Monday, July 22, 2013

Acquiring Old New Music

In 1991, Coca-Cola offered a series of eight New Music Samplers, each in a different genre (although there were two volumes of Pop), each one free with (IIRC) four proofs of purchase. I got five of them and actually wound up buying a single CD—and later, two others by the same group—based on a couple of songs I really liked.

Twenty-two years later, I’m several years into the process of upgrading all my cassettes and can’t bring myself to just completely ditch a single one. If I own a song, I want to continue to own it. To this end, I’ve now bought almost 20 CDs for $1 or less on used music sites.

I don’t think that’s quite what the record companies intended, but I guess it’s something!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Marriage, Garriage, and You

Earlier today, I responded to a question by a Facebook acquaintance. As others have thought my response to be of worth, I have decided to place it here as well. The acquaintance in question—who, for what it’s worth, is the one who began the conversation—stated that my arguments regarding marriage vs. garriage boil down to a question of semantics. He further stated that arguments regarding the results of redefining the word “marriage” amount to a slippery slope argument, an informal logical fallacy. In response to both of these assertions, my response—which has remained unchallenged for eight hours (or in Internet debate time, approximately 562 years)—is as follows. Hopefully it will help someone in need. Enjoy!

Daniel, you’re right that marriage vs. garriage is a question of semantics, and you’re right that it’s a slippery slope—which, while technically an informal fallacy (as you rightly pointed out), is also well precedented in reality. Whenever a law is made, it is wise to consider the consequences of that law. That’s not fallacious; that’s common sense.

The government has given its stamp of approval to marriage, just like it has given its stamp of approval (whether formally or informally) to infinite other things. The argument of the pro-redefinition crowd is that we need to change the definition of the word marriage. This sets an extremely dangerous precedent: that if anyone wants to do anything, that person simply needs to argue that the legal definition of some unrelated word needs to be changed. Instead of attempting to pass a new law allowing the desired act, the person simply argues that an old law already protects the act. You call it “slippery slope,” but the courts call it “legal precedent.” If we can simply redefine the word “marriage,” we have precedent to redefine any word. We have quite literally legalized anarchy!

Furthermore, the argument that this will not give some people a missing right is entirely fallacious, as all people are already equally allowed to marry. Redefinition does not ensure a missing right for some but instead creates an entirely new one for all. Is anyone claiming that if some people are given the ability to legally garry, that all people will not receive this same ability? Those who self-identify as “gay” may already get married, and have always been able to do so. The right to garry, however, is a completely separate issue and must be kept as such. The very state of our entire legal system depends on it.

Finally, pro-marriage laws have been compared to anti-miscegenation laws, but this comparison is certainly erroneous. The fact that anti-miscegenation laws existed in the first place is proof that interracial unions are (and were) marriages, else there would have been nothing to legislate against. Conversely, the Supreme Court has already determined that same-sex unions are not marriages, if only because no reasonable person would ever consider them as such (Baker v. Nelson, 1972). If people want garriage, the correct course of action is to pass pro-garriage laws, not anti-marriage laws.