Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!
There is an interesting thing going on with the advent of information technologies that made the processing and dispersal of information very cheap. Companies that traditionally made a business simply by asking money for every single copy are becoming overpriced. Nobody will argue that there should not be money in it for the original 'creator' of the information, but the fat layer of middle men between them and the end consumer is not needed anymore.
If all information services were centralized or at least standardized through a huge government effort, a lot of companies that just gather and process information/rights and ask money for it (eg. patent trolls, real estate brokers, news agencies, all kinds of publishing companies) would not be needed any more. Which is a good thing, since they are exactly the kind of companies I hate.
Monopolies on some types of information are simply too dangerous to mix with capitalist interests, but they are very much needed for transparency, enforcement of standards and ease of dissemination. Competition is not in the interest of the consumer here. Companies are trying to lock each other out through DRM, self serving 'standards' and patents and we are having a hard time making laws to make them play nice with each other. Is it a good idea to rely on a single 'good' company (Google maybe?) to look after our interests?
Companies are a lot less transparent and have fundamentally different goals than a government. If we keep the government in check and don't give it the power to invade our privacy, I would always choose it as my information guardian over a company, but maybe I'm just deluded.
Can you see information gathering/processing/storage as a public service? How far can we take this plan? Is it in any way realistic? Will it be the beginning of the end for capitalism?