Saturday, February 04, 2012

IPR, Slavery, Emerging Value Chains

I think that way humanity defines and manages the institution of property is part of the problem and hence part of the solution.

If humans were to correctly define, separate and manage the personal from the non-personal, then many problems would go away.

The thought, speech, actions of humans impact the non-personal and the personal. The impact on the personal is change in mental and physical habits. The impact on the non-personal depends on the overall impact of all actions of individuals on humanity and environment. The impact on humanity manifests in social habits, economic habits and political habits, while the impact on environment manifests in weather and climate change.

The right way of defining personal as separate from non-personal is ensure that the group decision processes ensuer that each personal choice has the possibility of influencing the final non-personal outcome fairly. If the social, economic, political institutions through which humanity or its sub-groups make multi-level pipelined decisions resulting in the final outcome are not compliant with the values of equality, fraternity, liberty and justice, then the outcomes may be more favorable to fixed sub-groups than others. This constitutes structural barriers to the simultaneous freedom of all humans and must be dismantled. Affirmative actions to compensate for past structural unfairness, also becomes easy to understand and justify this way as needed to dismantle the structural barriers.

On an average, when the "number of levels" and "time length of pipeline" increases, structural barriers for viewpoints of subgroups of humans to propagate in pipeline creep in quickly. Whenever such a situation arises, the right way to solve the problem is to first see it clearly by seeing data for ALL the levels simultaneously to detect the location of the problem clearly. Once the problem is clearly seen, it is easy to solve by removing the barriers to smooth flow.

Based on the above and based on my own experience, I am certain that humanity is digging a hole. The creativity of hungry and naked people can be bought cheap and sold dear using IPR as a tool of exploitation. The situation whereby cheap Indian labor is overworked in poor working conditions on notional T&M basis, where the intermediaries keep telling them that their IPR is useless and worthless to force cheap sale of IPR and/or free value-add to T&M services (by "some silly offshore back-office native kid" desperate to make a mark and rise in local "hierarchies") is no different from the slavery described by Eric Williams (in Capitalism and Slavery).

But coming from poor, hungry and powerless dalit India, having been through this whole chain and having seen it all, I now see new chains being setup, which will enable the creative labor of dalit India to reach western markets without passing through non-dalit intermediaries, whose value chains too have no place for dalits, under some silly reason which they shout hoarsely, calling as merit.
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