Apple & FreeBSD relationship

Charlie Kester corky1951 at
Thu Mar 10 16:39:09 UTC 2011

On Thu 10 Mar 2011 at 05:51:06 PST Tom Worster wrote:
>and as far as investing in corporate stock is concerned, oss virtue
>(like environmental virtue or sweat shop virtue) is just so much
>marketing blather. a corporation's responsibility is to make money for
>its investors. business ethics is and always will be purely
>utilitarian. apple has good marketing but don't kid yourself.

Unless you're buying newly-minted stock, you aren't giving any money to
Apple when you buy shares of AAPL.  You're giving money to some other
person, who bought the shares a while ago and now wants to cash in.  In
turn, he might have bought them from another investor.  In many cases,
you have to go a long way back, sometimes all the way to the IPO, before
the money goes to the company.  They get money when they issue stock,
not when it's traded.

What you're doing when you buy stock -- especially stock that pays
little or no dividends -- is placing a bet that sometime in the future
you'll be able to find someone willing to buy it from you at a higher
price than you paid.  

Moreover, the price of most stocks is determined solely by what people
are willing to pay for them.  Forget all that noise about sales
forecasts, P/E, etc. There is no direct, causal connection between those
"fundamentals" and the stock price.  They're as pertinent as a baseball
player's batting average is to the price of the bubblegum card with his
picture on it.  You're trading collectibles, and they're subject to the
whims of fashion.

In summary, I agree with what has been said about contributing to the
FreeBSD Foundation if you really want to help the project.  It's a much
better use of your money.  But if you'd rather trade baseball cards, no
one's stopping you.

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