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You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > What is your integrity worth? What's your price?

View Poll Results: When is it okay to cheat and/or steal?
Poll Options:
To avoid being inconvenienced; save a little money or just about any reason at all, doesn't matter 4 votes (44.44%)
To save a considerable amount of money, say, several hundred dollars 2 votes (22.22%)
To stick it to "the man", because they do it all the time 3 votes (33.33%)
To save a life; ie. you're starving to death or need something for survival 6 votes (66.67%)
Never compromise, not even in the face of armageddon 2 votes (22.22%)
To avoid arrest or legal troubles 3 votes (33.33%)
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 9. You may not vote on this poll
What is your integrity worth? What's your price?
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Clinically Insane
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Sep 1, 2013, 03:30 PM
 
Is it okay to cheat and/or steal? If so, when? How flexible are your ethical considerations and where do you draw the line? Personally, I'd do it to save a life (lives), my own or someone else's, but not for money or "out of principle", ie: "X company is shady so I don't feel bad about it". Is knowingly scamming a warranty or return policy a good enough reason? What if you'd done it but weren't aware that you had, because you didn't read the ToS or something like that, do you try and make it right?


(poll incoming...)
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
- Thomas Paine
     
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Sep 1, 2013, 07:14 PM
 
My ethics are so rock-solid that I never do anything wrong ever and prefer to spend my free time thinking about how much better I am than everyone else.

I'm going to go sit on a gilded pedestal for awhile now.
     
Clinically Insane
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Sep 1, 2013, 07:27 PM
 
It's been awhile, but I've most definitely stolen music.
     
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Sep 1, 2013, 07:44 PM
 
I think I might have gone over the speed limit once. Oh, and I might have wet my pants when I was a toddler and lied about it.

Shit.

I feel like a horrible person now. Thanks for that.
     
Clinically Insane
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Sep 1, 2013, 07:47 PM
 
Driving at the limit feels like "bullet time" in The Matrix.
     
Shaddim  (op)
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Sep 1, 2013, 07:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
My ethics are so rock-solid that I never do anything wrong ever and prefer to spend my free time thinking about how much better I am than everyone else.

I'm going to go sit on a gilded pedestal for awhile now.
Many (most?) people wouldn't think twice about returning something that was damaged by their own negligence, or in a manner that violated a contract (ie. returning a phone that had been bricked when they tried to root it), and expect a free replacement. Is that different than justifying the pirating a movie, because you'd already paid once to see it at a theater? How much "further down the road" is it to just pick-up an item at a store and put it in your pocket, or are they connected at all?

This isn't really about right and wrong, but about justification. At what point do people feel there is just cause to break an agreement or a law?
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
- Thomas Paine
     
Shaddim  (op)
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Sep 1, 2013, 08:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Driving at the limit feels like "bullet time" in The Matrix.
Agreed, I do speed when I'm out in the middle of nowhere, and I suppose that is sort-of like breaking a social agreement, not to mention the law. That isn't actually taking anything from anyone, however, because I don't do it in residential areas or even around other traffic (literally 100s of miles of roads around here that are seldom used, due to new freeways and bypasses), so one can argue that it's victimless.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
- Thomas Paine
     
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Sep 1, 2013, 08:54 PM
 
Having ethics does not necessarily mean obeying laws. If that were so, politicians would be models of ethical behavior.

Shoplifting (or abusing warranties / return policies) deprive the seller of their product outside of the sales terms. However, copyright stuff is more nuanced. In theft, you take a product from someone, and they no longer have it. Say you download a movie via BT. The (c) holder still has their copy, and you didn't get anything directly from them (unless we're talking Prenda).

There is good reason to believe copyright (a social contract) is heavily weighted in favor of large (c) holders today. From (c) extensions (breaking original terms; stealing from the public) to lack of penalty for sending false DMCA takedowns, to routine (c) lobbyist access to treaties during negotiation that the public doesn't see until terms are fixed (ACTA, TPP). One could argue that each side is stealing from the other, and the whole IP category should not be counted until a new social contract is settled upon.

Then there's the philosophical question, does life = freedom? And is privacy essential to exercising freedom? ie, should you break your word to support the freedom of others (Snowden, Manning) because society considers freedom the same as life?

I would vote to break integrity in order to save lives, your own or others. But I'd also assume life = freedom, and exclude IP space for the moment.
     
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Sep 1, 2013, 09:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
Many (most?) people wouldn't think twice about returning something that was damaged by their own negligence, or in a manner that violated a contract (ie. returning a phone that had been bricked when they tried to root it), and expect a free replacement. Is that different than justifying the pirating a movie, because you'd already paid once to see it at a theater? How much "further down the road" is it to just pick-up an item at a store and put it in your pocket, or are they connected at all?

This isn't really about right and wrong, but about justification. At what point do people feel there is just cause to break an agreement or a law?
Loal. You really took that example to an extreme, didn't you?

I was referring more to a scenario such as:

You happen to have a custom ROM on your phone. Through no fault of your own, a physical failure occurs on the device (e.g. the USB port falls off or the SD slot somehow has an electrical failure). Putting the stock firmware back on the device allows you to get the device replaced by the carrier without issue.

But, you know, if you want to turn it into a moral crusade, good for you. I'm sure you can twist that example around in some way to be the fault of the user and therefore display why they're a despicable human being.

How in the world is there enough oxygen as high up as your horse puts you? I'm surprised you haven't suffocated from your own arrogance yet.
     
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Sep 1, 2013, 09:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
Agreed, I do speed when I'm out in the middle of nowhere, and I suppose that is sort-of like breaking a social agreement, not to mention the law. That isn't actually taking anything from anyone, however, because I don't do it in residential areas or even around other traffic (literally 100s of miles of roads around here that are seldom used, due to new freeways and bypasses), so one can argue that it's victimless.
Oh okay, so morals only apply when it's convenient for you.

Gotcha.
     
Clinically Insane
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Sep 1, 2013, 10:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
Agreed, I do speed when I'm out in the middle of nowhere, and I suppose that is sort-of like breaking a social agreement, not to mention the law. That isn't actually taking anything from anyone, however, because I don't do it in residential areas or even around other traffic (literally 100s of miles of roads around here that are seldom used, due to new freeways and bypasses), so one can argue that it's victimless.
I actually am nervous speeding in the middle of nowhere. All I need is to fly over a hill and smack into a deer.

I'll speed on Interstates late at night in unpopulated areas.

This is legit, go to jail speeding. In or near the city, everybody speeds on Interstates. You're impeding traffic if you aren't going 10 mph over the limit outside of the right lane. I'm not counting that.
     
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Sep 1, 2013, 11:55 PM
 
I'm not sure of this category:

To avoid being inconvenienced; save a little money or just about any reason at all, doesn't matter
On one of my old cars, the starter bolt can only be accessed using a flex-head ratcheting wrench. I didn't have any at the time and was broke. The local hardware store sold them for $18 each. I bought the one I needed, installed the new starter, then returned the wrench, telling them I bought the wrong size. There was zero evidence of usage on the tool and all packaging was original. It could be restocked and sold at regular price.

Morally I don't think it was right, but at the time I made peace with it because it didn't cost them anything (other than the labor to ring me up and hang the wrench back up for sale).

I certainly wouldn't have just slipped the wrench into my pocket and walked out with it. In this scenario, it's not as if there was a low price for my integrity over which everything gets thrown out the door. I wandered into morally questionable territory only because the cost was so small.
     
Clinically Insane
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Sep 1, 2013, 11:59 PM
 
Did you speed on the way back to the hardware store?
     
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Sep 2, 2013, 12:03 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I actually am nervous speeding in the middle of nowhere. All I need is to fly over a hill and smack into a deer.
It's really bad during corn season. That shit gets like eight feet high, and you can't see around it - especially in areas where farmers don't adhere to local laws regarding distance from the road. It's downright scary.

This is legit, go to jail speeding. In or near the city, everybody speeds on Interstates. You're impeding traffic if you aren't going 10 mph over the limit outside of the right lane. I'm not counting that.
BF is from MA - apparently on the Mass Pike, if everyone around you is going 80mph and you want to be a dick and insist on going the speed limit, you're going to be the one who's pulled over for impeding the flow of traffic.
     
Shaddim  (op)
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Sep 2, 2013, 01:50 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I actually am nervous speeding in the middle of nowhere. All I need is to fly over a hill and smack into a deer.

I'll speed on Interstates late at night in unpopulated areas.

This is legit, go to jail speeding. In or near the city, everybody speeds on Interstates. You're impeding traffic if you aren't going 10 mph over the limit outside of the right lane. I'm not counting that.
I got ya. Yeah, there is a risk of hitting a deer or a dog, but that's the same with the interstates and freeways around here, as well. You're just as likely to see a mangled deer there as you are on a secondary road, in these parts. We have entire segments of roads that quite literally lead nowhere now, or are redundant to the point that they aren't used anymore. The police and highway patrol ignore them entirely. They know we drive like that in those places, they just don't give a sh*t. One particular stretch in the middle of nowhere is virtually flat and extends for nearly a mile. It's great for some triple-digit excitement (insanity).

Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
Loal. You really took that example to an extreme, didn't you?

I was referring more to a scenario such as:

You happen to have a custom ROM on your phone. Through no fault of your own, a physical failure occurs on the device (e.g. the USB port falls off or the SD slot somehow has an electrical failure). Putting the stock firmware back on the device allows you to get the device replaced by the carrier without issue.

But, you know, if you want to turn it into a moral crusade, good for you. I'm sure you can twist that example around in some way to be the fault of the user and therefore display why they're a despicable human being.

How in the world is there enough oxygen as high up as your horse puts you? I'm surprised you haven't suffocated from your own arrogance yet.
Extreme? No, in that thread I was I was talking about bricking a phone (and how I see that as wasteful, since they won't even take it back for parts), then you made a reply about the bad things AT&T and Comcast do, which to me isn't here nor there. I know you believe I'm "theft shaming" you, or whatever, but I wasn't, I was explaining that not everyone sees these things the same way, and now I'm polling to see how others feel too.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
- Thomas Paine
     
Shaddim  (op)
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Sep 2, 2013, 01:54 AM
 
Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
Oh okay, so morals only apply when it's convenient for you.

Gotcha.
Sure, under specific circumstances I speed outrageously, I won't try to justify it.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
- Thomas Paine
     
Clinically Insane
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Sep 2, 2013, 02:10 AM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
I got ya. Yeah, there is a risk of hitting a deer or a dog, but that's the same with the interstates and freeways around here, as well. You're just as likely to see a mangled deer there as you are on a secondary road, in these parts. We have entire segments of roads that quite literally lead nowhere now, or are redundant to the point that they aren't used anymore. The police and highway patrol ignore them entirely. They know we drive like that in those places, they just don't give a sh*t. One particular stretch in the middle of nowhere is virtually flat and extends for nearly a mile. It's great for some triple-digit excitement (insanity).
Well, when I say "unpopulated", it's probably more populated than what you're thinking of. The two Interstates from Chicago into Wisconsin get enough traffic only an exceedingly dumb deer goes for it.

When that happens at least I get three lanes to work with.
     
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Sep 2, 2013, 02:23 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Well, when I say "unpopulated", it's probably more populated than what you're thinking of. The two Interstates from Chicago into Wisconsin get enough traffic only an exceedingly dumb deer goes for it.

When that happens at least I get three lanes to work with.
Not particularly, they're old "county-connecting" roads that have been made obsolete by more direct high-speed (70mph) freeways. At some point they're simply going to be torn up, but for now they aren't doing very much, except being used for nefarious purposes by those of us who remember them. They're a lot like those remaining segments of 66, out west, before attempts to revitalize it.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
- Thomas Paine
     
Clinically Insane
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Sep 2, 2013, 02:34 AM
 
Are we talking about the same thing?

I'm talking about the population density along the patch of interstate between Chicago and Wisconsin. It's pretty built up.
     
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Sep 2, 2013, 09:20 PM
 
i cheat 99% of the time and avoid getting caught 100% of the time.
     
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Sep 2, 2013, 11:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by Sealobo View Post
i cheat 99% of the time and avoid getting caught 100% of the time.
     
Clinically Insane
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Sep 3, 2013, 03:40 AM
 
I can't bring myself to do the insurance thing, or the "have something I broke fixed under warranty" thing (though I've occasionally met the good will of others, who've fixed or replaced things under warranty for me despite being under no obligation to do so).

The insurance thing especially gets my gall, because you're not "sticking it to the man", you're sticking it to ME, the honest dumbass who pays the premiums that you're taking advantage of.
     
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Sep 3, 2013, 06:01 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
I can't bring myself to do the insurance thing, or the "have something I broke fixed under warranty" thing (though I've occasionally met the good will of others, who've fixed or replaced things under warranty for me despite being under no obligation to do so).

The insurance thing especially gets my gall, because you're not "sticking it to the man", you're sticking it to ME, the honest dumbass who pays the premiums that you're taking advantage of.
"But they account for insurance fraud in our premiums, so I'd be a fool not to commit it."
     
Shaddim  (op)
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Sep 22, 2013, 01:58 AM
 
Speaking of morality, I was ridiculed for using an adblocker today, they claimed I'm robbing the content providers (they also claimed adblockers are technically illegal). I have a whitelist of sites I allow, like MacNN, but for the most part I simply block most everything else. The issue is that advertising has become so pervasive and aggressive that it's getting in the way of actually accessing information in most places.

Are adblockers immoral? What about pop-up blockers, or commercial skipping functions on DVRs?
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
- Thomas Paine
     
Clinically Insane
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Sep 22, 2013, 02:23 AM
 
I think if you want ad supported content you have some obligation to give the ads a shot.

The content provider likewise has an obligation not to suck and piss you off.
     
Clinically Insane
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Sep 22, 2013, 03:37 AM
 
When it comes to TV, I like the TiVo compromise.

I can easily skip ahead 30 seconds, and you as an advertiser have about a quarter-second to catch my interest between jumps.

If it seems interesting, I'll watch it. Why wouldn't I want to watch something interesting? I know some people who won't because it's a commercial. I don't get that.
     
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Sep 22, 2013, 03:49 AM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
"But they account for insurance fraud in our premiums, so I'd be a fool not to commit it."
So, if you are effectively already paying an extra charge to cover the cost of fraud, are you not simply taking advantage of an aspect of your policy that you have already paid for? So is that actually fraud?*



*obviously yes.
     
Mac Elite
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Sep 23, 2013, 07:38 PM
 
Rules are artificial. Survival of the worst.
     
Clinically Insane
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Sep 23, 2013, 07:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by boy8cookie View Post
Rules are artificial. Survival of the worst.
Glad you're only destroying your own society, and not mine.
     
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Sep 23, 2013, 08:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
Speaking of morality, I was ridiculed for using an adblocker today, they claimed I'm robbing the content providers (they also claimed adblockers are technically illegal). I have a whitelist of sites I allow, like MacNN, but for the most part I simply block most everything else. The issue is that advertising has become so pervasive and aggressive that it's getting in the way of actually accessing information in most places.

Are adblockers immoral? What about pop-up blockers, or commercial skipping functions on DVRs?
Most ad services pay per click, not per view, so blocking ads doesn't take anything away from the site that uses them.

I don't feel remotely guilty about using adblock to avoid ads. I don't watch TV ads, because I just don't watch TV anymore. TV ads are particularly bad - they're so LOUD.

I feel like advertisers are getting more desperate because of how easy it is to ignore them these days...
     
Clinically Insane
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Sep 23, 2013, 09:05 PM
 
How do you get a click on an ad if you can't see the ad?

Or am I misunderstanding you?
     
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Sep 23, 2013, 10:52 PM
 
The ad loads, but then is hidden before you really see it. So the page view count goes up.

If you never click on the ads anyhow, the only page click they miss is the accidental ones. (I hate when I do that.)
     
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Sep 23, 2013, 10:55 PM
 
What Andi said.

I never click on ads, so there's no point in showing them.

The funny thing is, even non-intrusive ads bother me, because I feel like they detract from the artistic design of the website. I use Google Ads on one of my sites, but I block them (and I've made less than $100 total in the entire time I've used Google Ads).

I am, however, a major sucker for those "content you might like" blocks on blog and news sites with things like "Ten animals you won't believe exist".
     
Clinically Insane
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Sep 24, 2013, 12:09 AM
 
Is there no ad you would ever click on?
     
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Sep 24, 2013, 01:30 AM
 
What if I told you that you could get rid of all your belly fat with one weird trick?

My sig is 1 pixel too big.
     
Shaddim  (op)
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Sep 24, 2013, 02:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Is there no ad you would ever click on?
Free iPad?!
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
- Thomas Paine
     
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Sep 25, 2013, 12:56 AM
 
A couple of weeks ago I took my boys fishing at a local reservoir. There is a box on the roadway leading up to the reservoir and envelopes in the box to put money in; they want you to pay $7 per vehicle if you are going to be using the reservoir for anything. I knew that there wasn't going to be a ranger around anytime soon, and I didn't pay.

I *hate* that they try to charge people to visit places like that. The place used to cost nothing to visit, but about 10 years ago the state (Utah) passed some legislature saying that as long as the state "improved" an area (lake, sand dunes, forest area, etc.), they could start charging people to visit and use it. At this reservoir they added one stinking bathroom, and from then on they started charging. During the summer they have a ranger in his/her truck all day, every day, with their a/c on full blast, sitting by the pay box making sure that people pay. It isn't a super-popular place and I am sure that it costs them more in fuel and vehicle maintenance than they take in from people visiting the place!

So I guess my answer might be that I am okay to "stick it to the man" if I feel "the man" is unfairly treating the people that they are lording over.
     
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Sep 25, 2013, 10:52 AM
 
I've stolen a lot of hearts. And packets of sugar from Starbucks.
     
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Sep 25, 2013, 10:59 AM
 
Originally Posted by torsoboy View Post
At this reservoir they added one stinking bathroom, and from then on they started charging.
Perhaps it would stink less if you paid the $7?

I usually pay these type of honor boxes, if I have the change. In this instance, I don't consider not paying "sticking it to the man."
     
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Sep 25, 2013, 12:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Is there no ad you would ever click on?
No, there isn't.

Maybe I'm just weird, but advertising doesn't really do anything for me, except Kohl's. I have a Kohl's charge card, so when I get those 30% off coupons a few times a year, I tend to use them, even if it's just to stock up on K-Cups through the online store.

The last time I saw an ad and actually bought something directly because of it was in college when Conair came out with the first hair dryer with a retractable cord, and I bought one because hair dryer cords are annoying.
     
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Sep 25, 2013, 02:35 PM
 
That does seem somewhat unusual. At some point in their life, most people find out about some product or service they want from advertising.
     
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Sep 25, 2013, 02:44 PM
 
I found myself watching some commercials on TV last night, some are well done and sometimes finding out about new products is useful. However, internet ads are like late night TV ads, full of dubious products and even worse, malware.
     
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Sep 25, 2013, 02:49 PM
 
It can go both ways.

I learned about Booq bags from a banner ad here. They're pretty cool.

I also learned about a bunch of sex slavery sites.
     
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Sep 25, 2013, 02:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
That does seem somewhat unusual. At some point in their life, most people find out about some product or service they want from advertising.
Well, I wasn't allowed to watch TV when I was a kid, the only magazines we subscribed to were National Review and Better Homes & Gardens, and we very, very rarely went to the movies. I wasn't exposed to nearly as much advertising as a normal kid or teenager.

I DID really want a clamshell iBook or a colored iMac G3 when the five-color version first came out. We got a postcard-style ad in the mail about them, and I thought they were SO PRETTY. I didn't know anything about Macs, though. I just wanted the color.

These days my purchases are based on Internet research and reading lots of reviews on sites like Amazon. I'm also sometimes a sucker for displays at the end of aisles at Target. Hands-on marketing works a lot better for me than obnoxious print/video advertising. We frequently buy stuff at Trader Joe's because of the samples.
     
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Sep 25, 2013, 05:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
It's been awhile, but I've most definitely stolen music.
hahaha, me too, I stole music all the time.....
(is it appropriate to say it out loud?)
     
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Sep 26, 2013, 07:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
Is it okay to cheat and/or steal? If so, when? How flexible are your ethical considerations and where do you draw the line?
I believe it's okay to steal from anyone who makes more money than I. People who make more money than me don't need the money so they should just give it to me and people like me. If they don't... I would like to organize a mob of some gangster like fellas to take the money from them and distributeth it unto me in a way that I decide is fair and just. I'm also into stealing health-care. The other day I was talking with a friend who claimed they wanted $20,000 for flying a helicopter to her house and saving her life. She said "I'm not paying it, they didn't confirm the price with me first, and it's the principle of the matter! They should just save me because it's the right thing to do!". I said, " You go girl ! That's like the cost of car! Your life isn't worth that much, How do they ever expect you to pay that off? You stick it to those greedy bastards!".
ie: "X company is shady so I don't feel bad about it". Is knowingly scamming a warranty or return policy a good enough reason? What if you'd done it but weren't aware that you had, because you didn't read the ToS or something like that, do you try and make it right?
Is it ethical for all these companies to sell stuff that doesn't do what they say it does? Why should we have to buy warranties for electronics in order for them to fix it if it breaks outside of 1 year?
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Aug 2006
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Sep 26, 2013, 08:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by el chupacabra View Post
Is it ethical for all these companies to sell stuff that doesn't do what they say it does? Why should we have to buy warranties for electronics in order for them to fix it if it breaks outside of 1 year?
Is it ethical for companies (the RIAA in particular) to sue the bejeebus out of an individual for losses they didn't actually incur?
     
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: 888500128, C3, 2nd soft.
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Sep 27, 2013, 02:24 AM
 
Not another piracy thread.

If your argument hinges exclusively on the tired old simplistic "losses not incurred", you're ALWAYS going to get countered by "gains not made ARE losses", and nobody's ever the wiser.

You can argue about the appropriateness of scale, or about failure to develop monetization structures for the digital age (or even their necessity), but simply claiming that no losses are incurred is not getting anybody anywhere.
     
Clinically Insane
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Sep 27, 2013, 02:48 AM
 
I don't feel there are no losses incurred, but I feel the losses claimed are friggin ridiculous.
     
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
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Sep 27, 2013, 03:04 AM
 
OTOH, access to something which is infinitely reproducible has zero value.

That's not saying the content has no value, only that value isn't determined by what people will pay for access, which is how it worked pre-infinitely reproducible.
     
 
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