Why I changed my mind on piracy

It doesn’t happen as often as it used to in the past, but I’ve lately come to change my mind on something. These days, I no longer think piracy is justifiable. In fact, the situation we live in today, where anything can be found for free on the internet, is very problematic. There’s a simple issue to consider, which is that an endeavor can only be sustained as a way of life if someone is willing to pay you for it. If the demand for something is high, while the supply is scarce, people will pay you for it. If the supply is massive, while the demand is low, it’s not something you can earn a living with.

Many people deny the idea that intellectual property should exist, but they can’t deny the idea that physical property should exist, as control over physical property is simply more effectively enforced. They’ll argue that nothing is lost if you light your torch by holding it against someone else’s torch, but the reality is that the poor fool who spent his time producing something that other people simply copy can be guaranteed never to earn a living with it.

If you look at our society today, you’ll notice it’s practically impossible to earn a living with any sort of creative occupation. A college education in something like game design leads to droves of unemployable young adults. The simple reason is that despite the fact that more people than ever before play video games, there’s no realistic way to earn a living in such a business, as the information you produce, can simply be copied.

This leads to structural problems in society. As an example, the fact that intellectual property for creative jobs can’t be enforced, guarantees that everyone ends up with a shitty job, because society ends up undervaluing creative pursuits, in favor of jobs as code monkeys, tech support services and other stuff people desperately fool themselves into believing they want to spend their days doing. The reality is that normal people don’t enjoy working as object-oriented PHP/C++/whatever programmers. If you say this out loud, every object-oriented C++ programmer will insist that he definitely enjoys being a code-monkey, but the reality is that these are simply jobs that are highly paid and thus attract a lot of people, who end up fooling themselves into believing they genuinely enjoy writing accountancy software or setting up some database.

A lot of people today are unemployed, especially youth unemployment is a big problem. The reality however is that most of these people aren’t inactive. They’re simply engaged in pursuits that will never be profitable, due to the fact that anything we produce these days can be instantly shared with anybody else. As an example, journalism was a perfectly viable occupation forty or fifty years ago. It’s no longer a viable occupation today. If I’m forced to pay to read a newspaper article, I will simply avoid reading the article. Besides the question of whether I want to go through the hassle of having to pay some newspaper, if I had to pay for everything I read on a daily basis, I would go bankrupt.

You could argue the solution is for us to simply pay for any product we happen to enjoy. If you play some obscure indie game, you should pay the developer. This isn’t a real solution however, because the solution proposed here depends on your altruism. In the economic realm, you’re engaged in self-handicapping. The company paying some nerd who writes some database isn’t paying him an absurd salary out of altruism, they’re doing so because they’re forced to. If they could pay him less, they would.

In an ideal world, stupid databases, payment modules, tax accountancy software and assorted tech-stuff would be fileshared online. Instead of having “the pirate bay” where you can download stuff for free that people enjoy producing (wildlife documentaries, movies, songs, paintings, etcetera), we would have “the STEM-nerd bay”, where you would be able to download stuff for free that people don’t enjoy producing, so that it doesn’t have to be produced again. In this world, the people who genuinely enjoy writing code would spend their days as “self-employed” basement dwellers, praying that someone is willing to cough up a dollar to look at their database rather than simply downloading one off the STEM-nerd bay.

Instead of downloading a movie on the internet, you would simply visit the theater and watch live actors in such a world. People enjoy acting, singing, writing, dancing, painting and travelling. Nobody enjoys writing a database, a payment module, a login system, tax accountancy software or a TPS report. If you insist that I’m wrong and you genuinely do enjoy such stuff, please respond in the comment section below, the whole world needs to know that you don’t have a soul.

For now however, we live under the oppression of an oligarchy of computer programmers. They’re naturally bad at social interaction due to the same genetic flaws that make them good at coding, but their day to day job exacerbates their condition. Most of them do not reproduce, but some manage to attract a woman through their wealth, while others use the internet to purchase a woman from Eastern Europe or a third world country. Because they generally don’t reproduce, they’re a dying breed. This makes their ability to program computers even more precious and scarce, leading to even higher salaries and a need to import more STEM-nerds from foreign countries like India.

The computer-programmer oligarchy has a worldview that could be described as atheistic materialist techno-libertarianism. The world to them is composed of dead matter that interacts in a measurable and predictable manner. Souls to these men don’t exist (just as everything else they can’t buy, like charisma or good taste). Everyone should be free to do whatever they want provided you respect everyone else’s property rights and the world can be rearranged through technology to bring about a paradise. Computer code is the only sacred law, every computer programmer who has to change his smart contract because millions were stolen is a heretic and a flawed being. The human body is simply a complex machine, the human brain is simply a very efficient computer. It has a limited range of nutrients it needs to function, which can be ingested in the most efficient manner by consuming Soylent.

To achieve true wisdom, it’s recommendable to seek out the purest specimen of a computer nerd and to invert their entire worldview. To me, the purest specimen of a computer nerd would probably be a Bitcoin Core developer, but you can find an example for yourself. The inverted worldview of the computer nerd is probably best described as subjective idealistic biocentric panpsychism. The whole universe is conscious and the laws of physics are designed on the fly when we start to investigate them, like the cars in Grand Theft Auto that appear out of nowhere when you look around. Reality is designed by consensus and everything we witness is merely a derivative of a number of ideas that are endlessly recombined.

No single particle in the universe is fully dead, everything from the tiniest atom to the largest star has a will of its own it can enforce and behaves in a manner that is fully unpredictable in the long run. Meteors strike the Earth when they are suicidal, forks fall down onto the ground because this is where they truly belong, whereas the pollen of a tree swirls around in the wind because of its innate will. Physical formulas and computer simulations tell us nothing, the world is crafted by thoughts, ideas and emotions, in a manner that will forever remain impenetrable by the systematic observations of science, which craft consensus merely by aligning opinions of different conscious beings, not by revealing an objective state of the world. These thoughts, ideas and emotions that truly govern the world can not even be adequately conveyed from one person to another and so the inner workings of the world will forever remain a mystery.

And, if this perspective is correct, then there is a simply solution to the tyranny of the STEM-nerd oligarchy: We can dream them out of existence.

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