For this project, I am creating a Prezi. To present it, I will film my screen and do a voice-over. To do a voice-over, however, I need a script. SO HERE GOES NOTHING-
Hello, I’m Jacob Steiner and this is my final Theory of Knowledge presentation, presentation number three. This project was very open and we could choose to investigate whatever we wanted in any of the Areas of Knowledge and Ways of Knowing. So, without further ado, I present to you my essential question —
*change to next pathway point – essential question*
— Who owns ideas? Why can knowledge be connected directly to one person? Hank Green, one of the Vlogsbrothers, explains this concept in his video entitled, “On the Ownership of Ideas.” Because he so eloquently conveys his point, I believe it is useful to watch his creation.
*change to next pathway point – Hank Green’s video*
*change to next pathway point – Copyright ©*
In his video, he brought up a specific type of idea-ownership, one prevalent in our society: copyright. When people see the infamous “c” in its protective bubble, they know that laws exist to protect the use of the product or idea. For example, corporations spend money patenting their creations, and for what? To make more money off the people who believe that they created something useful? Shouldn’t that corporation’s wares, if they are truly beneficial to our society, be inexpensive? Ideally, they would be free, but, unfortunately, our society is driven monetarily and there is no changing that. Should only some ideas be officially owned?
*change to next pathway point – Which ideas can be owned?*
Which ideas can be owned? How much can be copyrighted or owned? What makes an idea worthy of ownership?
*change to next pathway point – Quotes? Literature? Products? etc.*
We all know that quotes are attributed to their primary spokesman, and literature to their authors, but what about other forms of ideas? When we hear the phrase, “don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened,” we automatically think of Dr. Seuss (assuming you know who “owns” the quote, of course). When we see Hamlet, we instantly connect it to William Shakespeare because he was the first to put those exact words in that order. When we see colorful, plastic blocks, we instantly say their corporation’s name, “Lego.” When we see the painting “Starry Night,” we instantly imagine Vincent van Gogh. What is stopping people from owning other things like phrases or even individual words? Apparently, not much. In an example I will discuss later, the use of a specific word is trying to be limited by a certain company. This word, a common word, is already used globally.
*change to next pathway point – why are some ideas “own-able?”
Why are some ideas “own-able?” Why are some ideas so common that they require ownership while others are, what, unwanted? Undesirable? Unattainable? Are some things just so common that they cannot be owned by one entity? Just because someone happened to put together words in a certain order to make a novel or a play, or be the first to put together zeros and ones in a certain order to make a program or an app, should they be able to own that idea? To stop people from creating other goods based off of those ideas? What if someone had the same idea at the same time, but was not influenced by the other?
*change to next pathway point – Infinite Monkey Theorem*
This brings me to my next concept: the Infinite Monkey Theorem. This theorem states that a monkey hitting keys completely at random on a typewriter, for an infinite amount of time, will almost surely type a given text. In a mathematical context, the phrase, “almost surely” has a precise meaning, and the hypothetical monkey represents the randomness of the order that the letters are typed in. As time continues, and as the amount of metaphorical monkeys randomly typing keys on a typewriter increases, the probability that an entire work will be rewritten grows closer and closer to 100%. So, if a work can be rewritten completely by chance, why should ownership of those ideas be allowed and encouraged?
*change to next pathway point – Ownership of ideas in AOKs and WOKs*
Throughout all different Areas of Knowledge, or AOKs, and Ways of Knowing, or WOKs, the ownership of ideas plays a large role.
*change to next pathway point – AOKs and WOKs (Arts, Imagination, Human Sciences*
In The Arts, artists have ownership over their goods. They are free to keep, sell, remake, or even destroy their masterpieces if they so desire. Artists like Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Frida Khalo, Diego Ravera, Claude Monet, Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol, et cetera were simply the first ones to paint pieces with those colors and brush strokes. Should they be allowed to own their ideas if they were created for the benefit of the world? Works by all of these artists are in art galleries and museums worldwide today, but should it be illegal to copy one of their ideas? These works are so public, and yet, they are owned. Similarly, in the Human Sciences, concepts, theories, and processes are all owned by certain people. For example, Charles Darwin is known for his ownership over the theory of evolution, and a vital process in organisms consisting of a series of chemical reactions to produce ATP, our source of energy is named “The Krebs Cycle” after its owner’s name, Hans Adolf Krebs. Recently, however, this cycle has been officially renamed to be “The Citric Acid Cycle.” This renaming has, in effect, taken away Krebs’s ownership of the cycle. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Lastly, imagination, a Way of Knowing, is nearly “un-ownable.” Like Hank Green talked about in his video, he thought of an idea at the same time as a popular show. Just because Hank’s version was released days before the televised version, does not mean that his Green’s idea was “stolen” by the show writers. People have ideas concurrently, and an ownership of these ideas can be extremely limiting to creativity and production of goods. I hope this is all making sense to you. If it’s not —
*change to next pathway point – Relevant real world example”
— here’s a real-world example relating to something a lot of people can understand.
*change to next pathway point – Candy Crush Saga*
The owner, King, of the famous cell phone video game, Candy Crush Saga, trademarked the word “candy.” Supposedly to protect the game from persistent intellectual property, or IP, infringements, the company put in, and was granted by the European Union, a request to trademark the commonly used word. The acquisition of ownership of the word “candy” means that it can no longer be used in games in addition to clothes and footwear. Without paying King, and their agreeing to the production of the proposed good, the word cannot be used. King’s ownership of the commonly used word is to stop the production of games similar to Candy Crush Saga © and the use of their logo on clothing and footwear. Is that fair? Should they be allowed to own a single word?
*go through the remaining pathway points reading the words*
Ideas (like all knowledge) cannot be owned, but need to be shared. Thank you.