Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: mobility (Anti-Microsoft sentiment)

Author:Joshua Allen
Posted:9/20/2000; 10:53:09 AM
Topic:Debunking the OSS Bazaar?
Msg #:21543 (In response to 21535)
Prev/Next:21542 / 21544

Well, I guess that is what I meant about being twitchy. Once again, I am talking about broad social principles and not in any way trying to say that one company is better than another. From my perspective, this principle has nothing to do with companies and everything to do with individuals. As I have tried to stress a million times on this thread, companies are merely the skins which individuals wear while collectively achieving a goal.

Now, you introduce "forces to improve social mobility" as somehow disproving my point. If you would re-read my original post, that is exactly what I was hoping to discuss. I felt that some of the social structures I proposed would help alleviate the forces of "snowballing". Capital has always been the factor that snowballed the most in the past, and soon it will be information and other intellectual property -- and this applies to, and is happening with many companies that are not Microsoft. I believe intellectual property snowballs faster than capital, because one of the main reasons that capital snowballed in the first place (and especially today) is that the knowledge around snowballing capital is posessed by a few. Now we see patent wars, business process patents, and so on -- I believe this is all symptomatic of the fact that IP is becoming the most important capital, and some people realize it. I am simply trying to raise a warning flag that this situation is going to get a hell of alot worse unless we figure out some ways to deal with it.

[Note: this idea of snowballing in no way denies the possibility of upward social mobility. As the world changes, the possibility for someone born into underprivileged circumstances to achieve high status is becoming increasingly better. That point is completely orthogonal to what I'm talking about. It doesn't matter if the king was born king or went from peasant to king, I'm not trying to argue that point and probably agree with you all on that.]

Finally, I would implore you to stop looking for offense in what I post and maybe attempt to have a constructive discussion. I wasn't trying to debate anything; and once again you seem very combative. You seem to be mostly in agreement with me, in fact. You mention reshuffling -- please share your ideas about how reshuffling can work in today's changing world? Or do you think that what we have is sufficient?


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