[lit-ideas] Re: Protect the patents!

  • From: "Peter D. Junger" <junger@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 03 Nov 2005 19:07:00 -0500

"Andy Amago" writes:

: For those who missed the History Channel show on the Plague in the 14th
: century (it was a good outline), one of the features of the aftermath of
: the Plague was that so many people died (50% of the population of Europe)
: that there was labor shortage.  The nobility, more of which than the common
: people did survive because they fled the cities, returned to a world where
: there was nobody left to work their fields, clean their houses and so on. 
: The Plague is now credited with breaking the back not only of the hold of
: the church (like with the Holocaust, people couldn't believe God could do
: this to them), but of the entire feudal system.  The shortage of labor
: necessitated the invention of mechanical means to replace workers, such as
: the printing press instead of scribes for example.  It's actually credited
: with bringing on the Renaissance in fact.  My point is that if (mostly
: likely when) a pandemic happens, and if it's bad enough, pharma too will
: return to a changed world.  Unlike the14th century, a contemporary plague
: has no hiding place except in underground bunkers.  It may also last 12-18
: months.  The HC also did a worst case scenario for today (worst case, which
: may or may not happen).  In a worst case scenario food shortages will be
: rampant because imports will be halted, people will not report to work to
: drive the trucks or what have you, and so on.  A world wide depression is
: expected.  That's worst case scenario.  All we can do is hope for the best.
: I hear school age children will be disproportionately targeted by this
: virus.

Isn't there a contradiction here?  After the Plague there was in
Western Europe no depression, but rather a remarkable economic 

On the other hand, China was hit worse than Europe by the Plague
and arguably its economy did not start to recover until twenty
years ago or so.

Peter D. Junger--Case Western Reserve University Law School--Cleveland, OH
 EMAIL: junger@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx    URL:  http://samsara.law.cwru.edu   
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