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Re: PG: Hackers and Painters

At Mon, 19 May 2003 16:21:31 -0400, Matt Curtin wrote:
> The (A?) problem seems to be that the economics suggest that quality
> building by persons trained well in the profession just isn't a cost
> that people will bear.  They would rather pay $20 up front and another
> $80 over the course of a year in maintenance than $40 all at once, up
> front.

Terry Pratchett does a nice job of explaining this theory in one of his
books (generally a very funny writer -- highly reccommended):

    The reason the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they
    managed to spend less money.

    Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month
    plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty
    dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for
    a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave
    out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes
    always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could
    tell where he was in the city on a foggy night by the feel of the

    But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man
    who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that'd still be
    keeping his feet dry in ten years' time, while a poor man who could
    only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots
    in the same time and would still have wet feet.