Subject: Re: Open letter to those who believe in a right to free software
From: Russell Nelson <>
Date: Fri, 29 Oct 1999 00:12:06 -0400 (EDT)

Karsten M. Self writes:
 > I'm going to jump in on Stephen's side of the debate.  Economics can
 > explain behavior of people when that behavior is based on rational
 > preferences.  The preferences don't have to be monetary, though they
 > often are, at least in part.  

Economics has nothing to do with money, and everything to do with
value.  People spend a portion of their life energy to get money, and
they spend that money to get things they want.  Economists study the
way that people expend their life energy to get the things they value.
Money is just an fungible analog for value -- you could put that value
in terms of bananas, tobacco, memory chips, or ice cubes.  The fact
that people use money instead of the latter is due to the technical
characteristics of money.

I'll recommend another book: _Your Money or Your Life_, by Joe
Domingues and Vicki Robin.  Another good one is _Hard Heads, Soft
Hearts_, by Allan S. Blinder.

Economics is extremely important to understand.  Fail at your peril,
even if you *aren't* a free software businessman.

-russ nelson <>
Crynwr sells support for free software  | PGPok | Government schools are so
521 Pleasant Valley Rd. | +1 315 268 1925 voice | bad that any rank amateur
Potsdam, NY 13676-3213  | +1 315 268 9201 FAX   | can outdo them. Homeschool!