Don’t let the year end without reading this Forbes piece about what Paul Krugman’s parable of the baby-sitting co-op means for Bitcoin, or Charles Stross’ ruminations on the failure of representative democracy and what he calls the “beige dictatorship”.
Interesting interview with the economist Dan Ariely on why online dating is so unsatisfying:
Online dating is becoming the poster child for a class of problems that software / the web is really, really bad at solving.
This adaptation of Elinor Ostrom‘s work on the emergence of self-governance to open-source projects can explain my decision to stop reporting bugs to Ubuntu. If this formula holds true, then an open-source project will thrive:
benefit of contributing > benefit of not contributing + cost of contributing
In my experience with Ubuntu, this formula does not hold true. The benefit of contributing is often zero, as patches are not accepted and bugs are not fixed, or close to zero, as it can take years for a bug to be fixed. And the benefit of not contributing is similarly zero. And of course, the cost of contributing, in terms of time spent filing bugs, is greater than zero. The cost of contributing is often very high, requiring arguing for the validity of a bug, re-reporting the same bug multiple times, or attempting to recreate a bug from several releases prior.