Profits and the Information Economy (Re: De Long on networkeconomy

John Kawakami johnk at
Sat Aug 14 03:34:06 PDT 1999

>For that matter, for a brief shining moment I was a person paid to develop
>a tiny bit of core Linux - I made some changes to the intel binary
>compatibility system. Needless to say, this is quite rare (both being nuts
>enough to tackle iBCS and lucky enough to get paid for it) and only lasted
>long enough for me to get a SCO binary to run properly.

The beauty is that this bit of code had the potential to be useful, over and over, to many other programmers and users.


>You know, while there is a strong sense of resistance to capitalism, I
>wouldn't call it a leftist streak. For the most part, it's a strong
>right-libertarian streak, as exemplified by Eric S. Raymond. They don't so
>much reject capitalism as reject restrictions on *their* rights and
>*their* priviledges - it's a wholly atomistic worldview.
>(It is ironic that Torvalds and Stallman are counterexamples to this
>philosophy, but they are very much politically isolated in this way).

Perhaps not. Maybe this is a feasible model for socialists appealing to libertarians. Let's face it. In the US, most civil libertarians just want to exist unmolested and undertaxed. The only way to get them to contribute to the social good is to get them involved deeper in social organizations. These organizations should appeal to their libertarian sympathies rather than a desire for improved social welfare.

The right wing does something similar. Conservative churches appeal to an individual's desire for self improvement and a social life (and secondarily, salvation). Along the way, they saddle them with a little healthy guilt, and then eventually get them to think that premarital sex is irrational and wrong.

John Kawakami johnk at

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