ESP Wiki is looking for moderators and active contributors!

User talk:Jose X

Hello ciaran and anyone else. I don't know how much time I will have to spend here adding to the wiki. Whether I come back or not, feel free to modify the contributions I made (including those in the last couple of days under these two ips: and ).

I tried to add some points I thought were useful, but this means in some cases I overlapped with information already found elsewhere on the site.

Hi! Overlapping with existing info isn't a problem. As you get more familiar with the wiki, you'll get to know the best places to put things (and of course, sometimes there's no existing good place for certain info). I review most edits anyway. Ciaran 13:39, 16 October 2010 (EDT)
BTW, I hope I don't seem too critical. I always focus on how to convince pro-swpat politicians, and that sets the bar pretty high. Facts, studies, and articles are needed to support all our claims. I also add poorly justified stuff myself, but I try to review my own stuff too over time to remove or add supporting material for claims that wouldn't pass the test of convincing a pro-swpat politician. Ciaran 17:44, 17 October 2010 (EDT)
I think it's very valuable to include arguments that likely might bear out even if you don't currently have formal support. Very possibly the experiments or mathematical analysis simply hasn't been done yet, but you increase the chances of it getting done if the ideas are out there. In court you try to add evidence even if not every bit meets the same bar at that point in time. When you do science, you start with a hypothesis and work from there. As evidence comes in, you can continue to support a line or research even if you haven't fully reached your destination.
There are many types of swpat supporters and some might be very sensitive to freedom of speech issues, for example. If (eg) FOSS has special reasons to be exempt on that account while proprietary might also but in a weaker fashion, then there is a gain for free speech by pointing out not all sw comes the same -- we increase the odds that a significant amount of free speech that was in danger soon won't be. Additionally (in this particular case), by starting with FOSS (and if FOSS didn't exist, we couldn't lay out this strong argument as others might claim FOSS is only hypothetical), we can show the tight and trivial connection between ordinary written speech and the programmable device running the contents of that speech entirely. This can certainly help bring out to a particular pro-swpat politician that sw might not be what they thought it was (ie, they might have been fed ideas about sw from pro-swpat people using analogies that hide important aspects of sw). This is why I made the analogy2 on the sw as machines page, where I described not a mere analogy of something that clearly is not exactly a computer or software but described an actual computer (that only doesn't exist for practical reasons such as it being ridiculously expensive and inefficient to build and run), as this new explanation can help them understand better what is a computer. It's very possible that swpat pov was based on a misunderstanding of the technology. To this end, all truth is helpful. Denying does not help anyone except those casting darkness on the matter for their own particular gains.
Anyway, I think it's important to cover material that likely is true if not yet or ever provably so. Certainly there are many laws and decisions in the books today that have not been proven anything. It's almost a given that the other side is using ideas and reasons that don't stand up and are weaker than what we could add. By covering as much ground as we can without overselling the particular argument (ie, downgrade it properly), we keep addressing doubts some might have but are not verbalizing.
No, I like a critical approach. I think I have been quiet critical in some of the things I have said. I stated that people should not feel worried about changing what I wrote, but, of course, if I am not convinced and do manage to check it, then I will want to have a discussion.
.. at some point in the near future I may not be able to easily return to this site (at least not on a recurring basis), so I would like to get as much out now as possible. This is why the flurry of postings.

Notes to self

Some notes to self:

draft article

Here is the first draft of a portion of a possibly useful court brief or argument Another Parable of the Cave: progress in knowledge untethered to scarcities is promoted through increased access.

length of text

Hi again. I think there are some problems with the first-to-file arguments. Reading that text from the point of view of someone who is critical of our positions, I don't think it would convince them of our arguments. If we could add real world examples and quotes from patent specialists and software specialists, then this would be useful. Try reading it and pretend you either like first-to-file or you think that first-to-file makes no difference. I think the reading will be like this:

One view is that a first-to-file approach to granting patents (such as the approach being advanced by the USA's current Patent Reform Act effort) would further increase the inequity between professional patent filers and the average developer-inventor.

[Ok, that's we're going to prove...]

Generally, in fields where many inventors exist and where patents are not cost free

"fields where patents are not cost free" - that excludes nothing, so it's a confusing way of not adding any info.

but instead are very expensive for most inventors (eg, software development),

They're the same price for all inventors. Do you mean "difficult to afford"?

this favors even further those with lots of money and a love for the patent system

a "love for the patent system"? It would be clear enough it if just said "those with lots of money". But hang on, that's a statement about the cost of patents, what's this got to do with first-to-file??

at the expense of any security for those that invent without wanting to obstruct society and peers with monopolies

"security"? And also, those patents don't only block invention by patentless inventors, they also block invention by inventors who have (and love) patents. This is just confusing the issue.

or who could not afford to take out patents on most of their ideas. In particular, it makes it easier still for those seeking monopolies to take exact ideas from the vast body of commons and to focus their time and money doing so rather than doing research.

How? This page should be explaining things.

First-to-file thus creates a very large disincentive to inventing,

That hasn't been established by anything above. The above text said that rich people will get patents that will cause problems for poorer people.

especially through open collaboration and by those that have not already taken out the very costly patent (perhaps because they could not afford one). This system appears to almost guarantee that anything useful to industry or consumers will be patented and very possibly by an entity not only having especially deep pockets and who sees business models in monopolies but who did not invent, giving many wealthy opportunists the ability to impede important parts of a market.

If it guarantees that, then why don't we see it? The world contains examples of first-to-file and first-to-invent, so we don't have to theorise about how it plays out, we can look at the real world examples.

First to file would be horrible for the independent small business inventor and lead to higher prices for consumers (eg, software users) than if less had been patented.

I don't see the proof. More patents would have the effects you mention, but what's the link with first-to-file?

First-to-file would almost guarantee that progress would move as slowly as the large patent holders would be able to manage.

Where's the proof that this happens in first-to-file countries?

Competing against the major patent holders (perhaps largely of others' inventions) would be very difficult for anyone they did not favor.

This is also a big criticism of first-to-file but I don't see how it's proven.

In summary, first-to-file rewards those with significant money and who see the vast potential for own profit at the cost to society from getting monopolies as quickly as possible on as many existing inventions as possible without even bothering to "waste" time inventing themselves. This is an optimized method to maximize the wealth a particular small private group can extract from society for the outputs being offered frequently not even by them.

Well, that's just me with my devil's advocate cap on again. One of my own self-audit techniques is to make sure I prove one thing with each sentence. If a sentence doesn't prove anything, I delete it. The result it that I write 10 lines and delete 8, but I think it keeps the quality up and keeps the size of the text readable and maintainable. Ciaran 00:59, 22 October 2010 (EDT)

Ciaran, just noticed you wrote here and are criticizing the way the argument was written. I am still making changes to the organization and wording. When I think I am done, I will read your comments here more carefully. Thanks for the feedback.

Great. To summarise, it would be good to focus on reducing repetition, and on proving every claim in a solid way that a critic could not refute. Ciaran 01:16, 22 October 2010 (EDT)
And stick to the topic. Arguments about patent costs can go in costs articles, information about Bilski can go in Bilski, etc. In this article there should only be info about first-to-file. Ciaran 01:18, 22 October 2010 (EDT)
Part of the problem I am trying to sort out slowly is that I have covered some arguments (in my opinion) but have not placed them in their dedicated location so repeat part of the argument here. I will try to offer links as I go, but first I will focus on the main parts of the argument even if I repeat things. Later I will factor those parts out as necessary.
I think the text still contains the problem that there's little or nothing there to change someone's opinion. If someone already shares our opinions, then we don't need to make a website for that person. The goal of is to contain info that can be used to convince people who don't agree with us. Maybe a good approach would be to consider each sentence from the point of view of someone who disagrees with the point you're trying to make. If we say:
  • First-to-file aggraggravates the inequities of a monopoly system.
No first-to-file advocate is going to read that and say "Oh yeh, I suppose they're right". Or if we say:
  • This also retards progress further, leads to greater prices and fewer choices, and erodes personal liberties.
Again, since there's no supporting evidence. Anyone could simply reply: "No! In fact, first-to-file encourages progresss, lowers prices, gives more choice, and furthers personal liberties!". Who's right? Neither person makes any effort to show why they're right.
  • As a particular case, it counteracts collaboration and openness and the resulting free software that is likely to result therefrom.
This has the double problem of not showing a link to first-to-file (so it shouldn't be in this article) not having any supporting evidence (so it's hard to say it should be in any article).
Well, that's more of how I critique texts. For each sentence, ask if it would convince our opponents. If not, delete. It's a bit harsh, but it keeps the quality high. Since we're trying to help people convince opponents, if there's no quality, the wiki would have no value. Ciaran 10:35, 22 October 2010 (EDT)
After taking a break, I'll get back to that page, but are you saying it is all horrible or where you pointing out the weak points?
Note that those 3 or 4 items strung together will get explained in a different page (there is an empty page link there). So the point of this first-to-file is to show that it aggravates the problems of allowing more patents and patenting things that the author would not want someone else to patent. Ie, if we argue well that those points apply to software patents for reasons related to the negative effects on many people, then first-to-file aggravates the problem.
As for first-to-file affecting openness negatively, I can also try to improve that (and I may have thought of some counterargs but can't remember how I resolved that if I did), but the idea is that if you can have your invention idea taken from you, then you are less likely to talk until you have locked in the patent. In the US today, you can present something and then have 1 year to patent (Microsoft is claiming i4i violated this but the judge made it too difficult to prove it to the high standard). If you don't act after 1 year, no one can act either and so you would be contributing to society. So again, in first-to-file, you can't contribute to society or even reserve your own right since others can snatch it: this would lead to you opening up less (since you don't have those guarantees) or not opening up at all. I think this argument would apply both to those that want patents (they will wait until they lock the patent in.. and then not speak too much so as not to reveal more ideas) as well as those that want the invention to go patentless (with first-to-invent it could but now if others see it, they can snatch it). Jose X 11:54, 22 October 2010 (EDT)
BTW, I want this thing to be good (the site), and I am not married to that write-up. I look at it and figure it might be 2/3 the size maybe (or less) when cleaned out. Honestly, I want to take a bit of a break from it, but remember that this page will not introduce too many things. What I would like for you to agree (or keep attacking) mainly is that (a) if we explain elsewhere that sw pat hurt people, progress, etc, that first-to-file offers some more of those bad things (I know I will need to be specific to see if the implication follows) and (b) that openness is hurt by first-to-file because what you discuss can now (and not before) be "snatched" away. Also, (c) this is a problem you aren't likely to notice with high investment patents.
Anyway, this thing will be rewritten a few more times. I know it is messy, but I left it to take a break (I also had to run somewhere) and thinking that with what it has now it might help communicate to you the point so that you would agree. That is the first goal I have. The second is to make sure it is nice and sweet, but you do a good job of that so if I solve problem 1 I might see this one solved as well. ..OK, keep up the good work. I love criticism, and sorry if it appears I am not learning the lesson. It's that it will take several rewrites (and I fatigue) and there is the added problem of not knowing all the other content on the website and not knowing how or where to put/find the ingredients I need. Jose X 12:06, 22 October 2010 (EDT)
The comments I gave are about a general problem. I just picked the first paragraph as an example to show the problems in each sentence. I won't revert changes to this article, so there's no problem with taking a break and coming back.
We're hoping that other campaigners (who are working on a specific consultation) will use the material here. Those campaigners might not be experienced in writing convincing texts, so we have to have high standards here to set an example. For amicus briefs, it's essential that each claim is supported by evidence. (There's also a word count limit.) For political letters, there's the added challenge of ensuring that the target doesn't throw the text in the bin. As soon as they see a sentence they don't like, they bin the letter. Most of the politicians and judges (especially the ones who are our opponents) are rich, so anything that looks like bias against rich people, will harm the letter. Instead, these points have to be shown in empirical terms, such as the number of jobs created by SMEs and the small number of SMEs who obtain patents and the cost of court cases which SMEs can't afford etc.
So, in one way the wiki is written for campaigners, but at the same time, we can't talk to them like we talk to each other. We have to show (by example) how to talk to judges and politcians. Ciaran 12:48, 22 October 2010 (EDT)
Thanks for the head's up on the wealth issue. I usually write as if talking to the majority of people (not that they'd listen). I'm not sure how that will affect me if at all, but since you can edit anything, I won't worry my mind silly. ...OK, it seems you want each sentence to be explained right away since you only looked at one paragraph and not further to see if it was explained later. I'll have to read more of this wiki paying attention to that. Jose X 13:40, 22 October 2010 (EDT)
Explained right away is necessary. If a politician doesn't like the first paragraph, they won't read the second. (A judge, or their assistant might be technically obliged to read to the end, but when they hit a paragraph they don't like, their mentality changes from an open mind into one where they're just looking for excuses to ignore the author.) Ciaran 10:46, 23 October 2010 (EDT)

OK, I am done for the time being I think. If you get a chance at more critique, don't hesitate. Jose X 03:30, 22 October 2010 (EDT)

free of speech trumping

I put something at Talk:Choose your words. Ciaran 17:17, 24 October 2010 (EDT)

Draft for explaining how a house can function as a computer

Jose_X:A house that computes Also, consider later rereading some of the analogies added on 24 novemb 2010 but which later where removed since these might have useful points.

news US federal circuit wants to know what "abstract" means in sense of sw Tuesday, October 09 2012 @ 03:00 PM EDT

> a. What test should the court adopt to determine whether a computer-implemented invention is a patent ineligible "abstract idea”; and when, if ever, does the presence of a computer in a claim lend patent eligibility to an otherwise patent-ineligible idea?

> b. In assessing patent eligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101 of a computer-implemented invention, should it matter whether the invention is claimed as a method, system, or storage medium; and should such claims at times be considered equivalent for § 101 purposes?