Subject: Re: realistic but short and simple LISP examples? From: Erik Naggum <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Wed, 19 Dec 2001 11:37:09 GMT Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp Message-ID: <email@example.com> * Kent M Pitman <firstname.lastname@example.org> | I suspect you're saying the contract should cause it to be public | domained or GPL'd or something? By having it revert to me, I could still | decide at that time to do such a thing... but if I was starving and | needing money, I see no reason I shouldn't make money on my own work. | Having things go straight to the public to compete against me is in some | ways worse for me even than having someone sit on it. At least if it's | code I wrote before, I can write it again. In the case that stuff I did | before gets given away, I might not be qualified to do the next step... | The community may benefit at my expense. That's pathologically bad. The whole idea that anything can be so "shared" as to have no value in itself is not a problem if the rest of the world ensures that nobody _is_ starving or needing money. For young people who have parents who pay for them or student grants or loans and basically have yet to figure out that it costs a hell of a lot of money to live in a highly advanced society, this is not such a bad idea. Grow up, graduate, marry, start a family, buy a house, have an accident, get seriously ill for a while, or a number of other very expensive things people actually do all the time, and the value of your work starts to get very real and concrete to you, at which point giving away things to be "nice" to some "community" which turns out not to be "nice" _enough_ in return that you will actually stay alive, is no longer an option. All of this "code sharing" is an economic surplus phenomenon. It works only when none of the people involved in it are in any form of need. As soon as the need arises, a lot of people discover that it has cost them real money to work for the community and they reap very little benefit from it, because they are sharing value-less services and getting value out of something that people take for granted is hard to impossible. This is unfortunately even more true when employees are considered "free" while consultants are not, so buying the supposed "services" from people who know the source code is not an _exercised_ option. Just because it is nice to get things for free does not mean it is a good idea to organize anything based on removing the value of those things, but until people _need_ that value, getting stuff for free is _so_ nice that looking to the future is something most people simply will not do, and those who refuse think about will also refuse to listen to those who have. Thus they will continue to deplete the value of software to the point where nobody _wants_ to pay for any software, be it of a particular kind or in general. Software development tools are already considered to be give-aways by some people, threatening commercial vendors and those who would like to make money providing software tools to developers. As for giving away things for free, if you cannot make it yourself, just buy it from someone else and give it away. If someone has something you want to be free, the problem is no harder than to cough up the money to make them want to do it, too. If this is not palatable to those who want things others have made for free, they demonstrate that somebody else somehow should accept the cost of this operation _without_ compensation. Since I have not heard about any organization working to buy software from those who "hoard" it, quite unlike those organization that buy up tropical forest land and promise never to sell it or develop it, I tend to believe the whole "free software" thing is really a way of tricking immature people to give away their work. (I was one of those people.) /// -- The past is not more important than the future, despite what your culture has taught you. Your future observations, conclusions, and beliefs are more important to you than those in your past ever will be. The world is changing so fast the balance between the past and the future has shifted.