[epub or Pdf] The Crime of Reason And the Closing of the Scientific Mind ✓ Robert B. Laughlin

Robert B. Laughlin ✓ 4 characters

The Crime of Reason And the Closing of the Scientific Mind

We all agree that the free flow of ideas is essential to creativity And we like to believe that in our modern technological world information is freely available and flows faster than ever before But according to Nobel Laureate Robert Laughlin acuiring information is becoming a danger or even a crime Increasingly the really valuable information is private property or a state secret with the result that it is now easy for a flash o. UCLA geneticist James Grody had to stop research on congenital deafness linked to the Connexion 26 gene because the owner of its patent Athena Diagnostics demanded a fee he could not payThe Crime of Reason and the Closing of the Scientific Mind by physicist Robert B Laughlin is an essay about the criminalization of knowledge Some forms of knowledge such as how to build a nuclear bomb are banned because they are deemed too dangerous Other forms of knowledge are seuestered away due to patent restrictionsNuclear bombs are certainly dangerous and distributing blueprints on how to build them should be banned However not just the blueprints are illegal You could get thrown in jail for simply discussing the physical principles behind a nuclear bomb This of course isn t a deterrent to wealthy countries dead set on getting the bomb only to curious researchersLaughlin tells us that knowing how to use butcher knives routinely leads to murder and knowing how to light a match routinely leads to arson Despite misusing the word routinely he does have a point A lot of dangerous knowledge is legal What makes certain knowledge illegal has nothing to do with danger and everything to do with economicsMany countries tried to ban encryption technology because of its military application however encryption is so useful to so many people banning it is impossible In order to prevent movies and music from being illegally downloaded many companies have attempted to criminalize pirating software however since this technology benefits far people than it harms it s difficult to stopLaughlin tells us that the Internet only provides the illusion of better access to information The Internet is so full of extraneous data that finding useful information is akin to searching for the proverbial needle in a haystack Also some information is omitted altogether If you want to find out how the flash memory on your camera works or how to make a clone you ll find key pieces of information missing An important part of economic life is deception Because of this the free flow of information is bad for the economy If a car salesman was perfectly honest with you about how much a car was worth selling cars would not be profitable This is why there are laws which make disseminating trade secrets a federal crime even though keeping this information secret is an impossibility in practical termsSince US law allows genes to be patented geneticists are no longer able to research any gene they want Some companies hold patents for broad ideas such as using frames on a website or streaming media online Companies are allowed to patent concepts rather than inventions com patented the idea of one click purchasing and successfully sued Barnes and Noble over it Blackboard has patented the concept of online education Since patent lawsuits often involve hundreds of millions of dollars inventing and researching have become risky activitiesLaughlin obviously didn t have enough material for a full book which explains the large print He sometimes seems alarmist like when he claims that companies patenting the wind and the English language is in our not too distant future or computer technicians will all decide to become lawyers or doctors because intellectual property laws are too restrictive His stream of conscious writing is often hard to follow and I found myself rereading several of his chapters trying to make sense of them It s often difficult to tell his tangents and his main points apartFor some reason he spends a chapter comparing human clones to computer software I m not sure if he s joking or not in his chapter devoted to spam emails evolving into robot lawyers I m really not I ve got to admit the following jokes sailed right over my headKnowledge about life like any other kind of knowledge can be excessive Everyday versions of this problem make good jokes Discussing how cats eats their breakfast isn t polite People who grew up on dairy farms often don t care for dairy products Students who pay too much attention in human reproduction the best course in high school for everyone else become tiresomeI think this book would have been better if instead of going off on wild tangents he took a journalistic approach by interviewing some of the people whose lives had been affected by banned knowledge such as the geneticist who was prevented from researching deafness due to a patent lawsuit or the Princeton undergraduate whose thesis on how to build a nuclear bomb was confiscated by the FBI As it is this book is not worth the read

Free read The Crime of Reason And the Closing of the Scientific Mind

Time characterized not by light and truth but by disinformation and ignorance Thus we find ourselves dealing and with the Crime of Reason the antisocial and sometimes outright illegal nature of certain intellectual activities The Crime of Reason is a reader friendly jeremiad On Bullshit for the Slashdot and Creative Commons crowd a short fiercely argued essay on a problem of increasing concern to people at the frontiers of new ide. The Crime in Reason is in part reasoned argument screed and silly humor It was an enjoyable and uick read but given the seriousness and depth of the topics covered I didn t feel like I walked away with much new insight or a different perspective Maybe my views on intellectual property gambling nuclear hysteria and the right to open learning were already inline with Laughlin though he s thought and certainly written about them in depth than me On the other hand I m not as keen to live on the moon

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F insight entirely innocently to infringe a patent or threaten national security The public pays little attention because this vital information is “technical” but Laughlin argues information is often labeled technical so it can be seuestered not seuestered because it’s technical The increasing restrictions on information in such fields as cryptography biotechnology and computer software design are creating a new Dark Age a. A little conspiracy theory a little reality i enjoyed this a lot especially when dealing with copyright law and cloning and what it has to do with out right to know and reason Fascinating if you are looking for a uick read on something you ve never thought about before


About the Author: Robert B. Laughlin

Robert Betts Laughlin born November 1 1950 is the Anne T and Robert M Bass Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Stanford University Along with Horst L Störmer of Columbia University and Daniel C Tsui of Princeton University he was awarded a share of the 1998 Nobel Prize in physics for their explanation of the fractional uantum Hall effectLaughlin was born in Visalia California



10 thoughts on “The Crime of Reason And the Closing of the Scientific Mind

  1. says:

    UCLA geneticist James Grody had to stop research on congenital deafness linked to the Connexion 26 gene because the owner of its patent Athena Diagnostics demanded a fee he could not payThe Crime of Reason and the Closing o

  2. says:

    In light of the SOPAPIPACISPAetc propositions this sentence struck me hardest I thinkThe right to learn is now aggressively opposed by intellectual property advocates who want ideas elevated to the status of land cars and other phys

  3. says:

    A very odd little book somewhere between a passionate essay and academic treatise on the efforts by governments to prevent information freedom and access in a variety of areas The book ranges from interesting to provocative offering both concrete examples of ways information access has been denied and the problems it has caused to proposing extensions of such limitations all possible some probable then others and poin

  4. says:

    A little conspiracy theory a little reality i enjoyed this a lot especially when dealing with copyright law and cloning and what it has to do with out right to know and reason Fascinating if you are looking for a uick read on somethi

  5. says:

    Written in 2008 this book is a bit outdated in 2017

  6. says:

    Poorly arguedLaughlin is rather inconsistent so it's not even very clear what he's arguing for He fails to make several crucial distinctions so that the freedom to think about certain subjects say nuclear physics is not clearly distinguished from the freedom to act on one's knowledge such as the freedom to sell nuclear secrets to North Korea if you feel like it The basic problem running throughout the book is a moral practical dichotomy s

  7. says:

    The Crime in Reason is in part reasoned argument screed and silly humor It was an enjoyable and uick read but given the seriousness and depth of the topics covered I didn't feel like I walked away with much new insight or a different perspective Maybe my views on intellectual property gambling nuclear hysteria and the right to open learning were already inline with Laughlin though he's thought and certainly written about them in depth tha

  8. says:

    Let me apologize for not providing a detailed and insightful review of this book but this book simply does not warrant it The author is clearly a distinguished scholar but I after reading this book I had the feeling that this work was a halfhearted attempt to toss together a collection of recent ideas It left me without any clear new insig

  9. says:

    Two stars doesn't seem right but three stars isn't justified because the secret is the book is advertised as something very serious but in the end it's a work of humor As a result I have a hard time giving this than two star

  10. says:

    GulpAnd funny

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