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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.

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» 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]

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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?

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