The Simple Economics of Open Source

Martijn Faassen m.faassen at
Sat Apr 22 16:18:41 CEST 2000

Glyph Lefkowitz <glyph at> wrote:

> I was too tempted by the philosophical sounding thread.  Forgive me
> for jumping in =)

> "Juergen A. Erhard" <jae at> writes:

>> Egoism is often equated with the profit motive these days (little
>> wonder in our money-based society...[2])

> Yes, and THIS is where the mistake is from ... there are a LARGE
> number of reasons to do something for personal gain that decidedly do
> NOT involve gaining money.

But I think that the paper did mention this. They sounded like 
economics who did count this non-money gain. Perhaps our trouble is that
they *counted* it, but they're economists after all. Good economists
know that in the end, the true value is not money -- it's happiness,
which includes things like having enough food, other people around, and so
on. They do have to make some assumptions about what makes people happy,
though; if you go into that you're moving into psychology.

> For example, if you run across some dusty two-year-old python code
> that (f'rinstance) facilitates time-travel, and you hack on it for a
> while, bring it up to date, but get bored or disinterested because of
> more pressing concerns, like the upcoming alien invasion, you can put
> your code out there and somebody else with a like mind might come
> along and pick up where you left off.

Heh. *Everybody* reads those off-topic threads, don't they? :)


History of the 20th Century: WW1, WW2, WW3?
No, WWW -- Could we be going in the right direction?

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