Editor’s Note: What is the Worth of a Person?

by Carla Schroder
Managing Editor

This is a question that is often on my mind– what is the worth
of a person? Anymore it seems it stops at a dollar value.

These questions might seem not pertinent to Linux and FOSS. But
I think they are fundamental to Linux and FOSS.

What is the worth of a person? Is it the size of their bank
account or paycheck?
Is it how many expensive toys and property they can accumulate?
Is it how many competitors they can put out of business?
Is it being quiet and not bothering anyone?
Is it being loud and stirring people up?
Is it “contributions to society”, whatever that means?
Is it being traded on the public stock exchanges?
Is it creating something good and sharing it?
Is it selling lots of stuff and creating good jobs?
Is selling lots of stuff and creating good jobs a good excuse for
generating waste and pollution?
Is selling lots of stuff and creating good jobs a valid reason for
taking ethical shortcuts?
Do ethics matter?
Is it being a role model?
Is it being a productive worker bee?
Is it being of a particular race, religious faith, or national
Is it how useful they are to you?
Is “the greater good” a valid reason for doing some rotten to
Is it about winners and losers?

William James and Ursula LeGuin both ask the question: If the
happiness and prosperity of a culture depend on keeping a single
person in perpetual misery, is it a fair trade?

Is just being alive and a human enough?

Reference: This Wikipedia
discusses and cites the relevant passages from James
and LeGuin.