Subject: Re: Software Trademarks (off topic)
From: "R. Brock Lynn" <brock@cyberdude.com>
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 1999 02:26:41 -0500

Linus Torvalds wrote:
> 
> On Fri, 30 Jul 1999, Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:
> >
> > "If lawyers were outlawed, then only outlaws would have lawyers."
> >
> > It's the _clients_ that need fixing.  That means _us_.  Got that, Pogo?
> 
> Don't be silly. Humans are human, and 

> there are people with morals and
> people without morals.

You said it brother. :)

The US is full of disenchanted, cynical, self loathing people who out of poor
self value feel the only way to survive is to take unfair advantage of other
people, rather than genuinely trying to extend a helping and cooperative hand,
and building honest friendships based on trust. Perhaps this is just my own
view, but I think it's a fair observation in a general way.

Just take any person out of the US at random and try to extend genuine honest
compassion... they will most probably be perplexed (and perhaps even view this
as a sign of hostility) and try to analyze "why is the person trying to help me?
There must be something he wants, or maybe there is a deeper, more negative plan
he has, and due to my lack of understanding, or gullibility I may be risking
being taken advantage of"... So the random person will most probably be utterly
skeptical of such genuine extension of friendship and kindness... as if it were
a foreign, extinct idea.

It's when peoples' "roots" are shallow that they are very vulnerable to being
taken advantage of. But it's difficult to develop "roots" in the US because to
develop roots, one must become very deeply in tune with family, cultural, and
perhaps spiritual values, and due to the extreme mix n match in the US of people
of various ethnic and cultural backgrounds to risk extending the roots into your
culture can sometimes lead to explosive resistance. So people fear "genetic
expression" or "cultural expression" due to possible physical resistance that
may come their way. So the roots remain shallow, and the people are easily
knocked about by the "wind of change".

I wonder if the same person who thought of the "melting pot" idea is also under
the assumption that oil easily dissolves in water too...

I've been doing to research into my native american or indian genetic and
cultural heritage. It's amazing how violently the native american spirituality
was brutally punished. even as recently as the 1960's for the navaho.

I think the only way a more harmonious "system of society" can occur is when
people feel totally free and open to express their cultural "feelings" and
"spirituality" no matter how deep it goes, without fear of persecution. The
deeper the roots of culture, tradition, spirituality, philosophy, the stronger
the ability to survive, and make good choices in life that will lead to
happiness. And when people are happy, they tend develop into communities of
people that are more positive, caring, and strong, and can raise children who
can be happy and proud of who and what they are, and where they came from.

> There are greedy people,

Yep. But I perhaps would liken extreme greed to violent destructive behavior.
When one is very greedy without thinking of the "system" as whole, instead of
just himself, he can actually end up harming himself indirectly by harming the
system around him of which he is a part. So extreme greed is actually self harm,
in a holistic way.

So on a more general level, perhaps there are people who love and respect
themselves and want to see themselves learn and grow every day, and who
celebrate life, and then perhaps there are people who despise and loath
themselves, and only struggle to live each day, and who can only abuse the
system in a negative way who celebrate destruction and death.

I wonder if every person on this planet had their "heads or souls scanned" and
had to produce an utterly honest answer to the question "do you fully understand
and celebrate the utter sanctity and infinite value in all of life, including
your own in every part of that life, or do you despise your own life, and other
things around you" I guess basically "Are you a positive or a negative person?"
or perhaps "Do you believe in harmony or disharmony" ... "Do you think a utopia
of some kind can be reached or has ever been reached in the past?"

> there are people who don't
> know money from jack. There are people with money and cars, and there are
> people who can't afford a new pair of sneakers.
> 
> And you want to fix them all? Good luck. Come back to me when you have a
> plan.

It's simple really. Teach people to respect and value themselves again. Very
simple concept, very difficult and probably very long term goal that can only
come to some sort of fruition over a very long period of time... Old deep wounds
take long periods of time to heal... broken trust takes time to rebuild.
Sometimes perhaps centuries, or even millennia.

It's a basically and mostly true fact that people generally take good care of
what they highly value. If they can be brought to highly value themselves and
the system they are a part of, then perhaps they will learn to take good care of
the whole system, in every way they can.

self worth, self value. respect, love. That's really what it boils down to.

Maybe it's mushy, but oh well. We are all human, and all humans have emotions.
Including men. :)

> Look at how the legal system works in other countries, and how it works
> over here in the US. If you'd spend a few minutes actually looking (I'm
> not even asking you to do any deep research paper or anything like that),
> you'd notice that pretty much NOWHERE else do you find
> 
>  - lawyer jokes. They basically don't exist in most of the rest of the
>    world, except where they have (often through the internet) bled over
>    from the US.

I think jokes are a form of grieving... Just like sadness turns to anger in some
men, perhaps sadness and grieving turns into comedy, as an alternative form of
expression. Thus the Dark Comedy... where jokes are funny at the same time it
truly hurts to laugh.

>  - million- (or billion-) dollar awards for damages.
>  - spurious lawsuits.
>  - juries
>  - lack of a written down and clear law.
> 
> Think about it for a minute. Think about it rationally.

I think rationality is the one true thing that most americans are so afraid
of... perhaps because so many people in the US base their lives on things other
than rationality, or even a coherent system of values or system of philosophy or
spirituality. It's like it's one big mish mash of lost souls going on basic
instincts... going day to day living mostly shallow lost existances. Of course
this feeling is multiplied when you live in a governmental system as utterly
corrupt as the Louisiana State government, where I'm located. It's enough to
corrupt the most pure of people. Sad but true.

> Because the US often lacks a unambiguous law, much of the legal work is in
> finding precedent - and whether that precedent makes sense or not is
> completely immaterial. 

So you do understand the sense of irrationality that pervades this countries
legal system! Good for you.

> Precedent in the US legal system often basically
> _is_ the law. 

This is utterly terrible for sane, good hearted, rationally minded people.

> That is not the case in other countries for the most part.

Thank god. :)

> Juries award huge rewards that often have more to do with "feelings" than
> with any real damages or logic.

I wonder if this might mature and change? And if so, I wonder how LONG it will
take...

Material rationality isn't the only medicine, but philosophies of life, and of
the universe as a whole, including forms of cosmic or spiritual belief and
values are also important.

But of course where reason shows a clear and unambiguous "solution" that has
been thought out in detail and has been exhaustibly pondered, it should be
followed rather than a gut feeling or cosmic or spiritual feeling of fate, or
what not. But in cases where there is no solid reason, then I see no reason why
not to go with your gut or cosmic or spiritual instincts.

> Most other countries don't have them. Most
> (none?) other countries don't have the US "let's win the Lottery" - "Naah,
> let's just sue somebody for damages instead" kind of mentality.

Greedy people out to harm the system, because the lack the ability to see the
value in themselves and especially in the system as a whole. Perhaps when a
system is so bad off, it's the "every man for himself" mentality that takes
over. I think that's what you see a lot of in the US, no only in the legal
system, but everywhere, and I have a feeling it's getting worse not better
currently. But I honestly hope the reverse is true.

> The jokes
> do have some truth to them, especially in some areas of the US.

I believe there is a cultural purpose for jokes, as I mentioned above. There is
a dark side to the laughter.

> Stehen, it's not the people. It's the whole setup that just ENCOURAGES bad
> lawsuits.

In a system where there is a lot of bad "bath water" one is likely to throw out
the baby with it, simply because they cannot SEE the baby, and one is tired of
the stench of the perceived dirtiness all around him.

But really nothing is ever dirty or clean, it's all just a matter of perception.
Things can only be really classified as organized in certain ways or more or
less disorganized. Matter is matter. It's just how it is all arranged that makes
people happy or uncomfortable.

And if things in the environment are organized in a way that is not to your
liking, or is disorganized, one must learn the ability to change the environment
around him to one that is comfortable and can lead to being happy.

Most people these days seem to give up at change, and instead "seek" new places
to go where there is already an "organization" to their liking, but due to
surface glitter, and out of sight disorder and perhaps chaos, always "running"
from problems, and looking for a "promised land" of some kind will almost
certainly always fail in some way. But that's just my own view.

> There are lawyes out there that follow police radio. There are
> lawyers that advertize on national TV how they'll take damages suits and
> if they lose they'll pay all costs - and when the ridiculous damages are
> assessed they'll take their cut.

> MOST lawyers aren't like that.

I'd hope so. :)

> But the ones that are make the whole system
> stink. And it's NOT people. People in Europe or in other places aren't
> that different from people in the US. They're often greedy too. But they
> don't have a silly legal system that encourages the troublemakers and
> disgusts the rest of the population.

I think the current "civilization" that exists in the US has grown too much to
quickly and people's reasoning for their actions has been hugely short sighted
in many cases. This is perhaps one of the main roots for that "disgust". Doing
things too quickly and not taking enough time to truly analyze what is going on,
or considering the very long term effects your decisions and actions ... The
immaturity in a lot of crucial decisions that has affected life in the US is
perhaps astounding. Utterly astounding... perhaps that is the seat of the
disgust... the lack of care for the future, the lack of long term reason.

There is a phrase I've heard: "killing our grand children to feed our children"
Perhaps we will "develop" faster by doing so, but what about the long term
future? Do we want to pay the price of human extinction in order to gain a
higher level of "production" and "technological progress"?

> Think for a while about WHY the legal profession is often despised in the
> US. And pretty much _only_ in the US. Think about it.

Believe me, I think about it quite often. :)

Just out of curiosity, what is it like to live in Finland, as compared to the
US?

Are people there more firmly rooted in their culture?

I did see a 60 Minutes program on Finnish people and how they seem to be getting
into I think it was "tango" or some other kind of dancing, because it is a bit
taboo to show openly warmth or emotion, but the dance allows men and women a
chance and a proper place to express themselves in a more emotional, or creative
way. The feeling I got from that was that Finnish people keep to themselves a
lot, and are very private people.

Brock Lynn

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