Sunday, July 01, 2012

Free Ride

A trend I've noticed through the years is the concept of "Free". I read a book about it, and Google was actually founded on the concept of "free". They offer a lot of free stuff and then make their money on the back end, through ads and corporate deals.
Several years ago there was a thing called Napster. You could download any song or software for free. I will admit it was tempting. Get all the music I love, and the software I need, for free.
But then that pesky little voice from down deep inside kept saying: "What if it were your song people were stealing?" Or "What if it were the software you'd spent three years of your lifeblood developing?"
I resisted. I sucked it up and paid for the music I love, and the software I use in my work.
Fast forward to today.  I get a daily newsletter from Slashdot and it's the bleeding edge newsletter about technology. Apparently the Samsung Nexus phone won't be released in the U.S. because Apple says the company infringed on their copyright. According to Apple (and I don't know all the details so please don't send me hate-mail) Samsung built some of the features on things that Apple invented.
When I read the comments on the website about the story, everybody was jumping on Apple because they fought to protect their intellectual property. 
I know this post is getting a little deep, but bare with me. 
All I'm saying is this: we all have talents. We all have the ability to create things. We should all have the ability to enjoy the fruits of our labor.
Robert Heilein, the guy who wrote the classic book, Stranger in a Strange Land, said: There is no such thing as a free lunch. 
I think we as a country will be much better off, if we learn this simple lesson.


  1. You are right. The concept of a free ride has done more to erode basic foundations in this country than most other things.

  2. Rick,
    Good job! The famous "free lunch" concept is what has led our culture into the ominous entitlement mindset that threatens to swamp the whole darned "ship of state".

    Excellent reminder.

  3. Whenever I see the sign "free"..I slowly back away. Slowly because I will admit to being curious. But 11 times out of ten I've gotten stung. Even that free kitty I brought home didn't pan out to be "free".

  4. Here, here! Nothing in life is free. Red flags always go up for me when I see/hear the word "FREE".

  5. You never get something for nothing! Take care


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