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Sometimes I wish I'd studied the humanities more (philosophy, ethics, morality, history, whatever). Anyway:

There is something I think we all recognize and could be called a tollbooth mentality. A concept that one way to earn a living in life is to find a way to build a tollbooth somewhere (anywhere, hyperspace, etc.) and collect tolls for the rest of our lives (instead of doing what I sometimes call "productive work" and try to describe and delimit).

Ways of setting up a tollbooth include:

  • inventing or writing something, then collecting royalties
  • <more later>

The questions include:

  • Is that a good thing for society? (To the extent it encourages new inventions, maybe. To the extent it prevents other people from profiting from the fruits of their own thoughts, I'm not sure. (People can and do invent things independently (and other things seemingly independently, but less so than some people think).)
  • Is that necessary in today's society? If people couldn't make a living that way, would we have fewer inventions or new products?
  • If that wasn't a way to earn a living, how could the people who now make a living that way earn a living?

I'm not attempting to answer these questions now, and I'm attempting not to make a value judgement. I have thought about things like this in the past and would like to do more of the same in the future and try to come to some conclusions, but can I or anyone? Maybe diversity in these things as in most other things is what keeps the world revolving? (Should it stop revolving, and start moving in some specific direction?)

I have written other things on topics like this that are scattered in various locations. What, do I think my thoughts are the truth? Well, sometimes I do, but every once in a while I'm honest. wink

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  • () RandyKramer - 16 Jul 2002
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Topic revision: r1 - 2002-07-16 - RandyKramer
 
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