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My Feelings on Rules.



All this mess surrounding YouTube and it's rules lately makes me want to exposit about my feelings on rules in general. Rules are tricky things. Not very many people like them very much in truth but most are still comforted and grateful for their existence in a way. Now I have many times called myself an anarchist, but what that actually means is a bit complicated. I am pretty sure at one point in my life I believed rules did nothing but hold people back, and for some of it I thought that some rules were okay to follow and some of them were just dumb and I should ignore.


Nowadays though, I generally hold that following rules is more or less a good thing (I am still skeptical if rules being codified as laws for everyone is as good, but that's besides the point). Rules help create precedent, tell people what they should expect. They tell you that if x happens then y is the result, that you should do x in y situation, that x is not acceptable and y is, and generally make it easier for everyone to get along without testing everyone's limits and figuring out their whole brain. It isn't always about punishing people, it's about protocol, it's about making sure everything goes smoothly and everyone can work on an equal footing.


The problem is, a lot of rules don't really do that, or exist to propagate a system where some people can benefit off the system at the expense of others. Some are so vague that the people who enforce the rules can basically pick and choose and wiggle out any interpretation they want, which defeats the whole point of rules. Some are so complicated that most people have no hope of understanding them. Some are arbitrary or meaningless and don't serve anyone. A set of rules is a social contract, one that all parties should understand and agree to, but that's often not how it seems to work.


Here is the thing though. Trying to break the rules without getting caught or working around them with loopholes or technicalities isn't going to solve anything. It's just going to make the rules more strict and probably more confusing. If there is a rule that you really don't like that much that you need to follow to use a service, the best thing to do is to do the hard thing and refuse to use that service, Find one (or make one if you can) that you can feel comfortable using instead. It's harder and harder in today's world where more and more of the web people use is gobbled up by a few big corporations, but it's the only course of action that has any real long term impact.


If the rules offend you in some way but really aren't bad enough to make you quit, well there is nothing wrong with complaining about them and hoping your voice will be heard, but in the end you have to decide if the rule is offensive enough to quit if it isn't changed and if it is, you should quit. I think most rules for a lot things are pretty reasonable personally, but then again I don't post a lot of content everywhere.


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Society needs rules to be guided with. I'm afraid humanity it's not as advanced as it thinks it is (you just need a glance at the news to see this), and without some kind of order, society would fall apart. Of course, in this case these rules, the law, should always come from the consensus of society.


However, if we're talking about private entities, like youtube, they have all the right in the world to set the rules they like, nobody is forcing you to use their services. It's like a club, if you're not comfortable with the club's principles/rules, you don't apply for membership. It's the club's problem to see if they need to change their rules or not.

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You talk like society falling apart is a bad thing... Hehe, kidding. ...Mostly. I won't deny the benefit humans have found from coming together and building a society, but I disagree with the idea that humans necessarily need one huge world government, or even large national governments, in order to survive or thrive. City states and small tribes can work just as well if you ask me, at least in some situations, and their might be other ways humans have not thought of yet. Really though I have no problem with the idea of rule by consensus, but I am not sure it is as easy as that. It usually ends of as rule by the powerful or the majority, and too many people end up being oppressed or left behind. Oh well, that's kind of besides the point, as I said.


As for places like youtube, really aren't they just another kind of society? Sure, those who run it have the "right" to set whatever rules they want, but in the same way those who use it also have the "right" to refuse to follow them. People can, and do, apply for membership anyway and do their best to skirt the rules. I am just saying that doing so is probably not the best way to make meaningful change, and is risky and annoying besides.


I just think everyone, on both sides, needs to be reminded sometimes about what rules are actually for.

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@Thaletos You talk as if society ISN'T falling apart in spite of all the rules. If there is one thing I have learned in my years on this planet, it is this: Rules are for you and me, not for the "rule makers". The law does NOT equally apply to all citizens in the USA, one only need turn on the news or read James Comey's comments on criminal email servers.


Human society I feel would be a lot better off with smaller government confined to geographical presence. We don't need a central "authority" from 6000 miles away dictating how fast we can drive and what time our curfew is. Much the same, I feel, with the internet. I don't need a corporation whose sole concern is their bottom line dictating what I can or can not share on their site.

That is precisely why I am hunting for an alternative to YouTube. I have visited Vimeo a few times, but I think they are a Corporate Tentacle, as well. We really need to decentralize the web if we want it to remain a free and open platform. Another big thing we are going to have to figure out is access to the internet without one of the corporate Gatekeepers (ISPs). How could we as citizens come together and build something open?

What ARE rules actually for? Restricting.

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I think there is a sort of middle ground to be had, but I definitely think it's closer to anarchy then today's society. Then again, there are big problems that have to be solved first. It's a hard problem with no easy solution, and all we can do is is keep hammering away at it.


As for alternatives to Youtube, yeah most big video sharing sites just won't work. Using something like MediaGoblin looks promising though...

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@Killo, @philtered, I can't really tell if small goverments will be better. It's true that it's easier to manage and being a small society it migth be also easier to detect and purge any kind of corruption. However having a wider goverment also have its advantages, like a better coordination in larger territories, and also imagine how many conflicts will there be with so many goverments. I suppose the best is the middlee point, like almost everything in life.


And it's true that law isn't applied equally. Apparently justce is blind but smells money perfectly. There are many cases in wich "powerful people" can ease the wiegth of justice, or even eliminate it. This obviusly needs to change, but I'm not opimist with this. This kind of behavior it's so common to the human being... Always happened, always will.

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The best way might be to use several different layers and organizations, but have each local area or community be independent. I mean, for example, do we really need a big government to say, manage roads, or can we have a non-government but non-private organization that does that?


Really maybe the best way is to do sorta what open source software like Linux does with it's source code with laws? Have many individuals who work on their own projects and form their own groups work on their own legal codes and rules and then pass it "upstream" to bigger governmental bodies. Really imagine if a community would be free to "fork" it's own laws and rules to work better for their situation and offer their changes to people who are trusted by bigger groups of people? Most communities would never need to worry about this and just go with the latest "version" of the law.


Might not work, but would be interesting to see an open legal system. I mean yeah, to some extent we already do that, but the difference is once it reaches the top no one can question it, it becomes "law" and no communities can refuse to follow it. I think it should be more fluid then that.

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