Christian Engström, Pirat

9 april 2012

Four Kopimist Sermons

Filed under: English,kopimism — Christian Engström @ 13:36
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Easter is the most religious holiday in Christianity. It could be in Kopimism too, if we choose to copy.

Missionary Kopimism is a fine religion, but I think we need to deepen the theology a little, in order to reach more would-be converts. I would like to see a public discussion about the Kopimist way of looking at the world.

The more views there are the better, and everybody doesn’t have to agree on everything. There is nothing strange in a religion meaning one thing to one person, and another to another. This is how it is in all established religions, and this is presumably how it will be in Kopimism as well. Kopimism is an inclusive religion, and we see diversity as an asset.

This Easter I published a few Kopimist sermons in Swedish, four in total. This is my attempt to begin to describe how I see the Kopimist faith.

Other views are welcome, like I said. It is for that purpose that She created blogs and comment sections. But let’s not get ahead of events.

Below are the four Kopimist sermons translated into English. The first one I have published before. The sermons are:

0. In The Beginning
1. Seven Historical Milestones
2. Things Never Turn Out As Expected, But Often Okay Anyway
3. The Third Fundamental Principle

I look forward to comments and discussions that will help provide depth to the Kopimist faith.

I also hope that all readers, regardless of confessional preferences or lack thereof, have had a pleasant and happy Easter.

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0: In The Beginning

In the beginning, the world was a stinking mess of ammonia, methane gas, and nasty toxic chemicals. The atmosphere was alight with flashes of pure energy. Something wanted to be born.

In ways and for reasons that remain to be explored, the ribosomes appeared, who could copy. This was the beginning of Life. We therefore see Copying as the first manifestation of the Divine Spirit.

When the ribosomes were there, and could copy both themselves and the proteins necessary to build a cell, this led to cells actually appearing. Exactly why the proteins chose to voluntarily organize into something more complicated is, as we said, not yet fully explored, so we’ll have reasons to come back to this. But we leave that aside for the moment.

The important thing is that the cells appeared. Cells have two properties. First, they can copy themselves, just like the ribosomes before them. Second, they like to cooperate with others to build things that are larger than any of the constituent parts.

From these two properties, the living world that we see around us developed. The giraffe and the parsley, the forest and the shoal of fish, all other living phenomena ever filmed by the BBC.

We Kopimists therefore see Copying as the First Fundamental Principle of the Creation.

We see the Desire to Build Something Larger Together as the Second Fundamental Principle.

From this basis, we want to learn to understand the Divine Spirit and the world we live in. And we want to do it together with others.

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1: Seven Historical Milestones

In the creation myth, we see how Copying and the Desire to Build Something Larger Together led to the emergence of life. These two Fundamental Principles have then played a central role in the history of mankind.

Let us consider seven historical milestones: fire, language, culture, writing, the printing press, science, and the internet.

Fire
Once fire exists, it doesn’t cost anything to copy it. He who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me, cave people noted several millennia before Jefferson turned it into a quotation.

But the early men and women in caves didn’t just copy fire as such. They also copied the knowledge about how to handle fire. Just like fire, knowledge can be copied an infinite number of times without losing its power to enlighten. Unless both fire as such and the knowledge about it had been copied, mankind would not have progressed.

Language
A child learns her first words by copying her parents, just like they once did with theirs. The language belongs to all and none, and that is what gives it value. The more a language is shared, the more valuable it becomes for those who share it.

By listening and copying, early men and women created what is still today our most important tool in society. Language is the basis for our ability to build larger things together, from individual projects to entire civilizations. There are other forms of communication that are also important, but to us humans language is in a league of its own.

Culture
Once they had access to fire and language, the first thing that people did was to sit down around the fire and start telling each other stories.

Perhaps the prehistoric inventor of the word ”tiger” had in mind that it would primarily be used when there were actual tigers around, but this is not what happened. Instead, stories and songs were filled with thousands of tigers that had never existed i the real world, but lived terrifying and beautiful in people’s imagination.

The stories and the songs were copied and shared, and created links between people’s minds, which gave rise to new stories and songs, that made it possible to think even larger things together. Culture develops in an eternal process where old expressions are copied and shared and give inspiration to new ones.

Writing
The human brain has clear and present limitations on how much it can remember and retell. Writing was the next milestone that allowed us to circumvent these limitations.

With writing you can share more complex thoughts with more people at a lower cost. You can create more complex structures that involve more individuals. The amount of information that can be stored is no longer limited to what an individual can recall.

Writing made it possible to copy and share information like never before. It allowed civilizations to rise and create the conditions for further progress.

The Printing Press
When Gutenberg put his printing press together, just before the beginning of the 16th century, it was the starting bell for the development process that would give us the modern world we have today.

The printing press drastically lowered the cost of sharing information. Within a few decades, the technology had spread like a wildfire all over Europe. Never before had so much information and so many new thoughts flowed through people’s minds.

Ever since, the printed word has been at the service of knowledge, culture, and political freedom. The individual pen has not always been mightier than the sword, but in the long run free speech has turned out to be a natural force that no regime in the world can stop.

Science
Isaac Newton will stand as the symbol for the new scientific paradigm that was born some century after the printing press appeared.

One novelty was the scientific approach, where you make observations and experiments, and then try to build theories based on the results you have. But an even more fundamental shift was that scientists started to publish their ideas and discoveries, so that they could be shared. Until this day, the printing press has been the most important scientific instrument within all disciplines.

The alchemists kept their results secret, and got nowhere at all in several thousand years. The chemists published theirs, and transformed the world in a century. Since the days of Isaac Newton scientists have been able to see ever further by standing on an increasingly high pyramid of giant’s shoulders. Copying and sharing have given us the technological world we have today.

The Internet
Today we don’t yet know what will become of the internet, but we have seen enough to realize that it will be something really big. We have seen through history how the two fundamental principles Copying and the Desire to Build Something Larger Together have interacted to bring mankind to where we are today. Now we want to see the future.åk

We are eager to continue to take part in the process that started the first time a man or woman in a cave shared a flame of fire, and got a smile in return.

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2. Things Never Turn Out As Expected, But Often Okay Anyway

Big things almost never turn out as you expected, but the way they do turn out is often fine anyway. In our everyday life we can decide what color we’ll have on the living-room curtains and what we’ll have for dinner, and feel reasonably confident that what we decided is how things will turn out. But all the big things in life: where we’ll work, what friends we’ll get, whom we’ll marry, are apparently mostly governed by chance.

Looking back, we often see how unless we had had that particular chance conversation there and then, our life would have taken a different course. We can can make all the plans we want for the future, but no matter what we think, that’s probably not what’s going to happen. We have a very limited ability to predict the long term consequences of our decisions and actions, no matter how much we try.

When we look at the seven historical milestones, we can see that this was true of them as well. The individuals who made the discoveries didn’t have a clue about what they would actually lead to.

We will of course never know exactly what the inventors of fire, language, culture, and writing thought and expected, but we can still be pretty sure that they couldn’t imagine that this would lead to a world where people lived in high-rise buildings and made a living from designing ring-tones instead of hunting and gathering. But that’s what happened.

When Gutenberg put together his printing press at the end of the 15th century, his idea was to print Bibles in Latin, without all the annoying mistakes that crept into the texts when they were copied by hand. He had a vision of a time when the word of God would be preached in a more uniform way everywhere, thanks to better Bibles and other authoritative texts.

In reality, the opposite happened. Just a few decades after the first printing press saw the light of day, a priest called Martin Luther used it to publish both theses and a Bible in the popular language instead of Latin. This was the foundation for a new variant of Christianity, which would later be forked further with the help of the written word. The message of the Christian God would never again be preached in such a uniform way as it had before Gutenberg. No cigar on that point.

Isaac Newton was a devout Christian, and saw it as man’s mission to understand God’s creation as well as possible. This is what drove him as a scientist. He wanted to honor God, and help us see more of His glory.

But unfortunately for him on this point, he and his followers were so successful in describing the world with mathematical laws, that there was no room left for God himself. If everything is just particles bouncing around according to predetermined rules, there is no place for either the human soul, free will, or any god.

(More modern physics with uncertainty principles and chaos theories have since shown that the universe can’t be described as a giant billiard table after all, so now there are once again areas of uncertainty where we can place both free will and God, should we desire. But now we are talking about Newton.)

Instead of showing the glory of God, the successes for Newton’s physics made the whole idea of a God seem unscientific and false. This was not what Sir Isaac had in mind.

We see the same uncertainty about what technical innovations would lead to repeated in modern technological history.

When Marconi invented the radio, he thought it would be used primarily for person to person calls. When Bell patented the telephone, he thought that the killer application would be listening to music that was played centrally.

It turned out the other way around, but that’s quite okay too.

The pioneers who created the internet have all testified that when they started the work, they couldn’t imagine even how the internet has developed so far. Ask them what the net will be like in 50 or even 5 years, and they will just laugh. Nobody thinks there is anybody who can make reliable prediction that far into the future.

But we Kopimists are still convinced that the internet is a fantastic step forward for humanity, and that it will lead to a better world, even though we can’t say what that world will look like.

We take note of the fact so far in the history of mankind, things have been going in the right direction, and we believe that they will continue to do so. In the next section we will examine why.

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3. The Third Fundamental Principle

Looking back at history, we see that Copying and the Desire to Build Something Larger Together are not enough to explain mankind’s journey so far towards the better. They are necessary, but not sufficient to explain why development should move towards the better (of all places).

Copying and the Desire to Build Something Larger Together provide a mechanism for ”onwards”, but no mechanism for steering in any particular direction, like ”towards the better”. The concept of ”better” does not even exist in the universe defined by the first two fundamental principles.

But despite that, and despite the fact that things never turn out as we expected, development so far has been for the better. There are still many people living in misery in the world, but a larger proportion of us are leading a better life than ever before in history. There have been setbacks and disasters on mankind’s journey up until now, but the dominant trend has been towards the better.

We Kopimists are convinced that development overall will continue to be for the better, and we are eager to see the future come true as soon as possible. But we cannot deduce this optimism for the future from just the two fundamental principles Copying and the Desire to Build Something Larger Together.

Our belief in a better future is based on a third Fundamental Principle:

3. The Attraction Force of the Good

We believe there is a force that keeps pulling the world in the right direction. Sometimes other forces may be stronger, and then things go wrong, but statistically things will move in the right direction a little bit more often than in the wrong. This allows us to dare to feel trust in the future, although we don’t know what it will be like.

Exactly how this force works remains to be explored. It affects us in some way, consciously or unconsciously, to choose the alternative that leads in the right direction a little more often than by blind chance.

But even if we don’t yet know the exact nature of this force, the important thing is that the Attraction Force of the Good exists. This is the core article of faith in this description of Kopimism.

We now have a philosophical framework built on three Fundamental Principles:

  1. Copying
  2. The Desire to Build Something Larger Together
  3. The Attraction Force of the Good

The third fundamental principle gives meaning to mankind’s journey, and promises that we can go in the right direction. The second explains how complexity and beauty can develop from simpler building blocks, apparently all by itself. And the first explains how progress can be shared to provide the basis for the next level.

Together, the three fundamental principles form a philosophical framework for understanding the world, and daring to feel confident about the future. Much remains to be explored, but this is a stable foundation. Development has been moving in the right direction so far, and we think it will continue to do so. The question is only in what ways we can help.

We dare to feel safe in the trust that creates the world.

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9 kommentarer

  1. Kopimism is not a religion, it’s a ridiculous try to justify internet piracy.

    There are no objections against sharing something within the limits of law and in agreement with the creators.

    The composers, artists, authors and other creators have the full right to earn money from their work, on a legal market with sellers and buyers. The piracy ”market” is not a legal market, it’s similar to the way the mafia and outlaw motorcycle clubs work.

    The money should go to the creators and not to the piracy lobby including Pirate MEPs, pirates, ISPs, Google and hard disk manufacturers, the true men in the middle.

    Kommentar av nejtillpirater — 9 april 2012 @ 14:37

  2. @Pelle/Urban/nejtillpirater — 9 april 2012 @ 14:37

    > ”Kopimism is not a religion..”

    It is indeed a religion, according to the actual premisses for what criteria that needs to be fulfilled for a certain belief to constitute a religion. This has been explained to you several times before, and you even quoted text from a dictionary the other day that proved this very point.

    > ”it’s a ridiculous try..”

    What your personal taste finds ridiculous has no relevance whatsoever for what belief that constitutes a religion.

    > ”..to justify internet piracy.”

    As has been explained to you several times before over that last couple of years, piracy, as in people’s actions, does not have to be justified, because society does not work in that direction, the only thing that has to be justified is the prohibition in law. Nothing else.

    This has also been explained to you several times over the last couple of years, and at one point you admitted to this being true and understanding it, but since then you seem to have forgotten what that actually means, when you as now continue to produce false dishonest claims based on fabricated premisses that does not exist in reality.

    > ”There are no objections against sharing something within the limits of law and in agreement with the creators.”

    What does this claim have to do with what constitutes a religion? Absolutely nothing.

    Secondly, for the last 150 years the creators opinion has had no relevance whatsoever for how copies of published copyrighted works should be made available and accessed on a commercial scale in a non-profit manner, without paying creators anything for such it, and this is a fully accepted norm in society that existed long before you were born, so you seem have travelled backwards in time with your confused argument?

    > ”The composers, artists, authors and other creators have the full right to earn money from their work, on a legal market with sellers and buyers.”

    You seem confused. No one has ever suggested this should be forbidden.

    > ”The piracy “market” is not a legal market..”

    In reality, non-profit filesharing and kopimism is not a part of the market in the first place. The market is the place were seller and buyer of their own free will meet and exchange goods and services in return for money. This has also been explained to you several times before. The legality of any actions has no relevance for this fact whatsoever.

    > ”..it’s similar to the way the mafia and outlaw motorcycle clubs work.”

    You seem to be seriously confused today. Non-profit filesharing and kopimism, as in people engaging in private communication and manufacturing goods with their own property, that they own, in their own homes, has no similarity whatsoever to how the mafia and outlaw motorcycle clubs work.

    This has also been explained to you several times before.

    > ”The money should go to the creators..”

    What money? It’s well known that you often advocate against the free market, and for a planned economy or a weird communist society, but in the western society where the rest of us live, the only money that should go to the creators are those who that are exchanged in return for the sales of goods and services.

    Obviously entrepreneurs have no right to money if they do not sell anything, something that you seem to have a hard time understanding.

    > ”..and not to the piracy lobby..”

    Seriously, explain what money are you speaking of? Because those mentioned above should be given to me if they exist as you claim they do, but i have not seen any of them.. Blast!!

    > ”..including Pirate MEPs..”

    Ooh, so now you’re against the entire democratic process and governing system that we use in society, where correctly elected officials, such as EU Parliament MEP’s, get salaries?

    Well it’s well known that you are against democracy, and often advocate fascism, but this was something new coming from you. Not even democratically elected officials should have their salaries, the money should instead be given to weak failed entrepreneurs. Ok.. You’re obviously entitled to your bizarre beliefs. =)

    > ”..ISPs, Google and hard disk manufacturers..”

    Those above mentioned entrepreneurs are obviously entitled to the money that they earn on the free market for selling their goods and services. But again you seem to be advocating for a communist society.

    > ”..the true men in the middle.”

    Are you saying that some middle men, those that actually manages to sell goods and services, should not be allowed to keep their hard earned money, but the money should instead go to some other obsolete unnecessary middle men, that don’t sell anything? Saving a obsolete industry, out of principle? We tried that here in Sweden in the past, but it didn’t work out very well..

    Seriously, this comment of yours definitely reached a new high in bringing almost surreal clarification of your true beliefs. You’re against free religion, you’re against the free market and successful entrepreneurs, you’re against our democratic system with elected governing officials receiving, salaries, you advocate fascism, communism, planned economy and state bailouts to failed industries.

    Well ok the, just another day in the world NTP lives in i guess. =)

    Btw, a number of people are still waiting for your answers in this thread..

    https://christianengstrom.wordpress.com/2012/03/02/ett-brott-att-skriva-pa-acta-avtalet/

    ..were you where caught spreading a number of lies regarding the ACTA trade agreement and the Pirate Bay trial, and where you also put forward a strange claim that the several hundreds years old copyright monopoly originated from the 60 something years old human rights charter..

    Or are you deliberately spreading lies and misinformation in the comments of threads, only to quietly disappear when it’s revealed that every claim you just put forward was false and just a lie? That is trolling, you know?

    Then again, for a notorious criminal with your openly admitted evil morality, nothing is impossible i guess.

    Kommentar av Fredrika — 9 april 2012 @ 15:46

  3. @ Fredrika – As a rule, feeding the trolls is a bad idea – it has all been said before to him and nothing seems to stick. I suggest just ignoring him and moving on.

    @ Christian – A very entertaining read during this last weekend, I must say. One does get really sick of having christian culture and values forced down one’s throat more or less constantly this time of year, so it’s refreshing to see something that one can actually agree with.😉

    Keep up the good work!

    Kommentar av Jheral — 9 april 2012 @ 17:31

  4. @Jheral #3

    ”As a rule, feeding the trolls is a bad idea – it has all been said before to him and nothing seems to stick. I suggest just ignoring him and moving on.”

    You’re actually the troll by falsely accusing me of being one. Your opinion is not more important than mine.

    Kommentar av nejtillpirater — 9 april 2012 @ 17:51

  5. @nejtillpirater

    ”Kopimism is not a religion, it’s a ridiculous try to justify internet piracy.”

    And judaism is by your own argument a ridiculous excuse to justify mutilation of infants, Christianity by the same argument a ridiculous excuse for symbolic cannibalism, science a ridiculous excuse for applying empirical evidence to explain the world?

    I’m curious, NTP – What, exactly, is your criteria of a religion? How will it stand up to scrutiny?
    Or did you in fact just mean that in your own personal opinion whatever a group of people choose to have faith in can not be described as a ”religion”?

    If you aren’t just trolling then what you are directly implying is that ”religion” is not something every person or group of people can freely choose for themselves. In which case your argument tacitly implies something far worse than mere trolling.

    Kommentar av Scary Devil Monastery — 10 april 2012 @ 12:37

  6. […] Kopimistisk skapelseberättelse, som jag har publicerat på svenska i fyra avsnitt (0, 1, 2, 3) och på engelska, skulle stå sig mot den religionskritik som Dawkins […]

    Pingback av Kopimismen och The God Delusion « Christian Engström, Pirate MEP — 15 september 2012 @ 16:34

  7. You could certainly see your expertise in the work you write.
    The world hopes for even more passionate writers like you who
    aren’t afraid to say how they believe. Always follow your heart.

    Kommentar av Madelaine — 15 september 2012 @ 22:02

  8. […] The Kopimist creation myth identifies three Fundamental Principles that have worked together to create life on Earth: Copying, The Desire to Build Something Larger Together, and The Attraction Force of the Good. […]

    Pingback av Kopimism and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance « Christian Engström, Pirate MEP — 28 september 2012 @ 15:35

  9. nejtillpirater: To several of us the similarities between hunt for ”pirates” and hunt for ”heretics” or ”witches” are kind of evident. The copyright monopolists act as the policing wings of centralized religions once did when people threatened their information monopoly by using new technology such as writing on papyrus or the printing press.

    Computers are kind of like the newest update of the printing press – it has never been as easy and cheap to manufacture or mass-produce information as it is now. The anti pirates want to restrict the use of computers and censor the internet, to put the ”heretics” in chains. Same old behavior as the religious zealots of old time – oppress smaller newer religions or other kinds of unfaithful so they don’t grow and compete with us.

    ”Hadn’t that damned Martin Luther been able to print…” or Galileo or Darwin … well just about anyone who could make an ”impact” or a difference in society.

    It was always about information control. And if you look closely there are so many similarities between monotheistic religions and copyright it’s just silly. You can’t fool and scare people with Hellfire and God as much these days so instead you lie blatantly and say that the law is about ‘protecting the Creators rights’. Just look at the flows of money and anyone can see that it’s not primarily the creators who benefit from copy rights. Of course some super stars are needed to uphold the illusion that it would be primarily the creators who benefit or there wouldn’t be much support for the system.

    Well… look there, even the word ”creator” (skapare) is supposed to navigate your thoughts… where do you think?

    Kommentar av gurrfield — 24 april 2015 @ 12:34


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