Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Why I Don't Torrent

I do not know if I'm even using the word "torrent" correctly. At some point I drifted into not being interested in computers. I am aware of major changes ongoing to the operating systems that my online friends use such as OSX/Mac and Windows. One could hardly avoid the marketing efforts behind Vista and the like. One of my friends is an enthusiastic proponent of Linux and torrents and he does not understand how I could not A) love the better operating system and B) download Dr. Who off the internet as soon as the British fans upload it.

He doesn't blog or I might have some idea of what was going on with Linux other than it continuing to be a very stable operating system that is very useful to people who know what they are doing. Which is much the same with torrents. Honestly the practical considerations of figuring out how to make it work safely and not clogging up my computer with lots of software I won't use are more important than the philosophical questions of honesty and the ownership of ideas. I am not the sort of person who digs into my computer for the shear joy of making it do things, as with cars I am results orientated. I'll figure out how to make my computer run well and do regular maintenance (I defrag rather often), but I am not interested in playing with it.

I could set out to learn how to do bit torrent things, but I do not want to. There is the slight danger from being part of the parade of elephants that the vexed Hollywood farmers would like to wipe out to protect their crops and for any ivory they might harvest from the endeavor. It is a slight danger, but since I think I'm not really losing out on anything it is not one I am willing to run anymore than I would run the slight risks of going to a club for music played too loudly for me to enjoy. Furthermore there are the rather larger dangers of outlaw hackers seeking dupes to host their malicious software and even more common subpar software that will be a drag on my computer's performance.

While I can reinstall Windows XP on my computer when I need to I would rather go a long time before I have to do that task again. Adding and removing lots of software does not help me towards that end.

Then there are the moral considerations. While I can see how a person might come to a different conclusion depending on circumstances, I would rather pay for what I use in some fashion. Particularly with movie makers who, despite all their faults, are just trying to make an honest living unlike the vultures of the record companies who live off the industry of others without giving any value in return. So I'll wait until the shows come to the library on disc and forgo the instant gratification.

It is good that there are early adopters of technology and people who see movies, books, etc. as soon as they can, but unless I'm paid to do so I cannot be bothered to be one of them.


Anonymous said...

Of everything you said here, the thing I like the most is what you said about the record companies -- clearly you understand what goes down there. I couldn't agree more.

simpleknowledge said...

Back in the day, I was one of those people who used Napster and Limewire, but now it's too much of a pain to illegally download one song. It's worth the $.99 to download it from Amazon, or better yet, emusic. I do use torrents, mainly because I don't have BBC America and I wanted to watch Torchwood. Torrents are a pain unless you know your computer and your internet connection. If you want something that bad, just rent it from Netflix.

Linux is great for someone like me who blew up their Windows computer and wasn't about to spend the money for an operating system when I could get one for free.