The Simple Economics of Open Source

Albert Wagner alwagner at
Fri Apr 21 12:56:03 EDT 2000

I think that the most interesting part of the article was how "startled"
economists were to find a different motivation than greed functioning. 
In Douglas Hoffstadter's book "Metamagical Themas", in the chapter "The
Prisoner's Dilemma and the Evolution of Cooperation", he describes what
I believe is happening with Open Source.  Especially, interesting is the
computer tournament wherein the TIT-FOR-TAT strategy consistently wins. 

"The Evolution of Cooperation" by Robert Axelrod: "Mutual cooperation
can emerge in a world of egoists without central authority, by starting
with a cluster of individuals who rely on reciprocity."

"The Selfish Gene" by Richard Dawkins

"Small is Beautiful" by E.F.Schumacher

An elegant algorithm can be as beautiful as a painting or a song.  The
truely creative desperately need to share their creations.  The
craftsman wants to sign his work.

Small is Beautiful

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