X-Message-Number: 10940
Date: Wed, 16 Dec 1998 08:06:50 -0500
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: CryoNet #10925 - #10930

Hi everyone!

If we are going to live for a very long time, then we might think about
the proportion of our lives in which we will use money of some kind
(I did point out early in this discussion that we are coming close to
a situation in which that use is all kept track of by computers, without
any physical objects changing hands --- so we'd have SOME kind of medium
of exchange, but not one many people would now recognize).

So will that proportion go up or down, for any given time and over
history? Fundamentally (I suspect) it will stay more or less the
same --- which to a presently short-lived human being might LOOK as
it was being used less and less. I suspect this because I think that
our desires and our ability to satisfy them will grow with time. It
takes a long-lived being to think about owning his/her Solar system.
This isn't to say that the recipes for cheesecake might not also 
become quite valuable, too. 

Linux is, of course, a case in which programmers don't directly get
money from what they do. But training remains an issue, and so does
documentation. As for the programmers, it provides a means for them
to demonstrate their skills, and thus increase their ability to
get money by other means. That's why it is PUBLIC. If some programmer
merely wanted to devise his/her very own operating system, complete
with the major computer languages, then there's no logical reason
why he could not simply go off and do so, alone. I note, also, that
OS's such as Linux have been quite successful; but there are many
other kinds of software --- even software not sold by Microsoft,
surprise! --- which have NOT been produced and distributed as Linux
has been. (I like the ideas behind Linux, but seriously wonder if
that model would extend to all kinds of software).

The real value of money is that it lets us buy and make something
NEW, which did not exist before. Just how it is new does not matter;
and we may well come to a state in which most of what we have is
virtually free. But then there are things that we do not NOW have
(and at any time there will be such things). Even if we can make
it ourselves, given the design, the design becomes the valuable
part. And no, such designs are NOT going to be given away except
for something in return. And then, some form of money provides 
the best form of that something in return.

		Best and long long life to all,

			Thomas Donaldson

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