ORMS Today article A recent opinion article in ORMS Today asked if open-source statistical software is really free. The authors’ employment of truth and sketch of hidden costs suggest their answer is no. In a sense, I agree. Economic thinking acknowledges there is no free lunch. However, when it comes to the relative risks and merits of software, much remains to be discussed. Despite their titular assertion, the authors did not present “the true cost of ‘free’ statistical software.” Rather, they provided an alternative conceptualization of costs, particularly those of the R programming software. In response, a co-author and I presented a critique of that conceptualization and rebut their seven main claims. Taking a post-modern turn, we leave any notions of truth to the consumer.

I recommend that you read the original article first prior to our rebuttal article. Enjoy!

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