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February 6, 2007

'The test of whether or not you own something is, can you sell it?'


I don't know know where I read the quotation in the headline above but I've always believed it to be the very best test of ownership.

For example, you may think you own your body — but using this test, you don't.

Because it is illegal to sell your kidney or other body parts.

For now.

I saw the T-shirt pictured above on the makezine website.

I beg to differ with the sentiment inscribed thereon.

I can't open my head — but I do believe I own it.

Perhaps not.

February 6, 2007 at 04:01 PM | Permalink


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If you could sell your body parts, why not your whole body? And if you sell your body, then someone owns you. Which is slavery.

Posted by: Mike Beversluis | Feb 7, 2007 6:05:13 PM

What about canned goods? I can't open them without a can opener. Does that mean the can opener owns the can?

Oh and medicine bottles are sometimes impossible to open too. I guess that means ownership is dependent on dexterity.

Posted by: Sam | Feb 6, 2007 10:28:39 PM

Yes, perhaps not -

It's probably illegal to sell your head, even moreso than your kidneys. If that's true, then by your own definition it does not belong to you... :-)

Posted by: origamifreak | Feb 6, 2007 8:56:56 PM

You can sell blood products, though. And men can sell sperm, no?

Posted by: Anonymous | Feb 6, 2007 7:19:53 PM

The concept of ownership has long been a confusing one. You can open your head of course, but then you would probably soon cease to be you.

Not that I want to sell my kidney, but I think that your comment goes a lot deeper than surface humor.

Posted by: Karl Zipser | Feb 6, 2007 4:28:01 PM

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