Re: Til / horsing around

From: Alfie Costa (
Date: Wed Oct 09 2002 - 20:33:11 CEST

On 6 Oct 2002, at 21:25, Lisias Toledo <> wrote:

> critics get paid... movie makers want our money... one pays to view
> a ... movie

Not all critics and filmmakers are professionals, and not all viewers pay. I
once produced a comical short for our local Cable TV channel. Nobody involved
got any money, and nobody had to pay to see this short. That it was not done
for coin certainly shouldn't have made my production beyond critique.

> When we get things for free, it is spected that people is, at least,
> polite (to not mention gratefull) by the kindness of someone else uses
> his time to keep giving things away. Time (as money) are a finite
> resource. If you waste your time doing something, there are other things
> that will not be done.

On a personal level, yes.

On a public level... it's vain to expect personal needs to be met by public
action. The diva with a million fans who love her can still be lonesome. A
saint with as many enemies would be happy.

A corollary -- it's vulgar to attribute public deeds to personal intent.
Machiavelli's 'Prince' strives to always appear merciful, faithful, humane,
religious, upright, so that his good reputation lends credence to his lies.
Here in the US it's election season, with millions spent advertising the sunny
personal traits of our candidates, all the better to conceal their dark
policies. How many costly ads have we seen showing friendly families using
computers or software, ads that have little to say about the product's relative

Regarding the loss of time -- creators can claim no priority over critics on
that score. The unpaid critic also gives his time away, with the aim of
helping us save our time, or spend it better. But the distinction between paid
and unpaid isn't so relevant to an audience. If a business was ruined by a
buggy spreadsheet, it would be just as ruined whether the spreadsheet program
was free or commercial software.

The fallacy of applying this "don't look a gift horse in the mouth" proverb to
free software is that free software is a public gift, and the proverb refers to
a personal gift. Consider the Greek-built Trojan Horse of mythology, the
Trojans probably must have felt somewhat grateful. Troy's fall leads to
another proverb: "Beware of Greeks bearing gifts."

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