Software Patents: Principled Dialog (Part 2)

Whatever your position on software patents, or on patents in general, one thing is clear. Principled arguments are more interesting than unprincipled arguments.

Whatever your position on software patents, or on patents in general, one thing is clear. Principled arguments are more interesting than unprincipled arguments. I have recently begun writing about principled computing. Here, in no particular order, are my principles that relate to software. In other words, this is the baggage that I carry when I write or speak about software patents.

  1. Questioning is good.
  2. Dialog with disagreement is good.
  3. Competition is good, monopolies are bad.
  4. Creativity is good.
  5. Efficiency eliminates jobs, inefficiency creates jobs.
  6. When trees die, they rot and form soil for new trees (and, as such, bankruptcy can be good).
  7. Everybody has a motive, whether it’s fame, fortune, philanthropy, or something else.
  8. Some engineers (and other scientists) are often primarily interested in being correct.
  9. Cool software is good.
  10. Software is not magical.

Because I value dialog with disagreement, I enable users to post comments on this website. Because I have coded software for a living, I believe that software is not magical. Because many of my clients are software developers, I believe that competition is good but that monopolies are bad.

What are your beliefs? Your motives? And how do they shape your thinking about these issues? Let the principled dialog begin.

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