May 11, 2005

Blog this, Microserfs...

I can't be the only one that finds the Microsoft "Thought Thieves" competition ironic and offensive. "Thought Thieves is about people stealing and profiting from your creation or innovation." I mean, leaves you speechless, really. Thought Thieves? You have got to be kidding me how newspeak is that! It must be the week for chutzpah.

Culture and invention are based on previous works. Science is based on previous science. We all stand on the shoulders of giants, and copyright maximalists will never get that and should be resisted. I mean, Microsoft's first product, a basic interpreter, was the "idea" of John Kemeny and Thomas Kurtz, but now Microsoft thinks it owns all ideas, I suppose. Like the mouse, the windowing environment, instant messaging and the rest, operating systems, the spreadsheet.... I could go on...but what's the point, you guys can Google as well as I can. I don't think Microsoft paid off the authors of Unix talk. Or the visicalc folks.

The way that this will be defended is that they'll try to say this is about infringement and piracy. But, note the name of the contest "Thought Thieves". Roll that around in your brain for a bit, but not too much, you might get charged for it.

4 comments:

Jamie McCarthy said...

You wrote, "stand on the shoulders of giants." Surely you are aware that this is a phrase copyrighted by the heirs of Isaac Newton. Please deposit your payment immediately, thief.

Andrew said...

So true about the newspeak stuff. I couldn't believe how newspeak it is so I Googled for 'thought thieves newspeak' and here I am ;)

Chris DiBona said...

That is doubleplus good!

Michael Parekh said...

On "on the shoulders of giants" or OTSOG usage, newton's heirs are not the rightful owners...

as Robert K. Merton makes clear in his seminal book "On the Shoulders of Giants" (what else?), the phrase goes back and forth, and to and from many authors through the millennia...highly recommended.