Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 2nd Jan 2012 19:12 UTC
GNU, GPL, Open Source Late last year, president Obama signed a law that makes it possible to indefinitely detain terrorist suspects without any form of trial or due process. Peaceful protesters in Occupy movements all over the world have been labelled as terrorists by the authorities. Initiatives like SOPA promote diligent monitoring of communication channels. Thirty years ago, when Richard Stallman launched the GNU project, and during the three decades that followed, his sometimes extreme views and peculiar antics were ridiculed and disregarded as paranoia - but here we are, 2012, and his once paranoid what-ifs have become reality.
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I think this guy is not against the core idea of profit as incentive. Economics can make anything look like profit by twisting it sufficiently to make it look like a number. He just advocates other form of profits than purely material and selfish ones.

Work psychologists have long shown that while the traditional "carrot and stick" incentive works for purely physical tasks, it fails for anything more intellectual. Creativity (as measured by the candle in the box experiment at least) is apparently stimulated by other incentives, such as freedom, cooperation with others, and the feeling that a work is benefiting something beyond just yourself.

Hard truth is, people who do the best work out there do not work for the money, but for other forms of profit. They only want enough money to earn a living, and it does not even have to come from their work. Give your employees a day a week to do whatever they want, as long as they show it to coworkers in the end, and you'll actually observe increased productivity in the end with no extra money out of your pocket. To the contrary, big salaries have been shown to reduce intellectual performance and sense of morals as compared to smaller ones.

I think there was a nice presentation on TED by Barry Schwarz or Dan Ariety about this, but I sadly can't find it back with this little information at hand. Been a year or so since I saw it, and I don't remember enough keywords.

Edited 2012-01-04 09:02 UTC

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