DOSGuy wrote:That's called taking an argument to its most absurd extreme.
The argument only becomes absurd because the reasoning/claim behind it is absurd. But more at the end of my post.
Let's analyse what I actually said.
The original claim I was responding to was this:
The lower you set the goal, the less money you get.
Logic would indicate, thus, that the higher you set it, the more you will get. This is an untenable statement, for the reasons I already gave. In as far as you follow that original statement, the counterarguments I gave are as valid. If you differ from that stance, it may not be applicable, of course.
If you ask for too little and achieve your goal, donations will probably stop. That's kind of obvious, isn't it? If the goal has been achieved, they clearly don't need any more donations. If we ask for 5000 euros, we'll probably only get 5000 euros. If we ask for a trillion euros, that doesn't guarantee that we'll get a trillion euros, but it does mean that donations won't stop if we make it to 5000 euros. If you set the bar too low, you'll only get that amount.
Am I right in presuming you seem to start with the premise that one can only set one donationbar, once, as a sort of ultimate goal? Because otherwise this whole argument doesn't make sense. I'm not sure why you start from such a presumption, however. Surely, when the goal has reached, a new goal can be set. There is no reason whatsoever to think one has to stop definitely once a specific goal has been reached. In fact, we don't do that with our current bar neither. Or am I to conclude there won't be a 2013 donationbar, once 30000 is reached? Well, then, leave the annual reference out of it, and just set a smaller amount as a goal, and when reached, you can always still decide to introduce another bar. One could as well do it on a monthly basis, or a set goal (aka, the price for a definite amount of devs to be payed, and when succeeded, try for another set of devs to get paid, etc.)
Apart from that, I didn't say one should lower it that much that it's a no-brainer one will get the amount. I said to go for an amount that is still realistic. This does not mean extremely low, it means setting it thus, that it has a chance of actually being reached. This means, it can still remain quite high, de facto, to reach. But sometimes, it's better to have many reachable goals, instead of one big unreachable one.
Right, but is it possible to hire half a developer?
Exactly, which is why smaller but more realistic amounts would be better too. If you know how much one dev would cost, than you can set your goal to that; if you succeed, you can hire him, if not, you can't. If you go for an implausible amount, you don't actually know how many you can hire; 6? 1? A half?
But anyway, it's a bit digressing from the main point. Whether or not one can hire somebody half-time, full-time, or not, has little bearing on the fact that IF (granted, if) it's a matter of 'the more we get, the more devs we can hire', then what I said is basically correct: you can't know when the 'need', and thus, the neither the amount of money to fulfil that need.
The problem is that no one has told us how the 30 000 euros will actually be spent. If the plan is to hire three developers for 10 000 euros each, then it's true that we can hire only one or two developers if we fall short of the goal. But what if the plan only works if we get 30 000 euros because, for instance, we're hiring a single developer? I suppose we could hire someone part-time instead of full-time, but if the goal is to hire a single, full-time developer with this money, the campaign is clearly a failure if we're not able to do that. One of the problems with this campaign is that, to the best of my knowledge, we've been given no breakdown of how the money will be spent, or what will happen if we get less than 30 000 euros. If we fall short, will the money be spent on less ambitious goals, or will it be added to the ReactOS Fundraising 2013 campaign, and it will keep rolling over until we get the 30 000 euros we need to hire a single, full-time developer?
I'm not seeing this as an argument for or against bigger or smaller donationbars, but rather a plea for more transparency as how the money is going to be spend. I concur.
This "as many as possible" business is why we have people saying that we could hire a dozen people if they were from a country with a lower cost of living, while others point out that we can't hire a single developer for that price in countries like the US, Canada, UK, etc. Then we're told that the goal is to hire the existing developers who, of course, live in a variety of different nations. If the goal is to hire as many as possible, logically the plan must be to hire the devs who live in the countries with the lowest cost of living first, right? Even then, will they be paid at the GDP per capita of that country, or the going rate for software developers in that country, or based on their individual needs? How many people are you planning to hire with this 30 000 euros? Someone mentioned previously that, when you ask for money for a specific goal, you have a duty to those who donate. I think it's fair to ask how the money will be spent in terms more clear than "as many as possible".
I can agree with this argument. That said, I do understand the devs (or whoever decided on the bar, or what to do with it) too, when they would prefer not to go for just the most cheap devs. first of all, let's not kid ourselves; Ros ain't exactly easy-pie stuff. You don't want just someone good, but also knowledgeable about the inner workings of Ros (or, more general, of Windows architecture). Logically, you will find the most knowledgeable with those devs that have already put much work into it. That the primary choice, thus, would be to first look at devs that already work at Ros, is understandable. I'm not sure if even 2 cheap Pakistani devs would qualitatively (in this specific domain) be better than 1 more expensive western dev that already have practical knowledge and dealings with working on Ros. Furthermore, by choosing devs that are already interested in it (since they're working in their free time on it), there is also no question about their enthusiasm or devotion to the project.
Ofcourse, all this doesn't mean one could possible get more devs for the same amount, whom are still pretty good and knowledgable anyhow. Some new blood wouldn't be all that bad neither (look at the Google Summer of Code, for instance).
A bit more clarity on what exactly the purpose is, and on what or who the money is going to be spend, would be welcome, indeed. But maybe they don't know it very well themselves yet.
1. What research paper? I see no references or links in your previous posts.
(see 'Why do people give? The role of identity in giving.Jennifer L. Aaker, Satoshi Akutsu')
One can find it a few posts back.
2. Logical extremes do not represent good arguments, as their downsides only come into play if the extremity is approached. If there is no possibility of approaching that extremity, then the downsides associated with it become irrelevant and the position you attempted to support with the extreme is heavily undermined because, if the extremity is so unlikely, then the implied conclusion is it has no relevance to the current discussion. I've only seen logical extremes used effectively in two places, arguments against clamping down on civil rights and in satire/parody.
I beg to differ. There are no extremes when it's a matter of logic, unless in a context where inconsistency is seen as a viable option (which isn't the case in a normal, rational debate). The 'absurdity' or 'extremes' one speaks of, are directly derived from the fact that the reasoning itself was flawed, or at least, inaccurate. The premise that the more you ask, the more you get is, in it's core, false. This becomes obvious when one consistently applies this; indeed, then it becomes obvious to all. The fact that it becomes obvious does not mean it becomes unwarranted, however. I have the feeling when you and the other poster talk about it being extreme or taken to the absurdity, that you mean the fact I used 1 trillion as an amount. However, this was to make the point blatantly obvious. Surely you understand the premise is wrong, not the amount given. For instance, the reasoning remains exactly the same, whether or not one uses 1 trillion or 30000. If it truly would be valid, than the more one asks, the more one would get. if you think the logic applied to it becomes a less-good argument because the amount is so high, you can easily reduce it: the validity is still as strong or weak.
Say, for instance, I use 50000. Would anything actually change? No; with the same logic applied, the claim that the more you ask, the more you get, would still lead to the conclusion that you would get more if you put 50000 instead of 30000. Yet, the number then would not be absurd or extreme anymore, right? This proves the weakness in the reasoning has nothing to do with the amount one puts in. What about 80000? 100000? What would you consider 'extreme'? Where does the number becomes 'absurd' (an thus, not valid in it's logic anymore, aka yourself)? Clearly there is no clear line in it; it's not the number you put on it that makes it flawed, it's the reasoning itself that is flawed, surely you can see this?
Compare this, now, with my assertion that one is better of with making a donationbar with an amount which one think one is realistically able to get. Apply now the same 'extremes' or 'to the absurd' to it. If one can realistically expect 1 trillion euro, there is no contradiction when one would actually set it so high. True, it remains as hypothetical, but it does NOT become contradictory. Nowhere is the reasoning becoming less substantiated, even when highly unlikely. Thus, there is a qualitative difference between the two claims.