[SATLUG] question of the measurement of processing power past and present

Todd W. Bucy toddwbucy at grandecom.net
Tue Aug 12 13:40:22 CDT 2008


On Tue, 2008-08-12 at 13:32 -0500, Todd W. Bucy wrote:
> On Tue, 2008-08-12 at 11:40 -0500, Bruce Dubbs wrote:
> > Todd W. Bucy wrote:
> > > I am still hacking away at this paper.  The paper looks at F/OSS in
> > > terms of a gift economy.  
> > 
> > Perhaps you need to look at F/OSS in an alternative way.  I suggest comparing it 
> > with the idea of academic research and academic freedom.  In other words, the 
> > quest for knowledge and the desire to share it.  In this case, the desire is not 
> > as much a "gift economy" as the desire to share ideas and, in return, the 
> > ability to use other ideas without restriction.
> 
> This is an angle that I have considered, the only problem is that
> academic research often takes the form of a gift economy.  If you
> consider that the product (research and knoledge) is given and shared
> within the larger academic community without direct compensation
> expected or given.  This is true if you consider that most professional
> academic journals do not compensate their authors for articles but
> slightly less true if you consider that universities compensate most
> (but not all) researchers within the academic community.  Furthermore, I
> wouldn't say that the desire of F/OSS is to create an gift-economy,
> rather the gift economy is the economic form F/OSS has taken and is due
> to the socio-economic environmental conditions in which it developed.
> As it concerns gift-economies vs a market or comodity economies the
> whole idea of sharing or giving without direct and/or pre-agreed upon
> compensation is the whole point of a gift-economy.  this is definately
> not true of market or comodity economies.
> 
> Todd  
> 
forgot to include that within the F/OSS community (as your response
demonstrates) it certainly seems apparent that the freedom to share
within a particular context is extreemly important.  Any restrictions
upon this sharing of knowledge is seen as damaging to the community as a
whole, which leads me to believe that the F/OSS community has not only
demonstrated that gift economies of scale are possible (linux as
example) but that it is sustainable.  This of course is a criticism of
rational choice economics of Milton Friedman and other neo-liberal
theorists.

Todd



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