Subject: Re: Open letter to those who believe in a right to free software
From: Ian Lance Taylor <ian@airs.com>
Date: 28 Oct 1999 10:34:14 -0400

   From: Russell Nelson <nelson@crynwr.com>
   Date: Thu, 28 Oct 1999 03:54:25 -0400 (EDT)

   Richard Stallman writes:
    >     This is extremely unfair to people like myself who practice
    >     neoclassical economics for its scientific rigor and explanatory power
    > 
    > Economics can at best explain the behavior of people that are
    > motivated mainly by the kinds of concerns that economics deals with.
    > To model any activity economicaly is to assert that the people
    > involved do not care much about non-economic concerns.

   But Richard, when people make a decision, they don't distinguish
   between their monetary concerns and any other concerns.  Any economic
   analysis which fails to include your "non-economic concerns" is a
   failure, because it's not going to predict how real people behave.

Well, if you add the observation that nearly all economic models which
appear in the popular press do focus exclusively on monetary and on
other easily quantifiable concerns, then Richard's concern is
reasonable.  I agree with your reasoning: most widely reported
economic analysis is indeed a failure.

On the other hand, Stephen has made clear that his analysis will try
to avoid that mistake.

Ian