Being Fair

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Why Do You Say What You Say?

People often ask me my motives. That’s fine, though frustrating. I must admit, it’s annoying when you write an article saying, “I think this, and here are eighteen reasons why,” and people write you saying, “What’s the real reason?”

I don’t have and have never had any financial, social, or any other connection to RIAA and Company. To my knowledge, I’ve never even had any contact, written or oral, with anybody saying they represented them.

My primary reason for talking about this subject a lot is that I just don’t want my audience to become cannon fodder. You want to fight the war, I can’t stop you, but at least know you’re in a war and you could get hurt.

Yes, I think doing this is wrong (though not the greatest of sins). Yes, I think people usually ought to follow the law. But when you see a tank coming, it really doesn’t matter whether you’re on the tank owners side or not, you ought to get out of the way, or at the very least know that that tank is real and not out to do you any good.

The odds on getting hit may be long, but don’t you think you ought to know as much as you can about the risks and then be the judge of how much risk you ought to take?

To me, it’s a matter of responsibility. If somebody told you, “Sure, put up to 2V in the Northwood, no problem,” to me, that’s irresponsible. If you do that, there’s a pretty good chance you’re going to have a dead processor, and sooner rather than later. That’s something you ought to be made aware of in any discussion about it.

I’m more than happy to lay my cards out on the table, but what about everyone else? You may say, quite rightly, that I rather emphasize the risks. That’s true, but simply because nobody else is.

Leading the Charge From Behind

Sure, question my motives and reasons, but don’t stop there. Question the motives who say things you like hearing better, too. How come they rarely if ever talk about the sort of things I talk about? Why don’t they talk about the risks they want you to take, too?

You ought to ask these people a couple questions, too, and see what answers you get:

Are you doing the same thing you want me to do? If people tell you, “Don’t worry, share,” are they following their own advice? Or do they find you “one of the stupid ones” they’re going to leech from?

Ask these people, “Well, do you share files? Really? What’s your handle so I can go look for you? What songs do you have, so I can check you out to see if you practice what you preach?

See what answers you get. I don’t doubt some do. I don’t doubt many don’t.

Acceptable Losses…

Millions of Cheerleaders, No Doctors

Will you watch my back if I get caught? It’s funny that those who tell you to run to the front lines never talk about what they’ll do for the wounded.

Shouldn’t they?

What kind of army doesn’t take care of its wounded?

If they’re really on your side, shouldn’t they support you after you get hit?

And if they don’t, if their attitude is “That’s your problem,” do they have any business directing you to the front line?

This is why I can’t take this as a “movement” seriously. It doesn’t take care of its own. It doesn’t even dawn on them to think about taking care of its own, the grunt in the field.

Instead, you have a million cheerleaders and no doctors or nurses.

You ought to ask, “When the casualties start coming in, what are you going to do for them, besides pump out more hot air, that is?” How much money are you going to contribute to the cause? How many lawyers are you going to get to defend people like me?

See what answers you get. See if those people will say it in public.

If they do, fine. This is what they ought to be doing. I can at least respect them for backing up their beliefs.

If they don’t, why not? How can you possibly take such people seriously?

I know very well I must sound like your mother or some other old person telling you not to have any fun. You do have to admit, though, abstinence is guaranteed to keep you out of trouble.

It’s hard not to listen to the people who tell you what you want to hear, the people who tell you, “Don’t worry about protecting yourself, just do it.”

All I ask is that you think a little and wonder about them as much as you wonder about me.

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