Re: A Challenge To All Extropians

Technotranscendence (
Sat, 2 May 1998 08:22:23 -0400 (EDT)

At 12:20 AM 5/2/98 -0400, Randall R Randall <> wrote:
>On Fri, 1 May 1998 18:20:32 -0700 "Peter C. McCluskey" <>
>> I guess you've never heard of Linux, Netscape, the Red Cross, etc?
>Well, lemme rephrase. :) *You* may not have
>to trade value for value, but no one acts without
>a perceived value in doing so. People work on
>Linux for various reasons, but all of them get
>something out of it, whether its the satisfaction
>of having other people know they did something,
>just having fun coding, or working on something
>for their own use. Netscape needs to create a
>situation which sells server software, and so they
>will (if successful) sell enough servers to recoup
>their investment in giving away browsers. Do you
>imagine that the Red Cross' volunteers don't feel
>that the work they do is worth doing?
>At any rate, I think that any system based on
>widespread, expensive charity will fail, and that
>is what I meant by the original statement.

I understand and agree.

As an interesting side note, a few weeks back, ABC did a
special with John Stossel on greed -- of all things. In this
expose, Stossel found a for profit life guard company that
was beating the pants off the Red Cross in South Florida.
The for profit life guard company was more innovative in
life saving and management techniques.

The illustration was driven home when they spyed on a
Red Cross life guard, who was busy grilling burgers, while
the private firm's employees were required to watch the
pool the whole time. (The manager randomly checks
them to make sure and immediately fires anyone who is
not doing her/his job.)

To make this case even stronger, the private company
costs more to hire, yet more and more pools are hiring
its life guards over cheaper Red Cross ones. Which
life guards would you rather have if your kids were in
the water?

Daniel Ust