Peer production economy

Tim Lee points out a couple more cases where critics of open source use fallacious broken windows arguments.

Open source skeptics, particularly those otherwise economically literate, need to be beat over the head about this for awhile.

Meanwhile, I hope economists begin attempting to quantify the value of peer production output.

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  1. […] Another excellent post from Tim Lee (two of many, just subscribe to TLF): The oft-repeated (especially by libertarians) view that there‚Äôs no such thing as a free lunch is actually nonsense. Civilization abounds in free lunches. Social cooperation produces immense surpluses that have allowed us to become as wealthy as we are. Craigslist is just an extreme example of this phenomenon, because it allows social cooperation on a much greater scale at radically reduced cost. Craigslist creates an enormous amount of surplus value (that is, the benefits to users vastly exceed the infrastructure costs of providing the service). For whatever reason, Craigslist itself has chosen to appropriate only a small portion of that value, leaving the vast majority to its users. […]

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