Grand Unified Theory

If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me.

A quote from Thomas Jefferson in an oldie but a goodie essay, especially relevant given all the talk about GPL-based business models the past few days: The Grand Unified Theory On The Economics Of Free by Mike Masnick. (Before anyone says it: the GPL doesn’t say you have to give away anything for no-cost. However as a businessman myself, I think it’s an excellent approach sometimes regardless of license.)

9 thoughts on “Grand Unified Theory

      1. Haha, me too actually. Yeah Matt the concept of “economics of free” is right on. Though “Inception” was created for entertainment; the philosophy of the importance of ideas, especially potentially truly original ideas, is becoming central to business. It seems to become less and less about who has the “best” or most “original” idea, but rather; who can create the most distributed (to borrow from Git version control language) environment for their idea (IE application).

        Infrastructure and community are like the blood of a good application. It’s the source of life and healing in the body. When an application has a problem… the community fix it and enhance the infrastructure to withstand future failures. In proprietary environments parts of the body are often suffocated and more help simply being amputated.

        Enough of my ramble though. Inception was sick.

  1. It’s a bit sad how many problems have already been solved. If only we paid more attention to the past and learned from our mistakes.

    1. But now you can invent problem and then sell a solution. =)

      And we got tons of problems to solve. Energy, recycling, age related illnesses etc.

    2. Mistakes are just a natural process of life which we learn from, without mistakes we wouldn’t grow. Sometimes we need to experience mistakes for ourself inorder to grow otherwise we are just told its a mistake… then we won’t grow rather just listen to what people tell us and believe its correct (thansk to the internet we have debunked alot of myths our parents told us ;P).
      Its easy to say we have alot of issues with our planet however if there weren’t any issues to grow from whats the point in life?