[linux-elitists] Bullish imbeciles

Ben Finney ben@benfinney.id.au
Mon Jul 28 17:56:41 PDT 2003

Howdy all,

Okay, so the subject line is a bad pun[0] on "oxymorons".  When I talk
about the traps inherent in use of the term "intellectual property", it
becomes obvious that an analogous, more familiar term would help explain
why it's so harmful to reasoned debate.

What I'm looking for is a term that, like "intellectual property":

    - begs the question by implying that such a thing could exist
    - encourages a fallacious view of its subject
    - is unclear on what it actually means
    - is, on reflection, best left unused

but is also:

    - familiar to most people as being all of the above

The concept of "intellectual property" as being something that actually
deliniates related concepts, rather than simply being a back-reference
of "intellectual property law", is insidious and devastating to debates
about information sharing.  I'm hoping that I can find simple,
approachable ways of exposing the fallacy the term whenever I encounter

[0] Only because it needs to be explained.  Puns that cause physical
pain are not "bad", in my definition.

 \          "About four years ago, I was -- no, it was yesterday."  -- |
  `\                                                     Steven Wright |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney <ben@benfinney.id.au>
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