Subject: Re: Epistemology of FS
From: DV Henkel-Wallace <gumby@henkel-wallace.org>
Date: Tue, 1 Feb 2005 12:33:24 -0800

On 01 Feb 2005, at 12:19, Ian Lance Taylor wrote:

> Whether free software is improving the economy, through lower prices,
> increased efficiency, etc., is an open question.  Free software is
> changing the IT industry much as cheap data transfer is changing the
> music and movie industries.  What the end result will be can not yet
> be reliably predicted.

Yes, but.  My points were not that the final result is hard to tell but 
that (as you agree) 1> the current state is hard to tell and 2> there 
are good social reasons why various people have little interest in 
investigating point 1.

Even for the ultimate impact, one part is relatively easy to foresee.  
Parts of the software world (err, "stack" as it is misused) have become 
commodities and since commodities always become cheap (in an absolute 
sense) the cost will drop and they will become widespread.  The FS 
movement appears to be a huge enabler and driver of that.

Whether free software can meaningfully drive profound innovation, on 
the other hand, is an interesting point.  The jury is still out (and 
let's not reopen that flame war on this particular mailing list), but 
it's early innings yet.

-g