Sent: 6/12/96; 2:30:10 PM
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Chris Espinosa)
Since you do (or used to) encourage discussion in our little eight-person DaveCells, and most of my cellmates are acquainted with me (and, I hope, the issue to which you're alluding), I'm going to use my powers of free speech to respond.
You're drawing an interesting parallel between speech and software development: they're both the dissemination of artfully packaged ideas. Thus your parallel between governments and platforms: a repressive governmnet (Singapore or perhaps China) is like a closed platform.
There's another parallel that you could draw: the presence of a marketplace to judge, validate, and reward both speech and software.
You're relatively successful in the marketplace of ideas. DaveNet has a lot of followers, and many are influential. You've earned that. Other writers, some with even better and clearer ideas than yours, do not have nearly your voice; it's also true that some very dense and dangerous people have an even louder voice. Such is the marketplace of ideas. Markets are not fair, but they are efficient--the customers do get what they want.
The whole idea of free speech is to keep the government from artifically meddling in the marketplace of ideas by restricting free speech. But while there are strong restrictions on the government's power to squelch your speech (and I applaud you on your efforts to defend that), there is very little restriction on how the governmnet itself uses its own speech powers. That's why Bill Clinton is at the top of the list -- he's ex offico worth listening to, even if some of his ideas are otherwise noncompetitive in the marketplace of ideas.
But while the government is enjoined from restricting free speech, and free to use its own, it is in no way responsible for guaranteeing the success of others' ideas. That, too, would be meddling in the marketplace of ideas.
In the platform parallel, while the platform vendor ought not squelch free expression (except perhaps viruses, which are the software equivalent of shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theatre), and is free to use its own expression, a platform vendor cannot assure the success of any idea in any market.
I'm afraid, Dave, than when you claim that you are "often penalized economically for implementing [your] view of the future in software", you imply that it's the platform, or the platform vendor, that's doing the penalizing. If the platform is actively silencing you, I see your point. If the platform is speaking its own ideas louder than yours, then the platform runs the risk of alienating you, other developers, and the portion of the market that prefers your expression.
But if you've just found the natural market for your products, then I don't see how you're being "penalized" by anybody other than the people who have failed to use your software. And that's life in the market. God knows Apple has had the same feelings--that we "deserve" more of a share of the personal computer market due to the technical superiority of the Mac. But you and others have very compellingly claimed that we brought much of our low share on ourselves, and ought to either change our ways or accept our lot, rather than try to blame the Wintel world or -- even worse -- blame the customers who found something they liked better for their own reasons.
Thanks, Dave, for the opportunity to share a slice of your airtime.
| Chris Espinosa | Manager, Media Tools | Interactive Media Group, Apple Computer, Inc. | email@example.com (408) 974-3520 phone (408) 973-9875 fax ----------------------------------------------------------
This page was last built on Sat, Dec 14, 1996 at 8:28:01 AM. The messages in this site are responses to DaveNet essays.