Arguing About Free and the Future

David Wiley, iterating toward openness, Jul 01, 2009
Commentary by Stephen Downes

There's one very right thing and one very wrong thing in David Wiley's post. The very right thing is this: "In a world of free, everyone can play." This, in a sentence, captures what is inevitable - and what is right - about the world of free. It is not just a price revolution, it is a liberation for those who, in the past, had no voice. The very wrong thing is this: "Competition! Massive amounts of almost-no-barrier-to-entry competition." This represents a sort of market-oriented thinking. But in the world of free, market economics makes as much sense as lead parachutes. I don't feel I'm competing against the other people (including Wiley) who post online for free. Quite the opposite - we are engaged in this great enterprise together, and what each of us does supports the other.
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