Subject: Re: crux of the essence
From: Tom Lord <>
Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2001 16:23:32 -0700 (PDT)

       Do you consider it a fundamental bug in capitalism that almost
       everybody who paints paintings, or does any other type of fine
       art, gets paid next to nothing?


In the mythical past, when businesses were rich enough to spend
freely, it seems that they supported a surrounding economy that
created a pleasant environment, but that wasn't more directly related
to their nominal social function.

The good 'ol days of big expense accounts, fancy restaurants and
clubs, nice hotels, public art, comfortable air travel, three martini
lunches -- I think those things did a lot of good.  Those things took
place in the context of excessive social inequality -- so I wouldn't
say they were perfect.  But generally, it was the right idea.

       Why shouldn't free software work on the star system, like
       painting does?

In some domains, it probably should.  Of course, I think there's room
for many stars, rather than just a few.

However, I think whenever discussions on FSB try to solve the
economics of "free software" in general, without looking at the
specific type of software, no good solution will be found.