Re: Free Lunches (was: OUTREACH 101)

Michael M. Butler (butler@comp*
Tue, 16 Dec 1997 10:11:11 -0800

At 12:50 PM 12/16/97 -0500, you wrote:
>"Michael M. Butler" <butler@comp*> writes:
>>TANSTAAFL is an acronym for "There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free
>>Lunch"--first (to my knowledge) used in Robert A. Heinlein's novel _The
>>Moon Is A Harsh Mistress_. It communicates the sentiment that you
>>usually get what you pay for, and that things that are labeled "free"
>>usually have some hidden cost.
>In general I agree that this is true, but there are some extremely
>notable exceptions.


>I'd be interested in hearing other notable exceptions to TANSTAAFL.

Two points:

1a) I forgot to mention a third meaning of TANSTAAFL: that somebody always
pays for something labeled "free".
I am kicking myself for this, because it's the most important and subtle
meaning of TANSTAAFL.

1b) I never said that I subscribed to the sentiment.

(however, for the sake of argument...)

2) Are you honestly saying that all the developers of Linux and GNU didn't
"pay" for my ability to pick those things up?
That there was no labor expended, because they haven't asked me to give
them money?

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