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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]]

Adam Hardy wrote:
Now, how can you "buy" something that is "free" like Debian? Well, it has real
costs associated with it -

The real cost of using Debian is the "opportunity cost".  The cost of
using it instead of some alternative.  The tradeoff.  We all choose
Debian for different reasons, but these are not just monetary.

 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.

Again, the phrase you are looking for is "opportunity cost".  The loss
you have for not using something else is a cost.

Thus, both psychology and economics (subjects I
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?

The best way is to admire the nut RMS for what he attempted, and go on
with our lives in the Real World (tm).

Mark Allums

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