Re: [rp-ml] Re: New machines could turn homes into small factories

From: Brock Hinzmann (
Date: Sat Mar 26 2005 - 00:57:46 EET

While I agree with Dave's notion about:
Nothing is free
There is always an investor
There is always a customer
there is usually a time in the history of an important
resource when it is free or undervalued, and technology
moves in that direction, because someone can make a small
investment and a big profit by not having to pay the full
cost of that resource. Natural resources have been
exploited in that way. The Internet is the more recent

In the end, though, if you don't provide a benefit that a
customer is willing to pay for, it won't go very far.

Brock Hinzmann

On Fri, 25 Mar 2005 14:49:01 -0500
  "Dave Russell" <> wrote:
>It seems to me that this thread highlights a range of
>questions related to how a scientist should present his
>work to the
>popular press and how the press should process the
>presentation for
>publication (sometimes called the Media Lab Problem). In
>trying to
>frame a few questions, I keep running into this:
>Dr. Bowyer says:
>>One of the many freedoms that follows from the eschewing
>>of any sort of
>ghastly "business model" and just giving something away
>>pro bono is that it liberates you from the tyranny of
>>customers and,
>worse, investors.
>Does anyone want to defend this proposition or can we
>agree that
> - Nothing is free
> - There is always an investor
> - There is always a customer
>I assert that this is important because all our judgments
>about projects
>like this at least implicitly assume some sort of
>economic context.
>Denying the existence of economic constraints gives us no
>place to

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