On Ideas

Ideas are not ownable. Ownability requires scarcity (rivalrousness). There is exactly zero possibility of physical conflict over the use of ideas because everybody in the universe can use an idea simultaneously without physically interfering with anybody else’s use. (We can all use the color red, or the English language, or the schematics of a toaster, etc., at the same time.) Trying to apply ownership to the unownable requires the redistribution of property rights from owners to non-owners. Calling ideas “property” is illogical and irrational. Only scarce, physical things can be property, can be the subject of law (force), otherwise you could enforce laws against ideas, which is obviously an absurd claim to make. And that’s today’s two cents.

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Founder and editor of Everything-Voluntary.com and UnschoolingDads.com, Skyler is a husband and unschooling father of three beautiful children. His writings include the column series “One Voluntaryist’s Perspective” and “One Improved Unit,” and blog series “Two Cents“. Skyler also wrote the books No Hitting! and Toward a Free Society, and edited the books Everything Voluntary and Unschooling Dads. You can hear Skyler chatting away on his podcasts, Everything Voluntary and Thinking & Doing.