Archive | January, 2012

“exclusive province” vs. “exclusive provenance”

20 Jan

When wondering which is proper, I found this obnoxious answer:

“Exclusive province” not “provenance.” People shouldn’t use words without knowing what they mean.

I’ll take the answer as given, but how the hell does this person think people learn most of their vocabulary, idiomatic expressions and all?

Besides, while “exclusive province” seemed more right to me, “exclusive provenance” isn’t that much less logical and has the virtue of being less metaphorical: most uses of “exclusive province” analogize land area to an abstract domain of ideas. “Provenance” on the other hand applies without metaphor as equally to ideas and culture as to tangible things.

Where’s the fire?

19 Jan

Too often, opponents of SOPA, PIPA, and their like concede that ‘piracy is a real problem’. While it’s intuitively obvious how illicit copying could be a problem, it’s equally and empirically obvious that illicit copying has had no serious effect on the production and availability of content. The new distribution models of the internet are almost certainly responsible for a far greater boost in production than the illicit copying is responsible for depressing production. Maybe the copying has cost content industries non-trivial money, but until the public actually sees a real reduction in output, why are the rest of us supposed to care? The current levels of illicit copying seem perfectly benign or even beneficial, so why subject the internet to chemotherapy?