The cost of free



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Posted by: stak
Posted on: 2008-07-19 22:35:09

Nothing is free.

Posted by Fai at 2008-07-20 00:27:04
That doesn't answer the question. You suppose that it is impossible. But it's not the same as analyzing what would be the downside of things that are hypothetically free. It's obvious that if you don't pay in money you pay in something else.
I call that cheats sir. Cheats!
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Posted by stak at 2008-07-20 00:39:18
Well, I was planning to post a nice long post on the topic, but since all of you (except dave) decided to comment with unexplained one or two-word answers, I figured I might as well too. That's the gist of what I would have written anyway.. if you look at my past entries you'll note that the title often doesn't actually reflect the content.
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Posted by Fai at 2008-07-20 01:14:18
you expected us to write full blog entries in a comment?
I still call cheats.
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Posted by Varun at 2008-07-20 06:54:23
I second that call sir. Grossly unfair that.
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Posted by stak at 2008-07-20 10:09:15
I'm amused by the recursion and irony here. Did you really think the content on this blog was free?
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Posted by Varun at 2008-07-20 13:08:39
a) Was the content being provided free of charge to us? - Check.
b) Was the content uncensored? - Check.

Free as in beer, free as in speech - your move! ;)

(For what it's worth, I suspected it would be something like this, but I was really hoping for elucidation.)
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Posted by stak at 2008-07-20 14:47:05
a) Certainly
b) How do you know that? I might have deleted comments and/or banned people from posting, thereby censoring content. If you're referring to my post and not the comments, then censorship is meaningless since I completely control the content anyway.

When you read/participate on my blog, you're playing by my rules, whether you want to or not, and regardless of whether you even know what the rules are. Any freedom you have on my website is purely an illusion. The same applies to any other website you visit that you don't control.

(I didn't plan it this way, but this is more interesting than a regular post :))
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Posted by Varun at 2008-07-20 23:13:17
As regards b, it is entirely possible you've deleted content - but given how quickly after I post a comment it appears in the site's feed, I seriously doubt you have a chance to do so before I - or anyone else using your feed - has a chance to read it. So yeah, it's possible, but I doubt it. Plus, I can't say you're the censoring kind: I've even got some spam comments back in the day your CAPTCHA was broken, and I think the content is still on the site.

Indeed I play by the rules, but given your rules are pretty loose - heck, looking around, I don't see any rules listed anywhere, so my default assumption is that you're liberal in what you accept, and conservative in what you do not. A Postel Principle for content, shall we say? :)

But going back to what I meant by b, I did mean your second interpretation of it - that you're free to post what you want, and if its here, it would be fair to say that you're not censoring it. :P

I rest my case - free as in beer, free as in speech.

(Yeah - this is pretty interesting... :))
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Posted by stak at 2008-07-21 17:59:22
How quickly it appears in the site's feed is a function of how frequently your client is set to fetch the feed. Regardless, I do get an email to my blackberry for every comment, and could trivially redirect it into a black hole before it got posted if I so desired. Just because you see your own comments make it to the site doesn't mean everybody else did too.

Ah, but that's your assumption, and an incorrect one at that. I do indeed have a set of rules (that I don't plan to disclose at this juncture).

Well sure, by the time I post content it's already been censored by me. But that's beside the point, because me censoring my own content has nothing to do with your freedoms. Your dependence and level of trust in the content I post, however, *does* have to do with your freedoms.
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Posted by http://jbrett.pip.verisignlabs.com at 2008-07-21 18:56:13
I think Kats is going mad with power. Someone should hack his site and set him straight :)
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Posted by Fai at 2008-07-27 19:08:43
or mad period.
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Posted by Varun at 2008-07-27 20:29:53
I must say, the missing comma in "mad[,] period" briefly conjured visions of a mad house for punctuation, endless periods strapped to gurneys and banging their round, two-dimensional selves against padded walls... and then I re-read the sentence and it parsed correctly.

English is such a funny language.
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Posted by http://maverichka.myopenid.com at 2008-07-28 00:33:10
It feels weird to write "mad, period" since essentially you're then writing "mad comma period" which to me feels wrong.
nice image though.
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Posted by stak at 2008-07-28 01:50:52
Of course I'm going mad. How could I not? MWAHAHAHAHAHA.
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