It’s obvious from my writings that I have developed an interest in economics, which developed out of a curiousity about the workings of free software business – how were we to make money creating free software? While that’s still an open question, the tangent has been a fascinating one that I’m glad I followed. My work with the Tcl programming language further encouraged my interest as I sought to reconcile the language’s extremely high quality and versatility with its falling popularity. If the answer wasn’t a technical one, it had to be some squishy, human factor… economics and marketing.
In any case, one of the things that has frustrated me about economics compared with my native territory of free software is the relative paucity of on line information, and almost total lack of quality sources of feedback (discussion groups or the like where serious discourse is the rule, rather than quackery or debates that quickly degrade into political rants). Not having the time, nor at present the inclination to sidetrack to the point of pursuing a degree in economics, which is the most obvious way of coming into contact with a lot of thought on the subject, at the recommendation of professor Stephen J Turnbull, I signed up to the American Economic Association, which sends out several hefty academic journals every quarter.
Some of the math is a bit daunting, but there is quite a bit of material on various topics, and I think many others (there seem to be a fair amount of open source people with at least a passing interest in business and econ) who want to see something “closer to the metal” would find these journals worth their while, and it’s not very expensive to sign up.