. Now let's stop pirating." As you can surely agree, that wouldn't ever happen. For many reasons, but mostly because behind piracy there is really no social conscience movement. No intention to change the world for the better. That thought is an afterthought meant to justify an attitude. It may even be a true motivation among a small fringe within the movement, but it falls flat on the wider reality of what indeed the word Piracy means on the web.
    Agreed. In 99,5 cases, piracy is motivated by the monetary gain, not a sense of revolution against capitalism.

    Piracy damages small vendors trying to make a living launching a piece of (often very good) $15 software, more than they damage companies like Microsoft whose structure allows them to even benefit from piracy (1, 2, 3). Piracy also damages the small reseller trying to make an honest living selling and promoting technical books on a small corner bookstore. Sometimes doing so to fulfill a childhood dream. Piracy damages the consumer by increasing prices and attaching to itself an whole underworld of malware producers (which incidently made giants of companies like McAfee). The economy adapts, the giants often faster and more efficiently than the small ones. Piracy hasn't removed one iota of these companies profit margins who keep growing to huge values. But it has put many small entrepreneurs out of business.

    Piracy removes the midleman, fostering the growth of the large already implanted businesses and denying or making it very difficult for the common folk to start their own.
    Your point being that piracy actually adds to the inequality of wealth, rather than combats it?

    Now, a society that fosters huge fortunes and yet experiences extreme levels of poverty; do I agree with it?

    No. I don't. Every cell of my humanist nature screams against it. But this is an whole different level of discussion. For one, I'm not the type to forget to mention that if I were given the opportunity to make 10 million an year, I'd screw on the poor and take it with open arms. And almost certainly you would too. So facing that, any debate becomes a lot harder, do you agree?
    I am no more perfect than anyone else in here, ofcourse.

    The point is; people are full of it. That when we are faced with the hard evidence of our own thoughts and ideals, we are confronted with the fact that it is no wonder things are the way they are. They are this way because they are how we are.
    Things are imperfect because humans are imperfect? Well, surely this does not mean we should stop striving for perfection?

    Having established that both the current system, as well as the methods that pirating employs to combat this system, are immoral, let us also establish that simply accepting the current polarization of rich and poor, is also immoral, right? Does this then not call for a change of the system?

    Spread the wealth, and spread the expenses, not necessarily through pirating in the traditional sense.

    Where i live we already have a system in place, that ensures stimulation of culture, through financial support from the state. Some argue that removing copyright also removes initiative from artists to keep producing music and movies and whatnot. Why not spread the expenses through taxes, and avoid money piling up in a swizz bank account belonging to the chairman of some record company?

    I'm just throwing thoughts around at this point though, but the best art comes from artist who love what they do, and not from artists who does it for financial gain or publicity, right?
    How I need a drink, alcoholic in nature, after the heavy lectures involving quantum mechanics.

  10. #55
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F.
    Piracy also damages the small reseller trying to make an honest living selling and promoting technical books on a small corner bookstore. Sometimes doing so to fulfill a childhood dream. [...] Piracy hasn't removed one iota of these companies profit margins who keep growing to huge values. But it has put many small entrepreneurs out of business.
    This is false. The prime mover behind anti-filesharing is the Major Label recording industry. Very, very big business. That they will play both sides of a situation as much as possible I do not doubt, but it is Big Business, first and foremost, that is upset and trying to rile up other people.

    The idea that a "small technical bookseller" could be put out of business by piracy is TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS. Booksellers, esp. technical books, were killed by giant online retailers*. The same people who will now be upset that piracy may cost them a few percent of their business, which they took from the little guy -- fair and square!

    That's capitalism. Boo hoo. What you cannot stomach is the reality that you are a victim of perfectly legitimate market forces, and must instead resort to absurd accusations to the effect that someone "cheated" you dishonestly. Absolute fantasy, Mario.

    *Amazon, etc, came out of somewhere. Someone starting buying books from them, and stopped buying from someone else. They didn't all go hog wild for photocopied pdf's or some garbage. Guaranteed that 99% of your losses went to a big Corporation. No piracy involved.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

  11. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neo1
    Why not spread the expenses through taxes, and avoid money piling up in a swizz bank account belonging to the chairman of some record company?
    You've used this argument a couple times now, but there is a massive flaw in it. Take my country (USA), and try to use this argument.

    The total tax revenue of the US is 2.6 trillion. The total GDP is around 14.2 trillion. In other words, tax revenue is a small percentage of the country's total GDP. How can tax dollars be used to replace innovation portion of the 14.2 trillion? Just take the pharmaceutical industry alone. If we get rid of patents, large companies have no incentive to invest tons of money developing a drug that can be immediately replaced by generics. So your proposal is to create incentive through tax dollars.
    Quote Originally Posted by wikipedia
    A study by the consulting firm Bain & Company reported that the cost for discovering, developing and launching (which factored in marketing and other business expenses) a new drug (along with the prospective drugs that fail) rose over a five year period to nearly $1.7 billion in 2003.
    That's 1.7 billion for a single drug! Tax dollars simply cannot cover the massive cost of innovation.
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  12. #57
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neo1 View Post
    Your point being that piracy actually adds to the inequality of wealth, rather than combats it?
    Precisely. Piracy backfires on anyone hoping to see in it some sort social movement against the unfairness of economic rule.

    Things are imperfect because humans are imperfect? Well, surely this does not mean we should stop striving for perfection?
    Of course! Aye, Aye.
    But it should also mean that on matters of contention like deciding "the filthy rich deserve punishment" we should be more aware of our own contradictions. Lest we fall prey to a sad case of demagogy.

    I'm just throwing thoughts around at this point though, but the best art comes from artist who love what they do, and not from artists who does it for financial gain or publicity, right?
    And if those artists decide they should sell the product of their passion, so be it. Wealth generation is at the core of our thinking since memorial times. It's linked to out survival instincts and some are more passionate about it than others. Certainly, from a social point of view, the artist who gives the product of their labor (pleasure) free and for the benefit of all should be more cherished. But it cannot really justly serve as a reference to accuse anyone doing the opposite.

    Quote Originally Posted by abachler;
    I do sympathize with the closure of your business, though I will say that the numbers thrown about as to how much money is 'lost' because of piracy is very misleading.
    Indeed. But only until now I realized -- rereading my two posts where I mention it -- that I may have indeed given the impression this was the reason my business closed. It was not.

    Certainly having someone walk on by without entering the shop, or someone leaving because they just needed a reference to download later that night, does put a dent on business. Another brick on the wall. But by far this wasn't the one reason. Two other things helped: a very strict inflexible book distribution industry that doesn't benefit at all small businesses and... bad management on my part who took too many risks on some of the orders.

    The piracy example given on my case was strictly a first-hand experience I had with it as a business. It damages small business and I was damaged by it. Nobody now will ever be able to convince me otherwise. I saw it happen on the flesh. But it's not the reason why my business closed.
    Last edited by Mario F.; 09-22-2009 at 06:43 PM.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  13. #58
    In my head happyclown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    Oral sex used to be against the law in most of the Western world, as was homosexuality, and plain old adultery.

    Fortunately (for most of us -- no doubt there were many people who lobbied against these changes as well) these things are no longer considered criminal.
    You have an aptitude for using weak examples that can't be applied to the current debate.

    Oral sex, homosexuality, and adultery are sexual, and therefore a basic human right. They don't have a negative financial impact on a retailer, like digital piracy does.

    Digital piracy is not a human right. It is not a victimless crime, even though it may appear so, because the victims(retailer, author/manufacturer, and every element in the supply chain, to varying degrees) are nameless and faceless.

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  14. #59
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by happyclown View Post
    You have an aptitude for using weak examples that can't be applied to the current debate.
    And you seem to believe that your own poorly formed, myopic rhetoric is somehow universal and timeless. The reason oral sex, homosexuality, and adultery were once considered criminal is because this statement:

    Quote Originally Posted by happyclown
    Oral sex, homosexuality, and adultery are sexual, and therefore a basic human right.
    Would have been considered outrageous and inaccurate -- people like you would have jumped in and denied it left, right, and center, in their mindless support of a conservative status quo. WRT to homosexuality, people still do, and they will say it is not a victimless crime, the victims are the homosexuals themselves, and their families, and indeed the community itself would be a victim of BLASPHEMOUS behavior*.

    Your ideas about what constitutes digital piracy, why it is wrong, who is a victim of what and how, are similarly culture bound. That does not automatically make you wrong, but from an objective and logical standpoint it does nothing to make you right, beyond a circular restatement of the beliefs themselves ("oral sex is a sin therefore a crime" "piracy hurts profiteers therefore a crime").

    *so just as Mario F., who's bookstore failed because of corporate innovation (aka online retailing), wants to burn pirates like witches in retaliation , you could scream that your misfortunates were brought about because God punishes a community that tolerates adultery and gays. To my mind, both these sentiments contain about equal amounts of reason. And delusion, misplaced anger, bitterness, frustration, etc.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

  15. #60
    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by happyclown View Post
    I smoke pot.
    That explains alot.
    That vase was already cracked
    Until you can build a working general purpose reprogrammable computer out of basic components from radio shack, you are not fit to call yourself a programmer in my presence. This is cwhizard, signing off.

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