Subject: Re: What Lisp needs to beat Java, etc.
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 2000/11/29
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Christopher Browne
| Economics is not the "theory of how to exchange financial instruments
| for things;" instead, it represents the "theory of how to allocate
| scarce resources."

  Well, I am employed by a financial news agency and although I am no
  economist and have not studied finance, it is very hard to do a good
  job around very competent people who are and have without knowing most
  of these areas quite intimately after a while, but thanks for the
  brevity of the lecture, anyway.

  I have argued that Free Software and Open Source are _luxuries_.  That
  translates to _surplus_ resources, it's what you do _after_ you have
  successfully allocated scarce resources productively and profitably.
  And I'm not talking about the products, I'm talking about the _time_
  that people put into it.

| The typical thing in the "More-Developed World" is to spend money on
| capital investment so as to save on labour; in India, labour is so
| cheap that capital investment tends to be uneconomical.

  And so, too with Open Source and Free Software.  It is all based on
  very cheap labor compared to the usual cost of labor in the software
  industry.  And everywhere people argue for Open Source, the main
  economic argument, is that empowered users will pick it up and fix
  bugs without incurring costs for some owner.  This is not unlike the
  principle of user-based debugging employed by Microsoft, who also save
  billions of dollars by letting users "adapt" to their bugs instead of
  going the extra mile and fixing them or, better, designing them out.

| Unfortunately, it is all too common for those that collect the license
| fees for "owned software" to be remarkably _irresponsible_.

  That is an entirely separate problem.  I wish people would understand
  this.  Like, I own a bunch of guns, use and keep them safe and secure,
  and follow a bunch of regulations in order to be allowed to keep them
  (and my personal freedom), but there _are_ people out there who are
  remarkably irresponsible when it comes to gun ownership and use.  Some
  people are equally retarded and non-thinking when it comes to gun
  ownership as software ownership: They think the very concept of owning
  a gun means you kill people and rob grocery stores, or _would_ do so
  if you weren't policed 24 hours a day, just ad they think that owning
  software means you screw people out of their license money and act
  irrationally in all ways possible.

  The slightly sick part of this whole thing is that those people who
  express an irrational hatred for gun and software owners probably
  would be very dangerous if they got their hands on a gun or piece of
  essential software.  It's just like the zany morons who argue against
  absolutely abstention from sex, alcohol, drugs, tobacco, etc, all in
  one package deal.  Given access to any such "sin", you can bet your
  ass they will become addicted and destroy themselves with depravity
  and _therefore_ need to keep everybody else away from them too, so as
  not to "fall" to "temptation".  Reasonably smart people don't fall to
  temptation (as if it passively "happens" to people in the first place)
  and thus don't _need_ this crappy "sin" ideology, no matter how easy
  the access is.  Reasonably smart people don't screw their investors or
  their business partners or even their customers just because they can,
  either.  You actually need a criminal mind to do that, something like
  that of Bill Gates and his cohorts and defenders.  But at this point,
  it is not the "sin" that is at fault, it is the criminal mind of
  people who "can't help themselves".  You simply cannot control these
  aspects of _bad_ personality development by regulating the people who
  have had a good personality development, but that will never penetrate
  the skulls of _bad_ people, i.e., politicians and others who want to
  control other people (itself a bad personality trait that is probably
  only controllable by letting good people own guns, but this is a very
  different and off-topic discussion, barring lethal Lisp software :).

  You don't have to agree with pro-gun activists to see that anti-gun
  activists are _also_ mostly completely nuts, or course, but that is
  what happens when people are subjected to too much irrationality and
  are or feel forced into positions they do or would not actually hold
  of their own accord.  I am opposed to Open Source as a solution to the
  kinds of problems that people believe it will solve (namely the much
  touted "software crisis"), but I am very much in favor of _access_ to
  source code, especially for paying clients of expensive software
  systems and students of the art of programming who need to gain
  experience in working with existing code before they start to write
  their own code.

  Solution to U.S. Presidential Election Crisis 2000:
    Let Texas secede from the Union and elect George W. Bush their
    very first President.  All parties, states would rejoice.