Subject: Re: How accurate is Metcalfe's law? (Was: Ximian software)
From: "Joshua C. Lerner" <jlerner@panix.com>
Date: Thu, 3 Jan 2002 00:05:12 -0500 (EST)

On 2 Jan 2002, Perry E. Metzger wrote:

> Ben_Tilly@trepp.com writes:
> > But the value of the net to an individual person is still bottlenecked
> > by that person's ability to enjoy making the connection.  While it is
> > possible for individual connections to be worth a thousand dollars per
> > hour to the recipient, I think most will agree that, barring inflation,
> > it will never happen that the average person will exceed $1000/hour of
> > derived value from time spent connecting.
>
> Careful there. As the Chicago and especially Austrian economics
> schools mention over and over, the only way to assess monetary
> equivalent value is with what people will pay for something. Net
> connections are worth whatever people are paying for them (typically
> pennies an hour), regardless of the value of the information
> retrieved.
>
> It does not matter that my life is of infinite value to me and that
> without water I will die -- the glass of water in front of me is not
> worth even $1 no matter how much I value my life, unless in odd
> circumstances (say, at an oasis in the desert).

Or if the water came from a plastic bottle with an Evian label. ;-)

Joshua