I love music. If I had my way I would sit around and write music all day instead of running a financial website, writing hundreds of pages per month on financial issues and bitcoin, hosting podcasts and filming vlogs. I'd write all sorts of music.
Why do I have so much confidence in my ability to do something I never have done succesfully in the past? Well, first of all, I believe I can do anything I put my mind to. While this might be a delusion, it is a delusion I am perfectly happy keeping around. I highly recommend this particular delusion. Second, I believe I have stumbled onto a little-known secret of creativity.
What's the secret to never-ending creativity? Simple. Steal. Steal with reckless abandon. Do you see or hear some creative endeavor? Does it strike your fancy? Steal it, make it yours. Add a little bit of you to the equation.
This practice is obvious in music today. People will say, "There are only so many chords on an instrument so of course some music will sound the same." While this is true, I have concluded much of the music we hear day-in and day-out – either from the past or modern – is consciously derivative of other music. That includes the great songs. The true geniuses of all ages in all sorts of arts, and even other disciplines, have been stealth plagiarizers. That's what the collective consciousness of humanity makes possible.
“The kernel, the soul — let us go further and say the substance, the bulk, the actual and valuable material of all human utterances — is plagiarism.” – Mark Twain
Little makes me more upset than when I hear of some artist being sued because their song sounds like some other person's song. Like that band "The Verve" for example and their song "Bittersweet Symphony." I am sure you've heard it. The lyrics go something like, "It's a bittersweet symphony…You're a slave to money then you die."
Well, that song borrows a small part from an old Rolling Stones song. You can barely tell. When The Verve broke big, the manager of the Rolling Stones, Allen Klein, who had purchased the rights to the Rolling Stones' early catalogue, sued the band immediately. This talentless piece of sh*t Klein was awarded all the bands income from that song – millions of dollars – which in my opinion is an original piece of work. It is one of the most recognizable songs of the nineties and some wrinkly old parasite (well, if he is in the Rolling Stone's camp he probably has had plastic surgery) gets all the money for it. He is the epitome of American-style business. He is probably quite talentless other than perhaps a ruthfulness in which he wallows.
My philosophy (which I am stealing from many other people before me), that borrowing is a pre-requisite of creativity, is why I was so happy to read about Tesla making all of their patents available to the public "in the spirit of the open source movement." The press release reads:
Yesterday, there was a wall of Tesla patents in the lobby of our Palo Alto headquarters. That is no longer the case. They have been removed, in the spirit of the open source movement, for the advancement of electric vehicle technology.
There is a place for patents as Tesla points out. In my young entrepreneurial career I have learned that about 50% (conservative) of the people in American business, at least, are talentless. This is not new information. This is the way American business has been. Read post-World War II German literature and you can see what some of the most well-known German authors of the time thought about American business. It was empty, spineless and without moral. I find this to still be the case. Hence Tesla's original patents. They were scared:
At Tesla, however, we felt compelled to create patents out of concern that the big car companies would copy our technology and then use their massive manufacturing, sales and marketing power to overwhelm Tesla.
I have trademarked some things out of perceived necessity. I have no intention of ever wielding my trademarks unless it is in defense. After doing some research and a few experiences, I determined I had no choice in the matter. Tesla thought the same. But, embracing the 21st century, the company has made some recent decisions and amended their philosophy:
Technology leadership is not defined by patents, which history has repeatedly shown to be small protection indeed against a determined competitor, but rather by the ability of a company to attract and motivate the world’s most talented engineers. We believe that applying the open source philosophy to our patents will strengthen rather than diminish Tesla’s position in this regard.
It won't only strengthen Tesla, but it will strengthen humanity's resolve towards building a new sort of automobile. This will create a feedback loop of innovation, and the possible competition that stems for Tesla will only make the company stronger, more "antifragile," to borrow from a borrowed concept.
For all of history humanity has suffered in a "closed-source civilization." We are at the dawning of "open-source civilization."
I've never been more excited for the future than I am now.
Justin O'Connell, Head Researcher
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On to the review…
Monday June 9
Ed Bugos sets the record straight.
“At TDV we demonstrate this truth almost every day – in our blog, our tweets, and in our newsletters.
Just last week Jeff discussed the fallacy of GDP, comparing our lot to that of Jim Carey’s as Truman Burbank, the unaware mark in the Truman Show. In that blog, Jeff discussed one of the main problems with relying on GDP (Gross Domestic Product) as a measure of economic growth.
He reminded us of how the government manipulates this number – by inflating the money supply and massaging the price data – since GDP is basically just the sum of the monetary values of various goods (mostly consumption) adjusted for the government’s own hedonically massaged price deflator.”
Tuesday June 10
Jeff Berwick on the most indebted country in the world.
“According to a study by the Boston Consulting Group, privately held wealth increased to $152 trillion globally in 2013.
Compare this to estimates putting the US federal government's total debts and liabilities alone at anywhere from $78 trillion to $200 trillion and you can see just how untenable the US government's debt is. The US government is nearly indebted to the equivalent of all the privately held wealth in the world and possibly more!”
Wednesday June 11
Berwick on the world’s most notorious whistleblower.
“Questions swirled around Edward Snowden for the last year. The debate raged: was he a patriot or a traitor? Some even asked if he was a government patsy or a Russian spy. Over the last few months there has been more light shed on the question ‘Who is Edward Snowden?’”
Thursday June 12
Wendy McElroy on the Cliven Bundy saga.
“President Obama seems to want a range war. On one side would be pro-gun anti-Democrat ranchers; on the other side would be militarized federal agents and local law enforcement. The proximate cause is the ongoing restriction of ranchers' traditional right to graze cattle on public land.”
Friday June 13
Jeff on more stealing of bank accounts in the west.
“Governments, by definition, are violent institutions. And taxation, by definition, is theft. These are blatant facts to all but the most indoctrinated and brainwashed. However, governments worldwide are ramping up all manner of other thefts by almost any means necessary.
Cyprus made headlines with what was called a ‘bank bail-in’ in 2013 and Ireland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Poland and Italy have all stolen funds from retirement accounts. The European Union has even said that it reserves the right to steal directly from European savers in the form of negative interest rates. All of this has been perfectly predictable in the march to The End Of The Monetary System As We Know It (TEOTMSAWKI).”
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