In "Kant and the platypus", Umberto Eco notes that there is something, before somebody talks about it.
I think that is is exactly and entirely equivalent with limited. A subject can't notice something without perceiving, or inventing, a limit (or attribute) of that something.
The general case is the universe. Here, we invented a name that means all, that is, unlimited; that is, unlimited by any distinctive feature, because it can't be compared to another all.
Therefore all, the universe, includes everything, and, along with it, anything anybody can imagine beyond everything. The only notion equivalent with all is nothing.
Therefore, because any subject/observer is necessarily a part of all/nothing, or a feature of it, it follows that any subject is bound to consider anything noticeable as being, that it is.
So, is means limited, that is, has attributes, that is, can be talked about or indicated, enumerated.
So, I think that is, or can be talked about, or can be described, or can be pointed at, are entirely equivalent and synchronous attributes of a subject's knowledge.
It also follows that the only something which is in itself, independent of any observer's existence, is all (has all the imaginable and unimaginable properties).
And all, the universe, can be, in a simpler manner, denoted as nothing: the all has all the properties and their opposites simultaneously.
If this picture seems unintelligible to you, note that the number 0 (zero) can be represented as a compensating sum of arbitrary integer numbers, but any part of this combination can be said to have a specific attribute, that is, can be said to be.
This picture also implies, as a byproduct, that any subject/observer is compensated for by the rest of the universe, which means, operationally, that no observer can be precisely delimited objectively, that is, any defined observer is a convention among many other observers, or, briefly, there is no unique and local definition of an observer/subject. The same applies to anything that can be said to be.
Therefore a unique and local definition of anything, is, in fact, a belief, a dogma, a convention, a contract; and needs to be interpreted as nothing more than a proposal.
One has the freedom to agree or not with this proposal, but naturally any choice has consequences. And from here comes the criteria we use when making choices: the best choice seems to be the one which also gives you the means to estimate, and check (while you still can do something obvious about it), the consequences you care about. That's one of the reasons why science is preferable to any institutionalized religion.
If the public of a country funds some research or educational activity which results in an article, book or report, that should be accessible unconditionally to that public.
In other words, the results of any kind of activity that is at least partially funded from public money, should be accessible to the public, right? There's no justification for copyright, then.
Ah, some would say, public money, ok, but accessing the results of private research should be paid for. Wait a minute, the public pays that too, if you buy an apple, or a kind of detergent, you are funding the research of that company which sells you the detergent or the apple. So you have the right to access it and use the results.
When you hear that a large company is funding a large musical event, remember it's your own money at work if you ever bought something from them, if not, then it's your neighbour's money, so go thank him for that.
Copyright is a form of getting paid at least twice for the same thing. And it is only encouraged by the people who get a profit out of maintaining the copyright without participating in the creation effort of the copyrighted work (lawyers, publishers).
In the current form, copyright is just another way of transferring money from those who work, to those who make a business out of handling that work, and outside of that work. Aren't you tired of it?
Sounds too radical, or abstract? Read on.
For example, the spanish people should have the right to access directly the results of a group of spanish researchers who seem to have found an effective solution for a certain class of cancers. Clicking on the above link will give you the abstract, would you like to see the details? Pay 23 USD. But the spanish people already paid for that.
So, what's the point of the copyright then? The only point is to make money at least once more for those who claim to protect such a concept, without ever getting involved in the real work. The irony is, they are already paid once by the same public, either by private or public funding, or by buying from them different consulting services.
Nobody writes or does something out of thin air, there are research grants people use to write books, and they get a salary for that too, or a raise, from either the government or a private company. And the public pays them both. So the public has the right of accessing their results.
My point is that whoever structures information, has the natural right to be considered the author of that work, and that's all of it. Because of that, the author gets known, consulted, hired and paid for those services. Who will hire someone else for help in that specific area where the author commited the work, unless that someone else became a specialist in the same area by making some other work visible?
Beside paying several times for this, everybody's access to the work paid for is effectively cut: copyright stands against progress, it slows down or postpones work built on previous works. If you want to acknowledge the funding of your public, copyleft your work or use a Creative commons license which ensures others can build their work on yours.
It's relatively cheap these days to provide access, electronically, to the research the public paid for, because almost everybody's editing on a computer.
Don't forget to ask that access for "free" to your government, today. It's not for free anyway: you already paid for it.
I was defining, a few days ago, the principle of limited property.
Today, I used Google and Yahoo to locate "the principle of limited property", or "put limits to wealth", or "imposing limits to wealth", curious enough, only my blog entry was shown, or no finding at all.
However, playing with alternative formulations of it, I found a page containing something qualitatively equivalent.
But I was expecting most of us are concerned with this issue because it's the primary thing which shuffles our lives permanently since the history has been heard of. Surprise.
What were the socialists been doing? Just tuning up the taxes?
I'll keep an eye on this, and will add new links if I discover anything related.