Clowns, continued

Upon reflection, it seems to me that even if I did manage to patent the alphabet, the media would probably treat it as a “human interest story” and trivialize it that way, completely missing or deliberately debasing the point I’d be making about our broken patent system.

Some substantial proportion of the US public still thinks Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11. If they can’t understand the stark facts in that case, how could they understand a relatively abstruse point about “intellectual property”?


2 thoughts on “Clowns, continued

  1. If anything, I think you’d risk confirming the public’s impression that the patent system wasn’t broken: if you took this to the point of issuing lawsuits against people who were using the alphabet, they’d be thrown out, and the lesson would be “see, the system has perfectly good checks and balances against obviously abusive patents”. (If you didn’t take it as far as a lawsuit, the lesson would just be “it’s possible to file frivolous patents, but presumably they won’t actually be enforceable”.)


    • Oh, I don’t know. There is such a thing as a nuisance lawsuit. I could probably make life pretty miserable for people who were too poor and powerless to fight me in court. The problem is, that’s just what I don’t want to do. I’d love to give, say, Microsoft, the federal government, and oligarchs in general something to worry about, but I think the best I could manage if I carried through this thought experiment or something like it is a nine days’ wonder. It would be immediately converted into Spectacle, and any power I could wield afterward would only be good for hurting the people whom the patent system and “intellectual property” already hurt.


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