« Christmas Wars Indeed | Main | Why I Read Brian Leiter »

Lock In

Now that I'm about to be a TA for my Regulatory State class, there's a new thing I can't blog about: students. (Simply put, it would be an invasion of their privacy, probably worry some of them, and besides would just be crass. Not gonna happen.) But so many things I'm considering now lead my mind to consider their Reg. State implications.

For instance, Heidi responds with a mostly reasonable post detailing how it would make more sense for our archetypal grandmother to run Linux if her support (that is to say, her grandchildren) were Linux users. She is, of course, correct that much of the dominance of Windows is due to network effects, path dependency and lock in. There's a lot of interesting debate on what such effects signify, especially in the economics literature, and of course Linux/Windows is not the first lock-in issue to come down the pike. Of interest to readers might be--if they can find it, which I can't online--an article entitled The Fable of the Keys. 33 J. L. & Econ 1 (1990). There's also a brief rebuttal available here, and a counter-rebuttal from Stan Liebowitz and Stephen E. Margolis available at Reason. All interesting stuff.

But of course, Heidi then ends her piece with a statement of dubious merit indeed:

If you don't care about any of [the supposed advantages of Linux], you probably found this post befuddling. Bully for you. You don't have to run Linux.

But you'd be a lot sexier if you do.

No doubt some of her usual flippancy, so I'll answer with my own. It is true that I've yet to meet someone who found Windows "sexy." I suppose that a Linuxphile would respond that this is because Windows simply isn't sexy, a statement with which I would very much agree. I'm left wondering why any person hoping to be reasonably sexy was spending time fetishizing an operating system.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Lock In:

» Pseudo-syllogisms and Certified Questions from Crescat Sententia
1: Terry Teachout has never asked a woman out simply because she was cute. 2: Heidi Bond thinks running Linux makes one sexy. Q: Would Heidi Bond ever ask a man out simply because he ran Linux? UPDATE: 1: Anthony... [Read More]


N.B.: For those with institutional or other access, TFotK is available on JStor.
Also it's here: http://wwwpub.utdallas.edu/~liebowit/keys1.html Sorry, I don't know how to do the href thing.
Color me impressed. I couldn't find the damn thing.
Actually, I've always found people who think Linux is so vastly and obviously superior to Windows, that anyone still running Windows must be a moron, to be very unsexy. Probably how I avoided dating engineers in college when it seemed like all of my friends were -- the gratitude for getting my computer fixed generally was overwhelmed by annoyance.
Looking back at Will's comment, I think the "You're clearly a moron for not doing it the way that works for me" mindset may be why I wouldn't necessarily go for a libertarian, either.
Erm... which comment?

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

NOTICE TO SPAMMERS, COMMENT ROBOTS, TRACKBACK SPAMMERS AND OTHER NON-HUMAN VISITORS: No comment or trackback left via a robot is ever welcome at Three Years of Hell. Your interference imposes significant costs upon me and my legitimate users. The owner, user or affiliate who advertises using non-human visitors and leaves a comment or trackback on this site therefore agrees to the following: (a) they will pay fifty cents (US$0.50) to Anthony Rickey (hereinafter, the "Host") for every spam trackback or comment processed through any blogs hosted on threeyearsofhell.com, morgrave.com or housevirgo.com, irrespective of whether that comment or trackback is actually posted on the publicly-accessible site, such fees to cover Host's costs of hosting and bandwidth, time in tending to your comment or trackback and costs of enforcement; (b) if such comment or trackback is published on the publicly-accessible site, an additional fee of one dollar (US$1.00) per day per URL included in the comment or trackback for every day the comment or trackback remains publicly available, such fee to represent the value of publicity and search-engine placement advantages.

Giving The Devil His Due

And like that... he is gone (8)
Bateleur wrote: I tip my hat to you - not only for ... [more]

Law Firm Technology (5)
Len Cleavelin wrote: I find it extremely difficult to be... [more]

Post Exam Rant (9)
Tony the Pony wrote: Humbug. Allowing computers already... [more]

Symbols, Shame, and A Number of Reasons that Billy Idol is Wrong (11)
Adam wrote: Well, here's a spin on the theory o... [more]

I've Always Wanted to Say This: What Do You Want? (14)
gcr wrote: a nice cozy victorian in west phill... [more]

Choose Stylesheet

What I'm Reading

D.C. Noir

My city. But darker.
A Clockwork Orange

About time I read this...


Projects I've Been Involved With

A Round-the-World Travel Blog: Devil May Care (A new round-the-world travel blog, co-written with my wife)
Parents for Inclusive Education (From my Clinic)

Syndicated from other sites

The Columbia Continuum
Other Blogs by CLS students