@zardoz @dredmorbius @kick @enkiv2 @freakazoid yeah, they kind of already did. the question from my point of view is how to change the rules of the game to keep them from creating barriers to entry that allow them to dollar-auction their way into net-negative social value

@kragen You'd likely have to undermine their business model.

On the positive side, this is a dynamic which can be used to play megacorps (and possibly other interests) off one another.

That notion goes back to IBM's Earthquake Memo, ~1998.

I'm not sure if you were at the LinuxWorld Expo where copies of that were being shown around, probably 1999, NYC.

Tim O'Reilly wrote on that in Open Sources.

@zardoz@cybre.space @kick @enkiv2 @freakazoid

@dredmorbius @zardoz @kick @enkiv2 @freakazoid I think it goes back longer than that; IIRC Gumby commented on the fsb list in the mid-1990s that he wasn't worried about other companies contributing code to GCC and GDB because Cygnus could then turn around and sell the improved versions to Cygnus's customers. Of course those customers could get the software without paying, but they found Cygnus's offering valuable enough to pay for, and competitors' contributions just increased that value.

@dredmorbius @zardoz @kick @enkiv2 @freakazoid the big insight Tim had, which took the rest of us a while to appreciate, was how this gave new market power to companies that own piles of data, like Google or the ACM or Knight Capital. And now we have AWS and Azure and Samsung capturing a big part of the value from free software instead.

@kragen As I mentioned earlier: Virtually any monopoly I can think of can be described as a network.

The Usual Suspects are transport and communications. Markets are networks (nodes: buyers/sellers, links: transactions/contracts/relationships), politics (power brokers and relationships), information (knowledge as web, multiple contexts).

Most networks have more central nodes, those nodes become power centres as they amplify small applied effort.

@zardoz@cybre.space @kick @enkiv2 @freakazoid

@kragen The 1990s power nexuses were:

- Microsoft's per-CPU OEM licenses.
- Office market- and mind-share.
- ISV network and mindshare.

And at the server level, proprietary Unix.

Free software disrupted these, at least on the server, and eventually in the emerging mobile/handheld space. But new networks and centres emerged. Data, and ads, search, retail, and social networkss (Google, Amazon, Facebook).

Swapping monopolies isn't a win.

@zardoz@cybre.space @kick @enkiv2 @freakazoid

@kragen Defining "network" in this context may help:

A collection of nodes and links, between which _something_ flows; matterial, energy, information, forces, people, relationships, money.

Characteristics are size (nodes, links: 0, 1, 2, ... many), topology (unary, peer, chain, ring, star, tree, mesh, compound), throughput, permanance, directionality (directed, nondirected), protocols & formats, governance.

Common & distinctive properties emerge.

@zardoz@cybre.space @kick @enkiv2 @freakazoid

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