Subject: Re: Novel anti-software-patent article
From: Jean Camp <Jean_Camp@harvard.edu>
Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2000 20:29:36 -0500


>BTW, I rather doubt anybody here who has appealed to "public" or
>"social" benefit has been careful about defining it, even to
>themselves,

I agree you probaly have not thought much about it Stephen but do not
assume we all share your weaknesses.
---


Economist don't worry about distribution (except when the individual ass of
the individual economist is on the line -- in which case it is no longer a
theoretical issue.)  Remember this: if one foot is on fire and the other is
frozen solid to the floor on average you are better off.

Kidding aside distribution is the core problem with arguments about value
of monopoly and the exploding stock market. The wealth of the top 5% (a
scary number of those are included on this list) in absolute and relative
terms has increased. The wealth of the bottom 5% has decreased in the last
decade, in the last three decades. The stock market creates wealth for very
few, and even if the logic were sound the stats would prove their failure
in the real world.  Substitue "income" for wealth and/or 20% or 30% the
same is true. The rising tide may lift all boats but the rising stock
market sure as fuck doesn't -- and that is the fact.

Monopoly benefits some people. So does stasis. I am for competition and
change.

-Jean