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Re: [ox-en] Marginalism - the religion

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Someone who is not scientifically oriented in their background (i.e. having
some engineering, maths, physics, etc in their blood) will have a blind spot
regarding the cost of things, no matter what you explain.

Popular culture has implanted in people's minds the idea that stuff that
resides on their computer or is transmitted electrically is "immaterial" or
"virtual" and therefore has no cost.

When it comes to bits and bytes, which, in an information economy, carry
both the transactions for (and the information regarding) the goods and
services as well as the digital goods and services themselves, some of the
the physical constraints [that follow from the first and second laws of
thermodynamics] are:
1. The continuous cost of energy for powering the Internet infrastructure at
every point, including the the processing hardware and the communication
channels. 2. The continuous cost of energy for maintaining and evolving the
energy infrastructure for powering the Internet
3. The continuous cost of energy for maintaining and evolving the Internet
at every point, including the processing and communication nodes,
underground and undersea cables, wireless and satellite channels, data
centers, etc. This includes the energy used in the development and
manufacturing of new, improved hardware and software or the production of
replacement parts for existing hardware and maintenance (bug fixing) of the
software. 4. The continuous cost of energy for powering our human bioware,
including our information processing capability (our brain) and our
communication channels (our senses), which are necessary for the production
and consumption of both physical as well as digital goods and services. 5.
The continuous cost of energy for maintaining evolving our cognitive
bioware, including our information processing capability (our brain) and our
communication channels (our senses, which are necessary for the production
and consumption of both physical as well as digital goods and services. Having
stated these costs, I'm not saying that they cannot be socialized! In fact,
socializing as much of these costs as possible may be a good idea (I have
not thought about it enough) but I'm only backing up Patrick's point that
the costs exist and they add up to a lot if you think of cost in holistic


On Tue, Apr 21, 2009 at 12:19 PM, Diego Saravia <diego.saravia>wrote:

2009/4/21 Patrick Anderson <agnucius>:
On Wed, Apr 15, 2009 at 4:45 PM, Diego Saravia <diego.saravia>

"production" (duplication)

There is far more to production than duplication.

fixed costs

Living things such as a Strawberry plant can be thought of as pure
design (DNA) that has been applied to the minerals and organic matter
causing the plant to grow and reproduce (duplicate).

organic matter is scarce, the same as pre internet info goods, they
are always related to a physical object

you need paper to carry your book, more paper for more books

you need live beings to carry DNA

you can reproduce a lot of files without  any aditional cost

of info goods is only a copy of bytes, 0 marginal cost

marginal is the key word

We cannot ignore the ecologic Costs of even 1 bit!

I am not speaking about ecology

Are costs Marginal for moving 64k from one memory location to another?
 Would a programmer agree with you?

It cost nothing more to me  to move 64k from my machine to your machine via
than not moving the bytes.

Are TeraBytes across the globe Marginal?  What is BitTorrent?

I do not pay anything more to use bittorrent than not using it, in
fact I could save money in music.

Is sharing copies locally cheaper?


Are those savings always only Marginal?

yes for me.

In either case, do the copper wires cost nothing to mine, smelt,
purify, cast/form, finish, cover, ship, store and sell?

you already pay for it

What about the electricity?  What about the noise?  What about the
heat?  The pollution?

my machine is always on

if you have internet

That's no small if!

yes, digital divide exits, two societies (perhaps more)

I agree, is not a small if, is the fundamental fact about the info

Who gets the internet for Free as in Beer?

for me is not free, but I always pay the same.

This view of reality is so perplexing to me.

I understand your point, but is not related to mine.

How can such barriers to entry be so ignored?

I do not ignore them, I am speaking about  other stuff.

Price matters!


And we are all being overcharged.

could be, I dont know.

the only scarcity is "artificial" , copyright law

But it is possible to use Copyright and maybe even Patents in our favor.

yes, by a hack.

Without Copyright there could be no Copyleft, and without Copyleft,

we would  not need copyleft if we do not have copyright

When users (consumers) have "at cost" access to the sources of
production (both informational and physical), then competition is
maximized because every potential worker can vie for that job without
external 'owners' getting in the way - for in this case the user and
owner are the same.


so info goods are not economic goods

This is what I don't understand.

economics goods

useless definition  (for my perspective)
Definition of Economic Goods: An economic good is a physical object or
service that has value to people and can be sold for a non-negative
price in the marketplace.

more enlighted definition (in my terms)
Consumable item that is useful to people but scarce in relation to its
demand, so that human effort is required to obtain it. In contrast,
free goods (such as air) are naturally in abundant supply and need no
conscious effort to obtain them.
off course these is true for info goods marginally

you are in or not.

What about the owners of the physical sources needed to *host* those
informational goods?

fixed costs

Are the cost of creating and maintaining Google's server-farms marginal?

yes, for me

Diego Saravia
Contact: projekt


Marc Fawzi

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Contact: projekt

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