Originally Posted by pbenjamin
You're absolutely right. Ethics and honoring one's commitments are silly and out of date. What was I thinking?
Is that what you were thinking? It's not what I was thinking, nor is that even close to what I said. And for you to be sarcastically suggesting that is both beyond churlish and approaching insulting.
What I referred to as "silly" was feeling like we might be compelled to obey a ruling that is no longer in effect, or one that we may have had no part in agreeing to in the first place. I was not expecting that I might need to explain that in detail, but then cousins do still marry, apparently. If I could speak slower for the benefit of the comprehension level of all of the community college graduates, I would.
For instance, if I am a media owner, one who decides to buy a television station during a period when crossownership of a newspaper publishing company in the same market is not allowed, and then that rule is changed (the ban lifted), it would be pretty silly to assume that it would be a moral or ethical failing to at that point consider buying a newspaper publishing company.
Likewise, if I buy a house in 1993 and in 1996 the FCC hands down a ruling making it unlawful for my HOA to prevent me putting up a DBS dish, I will not lose sleep over erecting one in 1997.
Each of those is pretty much an inarguable premise, even for the most bull-headed among us. But some of us just don't seem to get that, neither on a hypothetical basis nor on a real basis. There never was any law or HOA ruling that said a homeowner could not erect a DBS dish in 1993, for instance, because there were no DBS providers in 1993.
When the question eventually came up, the FCC and therefore the federal government ruled on the side of individual homeowners, both for DBS and for OTA, which implies that the disenfranchisement of homeowners from subscribing to a popular service was something that should not happen just for the sake of someone else's misplaced concept regarding minor visual aesthetics. The only thing that opponents of that ever had to stand on was their own assumption that they held the moral high ground, which was an imaginary construct that only existed within their own pointed little heads.
There used to be a law in the early 20th century that said that if you were going to drive an automobile you were responsible to have someone precede you by a mile and a half carrying a lantern to warn everyone else so that you would not startle the horses. By all means, let's still worry about startling the horses in 2013, too.
I have to agree with DoubleDAZ (who values his opinion as 5 times higher
than a 2-cent opinion) that rules change all the time, and they change to reflect the times and the wishes of people today, not the wishes of people decades ago. As things change, questions about what is right arise, and if there are conflicts, some governing body rules on it, and that then becomes the law of the land. That's just the way the world goes around. If you are having trouble understanding that, then few of us can help you, and even fewer of us want to be sucked into a meaningless conversation about it.