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Re: [Not So Horrendously OT] Psychology, Economics and Debian Was [Re: Hmmm. A question. Was [Re: Debian is losing its users]]

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s. keeling wrote:
| Mark Allums <mark@allums.com>:
|>  Hal Vaughan wrote:
|>> stay alive.  Some, those generally at the lower levels of Piaget's
|>> Hierarchy of Needs, will say survival is important while those focused
|>> on the higher levels (focused on self actualization) where, since it's
|>  Maslow
| Thankyou for the redirect.  Not that you've offered to defend it but,
| Poppycock!  :-)  "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to
| lose ..."
|   "The first four layers of the pyramid are what Maslow called
|    "deficiency needs" or "D-needs": the individual does not feel
|    anything if they are met, but feels anxious if they are not met."
| ... does not feel anything if they are met ...
| This man's never been poor.  When you're poor, even the meanest of
| pleasures make you feel, momentarily, like a real honest to goodness
| human being again (possibly even more willing to stay that way, as in
| alive), and that's just what he needs most then.  In that point of
| one's life, anxious is a constant.  Any respite, even an egg mcmuffin
| or a smoke, can produce bliss.  I very much doubt he ever was there.
| Good for him.
| My guess is he's a typical Ivory Tower researcher with little more to
| go on than his theory based on no first hand evidence.  Psycho-
| anything is a primitive science (if that).  No, I'm not a
| Scientologist.

Maslow is more on the theoretical side of psychology than on the experimental
side.  If you look at his theory more closely, you may find some truth to it -
a homeless person is not going to be worried about "Self-actualization needs",
as this person's main goal will be to survive.  Psychology *is* a science, in
that the scientific method is used on the experimental side, at least.

Why is this not so off topic?  Well, psychology and economics are two factors
that affect what any person chooses to "buy".  I will explain this in a minute.
Everything has costs and benefits associated with it, which we perceive through
our imperfect senses (a big area of research in psychology), and through our
imperfect cognition (again an area much researched by psychology).

Now, how can you "buy" something that is "free" like Debian?  Well, it has real
costs associated with it - the price (if you buy it pre-burned, or
pre-installed), the cost of the bandwidth if you download it (plus the cost of
the CD/DVDs - just the bandwidth if you choose a Netinstall.  In addition, all
operating systems have different capabilities and different pitfalls (i.e. they
may work very well on some systems, but not so well or not at all on others).

In the end, it is a matter of choice, based on costs (perceived and real) and
benefits (also perceived and real).  These perceptions are based upon our
imperfect interpretation of how our brains filter sensory data, and upon our
imperfect cognition.  Thus, both psychology and economics (subjects I have
studied) have a place in this discussion.  The real question is:  How can we
maximize the benefits of Debian, for both current and future users, and get
them to perceive these increased benefits as such?



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