Subject: Re: street performer protocol
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <turnbull@sk.tsukuba.ac.jp>
Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 09:29:21 +0900 (JST)

>>>>> "Crispin" == Crispin Cowan <crispin@wirex.com> writes:

    Crispin> Kind of.  I argue that this is the uncommon case (libre
    Crispin> products tend to have multiple vendors).

This is a statistical fallacy (similar to but clearer than most of
your "empirical" arguments).  _By far most market segments in IT have
*no* *zero* *not one* *not even a wannabe* libre vendor._  Therefore,
since all software _can_ be libre, it is very rare for a product to
have multiple libre vendors.

You can't disprove the extrapolation of that unconditional probability
to the future history of the software industry (which more or less
corresponds to the argument that the competitive advantages of OSS are
highest in precisely the market segments where OSS is prominent
today), any more than I can disprove the extrapolation of your
conditional probability (which corresponds to the argument that OSS is
a general method that works more or less equally well for all software
development).

Thus they cancel out.  _There are no facts to appeal to._  Just theory.

This will change---the future does become the past eventually---but
not soon enough to serve the needs of people who need to make
strategic decisions _today_.

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