Free Range, not Free Beer

by Jon maddog Hall

I was eating breakfast in my favorite restaurant today and I noticed a sign up on the wall that said: "Free Range Eggs, $4.00 per dozen"

Now at first I had the common knee-jerk reaction to the word "Free" that everyone does, thinking of the concept of "gratis". Then I realized that the word "Free" was related to "Range" and not the price of the eggs.

I mentioned this issue to the restaurant owner, suggesting that she change the name to "Open Range Eggs", which would then eliminate the problem of people thinking the eggs were gratis. "That is silly," she said, "everyone calls them 'Free Range Eggs'. Everyone knows that chickens are happier when they can run where they want to run, scratch for grubs where they want to scratch, and generally be free to do what they want. And people are willing to pay more for eggs that come from that type of a situation."

The restaurant owner went on to say that it does cost more to produce "Free Range Eggs" than by having chickens raised in small cages in a manufactured situation, since you have to gather the eggs, fence in a larger areas, etc. but the populace seems to think that the eggs from "Free Range" are better, and are willing to pay more for them.

Finally she asked why I suggested the term "Open Range Eggs", and I said that it was only to help eliminate the confusion of people who think that the eggs should be zero cost. "I can not deal with those type of people", said the store owner. "They only are looking for an excuse not to have to pay for the eggs. Most people understand that the chickens have to be fed, the egg gatherers have to be paid, their are heating charges for the hen-house and that it costs money to transport the eggs. Some people help us out, so they get some eggs in exchange for their work, but we have to charge money for our eggs. People who don't acknowledge that just do not want to understand the term 'Free Range' for what it really means.....better eggs, and changing the term will not help that. So we will continue to just educate people on what the term 'Free Range' means to the egg community."

So we continue to educate people about Free Software and those who wish to understand it, will understand it almost immediately.

Those who do not wish to understand the concept of Free Software will never understand it.

Eggs anyone?