Free Lunch Ideas - Peer Eco continued

Joel 'Twisty' Nye (
Thu, 05 Dec 1996 10:55:15 -0800

My thoughts on Peer-to-Peer Network economics continue.

Because food "just happens" on our world, free lunches used to exist.

I view this as Spontaneous Order Personified. Yet, the population
growth has been part of the cause behind an increasing cost of
living. In order to stabilize one's ability to own specific
resources and barter for other resources which they lack, the
market was established.

Can we honestly call ourselves free if our existance depends upon
financial gain?
(Or have we developed a law reading 'Thou Shalt Earn a Minimum SOL.')
Should not an advanced race as ourown promote a Zero-Cost-of-Living?

The problem with the current market is that it views marketable

costs as a measure of contribution. Richard Stallman, founder of

the Freeware Foundation, provides many programs at no cost to the

Unix community. But does that make his huge contibution valueless?

Paul Erdos is a similar example, but there's a guy who not only shared
his mathematician's enthusiasm freely, but lived by the free lunch,
as a travelling guest to universities.

On one hand, the market decides globally how much an item is worth
according to assumptions that all suppliers will seek increasing price,
while all buyers will seek decreasing cost, and thus a single, global,
numerical index of value is placed on the item. But on the other hand,
there are some commodities (freeware) that are offered at no cost,
yet are of great value to the 'buyer.' There are also items that have
variable 'worth' to buyers, but the actual mean value is not reflected
by the level at which the price is set through a binary "buy / not-buy"
indicator. As I'm fond of saying, "There are six billion individual
economies walking and breathing on this planet."

It has got to be possible for us to create a system which more
accurately models supply and demand on our planet. Just as our old
"have / need" society has changed to a "see / want" culture, we
have even greater need to revise our monetary system.

Would we not benefit from making Academia an optionally free lifestyle?
Doesn't the 'closed system' model of 'no free lunch' create
dimishing returns and inflation due to the perishable nature
of material wealth?
How would we handle the opening of the system if interplanetary
commerce were to begin with Earth and its (impending) colonies?

Whadda YOU think?
- Joel 'Twisty' Nye