Okay, the reply below is the unedited reply for now. I hope it's clear
enough. I haven't had time to write the clear new thread I want to get
to soon.

> That seems like an effective concise way to refer to the snowdrift. I
> think it also needs to point out the problem of whether the work will
> get done at all, though. Also, a problem I see with saying "Other public
> goods include music, software..." is that in our current world these
> things are typically /not /public goods because of how they're
> licensed.  I'm wondering if, for the sake of clarity, albeit at the
> expense of simplicity, we should specify "free and open music,
> software..." or something like that?  For example:

Yes, that exact concern is the heart of the whole presentation challenge.

Put simply (this is largely what I intend(ed) to post separate thread on):

Club goods are a tragedy. The messaging is easiest if we ignore club
goods and specify that we're only focused on public goods. But if we do
mention club goods (which may actually be the most compelling and
important thing to get people concerned about), do we say "within
non-rivalrous goods, there's club goods and public goods, and the
snowdrift dilemma only applies to public goods" OR do we say
"non-rivalrous goods are *naturally* public goods and so face the
snowdrift dilemma, and because of the dilemma we get stuck with the
tragedy of mainly club goods"?


A. within broad scope of works to fund at all, we show how we're
narrowed down to public goods (*FLO* music and software) and *that*
scope brings up snowdrift dilemma, plain and simple. Elsewhere, we can
describe why it *matters* to support public goods over club goods.


B. treat club goods as non-existent in terms of natural states of
resources, assume all non-rivalrous stuff faces snowdrift dilemma and
describe the negatives of club goods as an abortion from the failure to
solve the snowdrift dilemma (which, though simplistic, has basis in

B is what I had been doing. It gets stronger at the assertion that club
goods are themselves a tragic problem. I also want to assert that all
support of club goods undermines the promotion of public goods and thus
we have a second type of dilemma: Use your limited resources to pay
tolls or donate to public goods, and there's a logical matrix for that

In that approach with B, I'm saying that, indeed the dilemma users at
Snowdrift.coop face isn't just to donate or not to FLO public goods,
it's whether to reject proprietary stuff so as to not help it keep
out-competing the FLO public goods.

I think the legitimate part of Robert's complaints is that B means
presenting two related dilemmas instead of a single clear snowdrift dilemma.

The reason I prefer B is because it gives no inherent legitimacy to club
goods at all. If we do A and just acknowledge that club goods and public
goods are the two categories of non-rivalrous goods and that the
snowdrift dilemma and snowdrift.coop are just about the public goods…
well, that's simple and clear but implies that club goods are a
legitimate category that inherently exists.

Practically speaking, many people will respond in ways we want to the
assertion that all club goods *should* become public goods, the club
goods category deserves no legitimacy. But there are certainly lots of
people who currently believe without question that both categories are
legitimate and don't think the decision to celebrate and support public
goods needs to go along with any rejection of club goods. Those latter
people we want first and foremost to be patrons still, even though I'd
like to convince them to change their views on club goods.

In arguments Robert and I had, we identified two views we do agree
about: I assert that support for club goods (e.g. for proprietary
software) undermines the goal of public (FLO) goods. The fact of
competition for attention and resources and the network effects from
people sharing and utilizing the same resources means that there is a
choice between supporting and using proprietary stuff versus supporting
and using FLO stuff. Robert insisted that no such choice exists. Anyone
can use and support both, there's no inherent conflict. He didn't at all
accept my assertion that time, money, attention are limited resources
and giving them to proprietary stuff reduces the available amount for
potential FLO support.

In the end, I still want to and *will* spread the message that club
goods are a tragedy, the toll-road choice itself means someone doesn't
freeride on the public road but *is* avoiding the public road and still
not helping. You cannot drive on both roads at once (or have one road be
in both states at once).

I want to have people consider this perspective while still
understanding that "the snowdrift dilemma" at its core is just about the
public goods and doesn't directly talk about what happens when we fail.
I.e. "because we fail to solve the snowdrift dilemma, we end up with
toll roads" not because toll-roads are part of the original dilemma,
just that they are a real-world market-driven result of a world that
fails to solve the snowdrift dilemma.

But, I'm okay with taking the angle A from above where we just say there
are these classes of resources, and we're focused on public goods where
the snowdrift dilemma takes place. And we then can just later as an
aside have messages saying how the club goods really are a tragedy and
ought not exist and ought to all *become* public goods, if only we can
fund them still. This approach A does have some advantages, and I'm open
to being convinced it's the way to go.

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