Subject: Re: open source winter
From: kragen@pobox.com (Kragen Sitaker)
Date: Fri, 2 Apr 1999 15:21:21 -0500 (EST)

Russ Nelson writes:
> That would be a prejudice.  Free markets punish prejudice.  Those
> companies which continued to use free software on the basis of its
> benefits to them would prosper over those which reject it based on a
> preconception.

This statement says nothing about time.  That isn't surprising, because
it's based on classical economic theory, which predicts a static
equilibrium.

Historical evidence has shown that classical economic theory doesn't
predict the behavior of economies very well.  In particular, large
numbers of people (and companies) frequently do irrational things en
masse.  Often, when the number of people *not* doing the irrational
thing is very small, nobody notices they're being punished for their
irrational behavior.

This is relevant, given that the eventuality we're worried about is
large numbers of people simultaneously behaving irrationally, in ways
that have strong historical precedent.

-- 
<kragen@pobox.com>       Kragen Sitaker     <http://www.pobox.com/~kragen/>
This is exactly how the World Wide Web works: the HTML files are the pithy 
description on the paper tape, and your Web browser is Ronald Reagan. 
  -- Neal Stephenson, at http://www.cryptonomicon.com/beginning_print.html