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Kinsella v. Wenzel

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Prashanth Perumal:
I've been following the whole clash for sometime now, and I think Bob Wenzel is right. In fact, I find Rothbard's idea of IP (based on voluntary, private contracts) to be more in line with Bob's view than with Kinsella's. Quite surprised to see people here in this forum think otherwise.

You obviously haven't listened to the debate, or read these two posts in this very thread.  You have no idea what you're talking about.

I really wish people would at least have the first clue before making declarative statements (as opposed to questions).  I'm quickly beginning to understand why Kinsella ends up coming off hostile in the comments around the Internet.  It's because people like you run your mouth without even gathering the first bit of knowledge, and pontificate as experts when you're not even amateurs.

 

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Marko replied on Fri, Apr 5 2013 7:25 PM

In fact, I find Rothbard's idea of IP (based on voluntary, private contracts) to be more in line with Bob's view than with Kinsella's. Quite surprised to see people here in this forum think otherwise.


Only it isn't not like whoever is more in line with Rothbard wins. It's like whoever understands the problematic better wins.

And actually Kinsella understands Rothbard perfectly, only he notes that what Rothbard spoke about works for 2 parties, but breaks down when you introduce the 3rd party. So actually Kinsella considered the problem more in depth than Rothbard ever did, and understood it considerably better. That is which it is clear.

And to top it all off Rothbard explicitly did not necessarily consider his solution the be it end all on this problematic, but had on the contrary called for others to try to exceed him.

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Marko:
Only it isn't not like whoever is more in line with Rothbard wins. It's like whoever understands the problematic better wins.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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So this is how John James engages in a discussion: "You obviously haven't listened to the debate, or read these two posts in this very thread.  You have no idea what you're talking about."

Anybody who disagrees with him is automatically assumed to be clueless. Very sane! Btw, I have followed the debate for quite sometime now. So stop bullying. Just be a good moderator.

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Prashanth Perumal:
So this is how John James engages in a discussion: "You obviously haven't listened to the debate, or read these two posts in this very thread.  You have no idea what you're talking about."

No, that's how I respond to ignorant statements that prove you either didn't listen to the podcast, or don't understand English.

 

Anybody who disagrees with him is automatically assumed to be clueless.

No, anybody who exhibits signs of cluelessness, I assume to be clueless.  i.e., You.

 

Btw, I have followed the debate for quite sometime now.

Yeah I read that the first time you posted it.  I also noticed how this is the second time you've implied being familiar with this podcast without actually stating that you've even listened to it (let alone providing any evidence of such a thing).  One wonders why you wouldn't respond with "I did listen to the debate.  I heard every word..." and (god forbid) offer any sort of support for your claims about the arguments that were made in it.

All you've done by claiming for a second time that you've "been following the clash" is further solidify my assumption that you have in fact not actually listened to the debate (and no, turning it on for a few seconds/minutes so that you might hear some of the words doesn't count as "listening to the debate").  Because if you had, you would not have made the statement that I was originally responding to.  It's quite evident that you've done little more than perhaps skim a few of Bob's posts on EPJ, and maybe skim some of the comments here and there.  But as pointed out in the last post, you obviously didn't read my review, nor Conza88's....let alone actually listen to the full podcast yourself.

Yet you insist on making a judgement about it and actually making claims about the arguments put forth in it.  I stand by my previous statement.  You are clueless and have no idea what you're talking about.

P.S.

Notice here again you provide absolutely no support for your bare assertions, but yet simply try to focus on and attack me.  You might want to look up the phrase "Ad hominem".  It's a logical fallacy.  Something that is not part of logical discourse. 

 

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Someone should make a meme:

"Sometimes JJ is wrong. This is not one of those times."

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Wenzel worships Rothbard the way Kim Il Sung is worshiped in North Korea.

 

All hail the great Murray Rothbard, the Eternal Leader of the Libertarian Movement, the Infallible Guide of the Anarcho-Capitalist World Revolution, the Brilliant Genius of Libertarianism, the Radiant Sun of All Mankind! His imperishable teachings, full of wisdom and prudence, will live eternally in our hearts!

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Sukrit replied on Mon, Apr 8 2013 10:31 AM

If Wenzel's views were the same as Rothbard, then at some point during the debate shouldn't he have said that we should abolish all government IP laws as they exist, and move towards a more contractually based system? As far as I know, he said nothing of the kind. Then the debate would have shifted onto whether Rothbard's contractual system would work and is consistent with libertarian theory, but instead it got stuck forever on some side point.

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Sukrit:
If Wenzel's views were the same as Rothbard, then at some point during the debate shouldn't he have said that we should abolish all government IP laws as they exist, and move towards a more contractually based system? As far as I know, he said nothing of the kind. Then the debate would have shifted onto whether Rothbard's contractual system would work and is consistent with libertarian theory, but instead it got stuck forever on some side point.

He basically did say that several times, but of course each time it was immediately shut down by Kinsella pointing out that there's simply no way to replicate IP through contract law.  I illustrated an example of this in my own review post under "The closest Wenzel gets to making a point".

I honestly don't get what's so difficult about this.  I have to believe that people just don't listen.  Wenzel himself kept going back to this point several times, but you're also not the only person who has raised this in the various comment sections.

The only thing I can think of is that the pro-IP dipshits willingly ignore the points that kill their position, and the honest people who are still trying to figure out where they stand seriously just aren't paying attention.

I mean this is not only brought up in virtually every anti-IP work, (including Kinsella's monograph), but it's literally discussed multiple times in the very podcast in question.

Seriously people, if you won't listen to the damn podcast, at least read the summaries/reviews Kinsella provided.  He put three great ones in his blog post.  See all them starting with "Stephen Davis" summary.

 

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Ansury replied on Tue, Apr 9 2013 12:08 AM

This is a complex topic that you need to invest some time in to really understand... there's no misinformation going on here, the "debate" speaks for itself.

Bob's supposed preparation was apparently (he didn't get to everything..thank god) just a bulleted list of cherry-picked minor nitpicks of Kinsella's book (which weren't even good ones, nor very relevant to the overall topic of whether any form of IP is defensible).  I went into the thing pretty open minded, having only read part of Against Intellectual Property before, but I wasn't expecting such a one-sided stomping.  For crying out loud, the book is like 1/4 made up of footnote references, and yet he's calling it "sloppy" like it was thrown together without any effort.

Myself, I got to learn one or two new types of logical fallacies--thanks Wenzel!  It wasn't a complete waste of time afterall!

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It was one of the most quotable debates that I had ever listened to.

About half an hour into it, I stopped listening for the debate and, instead, listened for the entertainment.

To paraphrase Marc Faber: We're all doomed, but that doesn't mean that we can't make money in the process.
Rabbi Lapin: "Let's make bricks!"
Stephan Kinsella: "Say you and I both want to make a German chocolate cake."

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1:45:40 "You asked a question, so now you get to have an answer, and you can listen, maybe you'll actually learn something, which I won't consider a violation of my property rights."

lol

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Sukrit, check this.

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Hard Rain replied on Tue, Apr 9 2013 11:36 AM

The Mises SA blog has some great commentary on this debate. Check it out: http://mises.co.za/blog/?s=Wenzel

"I don't believe in ghosts, sermons, or stories about money" - Rooster Cogburn, True Grit.
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Jargon replied on Tue, Apr 9 2013 12:48 PM

Just listned to it. 

Best part: Kinsella "So Bob Wenzel's argument is 'Stefan Kinsella doesn't know the idea in my head, thus patent and copyright or valid."

Land & Liberty

The Anarch is to the Anarchist what the Monarch is to the Monarchist. -Ernst Jünger

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Let me extrapolate from that, Jargon:

"Stefan Kinsella doesn't know the idea in my head, thus he'd owe me money if he were to come up with the same idea in his head and then express it after I've already done so."

Wait, what?

The keyboard is mightier than the gun.

Non parit potestas ipsius auctoritatem.

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Jargon replied on Tue, Apr 9 2013 1:09 PM

Haha!

I didn't think it would be this bad. Wenzel was absolutely incoherent. So much so that I'm surprised at the quality which his blog usually displays.

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The Anarch is to the Anarchist what the Monarch is to the Monarchist. -Ernst Jünger

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Ansury replied on Tue, Apr 9 2013 1:40 PM

Prashanth, did you listen to the podcast yet?  He went on and on about the Hertz thing and it didn't go anywhere.  I don't think they're even in disagreement on that example, because they're apples and oranges.

I had a hard time with that Wenzel blog post (i.e. I decided my time was being wasted, so I stopped).  He has the nerve to call Kinsella "sloppy" while responding with rubbish like:

Hertz rents a car to B, who is supposed to return it in a week, but who instead sells it to C. B has removed all stickers and other identifying marks from the car that would identify the car as belonging to C [He means belonging to Hertz. Sloppy stuff Bob!], so that C is not aware that the car is a Hetrz [sic] rental.

Of course the real problem with this example is not the crude way it's written; a car is simply not the same as an idea.  A car is rivalrous, but an idea is not.  During the entire podcast Wenzel proved he did not understand the economic concept of rivalry, nor how that poses a problem when treating something non-rivalrous as property.  Bob was using the word in the conventional sense (=competition) rather than the economic.  For someone posing as an expert, he should understand this.

So despite being told the problems with his example numerous times, he's still repeating the same discredited garbage - who has time for this repeated stupidity?  Arguing with this guy over years, it would get very frustrating.  I think the guy means well, but would test relatively low on an IQ test.  Far too low to be hosting some show or to be representing libertarians on any stage.  Not saying it to be mean-- he's just not comprehending a solid opposing argument and I can't find any reason other than low IQ or hidden evil intent (which I'm assuming is not the case).

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Autolykos:
"Stefan Kinsella doesn't know the idea in my head, thus he'd owe me money if he were to come up with the same idea in his head and then express it after I've already done so."

Wait, what?

Wenzel: No, independent discovery is fine.  I have no problem with free independent discovery.

 

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Autolykos replied on Wed, Apr 10 2013 7:12 AM

Thanks John. I'll admit to not having listened to the podcast yet.

But would Wenzel really be okay with a person expressing "his" idea after he's already done so? If so, then I don't see how his support of intellectual property still has any leg to stand on.

The keyboard is mightier than the gun.

Non parit potestas ipsius auctoritatem.

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I think the bigger issue was expressed in the comments of one of his two-dozen or so blog posts on this debacle...

 

What if someone else comes up with the same formula entirely by themselves? Do they have to prove it? Did you ever have to prove you "invented" it? Can they give it away to anyone they want?

Just like his whole "you can recreate IP with contracts" nonsense, Wenzel obviously hasn't taken 2 seconds to think beyond his policy to it's actual implications.  The guy is just an old idiot who happens to be lucky enough to have agreed with Austrian economics a long time ago.  This whole thing has honestly made me much less likely to visit his site lately.

It's kind of weird, as I knew he was always in favor of IP, but really after hearing the way he defended his position (or I should say, the way he responded when given the opportunity to defend his position), I just have a really bad taste in my mouth for anything he's associated with.  It was one thing when he kept his mouth shut and just kept saying "just wait for my book"...but now that he opened his trap and removed all doubt about him being a fool, it's really tainted all of his other work for me. 

I guess it's kind of a subconscious thing, where my brain can't let go of how retarded his arguments were, and just how poor his entire performance was...and on some level I feel like "wow, if he's that clueless, and that incapable of not only making an argument, but even just hearing the points raised by someone else...what else is he off in left field on?"

And the truth about his epic "speech at the Fed" was just shit icing on the shit cake.  The guy is such a joke.

 

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Marko replied on Wed, Apr 10 2013 8:34 AM

I guess it's kind of a subconscious thing, where my brain can't let go of how retarded his arguments were, and just how poor his entire performance was...and on some level I feel like "wow, if he's that clueless, and that incapable of not only making an argument, but even just hearing the points raised by someone else...what else is he off in left field on?"


The unbreakable union of free republics, for one.

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DrewNull replied on Wed, Apr 10 2013 12:18 PM

I don't know why I can't stop listening to this podcast.  I'm a newb to the Mises forums but IP is my favorite "controversy" in libertarianism and I feel compelled to reply.  

On the first listen, I thought Wenzel's opening remarks successfully portrayed Kinsella as a pompous jerk .  Kinsella seemed to want to avoid talking about it, which didn't help.  I didn't know the backstory, that's just what I thought during the first listen.  Kinsella lost his cool, but eventually got it back as the content and momentum of his arguments eventually steamrolled right over Wenzel's gradually unravelling demeanor and nonexistent position.  I wished it had been more civil (on the first listen).  

Subsequent listens are eye opening.  It's clear Wenzel's strategy was smear Kinsella's reputation by cherry picking what Wenzel perceives to be semantic ambiguities in writings Kinsella has authored over the last 13 years.  He preaches from his unable-to-read-between-the-lines interpretation of Rothbard, groping for some gotcha moment that never comes.  He seemed completely disinterested in putting forth his own concept of IP.  Kinsella has slighted him in the past and the purpose of this podcast is revenge.  I like the part when he carelessly asks Kinsella to cover for him while he searches his notes for something to read verbatim into the microphone.  Ha! Gotcha!  lol

Kinsella's goal was to advance the understanding of anti-IP.  With of course a highly structured, rock-solid argument that he knows well enough to recite in his sleep.  They just aren't in the same league.  I noticed several moments where Kinsella was caught off guard by Wenzel's apparent lack of understanding yet gives him the benefit of the doubt and goes on.  Eventually he gives up as Wenzel resorts to shouting.  So it was two and a half hours of harrowing efforts to get through Wenzel's thick skull.  I really like that he stuck it out to the end.  You know which one was watching the clock.  

It was hella entertaining but I feel disappointed.  I really enjoy Wenzel's show, Morning with Rothbard, EPJ posts, etc.  I listened to his recent Mises speech on the USSR at least 3 times.  But he is hopelessly wrong about IP and this podcast makes him look like an ass.  But Kinsella scored a win for anti-IP so it's a net gain.  GG

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts!  Hope to see you around more.

 

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Wow.  Yeah.  He's actually going there...

 

Wenzel sets his sights on Hans-Hermann Hoppe:

And now, "Wenzel" (whatever his real name is) goes after the dean of Austro-libertarianism. Ah, poor Bob.
 

 

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Ansury replied on Wed, Apr 10 2013 9:49 PM

DrewNull, I think you're right on.

I've never heard of Wenzel before this, and seeing the postive compliments he gets from people on other topics gives me mixed feelings, after this one sided neutering.  On one hand, I understand it'd be illogical for me to dismiss all of Bob's work and commentary based on this "debate" rather than the merit of the commentary itself.  But on the other hand, I have to wonder how someone so utterly clueless can be worth referencing for anything. I'd rather follow someone without this IP-monkey inconsistency on their backs, all other things being equal.

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Conza88 replied on Thu, Apr 11 2013 9:45 AM

"Wow.  Yeah.  He's actually going there..."

LOL... I wonder what it was... that Hoppe called Kinsella 'his friend', or whether because apparently Hoppe has taken a blasphemous position?

The comical and deluded appeal to Hoppe in support of his cause.. absolutely annihilated.

Bob... you were wrong about that. Ever stop to think about what else you're wrong about? surprise

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
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Ansury, I would like to know how you gauge whether a good is rivalrous or not.

Since me breathing air from the atmosphere doesn't restrict your ability to breathe air, is that a good enough reason to believe air is not rivalrous and hence nobody can claim ownership over it? Or is rivalry better defined when it is gauged on the basis of a person's 'psychological desire' to hold personal ownership over a resource? For instance, I may consider all air in the atmosphere as my personal property, so anybody else breathing air from the atmosphere affects my psychological desire to own all air in the atmosphere. Remember, in this view rivalry is not defined in a physical sense, but rather in a psychological sense.

Another example I can think of is land. Lets say I own all the land in the world. Now I can never imagine of using all the land in the world under my ownership. All my actual physical needs would be fulfilled by a small portion of the total land on earth. Now, does that mean land is not a rivalrous good? I don't think so. Land is still a rivalrous good in the psychological sense, because my psychological desire is to own infinite land, and when gauged on that basis, land is a rivalrous good (and anybody who uses any piece of land on earth is fiddling with my property, in the psychological sense, although I may never physically make use of the particular piece of land in question).

I think the psychological (or 'subjective') view makes better sense. I would like to hear your thoughts. Thanks!

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Prashanth Perumal:
I would like to know how you gauge whether a good is rivalrous or not.

Hmm.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rivalry_(economics)

 

is rivalry better defined when it is gauged on the basis of a person's 'psychological desire' to hold personal ownership over a resource? For instance, I may consider all air in the atmosphere as my personal property, so anybody else breathing air from the atmosphere affects my psychological desire to own all air in the atmosphere. Remember, in this view rivalry is not defined in a physical sense, but rather in a psychological sense.

I think if you'd read the economic definition of the word, you wouldn't have to ask silly questions like this.

 

I can never imagine of using all the land in the world under my ownership. All my actual physical needs would be fulfilled by a small portion of the total land on earth. Now, does that mean land is not a rivalrous good? I don't think so. Land is still a rivalrous good in the psychological sense, because my psychological desire is to own infinite land, and when gauged on that basis, land is a rivalrous good (and anybody who uses any piece of land on earth is fiddling with my property, in the psychological sense, although I may never physically make use of the particular piece of land in question).  I think the psychological (or 'subjective') view makes better sense. I would like to hear your thoughts. Thanks!

Seriously, just read the definition.

Are you and Wenzel just using a different Internet than the rest of the world?  Where your search engines just don't turn up any definitions of economic "rivalrousness"?

 

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excel replied on Fri, Apr 12 2013 5:47 AM

Is it me or has Wenzel been getting increasingly shrill and desperate in the last few days in regards to this subject? I don't know if it's just me reading it into his stuff, but visiting the EPJ has become almost trite at this point.

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Nope, you're right on the money.  I used to visit the site every day.  But as I said, ever since that podcast, it actually feels weird going there.  And not just because of his incompetence, but also the petty nature of what seems to be more and more of his posts.  The guy seems to be going down.

That podcast may have been his shark.

 

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Nick replied on Fri, Apr 12 2013 5:14 PM

I keep listening to the debate when I'm working. It provides the necessary entertainment and learning to keep me in front of my computer working with an occasional laugh. And I usually come on this site just to 1) order books, 2) read, 3) repeat. But Wenzel's meltdown has brought me out of the wilderness.

Completely agree with you, JJ. I used to have EPJ's feed in my browser, and read almost every individual post throughout the day.

But now... I'm just staying away. I check his home page once a day now, see a bunch of insecure/arrogant posts about IP, some news I can get from LRC, and some financial news I can get almost anywhere else.

It only took about a week for his entire site to degenerate to a handful of trolls (Wenzel & Rossini included), and the people who try to educate them -- even though they all seem to believe, along with Wenzel, that learning is theft.

Anyway, JJ, thanks for considering my comment "the best so far" from the debate. wink

EDIT: also wondering if this will be Wenzel's shark. Just checked his Alexa stats, and -14.01% reach over the last 7 days. Not long enough to be a trend yet, but I'll be interested to see if his site loses some of its popularity among libertarians.

"I'd like to introduce Mises hopping [sic] into the debate." -Bob Wenzel
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luc2posse:
EDIT: also wondering if this will be Wenzel's shark. Just checked his Alexa stats, and -14.01% reach over the last 7 days. Not long enough to be a trend yet, but I'll be interested to see if his site loses some of its popularity among libertarians.

As you note, I'm pretty sure it already has.  As I mentioned, the unlibertarian reality of IP is becoming more and more apparent to libertarians.  I wouldn't be surprised if a majority are at least skeptical already.  Even outside the libertarian community, people are getting it.  The Internet and digital age has moved the world into an era in which it is getting harder and harder not to see the reality of ideas and patterns as not ownable property.  Again, just look around... (Falkvinge.net; Torrentfreak.com; Legal Scholars: Thumbs Down on Patent and Copyright; The Origins of Libertarian IP Abolitionism; The Death Throes of Pro-IP Libertarianism)

I myself sent a couple of videos to Kinsella illustrating the growing reach of IP skepticism, which he posted...

LearnLiberty: Can Artists Make Money Without Copyrights? (Video)

Copyright Math and the $8 Billion iPod

 

Wenzel has had to keep doubling down, and he's just been digging his grave deeper and deeper.  And his logical fallacies and painful lack of any positive argument whatsoever are bad enough...but you throw in his pettiness and barrage of 12-year-old-butthurt blog posts, and it's easy to see why his traffic would be going down.  The guy is undoubtedly losing credibility with libertarians with virtually every IP post he makes.  (And of course, libertarians likely make up better than 90% of his readership.)

And as noted in this thread, the shrilly petty tone of his Kinsella/Tucker attacks is leaking and drowning out the rest of his blog.  He obviously has real self esteem issues, and of course, ego is never a good look on anybody.  That's actually a really great way to lose followers.

But even without his childish behavior, his intellectual ineptitude would be enough to turn off his audience.  Libertarians tend to be some of the more active minded and considered thinkers of all, and I find they tend to be more intellectually honest as well.  (I personally think this is a side effect of having the morally correct philosophy and the scientifically correct economic understanding.)  They therefore don't care much for (and have an easier time recognizing) poor arguments and abject nonsense.  This is largely what we've been seeing all month in the comments throughout the libertarian Internet sphere in response to the podcast.

As I said in commentary elsewhere, Wenzel was wise to keep his mouth shut on his position and just keep shoving it off on his unpublished book that never appeared.  By the time word of the debate came around, he was already too invested...both in his position as well as the debate itself...and he couldn't back down on either one (ego issues, remember.)  And ever since, he's been his own worst enemy.  You'll find he has maybe 2 or 3 ardent supporters defending him at length in literally every one of his blog posts against the onslaught of criticism.  (And I wouldn't be surprised if he or Chris Rossini was one of them.)  And of course, that's just the criticism we see...every single comment that gets submitted has to be manually approved.  So we have literally no idea how much more is out there, lost in cyberspace.  But of course we can get at least some sense of it just based on the sheer amount of it elsewhere.

I think it's safe to say Wenzel has put his goose on the fryer, and has absolutely no intention of even turning down the heat.  I guarantee that codger will take his IP nonsense to his grave (which probably isn't far off, by the way.)

Senility sure is a bitch. 

Rest in peace EconomicPolicyJournal.  June 1, 2003 - April 1, 2013

 

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Ansury replied on Sat, Apr 13 2013 2:36 AM

Rivalry isn't psychological or "only existing in people's minds", it's physical reality.  Wikipedia explains it pretty well I think:

A rival (subtractable) good is a good whose consumption by one consumer prevents simultaneous consumption by other consumers.[2] Put differently, a good is considered non-rival (non-subtractable) if, for any level of production, the cost of providing it to a marginal (additional) individual is zero.

also

Goods that are non-rival are goods that can be enjoyed simultaneously by an unlimited number of consumers.

Defined any other way, the basis for the need to have private property would probably collapse completely (as it does with IP).  This is a fundamental principle libertarian ideas are built upon, and it's a disgrace that Bob had no clue about how this works.  For me this makes him unqualified in his current role (or what's left of it), sadly.

Carried out to the logical conclusion, even air or land would run out eventually (although I suppose you could say those are "less" rivalrous currently).  An idea, or a design, or any pattern in nature cannot "run out".  You can't fight someone else over something that both of you know, it makes no sense. It would be like fighting to take someone's apple in a world where the supply of apples is infinite. But you can compete for the profits gained when employing ideas or patterns - that's what Wenzel is really arguing for the "protection" of, as if profit was property.  i.e. Protection against competition, i.e. private monopolies.  

So I guess apparently, to Wenzel, profit = property (but only for IP!)...it's hard to think of anything more nonsensical than that.

 

Has anyone spammed that Wikipedia rivalry link on Wenzel's blog yet?  Seriously, if he has even a single brain cell firing correctly (which I have doubts), he should be able to figure this out after reading that.  With all the Googling for quotes to read he was doing you'd think he'd have the sense to look that one up. surprise  FFS, why can't he just admit he was wrong and move on?

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DrewNull replied on Sat, Apr 13 2013 11:48 AM

John James:
Even outside the libertarian community, people are getting it.  The Internet and digital age has moved the world into an era in which it is getting harder and harder not to see the reality of ideas and patterns as not ownable property.

This is a really important point.  From my own experiences I have found this to be true.  I am kind of a firebrand in RL--but am making a conscious effort to take a softer, less incindiary tone--and of all the things I say that my family, friends, and coworkers object to, my stance on IP is not one of them.  Which is amazing to me because IP is one of those things that I always took for granted myself.  But rather than a no I usually get, "I've never really thought about it before", exactly where I was prior to reading Boldrin & Levine's book (thank you Jeffrey Tucker!).  The leftists I talk to, of course, agree for all the wrong reasons.  But it's encouraging to see the wheels spinning in the eyes of a conservative or Republican.  That's where the IP battle needs to be won, imo.  

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John James replied on Sat, Apr 13 2013 12:55 PM

Ansury:
Has anyone spammed that Wikipedia rivalry link on Wenzel's blog yet?  Seriously, if he has even a single brain cell firing correctly (which I have doubts), he should be able to figure this out after reading that.  With all the Googling for quotes to read he was doing you'd think he'd have the sense to look that one up. surprise

http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2013/04/hans-hoppe-issues-statement-supporting.html?showComment=1364953660790#c7939496327774198337

 

FFS, why can't he just admit he was wrong and move on?

Like I said, ego.  Remember this is the guy who promoted the shit out his 3-man lunch one day as some epic truth-to-power stick it to the man speech at the Fed.

 

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Nick replied on Sat, Apr 13 2013 4:18 PM

Yes, RIP Economic Policy Journal. No one swung the hammer of Rothbard at Krugman harder than Wenzel. But now I feel that Wenzel doesn't like Krugman just because Krugman "doesn't understand Rothbard," not because one or the other is right or wrong on any given issue. Maybe Wenzel can save face by shutting down EPJ and opening RothbardianDogmatismJournal or something.

I've followed EPJ for a few years now, and always ignored his IP stuff and promises of a libertarian, pro-IP book. When he started his show, and I saw how overbearing he was to his guests, I lost a little confidence in him. His performance on the Peter Schiff show was uncontrolled, and his rant against Ann Coulter for not appearing on his show seemed a little too personal. I bet his ego was missing being able to quote Rothbard at Coulter and post a "Coulter Crushed!!!" blog entry.

The Fed lunch speech story seemed a little "thin," for lack of a better term. He never mentions how many people were present when he gave the speech. He gives an indication of a Q&A session, where "one economist" (ambiguous, but he seems to be indicating one economist at a time, and multiple total) plays his Austrian economics sparring partner. Why would they invite him to speak? Hadn't they heard how he treats guests on his show? No surprise the whole story is falling apart now.

I saw on his blog that he's now trying to sell the Drudge Formula for $550, and threatening to sue for negligence anyone who pays for the formula but has it stolen from them. I see how IP would work in his world now.

It's hard to tell whether he's ignorant or dishonest about his whole scarcity-super abundant understanding. I'll chalk it up to dishonesty for a paycheck by Rossini, who seemed the clearer thinker and who I had a higher opinion of than Wenzel to begin with. Here's a post from May 2009 where he discusses sorting out the issue of using/discovering the wheel in court.

I don't think Wenzel is a statist on this issue. I think he legitimately thinks he can convince the world to recognize that he has a property right in the income potentially or actually generated by any thought he has, and recognize that he can enforce that property right with any means at his disposal (No Trespassing signs, Hell's Angels, or lawsuits, for instance). And according to him, this would be a libertarian world.

"I'd like to introduce Mises hopping [sic] into the debate." -Bob Wenzel
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Malachi replied on Sat, Apr 13 2013 4:21 PM

his rant against Ann Coulter for not appearing on his show seemed a little too personal.

indeed.

Keep the faith, Strannix. -Casey Ryback, Under Siege (Steven Seagal)
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(I authored this before luc2posse's latest post)

 

More Wenzel insanity:

 

The "Drudge Formula" Now Available for Purchase

During the Wenzel-Kinsella debate, I revealed I had a formula for getting my links posted on the Drudge Report.

I am now making the formula available for $550. The formula is included in a short two page report. It reveals the types of posts that Drudge is likely to pick up from an unknown blogger. The better your skill at writing copy that matches the formula, the more likely links to your post will show up on Drudge.

 

One can't be sure what exactly he is looking to do with this, but I'm sure it's a combination of everything you could think of...a way to make some money, a way to allegedly "prove" is "IP through contract" concept, and a way to continue his "destwoying of stefwan".

But here's where it gets fun...

Obviously the first thing on people's minds is all the normal problems with trying to create IP through libertarian contract law...

Derrick April 12, 2013 at 10:38 AM
If you sell more than one of these, and then it's discovered that others are using it, how are you even going to figure out who leaked it?
 
 
test  April 12, 2013 at 11:01 AM
Am I liable if a third party breaks into my computer and reads the formula?
 
 
awake  April 12, 2013 at 11:31 AM
Going to the legth you have to make something infanitly reproducible into artificially scarce does not dissolve the fact that this formula can be replicated for everyone on Earth.

If you get everyone to agree to keep your formula to themselves then great, contracts are contracts. But your formula is not truly scarce as physical resources are, it is artifically restricted by your contractual efforts. Once this secret is let out beyond contracts, your only option is to begin to agress against the persons who have no contract with you in a vain attempt to plug the gaping hole in your theory of IP.

 

Somewhat surprisingly, Wenzel is actually answering these questions...

Everytime someone mentions something about the almost impossibility of actually proving who leaked the formula, Wenzel comes back with his mysterious "I have my ways. Try it."

Someone did mention that Wenzel could simply slightly alter the formula for each buyer, but even then, several problems arise:

1) It sounds like the "formula" is nothing more than a general outline of recommendations on how to write a juicy blog post, and perhaps a few instructions on various off-page SEO tasks to perform.  I really don't see how someone couldn't just reorganize the process into a write-up of all the same generic information, and simply eliminate any traceable aspects.

2) Even supposing one just wished to release the exact PDF Wenzel sends him...how the hell Wenzel expects to be able to identify (let alone find) the culprit, is beyond me.  The old fart is certainly not a technology genius, and even if one was, there's virtually no way to positively ID someone in this arrangement if he doesn't want to be identified...

You honestly could hide yourself every step of the way.  You just simply use Tor to set up Paypal account with fake information.  Transfer money into the account through making a sale of something or through a transfer from another account, and then make the purchase with the dummy account.

Wenzel has no way of enforcing his contract.

The only hurdle is that his price point is $550...and sometimes Paypal restricts accounts to $500 worth of activity before requiring bank account verification.  (I wonder if this is a coincidence, or if Wenzel is actually knowledgeable enough to be aware of this, and that is actually what dictated his price point.  I doubt it though, as he agreed to sell his (apparently lessor-value) traffic formula for $100.)

But really, if one were determined, or had a little bit of knowledge/skill, he would know how to get around this issue. (And there are multiple ways).

3) Suppose someone leaks the exact file Wenzel sends, and he uses his personal Paypal account, literally giving Wenzel his name and contact info.  Is Wenzel really going to expend the time and resources trying to go after this person?  It would be incredibly time consuming and expensive, particularly if the person was a foreigner, (although apparently Wenzel is just rolling in cash and has all the money in the world to throw away on petty bullshit like half-million dollar wagers).  But even supposing this is the case (which I would find odd, considering how busy Wenzel always claims to be), it leads to another problem that at least one commenter raised immediately...

4) What if this person has nothing of value to seize?  What if he is "an unemployed basement dweller in his mom's house and he has no assets."

 

I'm so tempted to get this formula just to release it and shut Wenzel up.  Get it put up on TPB, and a few forums, and then post links to all of them in response to his "What's the Formula Stephan?" post.

If The Point didn't publish the name and address of the recipient of the funds, I'd actually crowd source the cost, just to shove it in his face even more.  (Can you imagine the reaction upon having a Point campaign dedicated to collecting pledges for the sole purpose of purchasing and releasing his precioius formula?)

Technically you could still do it, but the hoops need to jump through to protect yourself would be too many, I think.  You can never tell how far he'd be willing to push his lawsuit.  I wouldn't be surprised if the guy would bankrupt himself carrying that case as far as he could, just to be able to blog about getting his retribution.  You never want to underestimate the tenacity of someone with a lot of time and extremely low self esteem.

If anyone would want to donate more privately, through bitcoin, or directly to the dummy Paypal account...I'd even more strongly consider being the mole.

 

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