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The Noble Geek

Patrick McKenzie published an excellent post on What I Would Do If I Ran Tarsnap and I wanted to write a post in response to the Hacker News comments I’ve participated in, over the dialectic of Patrick’s post (that’s a generous word to use when referring to internet based forum discussion).

The key archetype I’m observing in most of the commentary is The Noble Geek. I want to recast this archetype from its shadow representation to its clearer, forceful and enlightened form.

I’ll begin by describing the naive archetype: the belief or idea that in charging users with a profit margin (value based pricing) instead of for cost or low enough profit to live off of you are treating them unethically and contributing to corrupt capitalism and immoral restriction of...

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