Subject: Re: open source policy across the globe
From: DV Henkel-Wallace <gumby@henkel-wallace.org>
Date: Tue, 9 Mar 2004 10:37:41 -0800

On 09 Mar, 2004, at 09:41, L Jean Camp wrote:

> ...Markets are good public policy when they maximize production via 
> incentives.

The maximisation of production is not in itself good either.  Has 
covering Japan in concrete been good for the people of Japan?  Likewise 
German overinvestment in empty buildings?  Markets do this too (e.g. 
the oversupply of web sites in the late '90s) but correct better than 
governments.

Markets ideally give the best local maximum for a large set of 
variables simultaneously.  But they can suffer from the hill-climbing 
problem.  Thus:

> The software market "works" under an exclusion model even when there 
> is proof, in running code and viable businesses, that the exclusion 
> model is not necessary.

These kinds of problems I believe are inherently temporary, although 
the timebase can be nasty.  After all the ocean has a constant average 
height, but a single wave can still swamp your ship!

So to abandon metaphor for a moment and get back to the topic of this 
list:
1 - the FOSS model seems likely ideal for commodity/infrastructure 
elements of the market
2 - (not FSB but to the point of this thread) government is useful in 
helping cushion the shock for those displaced by this shift, _not_ by 
trying to hold it back/accelerate it.

> Luckily for the fsb, bad economics is often good business.

To this point, read this interview with Ray Lane, particularly the end:

http://news.com.com/2008-1012_3-5171606.html?tag=techdirt