[Dclug] EconTalk podcast (Horrible)
ethan at 757.org
ethan at 757.org
Mon Feb 2 17:07:06 EST 2009
> I think that you also need to look at the extrmemly sucessful model of
> software released as a side-product. I'm lucky enough to work in a place
> where we release a program called BLAST. BLAST, it turns out, is used by
> thousands of biologists around the world. There's a huge community
> around it. That software is written by very smart people and its
> development is done by government and university employees.
That's cool. You bring up a good point. Perhaps any software written at a
university that receives public (taxpayer) money should be returned to the
public, since they paid for it. Maybe the same for municipal and US Gov't,
perhaps with the exception of security risk (forensic tools,
communications protocols for killing machines, etc).
> As marginal cost is zero, the model for programmers to get paid (your
> words) is changing. The model that the "old" industry uses is sort of an
> investment model. Buisnesspeople invest in a product and bank on it
> doing well. If it does well, they get the profits. If not, they lose
Right. Then again, technology has reduced the needs for *so many* people
that still receive paychecks. There is no need for bank tellers
(ATM/internet). No need for clerks at stores (RFIDs). No need for Realtors
and other useless middlemen sales people (direct sales on web). Really
little need for brick and mortar since we have eCommerce. I get mad when I
have to go to the govt office locally. Generally it's because they aren't
doing something right with their web stuff.
> The model around a zero-marginal cost item is different. You only pay
> once- that means you have to have a more creative model for sustaining
> the product (if it's worth sustaining). That might be through government
> programs, industry collarations, university grants, personal
> contributions, support, or combinations thereof.
Yup. I've always wondered how software companies and media companies get
away with counting every pirated copy as a los. You never know if the
person would buy the product if it wasn't free. So counting every pirated
copy as a sales loss is incorrect. They are getting the idea though, that
technology has made their product worth much much less.
I'm not hating on Open Source or FOSS. I find it interesting as well.
If it's free, I use it. If it's not, I might still use it.
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Homepage : users.757.org/~ethan
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