Podcast: Collective Action - the Magnificent Seven anti-troll business-model


Peasant: How can we find a samurai we can pay with only rice?
Gisaku: Find hungry samurai.

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This is an important idea. I’ve been pondering a similar line of reasoning about the force multiplying effect of violence. For most of history, whoever resorts to violence first, enjoys a huge advantage in the fight. But in a well-wired world, victims’ interests are best served by a coordinated defense- the kind of thing that was impossible until recently.

The protection racket run by these copyright trolls is just as vulnerable to a coordinated defense, as a mafia protection racket. The victims in this case don’t need to fight the entire gang, they just need to make that one facet of their business unprofitable. I could see this sort of thing succeeding where the FBI has failed.

Great plan, but of course the question is, who will bell the cat?

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What do you think of farmers? You think they’re saints? Hah! They’re foxy beasts! They say, “We’ve got no rice, we’ve no wheat. We’ve got nothing!” But they have! They have everything! Dig under the floors! Or search the barns! You’ll find plenty! Beans, salt, rice, sake! Look in the valleys, they’ve got hidden warehouses! They pose as saints but are full of lies! If they smell a battle, they hunt the defeated! They’re nothing but stingy, greedy, blubbering, foxy, and mean! God damn it all! But then who made them such beasts? You did! You samurai did it! You burn their villages! Destroy their farms! Steal their food! Force them to labour! Take their women! And kill them if they resist! So what should farmers do? [Kikuchiyo collapses into corner and weeps]

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