The difference between apples and smiles

The post Why Do Farmers and Nomads Fight? uses a very interesting metaphor to show how the physical characteristics of a resource affect the optimal way to manage it.

Protecting apples and farm boundaries from those who will take them away from you makes sense.  Protecting stories, smile, and knowledge makes less sense.  Sharing them gives them life — and this is usually what you want to do.

Computer code and trade secrets fall into an interesting category.  Are they objects that are owned or concepts that live though sharing?  Most people I work with these days have a very clear answer to this.  Some are clearly Yes, some are clearly No.  Farmers and nomads.

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