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Comments and Reviews by DJ Cline

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  • DJ Cline
    DJ Cline Commentary 01-31-05 Copyright 2005 All rights reserved. The topic of this month’s meeting was how we are identified online with Eric Sachs of
    Message 1 of 29 , Jan 31, 2005
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      DJ Cline Commentary 01-31-05
      Copyright 2005 All rights reserved.

      The topic of this month’s meeting was how we are identified online with
      Eric Sachs of Google, Paul Madsen of Liberty Alliance and Fen Labalme of
      ID Commons.

      Sometimes you might be forced into identify yourself at work. One
      company that is ripe for a funny documentary is what I call the Pointy
      Bank. It used to be based in the Bay Area but is now headquartered in
      the Deep South. They had an online survey about job satisfaction. After
      asking some sixty innocuous questions, the survey asked employees to
      identify themselves as Heterosexual, Bisexual, Homosexual, or
      Transgender.

      They also asked about race, gender and disability. Maybe they were
      looking for the HR jackpot of a mixed race disabled bisexual. They could
      hire somebody in all categories and take the rest of the day off.

      My first reaction was that there must be some lonely people in Human
      Resources. Maybe they were just trying to narrow the field and avoid
      awkward moments. What questions didn’t make the cut? Have you been
      working out? Want to catch the movie Boys Don’t Cry on cable? Do you
      think watching the ‘L’ Word is like watching paint dry?

      My second reaction was that I would have given any amount of money to be
      in the meeting when they made wrote this survey. What were they
      thinking? Are they thinking about changing the employee rewards gift
      list? Maybe add a cappuccino machine and take off the wrench set? Do I
      finally get that toaster for joining the team?

      My third reaction was to answer the calls from employees now desperately
      looking for a way out of Pointy Bank. It’s not easy for someone with
      twenty years experience at a bank to start over, but if a purge is
      coming it is best to get your resume out there (so to speak).

      So that’s my take on identity. On to other future business…

      Tech Ghost Towns

      Marching into the future sometimes means leaving some things behind.
      Quantegy, one of the last remaining magnetic tape manufacturers, shut
      down its factory in Opelika, Alabama. Musicians who like to work with
      tape are hoarding remaining supplies, but the rest of us have already
      moved on. Hollywood Video, a video rental chain based in Wilsonville,
      Oregon, is also on the ropes. Ask yourself, when was the last time you
      walked into a video store and rented a VHS tape? In another sign of
      moving on, Oracle laid off 5000 employees after taking over Peoplesoft,
      headquartered in Pleasanton.

      What all these sad tales have in common is companies building up small
      towns and leaving them high and dry when history moves on. Workers laid
      off by these companies will have to move. Folks in Opelika will head to
      Atlanta, Wilsonville to Portland, and Pleasanton to San Francisco. I
      guess the worst-case scenario would be to work for a company that has
      offices in Alabama, Oregon and California. If you do, unload your house
      now.

      Flo Zeigfeld use to say if you want to put on a Broadway show, it has to
      be on Broadway. You can test the show in smaller communities, but you
      have to take it to New York to be taken seriously. Which leads me to the
      Sundance Festival, or as I call it, Soylent Sundance. It is now a
      crowded, confusing mess. It is not Hollywood. It is not Cannes. It is
      not a place to do business.

      There were lots of young producers who want to be the next Michael
      Moore. Ironically, they all want to make documentaries about misbehaving
      corporations, but want to get deals with the same bunch. If you are an
      executive ambushed by a film crew for something your company has done,
      counterattack by offering to buy their distribution rights.

      Book Reviews

      About Town By Ben Yagoda
      Another exhaustive book about The New Yorker Magazine. Yagoda went
      through donated archives and comes up with a detailed story about how a
      magazine took shape and fossilized. A lesson to those who want to build
      a brand in publishing.

      Rebuilt By Michael Chorost
      I’ve heard Chorost speak and read the first chapter of his book. He
      loses his hearing and gets some of it back with a cochlear implant. It
      is a revealing personal story about the merging of man and machine. I’m
      looking forward to the rest of the book, available in June 2005.

      DVD Reviews

      Jonny Quest: The First Season
      There’s been a lot of talk about SpongeBob Squarepants, but TVs original
      alternative family has to be seen to be believed. Here is a mixed race,
      same sex household run by professional people in the 1960s. I couldn’t
      help notice that Jonny has the same hair color as Race. Perhaps Dr.
      Quest spent a lot of time in the lab. Honestly, the episodes are tedious
      to watch in a row and some of the characters are outrageously
      politically incorrect.

      Movie Reviews

      Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
      Bill Murray under-acting with a large cast in an episodic dry comedy
      about the sea. The complex sets and fanciful creatures alternate with
      scenes of extreme violence. From the same people who bored you with
      Rushmore.

      DJ Cline Commentary 01-31-05
      Copyright 2005 All rights reserved.
    • DJ Cline
      DJ Cline Commentary 02-28-05 Copyright 2005 All rights reserved. I don’t fear the future, but I worry how to finance my own. There has been a great debate
      Message 2 of 29 , Feb 28, 2005
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        DJ Cline Commentary 02-28-05
        Copyright 2005 All rights reserved.

        I don’t fear the future, but I worry how to finance my own.

        There has been a great debate about privatizing Social Security, or as I
        call it, the Stockbroker Retirement Fund. I know many experienced
        investors and even they make mistakes. Studies have shown that because
        of all the money investment firms lost in the dot-com bust, many brokers
        will be forced retire to a small condo in Florida rather than a mansion
        at Hilton Head. In order to avoid this tragedy, millions of ordinary
        Americans who also lost money in the market will now be forced to put
        their own lipstick on their own pig. If you are disabled, you will be
        given some dental floss and must catch a wild boar and clean his tusks.
        The good news is that you will lots of company under the bridge… to keep
        warm.

        Architect Phillip Johnson is dead. He will spend eternity in a glass and
        steel box, just like the rest of us.

        Gonzo Journalist Hunter S. Thompson is dead, finally finding something
        that could kill the pain of being alive. More coherent in his prose than
        in person, he was part good old boy, part beatnik and a patriot in the
        wildest sense. After reading Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas you’ll never
        use drugs. Come to think of it, you may never go to Vegas.

        Playwright Arthur Miller is dead. Best known for Death Of A Salesman,
        where a man gives everything and gets nothing in return. His take on
        witch-hunts in The Crucible is particularly relevant today, with
        hysterical accusers targeting an innocent man to draw attention away
        from their own sins. His chain of dance studios will remain open.

        Book Reviews

        Hughes: The Private Diaries, Memos and Letters
        By Richard Hack
        If you liked the movie The Aviator but still have lots of questions,
        this book has the answers. In some ways it raises a shaved eyebrow. What
        were Howard Hughes and Cary Grant doing in a Guadalajara hotel room in
        1947? Hmmm…

        What Went Wrong: Western Impact and Middle Eastern Response
        By Bernard Lewis
        Apparently lots of things went wrong. Lewis covers everything from the
        status of women to the lack of clocks and printing presses. Some people
        in the region during the sixteenth century used to blame the Mongols for
        their misfortune. It is very good at documenting what went wrong but
        offers no answers about how to get it right.

        TV Reviews

        Battlestar Galactica
        Any version would be better than the original. This one barely clears
        the bar. I’m always annoyed when “the enemy looks like us”. It means
        they were too cheap or the actors rebelled against wearing goofy make up
        everyday for five years.

        The 4400
        Apparently every science fiction miniseries about abductions has to have
        a spooky little girl. The Spielberg series Taken had one too. I guess it
        goes back to Poltergeist and Firestarter. I find it annoying.

        Star Trek Enterprise
        I’m told it is being cancelled. It was a troubled premise from the
        start. Perhaps they need to copy reality shows to keep the franchise
        alive. Federation Fear Factor could make people eat Klingon food or
        volunteer for transporter equipment testing. Survivor: The Expanse could
        have people try to improvise their own shielding. The Apprentice Ferengi
        could be fun and profitable.

        Movie Reviews

        Oceans 12
        Everyone in the film has more fun than those watching it. Start
        scheduling a way to get out of Oceans 13.

        DJ Cline Commentary 02-28-05
        Copyright 2005 All rights reserved.
      • Wayne Radinsky
        ... Jef Raskin is also dead. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/28/business/28raskin.html ... What about the movie Battlestar Orgasmica ?
        Message 3 of 29 , Feb 28, 2005
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          DJ Cline wrote:
          >
          > DJ Cline Commentary 02-28-05
          > Copyright 2005 All rights reserved.
          >
          > Architect Phillip Johnson is dead. [...]
          >
          > Gonzo Journalist Hunter S. Thompson is dead, [...]
          >
          > Playwright Arthur Miller is dead. [...]

          Jef Raskin is also dead.

          http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/28/business/28raskin.html


          > TV Reviews
          >
          > Battlestar Galactica
          > Any version would be better than the original. This one barely clears
          > the bar. I'm always annoyed when "the enemy looks like us". It means
          > they were too cheap or the actors rebelled against wearing goofy make up
          > everyday for five years.

          What about the movie "Battlestar Orgasmica"?
        • Joschka Fisher
          Hughes: The Private Diaries, Memos and Letters By Richard Hack If you liked the movie The Aviator but still have lots of questions, this book has the answers.
          Message 4 of 29 , Mar 1, 2005
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            "Hughes: The Private Diaries, Memos and Letters
            By Richard Hack
            If you liked the movie The Aviator but still have lots
            of questions,
            this book has the answers. In some ways it raises a
            shaved eyebrow.
            What
            were Howard Hughes and Cary Grant doing in a
            Guadalajara hotel room in
            1947? Hmmm…"

            Thus spake joschka fischer:
            C'mon you already know "what!". After all, Howard
            Hughes hiring of Robert Mitchum because he had a
            "crush" on 'em is no secret even in the late 50's.
            Hughes was a switch hitter.

            As for Carey.. well that's what you get with Hollywood
            and celluloid heroes!

            Moreover you should be asking yourself what Carey
            Grant et a host of others were doing at the scene of
            the crime of the Sharon Tate murders and how the L.A.
            police had to evacuate him and a number of other stars
            out of there before the press got in.







            --- DJ Cline <djcline01@...> a écrit :
            >
            > DJ Cline Commentary 02-28-05
            > Copyright 2005 All rights reserved.
            >
            > I don’t fear the future, but I worry how to finance
            > my own.
            >
            > There has been a great debate about privatizing
            > Social Security, or as I
            > call it, the Stockbroker Retirement Fund. I know
            > many experienced
            > investors and even they make mistakes. Studies have
            > shown that because
            > of all the money investment firms lost in the
            > dot-com bust, many brokers
            > will be forced retire to a small condo in Florida
            > rather than a mansion
            > at Hilton Head. In order to avoid this tragedy,
            > millions of ordinary
            > Americans who also lost money in the market will now
            > be forced to put
            > their own lipstick on their own pig. If you are
            > disabled, you will be
            > given some dental floss and must catch a wild boar
            > and clean his tusks.
            > The good news is that you will lots of company under
            > the bridge… to keep
            > warm.
            >
            > Architect Phillip Johnson is dead. He will spend
            > eternity in a glass and
            > steel box, just like the rest of us.
            >
            > Gonzo Journalist Hunter S. Thompson is dead, finally
            > finding something
            > that could kill the pain of being alive. More
            > coherent in his prose than
            > in person, he was part good old boy, part beatnik
            > and a patriot in the
            > wildest sense. After reading Fear and Loathing In
            > Las Vegas you’ll never
            > use drugs. Come to think of it, you may never go to
            > Vegas.
            >
            > Playwright Arthur Miller is dead. Best known for
            > Death Of A Salesman,
            > where a man gives everything and gets nothing in
            > return. His take on
            > witch-hunts in The Crucible is particularly relevant
            > today, with
            > hysterical accusers targeting an innocent man to
            > draw attention away
            > from their own sins. His chain of dance studios will
            > remain open.
            >
            > Book Reviews
            >
            > Hughes: The Private Diaries, Memos and Letters
            > By Richard Hack
            > If you liked the movie The Aviator but still have
            > lots of questions,
            > this book has the answers. In some ways it raises a
            > shaved eyebrow. What
            > were Howard Hughes and Cary Grant doing in a
            > Guadalajara hotel room in
            > 1947? Hmmm…
            >
            > What Went Wrong: Western Impact and Middle Eastern
            > Response
            > By Bernard Lewis
            > Apparently lots of things went wrong. Lewis covers
            > everything from the
            > status of women to the lack of clocks and printing
            > presses. Some people
            > in the region during the sixteenth century used to
            > blame the Mongols for
            > their misfortune. It is very good at documenting
            > what went wrong but
            > offers no answers about how to get it right.
            >
            > TV Reviews
            >
            > Battlestar Galactica
            > Any version would be better than the original. This
            > one barely clears
            > the bar. I’m always annoyed when “the enemy looks
            > like us”. It means
            > they were too cheap or the actors rebelled against
            > wearing goofy make up
            > everyday for five years.
            >
            > The 4400
            > Apparently every science fiction miniseries about
            > abductions has to have
            > a spooky little girl. The Spielberg series Taken had
            > one too. I guess it
            > goes back to Poltergeist and Firestarter. I find it
            > annoying.
            >
            > Star Trek Enterprise
            > I’m told it is being cancelled. It was a troubled
            > premise from the
            > start. Perhaps they need to copy reality shows to
            > keep the franchise
            > alive. Federation Fear Factor could make people eat
            > Klingon food or
            > volunteer for transporter equipment testing.
            > Survivor: The Expanse could
            > have people try to improvise their own shielding.
            > The Apprentice Ferengi
            > could be fun and profitable.
            >
            > Movie Reviews
            >
            > Oceans 12
            > Everyone in the film has more fun than those
            > watching it. Start
            > scheduling a way to get out of Oceans 13.
            >
            > DJ Cline Commentary 02-28-05
            > Copyright 2005 All rights reserved.
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > ------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
            > --------------------~-->
            > In low income neighborhoods, 84% do not own
            > computers.
            > At Network for Good, help bridge the Digital Divide!
            >
            http://us.click.yahoo.com/EA3HyD/3MnJAA/79vVAA/sVPplB/TM
            >
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            >
            >
            > to:
            > bafuture-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
            > Yahoo! Groups Links
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            >
            > bafuture-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >






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          • DJ Cline
            DJ Cline Commentary 03-31-05 Copyright 2005 All rights reserved. General Motors is going to spend 80 million dollars to build 40 hydrogen-powered vehicles.
            Message 5 of 29 , Apr 1 10:27 AM
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              DJ Cline Commentary 03-31-05
              Copyright 2005 All rights reserved.

              General Motors is going to spend 80 million dollars to build 40
              hydrogen-powered vehicles. This works out to about two million dollars
              per vehicle, three million if you want a sunroof.

              On remotely related news, former GM executive John Delorean is dead. He
              is best known for spending millions of dollars developing a car that
              behaved oddly if driven faster than 85 miles an hour. Later models with
              white sidewalls and special locomotive adapter failed to attract new
              customers.

              Christopher Scott’s talk this month on stem cell research was well
              reasoned and informative. It won’t solve all of our problems, but if we
              don’t do it, we’ll never know what it does fix. I was particularly
              disturbed to hear about proposed federal legislation to punish people
              who might benefit from such research. Will they put them in stocks in
              the public square? Apparently genetically modifying a strawberry to the
              size of a tennis ball is acceptable, but helping people walk again is
              not.

              I’ve already talked a little about the Emerging Technology event in San
              Diego. There will be more about that later. I’ll skip talking about the
              extremely boring event in Las Vegas and move on to the Software as a
              Service (SaaS) event in Santa Clara. Gerry Mooney, IBM’s VP of Corporate
              Strategy says people want IT delivered like a utility. He also spoke
              about previous boom/bust cycles like railroads and telecommunications.

              Neil Gershenfeld of MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms will be talking
              about his FabLabs this month. I’ve seen his work and strongly recommend
              checking it out. Think of it as outsourcing carried to its logical
              extreme.

              Book Reviews

              The Man Who Warned America
              By Murray Weiss
              A biography of FBI agent John O’Neill killed in the World Trade Center.
              It turns out he was right about Osama Bin Laden. The book doesn’t pull
              any punches about his complicated personal life and gives a good look at
              his complicated professional career. Despite his flaws, he left a lot of
              friends behind; many of them will carry on his work.

              The Complete Enderby
              Anthony Burgess
              A writer writing about a writer is certainly interesting to this writer.
              It runs out of steam toward the end but is still recommended… if you are
              a writer.

              TV Reviews

              Alien Apocalypse
              Termites invade earth and band of survivors fight back with lots of
              green slime flying about. Watching a Bruce Campbell film is like being
              at a drive-in. To get the full effect, buy one of those big plasma
              screens, go out to your garage and mount it on the hood of your car.
              Campbell translates the B-movie sci-fi to cable better than anyone else.

              Lost
              This island has everything but a Starbucks. I’m betting for a Twilight
              Zone ending where they are all dreaming or dead. Despite all the
              characters and plot twists, it still easier to follow than its companion
              series Alias. The most interesting performance is Terry Quinn as the
              improbably named John Locke.

              Movie Reviews

              Sideways
              The most overrated film of the year. Many films today are about
              teenagers acting irresponsibly. Watching middle-aged people behave the
              same way is just sad. The dialog and acting are good, but the movie
              still manages to sneak in a car crash and other clichés.

              DJ Cline Commentary 03-31-05
              Copyright 2005 All rights reserved.
            • DJ Cline
              DJ Cline Commentary 04-30-05 Copyright 2005 All rights reserved. Airbus has new jet that can seat 800 passengers, or 1600 if you are flying on Delta. It will
              Message 6 of 29 , May 1, 2005
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                DJ Cline Commentary 04-30-05
                Copyright 2005 All rights reserved.

                Airbus has new jet that can seat 800 passengers, or 1600 if you are
                flying on Delta. It will have retail shops, creating the customer
                service nightmare of minimum wage workers with jet lag.

                The city of Palo Alto is converting its vacant office parks into condos.
                I’m not sure I’d pay a half a million dollars for a Java programmer’s
                former cubicle.

                The BART extension to San Jose is stalled. People will be living on
                other planets before you can take BART to San Jose. And… it will be
                cheaper to live there. Speaking of which, Burt Rutan of SpaceshipOne
                passed through town passing the hat. I wished him luck, but the future
                went to Boeing and not the Wright brothers.

                In Portland, Oregon, Mayor Potter would like to know what his own police
                are doing to fight terrorism. The Feds say no. Apparently you can fight
                city hall, you just can’t talk about it.

                Bruce Perens, Senior Scientist at Open Source Cyber Security Policy
                Research At George Washington University, thinks that the answers for
                open source will occur in the marketplace, with all the players making a
                drunkard’s walk toward a solution. Until that happens, I will remain a
                designated driver.

                In Redmond, Washington, Microsoft management is backing off support of a
                state gay rights bill because it doesn’t want a boycott by conservative
                religious groups. These groups should remember they need at least MS
                Access to keep track of all the people they don’t like.

                Book Reviews

                On Intelligence by Jeff Hawkins
                Mark Cameron White, Founder of White & Lee, sponsored a discussion of
                the book with panelists Konstantin Guericke. Steve Jurvetson and Barney
                Pell. After hearing their discussion, I read the book. It is an
                accessible text on artificial intelligence and will be as influential as
                Von Neumann’s or Turing’s papers.

                What If? Edited by Robert Cowley
                This is a hysterical historical collection of might-have-beens. It is an
                inspiring reference for science fiction writers working on alternative
                timelines. One of the most bizarre examples is Annie Oakley averting WWI
                by eliminating the Kaiser at a Wild West Show. Other books along the
                same theme are:

                Days of Destiny by James M. McPherson and Alan Brinkley
                It looks like a high school textbook but has some interesting dates.

                Great Turning Points in History by Louis Snyder
                Very traditional and needs updating.

                Great Inventions Edited by James Dyson and Robert Uhlig
                Inventions are turning points. This book has Roman Emperor Nero living
                BC instead of AD and other errors, so I wouldn’t use it as a primary
                reference.

                Heroes of American Invention by L. Sprague DeCamp
                Short portraits of inventors. Apparently it helped if you had a beard
                and contracted tuberculosis.

                Twenty Decisive Battles of the World by Joseph B. Mitchell and Edward
                Creasy
                Not every turning point involves warfare, but sadly many do.

                TV Reviews

                Star Trek Enterprise
                I can’t help watching the end of a forty-year train wreck. Green slave
                women take over the ship. Vulcan women in a parallel universe wear
                low-rise slacks. You can never wear enough leather, facial hair or
                tattoos. On the original ship a crewmember is found dead…wearing a red
                shirt. I’m howling through every episode.

                Movie Reviews

                Enron: The Smartest Guy in the Room
                This entertaining/depressing movie does not help the image of upper
                management. It has become a distinct genre of documentary I call Corp
                Noir (tm).

                Haiku Tunnel
                A neurotic writer gets job at a San Francisco law firm and hi-jinks
                ensue. I’m dying to know which law firm this really is.

                Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
                This is a story in search of a medium. It is better than the TV series
                of the early 1980s, but not much. Some of the graphics are astounding. I
                still like the original BBC radio episodes.

                Jump Tomorrow
                A romantic comedy with lots of slapstick in upstate New York. Offbeat
                boy meets girl plot with obvious ending.

                Shadow Magic
                An Englishman goes to China in the early twentieth century and opens the
                first movie theater. A sentimental and slow moving movie.

                DJ Cline Commentary 04-30-05
                Copyright 2005 All rights reserved.
              • Nanyun Zhang
                Hello, I am wondering whether anyone here has any idea about the negative effect of knowledge/information sharing on innovation. It sounds ridiculous, I know.
                Message 7 of 29 , May 1, 2005
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                  Hello,

                  I am wondering whether anyone here has any idea about the negative effect of knowledge/information sharing on innovation. It sounds ridiculous, I know. And I am not talking about the possible efficiency loss in the cooperation process, or the inherited problem due to heterogeneous representation languages among researchers. I want to know whether and how the information sharing can negatively influence research outcomes, more precisely, the innovated products. Could coordinated research reduce the novelty level? The innovation paths?

                  I am thinking of this because it is related to my current research on the university-to-industry technology transfer. I have a lot to catch up on this topic; and hope I can soon have better question to ask. And I really appreciate any help/reference from here.

                  Best,

                  Nanyun




                  ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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                  -Mark Twain
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                • Wayne Radinsky
                  ... I don t think I understand exactly what you are asking. There is plenty of evidence of the negative effect of information (overload). See: + The Clogging
                  Message 8 of 29 , May 1, 2005
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                    Nanyun Zhang:
                    > Hello,
                    >
                    > I am wondering whether anyone here has any idea about the
                    > negative effect of knowledge/information sharing on innovation.

                    I don't think I understand exactly what you are asking.

                    There is plenty of evidence of the negative effect of "information" (overload).

                    See:

                    + The Clogging Factor +
                    By John C. Dvorak. Clogs are rampant worldwide. Recently a
                    researcher, comparing the travel times in London through the
                    years, noticed a peculiar consistency. The amount of time it
                    took to go from point A to point B in horse-and-buggy days was
                    actually the same as after the introduction of the car.
                    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1770344,00.asp

                    + Understanding the Internet generation +
                    What do I mean by "borderline obsessive"? I mean that during my
                    own run through the admissions gauntlet, I personally observed
                    students at my high school logging in to their "admission
                    status" pages 5 or 6 times a day—even if the school announced
                    that decisions wouldn't be available for another week. It's
                    impossible to evaluate my generation's behavior according to
                    old standards or even according to common sense; I really
                    believe the Internet hardwires developing brains with a
                    click-happy sense of urgency that will not defer to reality. We
                    are addicted to information and seek it even when we know it's
                    not available.
                    http://blakeross.com/index.php?p=76

                    + Always On +
                    The New York Times is running a great article titled, The Lure
                    of Data: Is It Addictive?. The article is about me. Alright,
                    sure, I wasn't interviewed or anything, but I might as well
                    have been.
                    http://justinblanton.com/archives/2003/07/07/always-on

                    + Internet Anxiety Disorder Anyone? +
                    Broadband brings the world right to your laptop or your
                    handheld. With it comes information, and along with it comes
                    desire to stay connected, and on top of everything. Welcome to
                    Internet Anxiety Disorder, a malaise that is more problematic
                    than that blog fatigue.
                    http://www.gigaom.com/2005/04/08/internet-anxiety-disorder-anyone/

                    - - -

                    Of course, I'm giving you more links than you need
                    on the topic, so you can get overloaded with information
                    reading about information overload.

                    Last year scientists at Berkeley actually tried to
                    quantify the explosive growth in information.

                    + UC Berkeley professors measure exploding world production
                    of new information +
                    The study has, for the first time, used "terabytes" as a
                    common standard of measurement to compare the size of
                    information in all media, linking and interpreting research
                    reports from industry and academia. This standard makes it
                    possible to compare growth trends for different media using
                    one universal standard. The numbers in the UC Berkeley
                    report are mindboggling. The world's total yearly
                    production of print, film, optical, and magnetic content
                    would require roughly 1.5 billion gigabytes of storage.
                    This is the equivalent of 250 megabytes per person for each
                    man, woman, and child on earth.
                    http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2000/10/18_info.html

                    > It sounds ridiculous, I know. And I am not talking about the
                    > possible efficiency loss in the cooperation process, or the
                    > inherited problem due to heterogeneous representation languages
                    > among researchers. I want to know whether and how the
                    > information sharing can negatively influence research outcomes,
                    > more precisely, the innovated products. Could coordinated
                    > research reduce the novelty level? The innovation paths?

                    Ok, so information overload doesn't sound like what you are
                    asking about.

                    What you seem to be saying is that information sharing might
                    lower innovation by keeping people's thinking "in the box",
                    whereas left to their own devices, people might explore
                    unconventional ideas.

                    However, as far as I'm aware, sharing ideas (once the
                    noise/overload is filtered out) only leads to more and better
                    innovations. For example:

                    + Manufacturers learn from users' creativity +
                    When Lego Mindstorms made their debut in 1998 after a lengthy
                    product development cycle, Lego marketing officials were
                    surprised to discover that the robotic toys were popular not
                    only with teenagers but with adult hobbyists eager to improve
                    on them. The rise of such user-centered innovation is causing a
                    tectonic shift in the way companies develop and market
                    products. Eric von Hippel, professor at MIT's Sloan School of
                    Management, examines that shift in a new book, ''Democratizing
                    Innovation."
                    http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2005/04/17/manufacturers_learn_from_users_creativity/

                    - - -

                    If you want my opinion, I think other social factors, besides
                    simple sharing of knowledge or information, have a much greater
                    effect on creativity and innovation.

                    For example, risk-tolerance:

                    + Ghost of Y2K Haunts Business +
                    By John C. Dvorak. When I first started to develop this column,
                    I wanted to discuss the failure constant in high tech. You
                    know, like in the old days, when bubble memory was going to be
                    the next big thing. I've been waiting for someone to make a
                    fabulous blunder, and it's just not happening. No mistakes
                    means no progress.
                    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1780081,00.asp

                    There's other evidence that social stress and pressure negatively
                    affect creativity:

                    + Smart People Choke Under Pressure +
                    A new study finds that individuals with high working-memory
                    capacity, which normally allows them to excel, crack under
                    pressure and do worse on simple exams than when allowed to work
                    with no constraints. Those with less capacity score low, too,
                    but they tend not to be affected by pressure.
                    http://www.livescience.com/humanbiology/050209_under_pressure.html

                    Even the famed Apollo 13 incident, always used as an example of
                    how people can innovate under extreme pressure, turns out not to
                    be a such a good example -- the success of Apollo 13 was really
                    the result of extensive preparation beforehand while not under
                    pressure. See:

                    + Apollo 13, We Have a Solution +
                    Rather than hurried improvisation, saving the crew of Apollo 13
                    took years of preparation
                    http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/WEBONLY/wonews/apr05/0405napola.html

                    Of course, I could be wrong about this. If this contradicts
                    conventional wisdom, my experience at Microsoft is a direct
                    confirmation of it. Microsoft puts a lot of pressure on their
                    employees, yet Microsoft employees are consistently innovative.
                    They've made Microsoft the 3rd best company in the world, and
                    you can't argue with results like that.

                    - - -

                    Here's some more random knowledge/information sharing...
                    (signal? noise? I don't know.)

                    + The Gift Of ADHD? +
                    Two new books advance the controversial notion that
                    distractibility, poor impulse control and emotional sensitivity
                    have flip sides that are actually strengths—namely creativity,
                    energy and intuition. "A huge proportion of criminals have
                    ADHD. So do a lot of successful artists and CEOs. It's how you
                    manage it that determines whether it becomes a gift or a
                    curse."
                    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7102727/site/newsweek/

                    + Ourmedia is here +
                    Brewster Kahle's latest venture... he's the guy behind
                    archive.org. "We are in the midst of the greatest boon in
                    grassroots creativity in ages. Tools once available only to a
                    professional elite are now being taken up by everyday citizens.
                    Just as weblogs let millions of people become part of "the
                    media," so too are new tools empowering individuals to create
                    video, audio, playlists and other works of personal media and
                    to share them with a global audience."
                    http://www.newmediamusings.com/blog/2005/03/ourmedia_is_her.html

                    + Remixing Culture: An Interview with Lawrence Lessig +
                    What do you get when you mix P2P, inexpensive digital input
                    devices, open source software, easy editing tools, and
                    reasonably affordable bandwidth? Potentially, you get what
                    Lawrence Lessig calls remix culture: a rich, diverse outpouring
                    of creativity based on creativity.
                    http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/policy/2005/02/24/lessig.html

                    + About BRINQ +
                    BRINQ is a venture based on a single powerful belief: The
                    world's 4+ billion poor represent a huge untapped source of
                    innovation!
                    http://www.brinq.com/about/

                    + Wide Open: Open source methods and their future potential +
                    The rise of the Internet has made it possible for knowledge to
                    be created and shared in ways that emphasise its character as a
                    common good, rather than as something to be owned. This open
                    and collaborative approach to creating knowledge has produced
                    remarkable results, such as the Linux operating system and the
                    web-based encyclopaedia Wikipedia. In defiance of the
                    conventional wisdom of modern business, open source methods
                    have led the main underlying innovations around the Internet.
                    The future potential of these methods is such that they will
                    soon become commonplace in our lives. Just as it is now
                    impossible to think about getting things done without
                    considering the role of the Internet, so will it soon be
                    impossible to think about how to solve a large social problem
                    without considering the role of open methods.
                    http://www.demos.co.uk/catalogue/wideopen/




                    On 5/1/05, Nanyun Zhang <nanyun_zhang@...> wrote:
                    > Hello,
                    >
                    > I am wondering whether anyone here has any idea about the negative effect of knowledge/information sharing on innovation. It sounds ridiculous, I know. And I am not talking about the possible efficiency loss in the cooperation process, or the inherited problem due to heterogeneous representation languages among researchers. I want to know whether and how the information sharing can negatively influence research outcomes, more precisely, the innovated products. Could coordinated research reduce the novelty level? The innovation paths?
                    >
                    > I am thinking of this because it is related to my current research on the university-to-industry technology transfer. I have a lot to catch up on this topic; and hope I can soon have better question to ask. And I really appreciate any help/reference from here.
                    >
                    > Best,
                    >
                    > Nanyun
                    >
                    > ---------------------------------------------------------------------
                    > "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you did not do than those you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. Give yourself away to the sea of life."
                    > -Mark Twain
                    > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                    > __________________________________________________
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                    > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
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                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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                    > Yahoo! Groups Links
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                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                  • Joschka Fisher
                    zhang ! You still on this planet/ I did some research, Keynsian Ecomonics study and going through a couple of books. I need another 1 or 3 weeks but like to
                    Message 9 of 29 , May 1, 2005
                    • 0 Attachment
                      zhang"!

                      You still on this planet/

                      I did some research, Keynsian Ecomonics study and
                      going through a couple of books.

                      I need another 1 or 3 weeks but like to finish debate
                      on outsouring, Microeconomics of laying of,
                      macroeconomics of getting the lowest paid working
                      outside the usa and why Larry, (the skumbag) is the
                      death of Harvard.

                      Got an ear and 2 weeks listening time?

                      The death of Harvard via Larry also symbolic of
                      what's happening in silicon valley and across the us.

                      namely: loss of perspective for a few dollars more or
                      seeing the trees, nanostructure, ai...for not just the
                      forest but the weather?

                      Last entities to get this wrong were the dinosaurs.

                      joscha fischer: A paper in the works!



                      --- Nanyun Zhang <nanyun_zhang@...> a écrit :
                      > Hello,
                      >
                      > I am wondering whether anyone here has any idea
                      > about the negative effect of knowledge/information
                      > sharing on innovation. It sounds ridiculous, I know.
                      > And I am not talking about the possible efficiency
                      > loss in the cooperation process, or the inherited
                      > problem due to heterogeneous representation
                      > languages among researchers. I want to know whether
                      > and how the information sharing can negatively
                      > influence research outcomes, more precisely, the
                      > innovated products. Could coordinated research
                      > reduce the novelty level? The innovation paths?
                      >
                      > I am thinking of this because it is related to my
                      > current research on the university-to-industry
                      > technology transfer. I have a lot to catch up on
                      > this topic; and hope I can soon have better question
                      > to ask. And I really appreciate any help/reference
                      > from here.
                      >
                      > Best,
                      >
                      > Nanyun
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      ---------------------------------------------------------------------
                      > "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed
                      > by the things you did not do than those you did do.
                      > So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe
                      > harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.
                      > Explore. Dream. Discover. Give yourself away to the
                      > sea of life."
                      > -Mark Twain
                      >
                      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                      > __________________________________________________
                      > Do You Yahoo!?
                      > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam
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                      >
                      > [Non-text portions of this message have been
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                    • Nanyun Zhang
                      Many thanks for providing the information and sharing your insights with me. It will take me some time to digest them. I guess I misused the phrase
                      Message 10 of 29 , May 2, 2005
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Many thanks for providing the information and sharing your insights with me. It will take me some time to digest them. I guess I misused the phrase "information sharing". My question actually is: what is the negative side of inter-organizational research cooperation. Research cooperation can facilitate the information sharing and communication, which will lead to better results. But if sharing ideas (once the noise/overload is filtered out) only leads to more and better
                        innovations, we should see more inter-firm research coordination.

                        Okay, I should not mix two issues there: one is that individual research or research competition can bring firm monopoly profit... which is often used to explain the incentive firms have to do research separately. Another is my question, are there any other concerns that prevent firms from participating inter-firm research cooperation?

                        Again, thanks for your thoughts and attention.

                        Nanyun

                        Wayne Radinsky <waynerad@...> wrote:
                        Nanyun Zhang:
                        > Hello,
                        >
                        > I am wondering whether anyone here has any idea about the
                        > negative effect of knowledge/information sharing on innovation.

                        I don't think I understand exactly what you are asking.

                        There is plenty of evidence of the negative effect of "information" (overload).

                        See:

                        + The Clogging Factor +
                        By John C. Dvorak. Clogs are rampant worldwide. Recently a
                        researcher, comparing the travel times in London through the
                        years, noticed a peculiar consistency. The amount of time it
                        took to go from point A to point B in horse-and-buggy days was
                        actually the same as after the introduction of the car.
                        http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1770344,00.asp

                        + Understanding the Internet generation +
                        What do I mean by "borderline obsessive"? I mean that during my
                        own run through the admissions gauntlet, I personally observed
                        students at my high school logging in to their "admission
                        status" pages 5 or 6 times a day�even if the school announced
                        that decisions wouldn't be available for another week. It's
                        impossible to evaluate my generation's behavior according to
                        old standards or even according to common sense; I really
                        believe the Internet hardwires developing brains with a
                        click-happy sense of urgency that will not defer to reality. We
                        are addicted to information and seek it even when we know it's
                        not available.
                        http://blakeross.com/index.php?p=76

                        + Always On +
                        The New York Times is running a great article titled, The Lure
                        of Data: Is It Addictive?. The article is about me. Alright,
                        sure, I wasn't interviewed or anything, but I might as well
                        have been.
                        http://justinblanton.com/archives/2003/07/07/always-on

                        + Internet Anxiety Disorder Anyone? +
                        Broadband brings the world right to your laptop or your
                        handheld. With it comes information, and along with it comes
                        desire to stay connected, and on top of everything. Welcome to
                        Internet Anxiety Disorder, a malaise that is more problematic
                        than that blog fatigue.
                        http://www.gigaom.com/2005/04/08/internet-anxiety-disorder-anyone/

                        - - -

                        Of course, I'm giving you more links than you need
                        on the topic, so you can get overloaded with information
                        reading about information overload.

                        Last year scientists at Berkeley actually tried to
                        quantify the explosive growth in information.

                        + UC Berkeley professors measure exploding world production
                        of new information +
                        The study has, for the first time, used "terabytes" as a
                        common standard of measurement to compare the size of
                        information in all media, linking and interpreting research
                        reports from industry and academia. This standard makes it
                        possible to compare growth trends for different media using
                        one universal standard. The numbers in the UC Berkeley
                        report are mindboggling. The world's total yearly
                        production of print, film, optical, and magnetic content
                        would require roughly 1.5 billion gigabytes of storage.
                        This is the equivalent of 250 megabytes per person for each
                        man, woman, and child on earth.
                        http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2000/10/18_info.html

                        > It sounds ridiculous, I know. And I am not talking about the
                        > possible efficiency loss in the cooperation process, or the
                        > inherited problem due to heterogeneous representation languages
                        > among researchers. I want to know whether and how the
                        > information sharing can negatively influence research outcomes,
                        > more precisely, the innovated products. Could coordinated
                        > research reduce the novelty level? The innovation paths?

                        Ok, so information overload doesn't sound like what you are
                        asking about.

                        What you seem to be saying is that information sharing might
                        lower innovation by keeping people's thinking "in the box",
                        whereas left to their own devices, people might explore
                        unconventional ideas.

                        However, as far as I'm aware, sharing ideas (once the
                        noise/overload is filtered out) only leads to more and better
                        innovations. For example:

                        + Manufacturers learn from users' creativity +
                        When Lego Mindstorms made their debut in 1998 after a lengthy
                        product development cycle, Lego marketing officials were
                        surprised to discover that the robotic toys were popular not
                        only with teenagers but with adult hobbyists eager to improve
                        on them. The rise of such user-centered innovation is causing a
                        tectonic shift in the way companies develop and market
                        products. Eric von Hippel, professor at MIT's Sloan School of
                        Management, examines that shift in a new book, ''Democratizing
                        Innovation."
                        http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2005/04/17/manufacturers_learn_from_users_creativity/

                        - - -

                        If you want my opinion, I think other social factors, besides
                        simple sharing of knowledge or information, have a much greater
                        effect on creativity and innovation.

                        For example, risk-tolerance:

                        + Ghost of Y2K Haunts Business +
                        By John C. Dvorak. When I first started to develop this column,
                        I wanted to discuss the failure constant in high tech. You
                        know, like in the old days, when bubble memory was going to be
                        the next big thing. I've been waiting for someone to make a
                        fabulous blunder, and it's just not happening. No mistakes
                        means no progress.
                        http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1780081,00.asp

                        There's other evidence that social stress and pressure negatively
                        affect creativity:

                        + Smart People Choke Under Pressure +
                        A new study finds that individuals with high working-memory
                        capacity, which normally allows them to excel, crack under
                        pressure and do worse on simple exams than when allowed to work
                        with no constraints. Those with less capacity score low, too,
                        but they tend not to be affected by pressure.
                        http://www.livescience.com/humanbiology/050209_under_pressure.html

                        Even the famed Apollo 13 incident, always used as an example of
                        how people can innovate under extreme pressure, turns out not to
                        be a such a good example -- the success of Apollo 13 was really
                        the result of extensive preparation beforehand while not under
                        pressure. See:

                        + Apollo 13, We Have a Solution +
                        Rather than hurried improvisation, saving the crew of Apollo 13
                        took years of preparation
                        http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/WEBONLY/wonews/apr05/0405napola.html

                        Of course, I could be wrong about this. If this contradicts
                        conventional wisdom, my experience at Microsoft is a direct
                        confirmation of it. Microsoft puts a lot of pressure on their
                        employees, yet Microsoft employees are consistently innovative.
                        They've made Microsoft the 3rd best company in the world, and
                        you can't argue with results like that.

                        - - -

                        Here's some more random knowledge/information sharing...
                        (signal? noise? I don't know.)

                        + The Gift Of ADHD? +
                        Two new books advance the controversial notion that
                        distractibility, poor impulse control and emotional sensitivity
                        have flip sides that are actually strengths�namely creativity,
                        energy and intuition. "A huge proportion of criminals have
                        ADHD. So do a lot of successful artists and CEOs. It's how you
                        manage it that determines whether it becomes a gift or a
                        curse."
                        http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7102727/site/newsweek/

                        + Ourmedia is here +
                        Brewster Kahle's latest venture... he's the guy behind
                        archive.org. "We are in the midst of the greatest boon in
                        grassroots creativity in ages. Tools once available only to a
                        professional elite are now being taken up by everyday citizens.
                        Just as weblogs let millions of people become part of "the
                        media," so too are new tools empowering individuals to create
                        video, audio, playlists and other works of personal media and
                        to share them with a global audience."
                        http://www.newmediamusings.com/blog/2005/03/ourmedia_is_her.html

                        + Remixing Culture: An Interview with Lawrence Lessig +
                        What do you get when you mix P2P, inexpensive digital input
                        devices, open source software, easy editing tools, and
                        reasonably affordable bandwidth? Potentially, you get what
                        Lawrence Lessig calls remix culture: a rich, diverse outpouring
                        of creativity based on creativity.
                        http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/policy/2005/02/24/lessig.html

                        + About BRINQ +
                        BRINQ is a venture based on a single powerful belief: The
                        world's 4+ billion poor represent a huge untapped source of
                        innovation!
                        http://www.brinq.com/about/

                        + Wide Open: Open source methods and their future potential +
                        The rise of the Internet has made it possible for knowledge to
                        be created and shared in ways that emphasise its character as a
                        common good, rather than as something to be owned. This open
                        and collaborative approach to creating knowledge has produced
                        remarkable results, such as the Linux operating system and the
                        web-based encyclopaedia Wikipedia. In defiance of the
                        conventional wisdom of modern business, open source methods
                        have led the main underlying innovations around the Internet.
                        The future potential of these methods is such that they will
                        soon become commonplace in our lives. Just as it is now
                        impossible to think about getting things done without
                        considering the role of the Internet, so will it soon be
                        impossible to think about how to solve a large social problem
                        without considering the role of open methods.
                        http://www.demos.co.uk/catalogue/wideopen/




                        On 5/1/05, Nanyun Zhang wrote:
                        > Hello,
                        >
                        > I am wondering whether anyone here has any idea about the negative effect of knowledge/information sharing on innovation. It sounds ridiculous, I know. And I am not talking about the possible efficiency loss in the cooperation process, or the inherited problem due to heterogeneous representation languages among researchers. I want to know whether and how the information sharing can negatively influence research outcomes, more precisely, the innovated products. Could coordinated research reduce the novelty level? The innovation paths?
                        >
                        > I am thinking of this because it is related to my current research on the university-to-industry technology transfer. I have a lot to catch up on this topic; and hope I can soon have better question to ask. And I really appreciate any help/reference from here.
                        >
                        > Best,
                        >
                        > Nanyun
                        >
                        > ---------------------------------------------------------------------
                        > "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you did not do than those you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. Give yourself away to the sea of life."
                        > -Mark Twain
                        > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                        > __________________________________________________
                        > Do You Yahoo!?
                        > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
                        > http://mail.yahoo.com
                        >
                        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        >
                        >
                        > bafuture-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                        > Yahoo! Groups Links
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >



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                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • eleanor kruszewski
                        Your question seems to cover both a sense of why we don t see more, and if it is empirically a good thing. I ll take a crack from the corp
                        Message 11 of 29 , May 3, 2005
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Your question seems to cover both a sense of why we don't see more, and
                          if it is empirically a good thing. I'll take a crack from the corp
                          r&d/commercialization side (tech with big co's). Great things can be
                          done in shared innovation, like with that mandated by some foundations
                          in medicine, but that becomes a lot harder, esp with public companies.

                          Some organic impediments to intrafirm cooperation are culture, workload,
                          project synchroncity, applied aspects -- all driven by the unique
                          imperatives and strategy of each researchers' employer. Each firm wants
                          their research team to focus on innovating - but not just out of thin
                          air, but to enhance estab product lines and pursue "synergy". Then
                          there's the boring stuff of distance, "otherness" and lack of
                          teambuilding type exposure. Motivation can be hard too - comp is
                          usually driven from the employer and cooperation can even risk this.

                          Usually as a shared resource, these teams are supposed to interact
                          within the firm, helping here or there, and focusing their energies on
                          stuff that makes sense for the business as a whole. Lots of times that
                          doesn't happen, whether bc of fit, smart people railign against stupid
                          strat/dir/execution/lack of vision, the sheer fact that a great idea
                          doesn't fit with the wider business. This is business of innovation -
                          it can't be fully harnessed.

                          So from what I've seen the people who reach out to other firms are the
                          black sheep or disenfranchised. I tend to see intrafirm cooperation
                          occur when you've got things like rogue projects (good ideas that just
                          don't fit in), higher principles (do the right thing despite commercial
                          viability), and alienated researchers.

                          Now, we all like cooperation - but if you take the factors cited above,
                          where you need shared culture, focus, communication, team in any project
                          - that's even harder to do outside of normal comm/mgmt channels. Hard
                          means expensive, risky and unfun. Intrafirm cooperation cranks up the
                          agency costs - not just in mgmt and coord, but in all the legal/acct
                          aspects of monetizing the project. How fun are joint-ventures? Usually
                          pretty challenging.

                          What I do see are communities of practice, like this one, where people
                          get together outside the confines of their employers and noodle things
                          through. People build friendships to support themselves, but for me
                          it's been far more collegial than applied.

                          Good luck,
                          Eleanor

                          Nanyun Zhang wrote:
                          > Many thanks for providing the information and sharing your insights with me. It will take me some time to digest them. I guess I misused the phrase "information sharing". My question actually is: what is the negative side of inter-organizational research cooperation. Research cooperation can facilitate the information sharing and communication, which will lead to better results. But if sharing ideas (once the noise/overload is filtered out) only leads to more and better
                          > innovations, we should see more inter-firm research coordination.
                          >
                          > Okay, I should not mix two issues there: one is that individual research or research competition can bring firm monopoly profit... which is often used to explain the incentive firms have to do research separately. Another is my question, are there any other concerns that prevent firms from participating inter-firm research cooperation?
                          >
                          > Again, thanks for your thoughts and attention.
                          >
                          > Nanyun
                          >
                          > Wayne Radinsky <waynerad@...> wrote:
                          > Nanyun Zhang:
                          >
                          >>Hello,
                          >>
                          >>I am wondering whether anyone here has any idea about the
                          >>negative effect of knowledge/information sharing on innovation.
                          >
                          >
                          > I don't think I understand exactly what you are asking.
                          >
                          > There is plenty of evidence of the negative effect of "information" (overload).
                          >
                          > See:
                          >
                          > + The Clogging Factor +
                          > By John C. Dvorak. Clogs are rampant worldwide. Recently a
                          > researcher, comparing the travel times in London through the
                          > years, noticed a peculiar consistency. The amount of time it
                          > took to go from point A to point B in horse-and-buggy days was
                          > actually the same as after the introduction of the car.
                          > http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1770344,00.asp
                          >
                          > + Understanding the Internet generation +
                          > What do I mean by "borderline obsessive"? I mean that during my
                          > own run through the admissions gauntlet, I personally observed
                          > students at my high school logging in to their "admission
                          > status" pages 5 or 6 times a day—even if the school announced
                          > that decisions wouldn't be available for another week. It's
                          > impossible to evaluate my generation's behavior according to
                          > old standards or even according to common sense; I really
                          > believe the Internet hardwires developing brains with a
                          > click-happy sense of urgency that will not defer to reality. We
                          > are addicted to information and seek it even when we know it's
                          > not available.
                          > http://blakeross.com/index.php?p=76
                          >
                          > + Always On +
                          > The New York Times is running a great article titled, The Lure
                          > of Data: Is It Addictive?. The article is about me. Alright,
                          > sure, I wasn't interviewed or anything, but I might as well
                          > have been.
                          > http://justinblanton.com/archives/2003/07/07/always-on
                          >
                          > + Internet Anxiety Disorder Anyone? +
                          > Broadband brings the world right to your laptop or your
                          > handheld. With it comes information, and along with it comes
                          > desire to stay connected, and on top of everything. Welcome to
                          > Internet Anxiety Disorder, a malaise that is more problematic
                          > than that blog fatigue.
                          > http://www.gigaom.com/2005/04/08/internet-anxiety-disorder-anyone/
                          >
                          > - - -
                          >
                          > Of course, I'm giving you more links than you need
                          > on the topic, so you can get overloaded with information
                          > reading about information overload.
                          >
                          > Last year scientists at Berkeley actually tried to
                          > quantify the explosive growth in information.
                          >
                          > + UC Berkeley professors measure exploding world production
                          > of new information +
                          > The study has, for the first time, used "terabytes" as a
                          > common standard of measurement to compare the size of
                          > information in all media, linking and interpreting research
                          > reports from industry and academia. This standard makes it
                          > possible to compare growth trends for different media using
                          > one universal standard. The numbers in the UC Berkeley
                          > report are mindboggling. The world's total yearly
                          > production of print, film, optical, and magnetic content
                          > would require roughly 1.5 billion gigabytes of storage.
                          > This is the equivalent of 250 megabytes per person for each
                          > man, woman, and child on earth.
                          > http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2000/10/18_info.html
                          >
                          >
                          >>It sounds ridiculous, I know. And I am not talking about the
                          >>possible efficiency loss in the cooperation process, or the
                          >>inherited problem due to heterogeneous representation languages
                          >>among researchers. I want to know whether and how the
                          >>information sharing can negatively influence research outcomes,
                          >>more precisely, the innovated products. Could coordinated
                          >>research reduce the novelty level? The innovation paths?
                          >
                          >
                          > Ok, so information overload doesn't sound like what you are
                          > asking about.
                          >
                          > What you seem to be saying is that information sharing might
                          > lower innovation by keeping people's thinking "in the box",
                          > whereas left to their own devices, people might explore
                          > unconventional ideas.
                          >
                          > However, as far as I'm aware, sharing ideas (once the
                          > noise/overload is filtered out) only leads to more and better
                          > innovations. For example:
                          >
                          > + Manufacturers learn from users' creativity +
                          > When Lego Mindstorms made their debut in 1998 after a lengthy
                          > product development cycle, Lego marketing officials were
                          > surprised to discover that the robotic toys were popular not
                          > only with teenagers but with adult hobbyists eager to improve
                          > on them. The rise of such user-centered innovation is causing a
                          > tectonic shift in the way companies develop and market
                          > products. Eric von Hippel, professor at MIT's Sloan School of
                          > Management, examines that shift in a new book, ''Democratizing
                          > Innovation."
                          > http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2005/04/17/manufacturers_learn_from_users_creativity/
                          >
                          > - - -
                          >
                          > If you want my opinion, I think other social factors, besides
                          > simple sharing of knowledge or information, have a much greater
                          > effect on creativity and innovation.
                          >
                          > For example, risk-tolerance:
                          >
                          > + Ghost of Y2K Haunts Business +
                          > By John C. Dvorak. When I first started to develop this column,
                          > I wanted to discuss the failure constant in high tech. You
                          > know, like in the old days, when bubble memory was going to be
                          > the next big thing. I've been waiting for someone to make a
                          > fabulous blunder, and it's just not happening. No mistakes
                          > means no progress.
                          > http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1780081,00.asp
                          >
                          > There's other evidence that social stress and pressure negatively
                          > affect creativity:
                          >
                          > + Smart People Choke Under Pressure +
                          > A new study finds that individuals with high working-memory
                          > capacity, which normally allows them to excel, crack under
                          > pressure and do worse on simple exams than when allowed to work
                          > with no constraints. Those with less capacity score low, too,
                          > but they tend not to be affected by pressure.
                          > http://www.livescience.com/humanbiology/050209_under_pressure.html
                          >
                          > Even the famed Apollo 13 incident, always used as an example of
                          > how people can innovate under extreme pressure, turns out not to
                          > be a such a good example -- the success of Apollo 13 was really
                          > the result of extensive preparation beforehand while not under
                          > pressure. See:
                          >
                          > + Apollo 13, We Have a Solution +
                          > Rather than hurried improvisation, saving the crew of Apollo 13
                          > took years of preparation
                          > http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/WEBONLY/wonews/apr05/0405napola.html
                          >
                          > Of course, I could be wrong about this. If this contradicts
                          > conventional wisdom, my experience at Microsoft is a direct
                          > confirmation of it. Microsoft puts a lot of pressure on their
                          > employees, yet Microsoft employees are consistently innovative.
                          > They've made Microsoft the 3rd best company in the world, and
                          > you can't argue with results like that.
                          >
                          > - - -
                          >
                          > Here's some more random knowledge/information sharing...
                          > (signal? noise? I don't know.)
                          >
                          > + The Gift Of ADHD? +
                          > Two new books advance the controversial notion that
                          > distractibility, poor impulse control and emotional sensitivity
                          > have flip sides that are actually strengths—namely creativity,
                          > energy and intuition. "A huge proportion of criminals have
                          > ADHD. So do a lot of successful artists and CEOs. It's how you
                          > manage it that determines whether it becomes a gift or a
                          > curse."
                          > http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7102727/site/newsweek/
                          >
                          > + Ourmedia is here +
                          > Brewster Kahle's latest venture... he's the guy behind
                          > archive.org. "We are in the midst of the greatest boon in
                          > grassroots creativity in ages. Tools once available only to a
                          > professional elite are now being taken up by everyday citizens.
                          > Just as weblogs let millions of people become part of "the
                          > media," so too are new tools empowering individuals to create
                          > video, audio, playlists and other works of personal media and
                          > to share them with a global audience."
                          > http://www.newmediamusings.com/blog/2005/03/ourmedia_is_her.html
                          >
                          > + Remixing Culture: An Interview with Lawrence Lessig +
                          > What do you get when you mix P2P, inexpensive digital input
                          > devices, open source software, easy editing tools, and
                          > reasonably affordable bandwidth? Potentially, you get what
                          > Lawrence Lessig calls remix culture: a rich, diverse outpouring
                          > of creativity based on creativity.
                          > http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/policy/2005/02/24/lessig.html
                          >
                          > + About BRINQ +
                          > BRINQ is a venture based on a single powerful belief: The
                          > world's 4+ billion poor represent a huge untapped source of
                          > innovation!
                          > http://www.brinq.com/about/
                          >
                          > + Wide Open: Open source methods and their future potential +
                          > The rise of the Internet has made it possible for knowledge to
                          > be created and shared in ways that emphasise its character as a
                          > common good, rather than as something to be owned. This open
                          > and collaborative approach to creating knowledge has produced
                          > remarkable results, such as the Linux operating system and the
                          > web-based encyclopaedia Wikipedia. In defiance of the
                          > conventional wisdom of modern business, open source methods
                          > have led the main underlying innovations around the Internet.
                          > The future potential of these methods is such that they will
                          > soon become commonplace in our lives. Just as it is now
                          > impossible to think about getting things done without
                          > considering the role of the Internet, so will it soon be
                          > impossible to think about how to solve a large social problem
                          > without considering the role of open methods.
                          > http://www.demos.co.uk/catalogue/wideopen/
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > On 5/1/05, Nanyun Zhang wrote:
                          >
                          >>Hello,
                          >>
                          >>I am wondering whether anyone here has any idea about the negative effect of knowledge/information sharing on innovation. It sounds ridiculous, I know. And I am not talking about the possible efficiency loss in the cooperation process, or the inherited problem due to heterogeneous representation languages among researchers. I want to know whether and how the information sharing can negatively influence research outcomes, more precisely, the innovated products. Could coordinated research reduce the novelty level? The innovation paths?
                          >>
                          >>I am thinking of this because it is related to my current research on the university-to-industry technology transfer. I have a lot to catch up on this topic; and hope I can soon have better question to ask. And I really appreciate any help/reference from here.
                          >>
                          >>Best,
                          >>
                          >>Nanyun
                          >>
                          >>---------------------------------------------------------------------
                          >>"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you did not do than those you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. Give yourself away to the sea of life."
                          >>-Mark Twain
                          >>----------------------------------------------------------------------
                          >>__________________________________________________
                          >>Do You Yahoo!?
                          >>Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
                          >>http://mail.yahoo.com
                          >>
                          >>[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          >>
                          >>
                          >>bafuture-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                          >>Yahoo! Groups Links
                          >>
                          >>
                          >>
                          >>
                          >>
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > bafuture-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                          > Yahoo! Groups Links
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > __________________________________________________
                          > Do You Yahoo!?
                          > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
                          > http://mail.yahoo.com
                          >
                          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > bafuture-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                          > Yahoo! Groups Links
                          >
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                          >
                        • eleanor kruszewski
                          you know, I wrote intrafirm in here when I meant interfirm... my latin fails me today apologies eleanor
                          Message 12 of 29 , May 3, 2005
                          • 0 Attachment
                            you know, I wrote intrafirm in here when I meant interfirm... my latin
                            fails me today
                            apologies
                            eleanor

                            eleanor kruszewski wrote:
                            > Your question seems to cover both a sense of why we don't see more, and
                            > if it is empirically a good thing. I'll take a crack from the corp
                            > r&d/commercialization side (tech with big co's). Great things can be
                            > done in shared innovation, like with that mandated by some foundations
                            > in medicine, but that becomes a lot harder, esp with public companies.
                            >
                            > Some organic impediments to intrafirm cooperation are culture, workload,
                            > project synchroncity, applied aspects -- all driven by the unique
                            > imperatives and strategy of each researchers' employer. Each firm wants
                            > their research team to focus on innovating - but not just out of thin
                            > air, but to enhance estab product lines and pursue "synergy". Then
                            > there's the boring stuff of distance, "otherness" and lack of
                            > teambuilding type exposure. Motivation can be hard too - comp is
                            > usually driven from the employer and cooperation can even risk this.
                            >
                            > Usually as a shared resource, these teams are supposed to interact
                            > within the firm, helping here or there, and focusing their energies on
                            > stuff that makes sense for the business as a whole. Lots of times that
                            > doesn't happen, whether bc of fit, smart people railign against stupid
                            > strat/dir/execution/lack of vision, the sheer fact that a great idea
                            > doesn't fit with the wider business. This is business of innovation -
                            > it can't be fully harnessed.
                            >
                            > So from what I've seen the people who reach out to other firms are the
                            > black sheep or disenfranchised. I tend to see intrafirm cooperation
                            > occur when you've got things like rogue projects (good ideas that just
                            > don't fit in), higher principles (do the right thing despite commercial
                            > viability), and alienated researchers.
                            >
                            > Now, we all like cooperation - but if you take the factors cited above,
                            > where you need shared culture, focus, communication, team in any project
                            > - that's even harder to do outside of normal comm/mgmt channels. Hard
                            > means expensive, risky and unfun. Intrafirm cooperation cranks up the
                            > agency costs - not just in mgmt and coord, but in all the legal/acct
                            > aspects of monetizing the project. How fun are joint-ventures? Usually
                            > pretty challenging.
                            >
                            > What I do see are communities of practice, like this one, where people
                            > get together outside the confines of their employers and noodle things
                            > through. People build friendships to support themselves, but for me
                            > it's been far more collegial than applied.
                            >
                            > Good luck,
                            > Eleanor
                            >
                            > Nanyun Zhang wrote:
                            >
                            >> Many thanks for providing the information and sharing your insights
                            >> with me. It will take me some time to digest them. I guess I misused
                            >> the phrase "information sharing". My question actually is: what is the
                            >> negative side of inter-organizational research cooperation. Research
                            >> cooperation can facilitate the information sharing and communication,
                            >> which will lead to better results. But if sharing ideas (once the
                            >> noise/overload is filtered out) only leads to more and better
                            >> innovations, we should see more inter-firm research coordination.
                            >> Okay, I should not mix two issues there: one is that individual
                            >> research or research competition can bring firm monopoly profit...
                            >> which is often used to explain the incentive firms have to do research
                            >> separately. Another is my question, are there any other concerns that
                            >> prevent firms from participating inter-firm research cooperation?
                            >> Again, thanks for your thoughts and attention.
                            >>
                            >> Nanyun
                            >>
                            >> Wayne Radinsky <waynerad@...> wrote:
                            >> Nanyun Zhang:
                            >>
                            >>> Hello,
                            >>>
                            >>> I am wondering whether anyone here has any idea about the
                            >>> negative effect of knowledge/information sharing on innovation.
                            >>
                            >>
                            >>
                            >> I don't think I understand exactly what you are asking.
                            >>
                            >> There is plenty of evidence of the negative effect of "information"
                            >> (overload).
                            >>
                            >> See:
                            >>
                            >> + The Clogging Factor +
                            >> By John C. Dvorak. Clogs are rampant worldwide. Recently a
                            >> researcher, comparing the travel times in London through the
                            >> years, noticed a peculiar consistency. The amount of time it
                            >> took to go from point A to point B in horse-and-buggy days was
                            >> actually the same as after the introduction of the car.
                            >> http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1770344,00.asp
                            >>
                            >> + Understanding the Internet generation +
                            >> What do I mean by "borderline obsessive"? I mean that during my
                            >> own run through the admissions gauntlet, I personally observed
                            >> students at my high school logging in to their "admission
                            >> status" pages 5 or 6 times a day—even if the school announced
                            >> that decisions wouldn't be available for another week. It's
                            >> impossible to evaluate my generation's behavior according to
                            >> old standards or even according to common sense; I really
                            >> believe the Internet hardwires developing brains with a
                            >> click-happy sense of urgency that will not defer to reality. We
                            >> are addicted to information and seek it even when we know it's
                            >> not available.
                            >> http://blakeross.com/index.php?p=76
                            >>
                            >> + Always On +
                            >> The New York Times is running a great article titled, The Lure
                            >> of Data: Is It Addictive?. The article is about me. Alright,
                            >> sure, I wasn't interviewed or anything, but I might as well
                            >> have been.
                            >> http://justinblanton.com/archives/2003/07/07/always-on
                            >>
                            >> + Internet Anxiety Disorder Anyone? +
                            >> Broadband brings the world right to your laptop or your
                            >> handheld. With it comes information, and along with it comes
                            >> desire to stay connected, and on top of everything. Welcome to
                            >> Internet Anxiety Disorder, a malaise that is more problematic
                            >> than that blog fatigue.
                            >> http://www.gigaom.com/2005/04/08/internet-anxiety-disorder-anyone/
                            >>
                            >> - - -
                            >>
                            >> Of course, I'm giving you more links than you need
                            >> on the topic, so you can get overloaded with information
                            >> reading about information overload.
                            >>
                            >> Last year scientists at Berkeley actually tried to
                            >> quantify the explosive growth in information.
                            >>
                            >> + UC Berkeley professors measure exploding world production
                            >> of new information +
                            >> The study has, for the first time, used "terabytes" as a
                            >> common standard of measurement to compare the size of
                            >> information in all media, linking and interpreting research
                            >> reports from industry and academia. This standard makes it
                            >> possible to compare growth trends for different media using
                            >> one universal standard. The numbers in the UC Berkeley
                            >> report are mindboggling. The world's total yearly
                            >> production of print, film, optical, and magnetic content
                            >> would require roughly 1.5 billion gigabytes of storage.
                            >> This is the equivalent of 250 megabytes per person for each
                            >> man, woman, and child on earth.
                            >> http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2000/10/18_info.html
                            >>
                            >>
                            >>> It sounds ridiculous, I know. And I am not talking about the
                            >>> possible efficiency loss in the cooperation process, or the
                            >>> inherited problem due to heterogeneous representation languages
                            >>> among researchers. I want to know whether and how the
                            >>> information sharing can negatively influence research outcomes,
                            >>> more precisely, the innovated products. Could coordinated
                            >>> research reduce the novelty level? The innovation paths?
                            >>
                            >>
                            >>
                            >> Ok, so information overload doesn't sound like what you are
                            >> asking about.
                            >>
                            >> What you seem to be saying is that information sharing might
                            >> lower innovation by keeping people's thinking "in the box",
                            >> whereas left to their own devices, people might explore
                            >> unconventional ideas.
                            >>
                            >> However, as far as I'm aware, sharing ideas (once the
                            >> noise/overload is filtered out) only leads to more and better
                            >> innovations. For example:
                            >>
                            >> + Manufacturers learn from users' creativity +
                            >> When Lego Mindstorms made their debut in 1998 after a lengthy
                            >> product development cycle, Lego marketing officials were
                            >> surprised to discover that the robotic toys were popular not
                            >> only with teenagers but with adult hobbyists eager to improve
                            >> on them. The rise of such user-centered innovation is causing a
                            >> tectonic shift in the way companies develop and market
                            >> products. Eric von Hippel, professor at MIT's Sloan School of
                            >> Management, examines that shift in a new book, ''Democratizing
                            >> Innovation."
                            >> http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2005/04/17/manufacturers_learn_from_users_creativity/
                            >>
                            >>
                            >> - - -
                            >>
                            >> If you want my opinion, I think other social factors, besides
                            >> simple sharing of knowledge or information, have a much greater
                            >> effect on creativity and innovation.
                            >>
                            >> For example, risk-tolerance:
                            >>
                            >> + Ghost of Y2K Haunts Business +
                            >> By John C. Dvorak. When I first started to develop this column,
                            >> I wanted to discuss the failure constant in high tech. You
                            >> know, like in the old days, when bubble memory was going to be
                            >> the next big thing. I've been waiting for someone to make a
                            >> fabulous blunder, and it's just not happening. No mistakes
                            >> means no progress.
                            >> http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1780081,00.asp
                            >>
                            >> There's other evidence that social stress and pressure negatively
                            >> affect creativity:
                            >>
                            >> + Smart People Choke Under Pressure +
                            >> A new study finds that individuals with high working-memory
                            >> capacity, which normally allows them to excel, crack under
                            >> pressure and do worse on simple exams than when allowed to work
                            >> with no constraints. Those with less capacity score low, too,
                            >> but they tend not to be affected by pressure.
                            >> http://www.livescience.com/humanbiology/050209_under_pressure.html
                            >>
                            >> Even the famed Apollo 13 incident, always used as an example of
                            >> how people can innovate under extreme pressure, turns out not to
                            >> be a such a good example -- the success of Apollo 13 was really
                            >> the result of extensive preparation beforehand while not under
                            >> pressure. See:
                            >>
                            >> + Apollo 13, We Have a Solution +
                            >> Rather than hurried improvisation, saving the crew of Apollo 13
                            >> took years of preparation
                            >> http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/WEBONLY/wonews/apr05/0405napola.html
                            >>
                            >> Of course, I could be wrong about this. If this contradicts
                            >> conventional wisdom, my experience at Microsoft is a direct
                            >> confirmation of it. Microsoft puts a lot of pressure on their
                            >> employees, yet Microsoft employees are consistently innovative.
                            >> They've made Microsoft the 3rd best company in the world, and
                            >> you can't argue with results like that.
                            >>
                            >> - - -
                            >>
                            >> Here's some more random knowledge/information sharing...
                            >> (signal? noise? I don't know.)
                            >>
                            >> + The Gift Of ADHD? +
                            >> Two new books advance the controversial notion that
                            >> distractibility, poor impulse control and emotional sensitivity
                            >> have flip sides that are actually strengths—namely creativity,
                            >> energy and intuition. "A huge proportion of criminals have
                            >> ADHD. So do a lot of successful artists and CEOs. It's how you
                            >> manage it that determines whether it becomes a gift or a
                            >> curse."
                            >> http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7102727/site/newsweek/
                            >>
                            >> + Ourmedia is here +
                            >> Brewster Kahle's latest venture... he's the guy behind
                            >> archive.org. "We are in the midst of the greatest boon in
                            >> grassroots creativity in ages. Tools once available only to a
                            >> professional elite are now being taken up by everyday citizens.
                            >> Just as weblogs let millions of people become part of "the
                            >> media," so too are new tools empowering individuals to create
                            >> video, audio, playlists and other works of personal media and
                            >> to share them with a global audience."
                            >> http://www.newmediamusings.com/blog/2005/03/ourmedia_is_her.html
                            >>
                            >> + Remixing Culture: An Interview with Lawrence Lessig +
                            >> What do you get when you mix P2P, inexpensive digital input
                            >> devices, open source software, easy editing tools, and
                            >> reasonably affordable bandwidth? Potentially, you get what
                            >> Lawrence Lessig calls remix culture: a rich, diverse outpouring
                            >> of creativity based on creativity.
                            >> http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/policy/2005/02/24/lessig.html
                            >>
                            >> + About BRINQ +
                            >> BRINQ is a venture based on a single powerful belief: The
                            >> world's 4+ billion poor represent a huge untapped source of
                            >> innovation!
                            >> http://www.brinq.com/about/
                            >>
                            >> + Wide Open: Open source methods and their future potential +
                            >> The rise of the Internet has made it possible for knowledge to
                            >> be created and shared in ways that emphasise its character as a
                            >> common good, rather than as something to be owned. This open
                            >> and collaborative approach to creating knowledge has produced
                            >> remarkable results, such as the Linux operating system and the
                            >> web-based encyclopaedia Wikipedia. In defiance of the
                            >> conventional wisdom of modern business, open source methods
                            >> have led the main underlying innovations around the Internet.
                            >> The future potential of these methods is such that they will
                            >> soon become commonplace in our lives. Just as it is now
                            >> impossible to think about getting things done without
                            >> considering the role of the Internet, so will it soon be
                            >> impossible to think about how to solve a large social problem
                            >> without considering the role of open methods.
                            >> http://www.demos.co.uk/catalogue/wideopen/
                            >>
                            >>
                            >>
                            >>
                            >> On 5/1/05, Nanyun Zhang wrote:
                            >>
                            >>> Hello,
                            >>>
                            >>> I am wondering whether anyone here has any idea about the negative
                            >>> effect of knowledge/information sharing on innovation. It sounds
                            >>> ridiculous, I know. And I am not talking about the possible
                            >>> efficiency loss in the cooperation process, or the inherited problem
                            >>> due to heterogeneous representation languages among researchers. I
                            >>> want to know whether and how the information sharing can negatively
                            >>> influence research outcomes, more precisely, the innovated products.
                            >>> Could coordinated research reduce the novelty level? The innovation
                            >>> paths?
                            >>>
                            >>> I am thinking of this because it is related to my current research on
                            >>> the university-to-industry technology transfer. I have a lot to catch
                            >>> up on this topic; and hope I can soon have better question to ask.
                            >>> And I really appreciate any help/reference from here.
                            >>>
                            >>> Best,
                            >>>
                            >>> Nanyun
                            >>>
                            >>> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
                            >>> "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things
                            >>> you did not do than those you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail
                            >>> away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.
                            >>> Explore. Dream. Discover. Give yourself away to the sea of life."
                            >>> -Mark Twain
                            >>> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                            >>> __________________________________________________
                            >>> Do You Yahoo!?
                            >>> Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
                            >>> http://mail.yahoo.com
                            >>>
                            >>> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            >>>
                            >>>
                            >>> bafuture-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                            >>> Yahoo! Groups Links
                            >>>
                            >>>
                            >>>
                            >>>
                            >>>
                            >>
                            >>
                            >>
                            >>
                            >> bafuture-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com Yahoo! Groups Links
                            >>
                            >>
                            >>
                            >>
                            >>
                            >> __________________________________________________
                            >> Do You Yahoo!?
                            >> Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
                            >> http://mail.yahoo.com
                            >> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            >>
                            >>
                            >>
                            >> ------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
                            >> --------------------~--> In low income neighborhoods, 84% do not own
                            >> computers.
                            >> At Network for Good, help bridge the Digital Divide!
                            >> http://us.click.yahoo.com/EA3HyD/3MnJAA/79vVAA/sVPplB/TM
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                            >
                          • Nanyun Zhang
                            Thanks for sharing your knowledgeable analysis. It seems that it is very challenging to incentivize the co-workers in an interfirm research project and much of
                            Message 13 of 29 , May 3, 2005
                            • 0 Attachment
                              Thanks for sharing your knowledgeable analysis. It seems that it is very challenging to incentivize the co-workers in an interfirm research project and much of creativity and energy can dissipate in the coordination process. From this point of view, research joint venture will be established only when the increased productivity in innovation due to knowledge sharing is high enough to offset the cooperation cost. That makes sense to me.

                              Also thanks for mentioning the business of innovation. You pointed a direction that I will search further for related books or papers.

                              Nanyun

                              eleanor kruszewski <eleanor@...> wrote:
                              Your question seems to cover both a sense of why we don't see more, and
                              if it is empirically a good thing. I'll take a crack from the corp
                              r&d/commercialization side (tech with big co's). Great things can be
                              done in shared innovation, like with that mandated by some foundations
                              in medicine, but that becomes a lot harder, esp with public companies.

                              Some organic impediments to intrafirm cooperation are culture, workload,
                              project synchroncity, applied aspects -- all driven by the unique
                              imperatives and strategy of each researchers' employer. Each firm wants
                              their research team to focus on innovating - but not just out of thin
                              air, but to enhance estab product lines and pursue "synergy". Then
                              there's the boring stuff of distance, "otherness" and lack of
                              teambuilding type exposure. Motivation can be hard too - comp is
                              usually driven from the employer and cooperation can even risk this.

                              Usually as a shared resource, these teams are supposed to interact
                              within the firm, helping here or there, and focusing their energies on
                              stuff that makes sense for the business as a whole. Lots of times that
                              doesn't happen, whether bc of fit, smart people railign against stupid
                              strat/dir/execution/lack of vision, the sheer fact that a great idea
                              doesn't fit with the wider business. This is business of innovation -
                              it can't be fully harnessed.

                              So from what I've seen the people who reach out to other firms are the
                              black sheep or disenfranchised. I tend to see intrafirm cooperation
                              occur when you've got things like rogue projects (good ideas that just
                              don't fit in), higher principles (do the right thing despite commercial
                              viability), and alienated researchers.

                              Now, we all like cooperation - but if you take the factors cited above,
                              where you need shared culture, focus, communication, team in any project
                              - that's even harder to do outside of normal comm/mgmt channels. Hard
                              means expensive, risky and unfun. Intrafirm cooperation cranks up the
                              agency costs - not just in mgmt and coord, but in all the legal/acct
                              aspects of monetizing the project. How fun are joint-ventures? Usually
                              pretty challenging.

                              What I do see are communities of practice, like this one, where people
                              get together outside the confines of their employers and noodle things
                              through. People build friendships to support themselves, but for me
                              it's been far more collegial than applied.

                              Good luck,
                              Eleanor

                              Nanyun Zhang wrote:
                              > Many thanks for providing the information and sharing your insights with me. It will take me some time to digest them. I guess I misused the phrase "information sharing". My question actually is: what is the negative side of inter-organizational research cooperation. Research cooperation can facilitate the information sharing and communication, which will lead to better results. But if sharing ideas (once the noise/overload is filtered out) only leads to more and better
                              > innovations, we should see more inter-firm research coordination.
                              >
                              > Okay, I should not mix two issues there: one is that individual research or research competition can bring firm monopoly profit... which is often used to explain the incentive firms have to do research separately. Another is my question, are there any other concerns that prevent firms from participating inter-firm research cooperation?
                              >
                              > Again, thanks for your thoughts and attention.
                              >
                              > Nanyun
                              >
                              > Wayne Radinsky wrote:
                              > Nanyun Zhang:
                              >
                              >>Hello,
                              >>
                              >>I am wondering whether anyone here has any idea about the
                              >>negative effect of knowledge/information sharing on innovation.
                              >
                              >
                              > I don't think I understand exactly what you are asking.
                              >
                              > There is plenty of evidence of the negative effect of "information" (overload).
                              >
                              > See:
                              >
                              > + The Clogging Factor +
                              > By John C. Dvorak. Clogs are rampant worldwide. Recently a
                              > researcher, comparing the travel times in London through the
                              > years, noticed a peculiar consistency. The amount of time it
                              > took to go from point A to point B in horse-and-buggy days was
                              > actually the same as after the introduction of the car.
                              > http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1770344,00.asp
                              >
                              > + Understanding the Internet generation +
                              > What do I mean by "borderline obsessive"? I mean that during my
                              > own run through the admissions gauntlet, I personally observed
                              > students at my high school logging in to their "admission
                              > status" pages 5 or 6 times a day�even if the school announced
                              > that decisions wouldn't be available for another week. It's
                              > impossible to evaluate my generation's behavior according to
                              > old standards or even according to common sense; I really
                              > believe the Internet hardwires developing brains with a
                              > click-happy sense of urgency that will not defer to reality. We
                              > are addicted to information and seek it even when we know it's
                              > not available.
                              > http://blakeross.com/index.php?p=76
                              >
                              > + Always On +
                              > The New York Times is running a great article titled, The Lure
                              > of Data: Is It Addictive?. The article is about me. Alright,
                              > sure, I wasn't interviewed or anything, but I might as well
                              > have been.
                              > http://justinblanton.com/archives/2003/07/07/always-on
                              >
                              > + Internet Anxiety Disorder Anyone? +
                              > Broadband brings the world right to your laptop or your
                              > handheld. With it comes information, and along with it comes
                              > desire to stay connected, and on top of everything. Welcome to
                              > Internet Anxiety Disorder, a malaise that is more problematic
                              > than that blog fatigue.
                              > http://www.gigaom.com/2005/04/08/internet-anxiety-disorder-anyone/
                              >
                              > - - -
                              >
                              > Of course, I'm giving you more links than you need
                              > on the topic, so you can get overloaded with information
                              > reading about information overload.
                              >
                              > Last year scientists at Berkeley actually tried to
                              > quantify the explosive growth in information.
                              >
                              > + UC Berkeley professors measure exploding world production
                              > of new information +
                              > The study has, for the first time, used "terabytes" as a
                              > common standard of measurement to compare the size of
                              > information in all media, linking and interpreting research
                              > reports from industry and academia. This standard makes it
                              > possible to compare growth trends for different media using
                              > one universal standard. The numbers in the UC Berkeley
                              > report are mindboggling. The world's total yearly
                              > production of print, film, optical, and magnetic content
                              > would require roughly 1.5 billion gigabytes of storage.
                              > This is the equivalent of 250 megabytes per person for each
                              > man, woman, and child on earth.
                              > http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2000/10/18_info.html
                              >
                              >
                              >>It sounds ridiculous, I know. And I am not talking about the
                              >>possible efficiency loss in the cooperation process, or the
                              >>inherited problem due to heterogeneous representation languages
                              >>among researchers. I want to know whether and how the
                              >>information sharing can negatively influence research outcomes,
                              >>more precisely, the innovated products. Could coordinated
                              >>research reduce the novelty level? The innovation paths?
                              >
                              >
                              > Ok, so information overload doesn't sound like what you are
                              > asking about.
                              >
                              > What you seem to be saying is that information sharing might
                              > lower innovation by keeping people's thinking "in the box",
                              > whereas left to their own devices, people might explore
                              > unconventional ideas.
                              >
                              > However, as far as I'm aware, sharing ideas (once the
                              > noise/overload is filtered out) only leads to more and better
                              > innovations. For example:
                              >
                              > + Manufacturers learn from users' creativity +
                              > When Lego Mindstorms made their debut in 1998 after a lengthy
                              > product development cycle, Lego marketing officials were
                              > surprised to discover that the robotic toys were popular not
                              > only with teenagers but with adult hobbyists eager to improve
                              > on them. The rise of such user-centered innovation is causing a
                              > tectonic shift in the way companies develop and market
                              > products. Eric von Hippel, professor at MIT's Sloan School of
                              > Management, examines that shift in a new book, ''Democratizing
                              > Innovation."
                              > http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2005/04/17/manufacturers_learn_from_users_creativity/
                              >
                              > - - -
                              >
                              > If you want my opinion, I think other social factors, besides
                              > simple sharing of knowledge or information, have a much greater
                              > effect on creativity and innovation.
                              >
                              > For example, risk-tolerance:
                              >
                              > + Ghost of Y2K Haunts Business +
                              > By John C. Dvorak. When I first started to develop this column,
                              > I wanted to discuss the failure constant in high tech. You
                              > know, like in the old days, when bubble memory was going to be
                              > the next big thing. I've been waiting for someone to make a
                              > fabulous blunder, and it's just not happening. No mistakes
                              > means no progress.
                              > http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1780081,00.asp
                              >
                              > There's other evidence that social stress and pressure negatively
                              > affect creativity:
                              >
                              > + Smart People Choke Under Pressure +
                              > A new study finds that individuals with high working-memory
                              > capacity, which normally allows them to excel, crack under
                              > pressure and do worse on simple exams than when allowed to work
                              > with no constraints. Those with less capacity score low, too,
                              > but they tend not to be affected by pressure.
                              > http://www.livescience.com/humanbiology/050209_under_pressure.html
                              >
                              > Even the famed Apollo 13 incident, always used as an example of
                              > how people can innovate under extreme pressure, turns out not to
                              > be a such a good example -- the success of Apollo 13 was really
                              > the result of extensive preparation beforehand while not under
                              > pressure. See:
                              >
                              > + Apollo 13, We Have a Solution +
                              > Rather than hurried improvisation, saving the crew of Apollo 13
                              > took years of preparation
                              > http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/WEBONLY/wonews/apr05/0405napola.html
                              >
                              > Of course, I could be wrong about this. If this contradicts
                              > conventional wisdom, my experience at Microsoft is a direct
                              > confirmation of it. Microsoft puts a lot of pressure on their
                              > employees, yet Microsoft employees are consistently innovative.
                              > They've made Microsoft the 3rd best company in the world, and
                              > you can't argue with results like that.
                              >
                              > - - -
                              >
                              > Here's some more random knowledge/information sharing...
                              > (signal? noise? I don't know.)
                              >
                              > + The Gift Of ADHD? +
                              > Two new books advance the controversial notion that
                              > distractibility, poor impulse control and emotional sensitivity
                              > have flip sides that are actually strengths�namely creativity,
                              > energy and intuition. "A huge proportion of criminals have
                              > ADHD. So do a lot of successful artists and CEOs. It's how you
                              > manage it that determines whether it becomes a gift or a
                              > curse."
                              > http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7102727/site/newsweek/
                              >
                              > + Ourmedia is here +
                              > Brewster Kahle's latest venture... he's the guy behind
                              > archive.org. "We are in the midst of the greatest boon in
                              > grassroots creativity in ages. Tools once available only to a
                              > professional elite are now being taken up by everyday citizens.
                              > Just as weblogs let millions of people become part of "the
                              > media," so too are new tools empowering individuals to create
                              > video, audio, playlists and other works of personal media and
                              > to share them with a global audience."
                              > http://www.newmediamusings.com/blog/2005/03/ourmedia_is_her.html
                              >
                              > + Remixing Culture: An Interview with Lawrence Lessig +
                              > What do you get when you mix P2P, inexpensive digital input
                              > devices, open source software, easy editing tools, and
                              > reasonably affordable bandwidth? Potentially, you get what
                              > Lawrence Lessig calls remix culture: a rich, diverse outpouring
                              > of creativity based on creativity.
                              > http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/policy/2005/02/24/lessig.html
                              >
                              > + About BRINQ +
                              > BRINQ is a venture based on a single powerful belief: The
                              > world's 4+ billion poor represent a huge untapped source of
                              > innovation!
                              > http://www.brinq.com/about/
                              >
                              > + Wide Open: Open source methods and their future potential +
                              > The rise of the Internet has made it possible for knowledge to
                              > be created and shared in ways that emphasise its character as a
                              > common good, rather than as something to be owned. This open
                              > and collaborative approach to creating knowledge has produced
                              > remarkable results, such as the Linux operating system and the
                              > web-based encyclopaedia Wikipedia. In defiance of the
                              > conventional wisdom of modern business, open source methods
                              > have led the main underlying innovations around the Internet.
                              > The future potential of these methods is such that they will
                              > soon become commonplace in our lives. Just as it is now
                              > impossible to think about getting things done without
                              > considering the role of the Internet, so will it soon be
                              > impossible to think about how to solve a large social problem
                              > without considering the role of open methods.
                              > http://www.demos.co.uk/catalogue/wideopen/
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > On 5/1/05, Nanyun Zhang wrote:
                              >
                              >>Hello,
                              >>
                              >>I am wondering whether anyone here has any idea about the negative effect of knowledge/information sharing on innovation. It sounds ridiculous, I know. And I am not talking about the possible efficiency loss in the cooperation process, or the inherited problem due to heterogeneous representation languages among researchers. I want to know whether and how the information sharing can negatively influence research outcomes, more precisely, the innovated products. Could coordinated research reduce the novelty level? The innovation paths?
                              >>
                              >>I am thinking of this because it is related to my current research on the university-to-industry technology transfer. I have a lot to catch up on this topic; and hope I can soon have better question to ask. And I really appreciate any help/reference from here.
                              >>
                              >>Best,
                              >>
                              >>Nanyun
                              >>
                              >>---------------------------------------------------------------------
                              >>"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you did not do than those you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. Give yourself away to the sea of life."
                              >>-Mark Twain
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                              >>Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
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                              >>
                              >>
                              >>bafuture-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                              >>Yahoo! Groups Links
                              >>
                              >>
                              >>
                              >>
                              >>
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > bafuture-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                              > Yahoo! Groups Links
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > __________________________________________________
                              > Do You Yahoo!?
                              > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
                              > http://mail.yahoo.com
                              >
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                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > bafuture-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                              > Yahoo! Groups Links
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >


                              ---------------------------------------------------------------------
                              "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you did not do than those you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. Give yourself away to the sea of life."
                              -Mark Twain
                              ----------------------------------------------------------------------
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                              Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
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                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • Wayne Radinsky
                              ... Here s a research article that may help you. + Collective Intelligence Quanitifed for Computer-Mediated Group Problem Solving +
                              Message 14 of 29 , May 3, 2005
                              • 0 Attachment
                                On 5/2/05, Nanyun Zhang <nanyun_zhang@...> wrote:
                                > Many thanks for providing the information and sharing your
                                > insights with me. It will take me some time to digest them. I
                                > guess I misused the phrase "information sharing". My question
                                > actually is: what is the negative side of inter-organizational
                                > research cooperation. Research cooperation can facilitate the
                                > information sharing and communication, which will lead to
                                > better results. But if sharing ideas (once the noise/overload
                                > is filtered out) only leads to more and better innovations, we
                                > should see more inter-firm research coordination.

                                Here's a research article that may help you.

                                + Collective Intelligence Quanitifed for Computer-Mediated Group
                                Problem Solving +
                                http://www.soe.ucsc.edu/research/reports/ucsc-crl-02-28.pdf

                                > Okay, I should not mix two issues there: one is that individual
                                > research or research competition can bring firm monopoly
                                > profit... which is often used to explain the incentive firms
                                > have to do research separately. Another is my question, are
                                > there any other concerns that prevent firms from participating
                                > inter-firm research cooperation?

                                In order to model this properly, I think you will have to take
                                competition into account. I learned at Microsoft that the
                                benefits of competition outweigh the benefits of cooperation.
                                Microsoft uses a competitive performance review system, as do
                                most of the top companies in the world including Cisco, Dell,
                                and General Electric. The term used in the press for this
                                practice is "rank and fire" so if you Google the phrase "rank
                                and fire" you'll find a lot of articles.

                                The drawback of such a system is obvious if you stop and think
                                about it: people, once they realize they are being evaluated
                                this way, change their behavior. In such an environment, people
                                won't cooperate with anyone unless the cooperation contributes
                                directly to the person's performance review goals, so
                                cooperation that may benefit the company as a whole is not done.
                                It becomes imperative that people master the art of
                                self-promotion, to make themselves look as valuable as possible,
                                while sabbotaging the image of their coworkers. It becomes more
                                important to pin the blame for every problem that occurs on
                                someone else, than to actually understand what went wrong and
                                learn from it. Because you know, if there's a problem, someone's
                                going to get fired over it.

                                But the system has benefits, too: people work extremely hard,
                                and become extremely focused on practical solutions: what must
                                be done now to get this product finished, shipped and bringing
                                in sales. If you know you're fired if you miss a deadline, or
                                even if you hit your deadline but everone else hits theirs and
                                you appear slower than your peers to management, you become
                                extremely focused on what you need to get done. So productivity
                                goes through the roof.

                                And it turns out that the benefits of competition win. General
                                Electric is the #1 company and Microsoft is #3. Actually
                                Microsoft was #2 until the price of oil went up and pushed
                                ExxonMobil into the #2 slot. These companies are walking,
                                talking proof that when it comes to actual *results*,
                                competition *works*.

                                Now you ask the question, are there any other concerns that
                                prevent firms from participating inter-firm research
                                cooperation? I've been talking about competition within a firm,
                                but it's just as true across firms. So yes, there are other
                                concerns: the concern that the firm you are cooperating with in
                                your inter-firm research cooperation will stab you in the back.
                                How would they do that? By stealing all your inventions and
                                using them to put you out of business!

                                In our competitive society where competition for money is *the*
                                central organizing principle, this behavior is perfectly
                                rational. In fact "economically rational" is exactly the term I
                                would expect a professional economist to use when describing
                                this sort of behavior.

                                And when it comes to innovation, nothing beats the ultimate
                                competition -- war. The TCP/IP protocol you are using to read
                                this message was the result of military research. The list of
                                inventions that are the result of war research could go on for
                                days -- canned food, walkie-talkies, nylon, radar, synthetic
                                rubber... I couldn't hope to think of everything. Even the money
                                system you use to buy everything you buy is the result of
                                centuries of warfare -- because war is insanely expensive and
                                different societies competeted to develop monetary systems that
                                could finance their wars. So the monetary system we have today
                                is the end result of a war-based natural selection process of
                                monetary systems. Warfare is really the foundation of modern
                                society.

                                This is not by accident. Life is a process of evolution by
                                natural selection, and war, with its ultimate stakes of life and
                                death, is the ultimate selection function. Innovation and
                                creativity are evolutionary processes, which get turbocharged by
                                competition and war.

                                > Again, thanks for your thoughts and attention.

                                Yes, well, thanks for listening to all my crazy thoughts and ideas, Nanyun.
                                :)




                                On 5/2/05, Nanyun Zhang <nanyun_zhang@...> wrote:
                                > Many thanks for providing the information and sharing your insights with me. It will take me some time to digest them. I guess I misused the phrase "information sharing". My question actually is: what is the negative side of inter-organizational research cooperation. Research cooperation can facilitate the information sharing and communication, which will lead to better results. But if sharing ideas (once the noise/overload is filtered out) only leads to more and better
                                > innovations, we should see more inter-firm research coordination.
                                >
                                > Okay, I should not mix two issues there: one is that individual research or research competition can bring firm monopoly profit... which is often used to explain the incentive firms have to do research separately. Another is my question, are there any other concerns that prevent firms from participating inter-firm research cooperation?
                                >
                                > Again, thanks for your thoughts and attention.
                                >
                                > Nanyun
                                >
                                > Wayne Radinsky <waynerad@...> wrote:
                                > Nanyun Zhang:
                                > > Hello,
                                > >
                                > > I am wondering whether anyone here has any idea about the
                                > > negative effect of knowledge/information sharing on innovation.
                                >
                                > I don't think I understand exactly what you are asking.
                                >
                                > There is plenty of evidence of the negative effect of "information" (overload).
                                >
                                > See:
                                >
                                > + The Clogging Factor +
                                > By John C. Dvorak. Clogs are rampant worldwide. Recently a
                                > researcher, comparing the travel times in London through the
                                > years, noticed a peculiar consistency. The amount of time it
                                > took to go from point A to point B in horse-and-buggy days was
                                > actually the same as after the introduction of the car.
                                > http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1770344,00.asp
                                >
                                > + Understanding the Internet generation +
                                > What do I mean by "borderline obsessive"? I mean that during my
                                > own run through the admissions gauntlet, I personally observed
                                > students at my high school logging in to their "admission
                                > status" pages 5 or 6 times a day—even if the school announced
                                > that decisions wouldn't be available for another week. It's
                                > impossible to evaluate my generation's behavior according to
                                > old standards or even according to common sense; I really
                                > believe the Internet hardwires developing brains with a
                                > click-happy sense of urgency that will not defer to reality. We
                                > are addicted to information and seek it even when we know it's
                                > not available.
                                > http://blakeross.com/index.php?p=76
                                >
                                > + Always On +
                                > The New York Times is running a great article titled, The Lure
                                > of Data: Is It Addictive?. The article is about me. Alright,
                                > sure, I wasn't interviewed or anything, but I might as well
                                > have been.
                                > http://justinblanton.com/archives/2003/07/07/always-on
                                >
                                > + Internet Anxiety Disorder Anyone? +
                                > Broadband brings the world right to your laptop or your
                                > handheld. With it comes information, and along with it comes
                                > desire to stay connected, and on top of everything. Welcome to
                                > Internet Anxiety Disorder, a malaise that is more problematic
                                > than that blog fatigue.
                                > http://www.gigaom.com/2005/04/08/internet-anxiety-disorder-anyone/
                                >
                                > - - -
                                >
                                > Of course, I'm giving you more links than you need
                                > on the topic, so you can get overloaded with information
                                > reading about information overload.
                                >
                                > Last year scientists at Berkeley actually tried to
                                > quantify the explosive growth in information.
                                >
                                > + UC Berkeley professors measure exploding world production
                                > of new information +
                                > The study has, for the first time, used "terabytes" as a
                                > common standard of measurement to compare the size of
                                > information in all media, linking and interpreting research
                                > reports from industry and academia. This standard makes it
                                > possible to compare growth trends for different media using
                                > one universal standard. The numbers in the UC Berkeley
                                > report are mindboggling. The world's total yearly
                                > production of print, film, optical, and magnetic content
                                > would require roughly 1.5 billion gigabytes of storage.
                                > This is the equivalent of 250 megabytes per person for each
                                > man, woman, and child on earth.
                                > http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2000/10/18_info.html
                                >
                                > > It sounds ridiculous, I know. And I am not talking about the
                                > > possible efficiency loss in the cooperation process, or the
                                > > inherited problem due to heterogeneous representation languages
                                > > among researchers. I want to know whether and how the
                                > > information sharing can negatively influence research outcomes,
                                > > more precisely, the innovated products. Could coordinated
                                > > research reduce the novelty level? The innovation paths?
                                >
                                > Ok, so information overload doesn't sound like what you are
                                > asking about.
                                >
                                > What you seem to be saying is that information sharing might
                                > lower innovation by keeping people's thinking "in the box",
                                > whereas left to their own devices, people might explore
                                > unconventional ideas.
                                >
                                > However, as far as I'm aware, sharing ideas (once the
                                > noise/overload is filtered out) only leads to more and better
                                > innovations. For example:
                                >
                                > + Manufacturers learn from users' creativity +
                                > When Lego Mindstorms made their debut in 1998 after a lengthy
                                > product development cycle, Lego marketing officials were
                                > surprised to discover that the robotic toys were popular not
                                > only with teenagers but with adult hobbyists eager to improve
                                > on them. The rise of such user-centered innovation is causing a
                                > tectonic shift in the way companies develop and market
                                > products. Eric von Hippel, professor at MIT's Sloan School of
                                > Management, examines that shift in a new book, ''Democratizing
                                > Innovation."
                                > http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2005/04/17/manufacturers_learn_from_users_creativity/
                                >
                                > - - -
                                >
                                > If you want my opinion, I think other social factors, besides
                                > simple sharing of knowledge or information, have a much greater
                                > effect on creativity and innovation.
                                >
                                > For example, risk-tolerance:
                                >
                                > + Ghost of Y2K Haunts Business +
                                > By John C. Dvorak. When I first started to develop this column,
                                > I wanted to discuss the failure constant in high tech. You
                                > know, like in the old days, when bubble memory was going to be
                                > the next big thing. I've been waiting for someone to make a
                                > fabulous blunder, and it's just not happening. No mistakes
                                > means no progress.
                                > http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1780081,00.asp
                                >
                                > There's other evidence that social stress and pressure negatively
                                > affect creativity:
                                >
                                > + Smart People Choke Under Pressure +
                                > A new study finds that individuals with high working-memory
                                > capacity, which normally allows them to excel, crack under
                                > pressure and do worse on simple exams than when allowed to work
                                > with no constraints. Those with less capacity score low, too,
                                > but they tend not to be affected by pressure.
                                > http://www.livescience.com/humanbiology/050209_under_pressure.html
                                >
                                > Even the famed Apollo 13 incident, always used as an example of
                                > how people can innovate under extreme pressure, turns out not to
                                > be a such a good example -- the success of Apollo 13 was really
                                > the result of extensive preparation beforehand while not under
                                > pressure. See:
                                >
                                > + Apollo 13, We Have a Solution +
                                > Rather than hurried improvisation, saving the crew of Apollo 13
                                > took years of preparation
                                > http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/WEBONLY/wonews/apr05/0405napola.html
                                >
                                > Of course, I could be wrong about this. If this contradicts
                                > conventional wisdom, my experience at Microsoft is a direct
                                > confirmation of it. Microsoft puts a lot of pressure on their
                                > employees, yet Microsoft employees are consistently innovative.
                                > They've made Microsoft the 3rd best company in the world, and
                                > you can't argue with results like that.
                                >
                                > - - -
                                >
                                > Here's some more random knowledge/information sharing...
                                > (signal? noise? I don't know.)
                                >
                                > + The Gift Of ADHD? +
                                > Two new books advance the controversial notion that
                                > distractibility, poor impulse control and emotional sensitivity
                                > have flip sides that are actually strengths—namely creativity,
                                > energy and intuition. "A huge proportion of criminals have
                                > ADHD. So do a lot of successful artists and CEOs. It's how you
                                > manage it that determines whether it becomes a gift or a
                                > curse."
                                > http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7102727/site/newsweek/
                                >
                                > + Ourmedia is here +
                                > Brewster Kahle's latest venture... he's the guy behind
                                > archive.org. "We are in the midst of the greatest boon in
                                > grassroots creativity in ages. Tools once available only to a
                                > professional elite are now being taken up by everyday citizens.
                                > Just as weblogs let millions of people become part of "the
                                > media," so too are new tools empowering individuals to create
                                > video, audio, playlists and other works of personal media and
                                > to share them with a global audience."
                                > http://www.newmediamusings.com/blog/2005/03/ourmedia_is_her.html
                                >
                                > + Remixing Culture: An Interview with Lawrence Lessig +
                                > What do you get when you mix P2P, inexpensive digital input
                                > devices, open source software, easy editing tools, and
                                > reasonably affordable bandwidth? Potentially, you get what
                                > Lawrence Lessig calls remix culture: a rich, diverse outpouring
                                > of creativity based on creativity.
                                > http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/policy/2005/02/24/lessig.html
                                >
                                > + About BRINQ +
                                > BRINQ is a venture based on a single powerful belief: The
                                > world's 4+ billion poor represent a huge untapped source of
                                > innovation!
                                > http://www.brinq.com/about/
                                >
                                > + Wide Open: Open source methods and their future potential +
                                > The rise of the Internet has made it possible for knowledge to
                                > be created and shared in ways that emphasise its character as a
                                > common good, rather than as something to be owned. This open
                                > and collaborative approach to creating knowledge has produced
                                > remarkable results, such as the Linux operating system and the
                                > web-based encyclopaedia Wikipedia. In defiance of the
                                > conventional wisdom of modern business, open source methods
                                > have led the main underlying innovations around the Internet.
                                > The future potential of these methods is such that they will
                                > soon become commonplace in our lives. Just as it is now
                                > impossible to think about getting things done without
                                > considering the role of the Internet, so will it soon be
                                > impossible to think about how to solve a large social problem
                                > without considering the role of open methods.
                                > http://www.demos.co.uk/catalogue/wideopen/
                                >
                                > On 5/1/05, Nanyun Zhang wrote:
                                > > Hello,
                                > >
                                > > I am wondering whether anyone here has any idea about the negative effect of knowledge/information sharing on innovation. It sounds ridiculous, I know. And I am not talking about the possible efficiency loss in the cooperation process, or the inherited problem due to heterogeneous representation languages among researchers. I want to know whether and how the information sharing can negatively influence research outcomes, more precisely, the innovated products. Could coordinated research reduce the novelty level? The innovation paths?
                                > >
                                > > I am thinking of this because it is related to my current research on the university-to-industry technology transfer. I have a lot to catch up on this topic; and hope I can soon have better question to ask. And I really appreciate any help/reference from here.
                                > >
                                > > Best,
                                > >
                                > > Nanyun
                                > >
                                > > ---------------------------------------------------------------------
                                > > "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you did not do than those you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. Give yourself away to the sea of life."
                                > > -Mark Twain
                                > > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
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                                > > Yahoo! Groups Links
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                              • Nanyun Zhang
                                ... Problem Solving + ... Thanks for the link. The article you referred to is very useful to me. There are two interesting results in the report: first, the
                                Message 15 of 29 , May 6, 2005
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  Wayne Radinsky <waynerad@...> wrote:

                                  >Here's a research article that may help you.

                                  >+ Collective Intelligence Quanitifed for Computer-Mediated Group
                                  Problem Solving +
                                  >http://www.soe.ucsc.edu/research/reports/ucsc-crl-02-28.pdf


                                  Thanks for the link. The article you referred to is very useful to me. There are two interesting results in the report: first, the group solution quality is significantly greater than the average individual solution quality when solving hard problems but not when solving easier problems; second, their findings indicate LITTLE difference between group solution quality and the best individual's solution quality--according to another research cited in this report, the groups are significantly outperformed by their best individuals.

                                  Then, which kind of working environment is best for a firm, competitive or cooperative? According to the above research results, it should depend on the task type and the individual type in a firm. Cooperation is preferred if the task is a hard one and requires multi-sector or interdisciplinary coordination. That is, depending on which industry we are talking about. I guess the scientists and engineers in NASA need to work in team often because of the characteristics of the task they are facing. On the other hand, if you have people like Einstein and Feynman working in your department, let them work alone and they will do best.

                                  >>In order to model this properly, I think you will have to take
                                  competition into account. I learned at Microsoft that the
                                  benefits of competition outweigh the benefits of cooperation.
                                  Microsoft uses a competitive performance review system, as do
                                  most of the top companies in the world including Cisco, Dell,
                                  and General Electric. The term used in the press for this
                                  practice is "rank and fire" so if you Google the phrase "rank
                                  and fire" you'll find a lot of articles.
                                  ...
                                  >>And it turns out that the benefits of competition win. General
                                  Electric is the #1 company and Microsoft is #3. Actually
                                  Microsoft was #2 until the price of oil went up and pushed
                                  ExxonMobil into the #2 slot. These companies are walking,
                                  talking proof that when it comes to actual *results*,
                                  competition *works*.


                                  Interesting experience at Microsoft. According to an article in Time 2001 which I just checked, about 20% of American companies are using "Rank and fire" performance ranking system, including Ford, MS, and Enron. ...BUT, you are talking about performance review system. "Rank and fire" review system is perfectly compatible with cooperative working system, right? Think about "Apprentice", you need to cooperate with your teammate to get the result, although everyone is in a competitive ranking system for the evaluation of his/her performance. So, cooperation still can be the best strategy for each individual in such a competitive system.

                                  >>Now you ask the question, are there any other concerns that
                                  prevent firms from participating inter-firm research
                                  cooperation? I've been talking about competition within a firm,
                                  but it's just as true across firms. So yes, there are other
                                  concerns: the concern that the firm you are cooperating with in
                                  your inter-firm research cooperation will stab you in the back.
                                  How would they do that? By stealing all your inventions and
                                  using them to put you out of business!

                                  >>In our competitive society where competition for money is *the*
                                  central organizing principle, this behavior is perfectly
                                  rational. In fact "economically rational" is exactly the term I
                                  would expect a professional economist to use when describing
                                  this sort of behavior.


                                  Free riding is a big problem whenever more than one party are involved. It is rational, no matter for money or for reputation. But it can be mitigated or avoided by well-designed and enforceable contract and by effective monitoring system, regarding to inter-firm research joint ventures. Of course, that adds costs to cooperation and that is why firms often prefer in-house R&D. I am thinking about including this aspect into my modeling now.

                                  As for "stabbing in the back" or "stealing", you are right, economists could call it "economically rational" and even can model the decision making process in choosing between putting research effort, being inactive(free riding) and stabbing partners in the back. But, stealing being an option does not necessarily mean that people in a research cooperation do always choose it. Actually economists have developed a whole theory system to describe the conditions that will sustain the cooperation and collusion, as well as the ones that destroy them and seduce the betray.

                                  Anyway, no matter how hard it is, firms need to conduct joint-research with other firms for at least two reasons: to lower the risk; and to seek partners with complementary competencies or assets. PDA is a good example. In its early development stage, several firms in computer, telecommunication and electronics worked together to share the risk and to gain the access to the enabling technologies their partners own.

                                  >> And when it comes to innovation, nothing beats the ultimatecompetition -- war. ...

                                  >>This is not by accident. Life is a process of evolution by
                                  natural selection, and war, with its ultimate stakes of life and
                                  death, is the ultimate selection function. Innovation and
                                  creativity are evolutionary processes, which get turbocharged by
                                  competition and war.

                                  >>Yes, well, thanks for listening to all my crazy thoughts and ideas, Nanyun.


                                  I could not agree more that innovation and creativity are get turbocharged by competition; as for other thoughts you revealed here, I did not see anything crazy either. But it seems that you a little bit undervalued the function of cooperation in economic system and in the evolutionary process of human society. The goals are always the result, or the performance; competition or cooperation are just tools, or the ways people can use to achieve the goals. People choose either to compete or cooperate to fit different circumstances and they are intertwined forces in evolutionary process I think. If cooperation is the best way to survive, people won't compete. You may think war is the perfect case for competition, cruel to death, but read this: the Live-and-Let-Live System in Trench Warfare in World War I.
                                  http://www.heretical.com/gameplay/trenches.html

                                  Okay, I am not equipped for a more general discussion about cooperation and competition yet; it is far from my own research field, I'd better stop now.

                                  Again, exchanging ideas here gave me a chance to clear my thoughts too. It helps a lot. So thanks. ;-)

                                  Nanyun










                                  ---------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you did not do than those you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. Give yourself away to the sea of life."
                                  -Mark Twain
                                  ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  __________________________________________________
                                  Do You Yahoo!?
                                  Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
                                  http://mail.yahoo.com

                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                • Joschka Fisher
                                  from the deja-vu folder of joschka fischer: Uh...yea... I just participated in another version of this at Nasa, last year. I m hunting down some papers on
                                  Message 16 of 29 , May 6, 2005
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    from the "deja-vu" folder of joschka fischer:

                                    Uh...yea... I just participated in another version
                                    of this at Nasa, last year.

                                    I'm hunting down some papers on more "real life"
                                    situations under less controlled environments.

                                    This fits under that "gullibility & persuasion"
                                    project I announced last night.

                                    If you get a chance...go look at the psychiatrist's
                                    report on the Mai-Li incident: specifially explaining
                                    the behavior and why and effectiveness.

                                    You'll see some interesting (and worrisome)
                                    similarities between this pdf and that report.

                                    ====
                                    --- Nanyun Zhang <nanyun_zhang@...> a écrit :

                                    > Wayne Radinsky <waynerad@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > >Here's a research article that may help you.
                                    >
                                    > >+ Collective Intelligence Quanitifed for
                                    > Computer-Mediated Group
                                    > Problem Solving +
                                    >
                                    >http://www.soe.ucsc.edu/research/reports/ucsc-crl-02-28.pdf
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Thanks for the link. The article you referred to is
                                    > very useful to me. There are two interesting results
                                    > in the report: first, the group solution quality is
                                    > significantly greater than the average individual
                                    > solution quality when solving hard problems but not
                                    > when solving easier problems; second, their findings
                                    > indicate LITTLE difference between group solution
                                    > quality and the best individual's solution
                                    > quality--according to another research cited in this
                                    > report, the groups are significantly outperformed by
                                    > their best individuals.
                                    >
                                    > Then, which kind of working environment is best for
                                    > a firm, competitive or cooperative? According to the
                                    > above research results, it should depend on the task
                                    > type and the individual type in a firm. Cooperation
                                    > is preferred if the task is a hard one and requires
                                    > multi-sector or interdisciplinary coordination. That
                                    > is, depending on which industry we are talking
                                    > about. I guess the scientists and engineers in NASA
                                    > need to work in team often because of the
                                    > characteristics of the task they are facing. On the
                                    > other hand, if you have people like Einstein and
                                    > Feynman working in your department, let them work
                                    > alone and they will do best.
                                    >
                                    > >>In order to model this properly, I think you will
                                    > have to take
                                    > competition into account. I learned at Microsoft
                                    > that the
                                    > benefits of competition outweigh the benefits of
                                    > cooperation.
                                    > Microsoft uses a competitive performance review
                                    > system, as do
                                    > most of the top companies in the world including
                                    > Cisco, Dell,
                                    > and General Electric. The term used in the press for
                                    > this
                                    > practice is "rank and fire" so if you Google the
                                    > phrase "rank
                                    > and fire" you'll find a lot of articles.
                                    > ...
                                    > >>And it turns out that the benefits of competition
                                    > win. General
                                    > Electric is the #1 company and Microsoft is #3.
                                    > Actually
                                    > Microsoft was #2 until the price of oil went up and
                                    > pushed
                                    > ExxonMobil into the #2 slot. These companies are
                                    > walking,
                                    > talking proof that when it comes to actual
                                    > *results*,
                                    > competition *works*.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Interesting experience at Microsoft. According to an
                                    > article in Time 2001 which I just checked, about 20%
                                    > of American companies are using "Rank and fire"
                                    > performance ranking system, including Ford, MS, and
                                    > Enron. ...BUT, you are talking about performance
                                    > review system. "Rank and fire" review system is
                                    > perfectly compatible with cooperative working
                                    > system, right? Think about "Apprentice", you need to
                                    > cooperate with your teammate to get the result,
                                    > although everyone is in a competitive ranking system
                                    > for the evaluation of his/her performance. So,
                                    > cooperation still can be the best strategy for each
                                    > individual in such a competitive system.
                                    >
                                    > >>Now you ask the question, are there any other
                                    > concerns that
                                    > prevent firms from participating inter-firm research
                                    > cooperation? I've been talking about competition
                                    > within a firm,
                                    > but it's just as true across firms. So yes, there
                                    > are other
                                    > concerns: the concern that the firm you are
                                    > cooperating with in
                                    > your inter-firm research cooperation will stab you
                                    > in the back.
                                    > How would they do that? By stealing all your
                                    > inventions and
                                    > using them to put you out of business!
                                    >
                                    > >>In our competitive society where competition for
                                    > money is *the*
                                    > central organizing principle, this behavior is
                                    > perfectly
                                    > rational. In fact "economically rational" is exactly
                                    > the term I
                                    > would expect a professional economist to use when
                                    > describing
                                    > this sort of behavior.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Free riding is a big problem whenever more than one
                                    > party are involved. It is rational, no matter for
                                    > money or for reputation. But it can be mitigated or
                                    > avoided by well-designed and enforceable contract
                                    > and by effective monitoring system, regarding to
                                    > inter-firm research joint ventures. Of course, that
                                    > adds costs to cooperation and that is why firms
                                    > often prefer in-house R&D. I am thinking about
                                    > including this aspect into my modeling now.
                                    >
                                    > As for "stabbing in the back" or "stealing", you are
                                    > right, economists could call it "economically
                                    > rational" and even can model the decision making
                                    > process in choosing between putting research effort,
                                    > being inactive(free riding) and stabbing partners in
                                    > the back. But, stealing being an option does not
                                    > necessarily mean that people in a research
                                    > cooperation do always choose it. Actually
                                    > economists have developed a whole theory system to
                                    > describe the conditions that will sustain the
                                    > cooperation and collusion, as well as the ones that
                                    > destroy them and seduce the betray.
                                    >
                                    > Anyway, no matter how hard it is, firms need to
                                    > conduct joint-research with other firms for at least
                                    > two reasons: to lower the risk; and to seek partners
                                    > with complementary competencies or assets. PDA is a
                                    > good example. In its early development stage,
                                    > several firms in computer, telecommunication and
                                    > electronics worked together to share the risk and to
                                    > gain the access to the enabling technologies their
                                    > partners own.
                                    >
                                    > >> And when it comes to innovation, nothing beats
                                    > the ultimatecompetition -- war. ...
                                    >
                                    > >>This is not by accident. Life is a process of
                                    > evolution by
                                    > natural selection, and war, with its ultimate stakes
                                    > of life and
                                    > death, is the ultimate selection function.
                                    > Innovation and
                                    > creativity are evolutionary processes, which get
                                    > turbocharged by
                                    > competition and war.
                                    >
                                    > >>Yes, well, thanks for listening to all my crazy
                                    > thoughts and ideas, Nanyun.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > I could not agree more that innovation and
                                    > creativity are get turbocharged by competition; as
                                    > for other thoughts you revealed here, I did not see
                                    > anything crazy either. But it seems that you a
                                    > little bit undervalued the function of cooperation
                                    > in economic system and in the evolutionary process
                                    > of human society. The goals are always the result,
                                    > or the performance; competition or cooperation are
                                    > just tools, or the ways people can use to achieve
                                    > the goals. People choose either to compete or
                                    > cooperate to fit different circumstances and they
                                    > are intertwined forces in evolutionary process I
                                    > think. If cooperation is the best way to survive,
                                    > people won't compete. You may think war is the
                                    > perfect case for competition, cruel to death, but
                                    > read this: the Live-and-Let-Live System in Trench
                                    > Warfare in World War I.
                                    > http://www.heretical.com/gameplay/trenches.html
                                    >
                                    > Okay, I am not equipped for a more general
                                    > discussion about cooperation and competition yet; it
                                    > is far from my own research field, I'd better stop
                                    > now.
                                    >
                                    > Again, exchanging ideas here gave me a chance to
                                    > clear my thoughts too. It helps a lot. So thanks.
                                    > ;-)
                                    >
                                    > Nanyun
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
                                    > "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed
                                    > by the things you did not do than those you did do.
                                    > So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe
                                    > harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.
                                    > Explore. Dream. Discover. Give yourself away to the
                                    > sea of life."
                                    >
                                    === message truncated ===







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                                  • Peter C. McCluskey
                                    ... I expect information sharing could cause some negative effects by reducing the diversity of opinions. It appears inevitable that organizations have some
                                    Message 17 of 29 , May 6, 2005
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      nanyun_zhang@... (Nanyun Zhang) writes:
                                      >Hello,
                                      >
                                      >I am wondering whether anyone here has any idea about the negative effect of knowledge/information sharing on innovation. It sounds ridiculous, I know. And I am not talking about the possible efficiency loss in the cooperation process, or the inherited problem due to heterogeneous representation languages among researchers. I want to know whether and how the information sharing can negatively influence research outcomes, more precisely, the innovated products. Could coordinated research reduce the novelty level? The innovation paths?

                                      I expect information sharing could cause some negative effects by reducing
                                      the diversity of opinions. It appears inevitable that organizations have
                                      some incentives for people to align their beliefs with the beliefs of other
                                      people in the organization (partly because sharing beliefs with the rest of
                                      the organization signals a greater probability that the person is willing to
                                      make a long-term commitment to the organization).
                                      This means that better understanding of what approaches others are taking
                                      will tend to cause the most unusual approaches to be abandoned.
                                      This seems less important than changes in incentives, but still likely to
                                      produce some effects.
                                      --
                                      ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                      Peter McCluskey | Everyone complains about the laws of physics, but no
                                      www.bayesianinvestor.com| one does anything about them. - from Schild's Ladder
                                    • Nanyun Zhang
                                      Thank you for sharing your opinions. Your brief analysis seems to prove my initial conjecture: there is a trade of between performance and the innovation
                                      Message 18 of 29 , May 6, 2005
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        Thank you for sharing your opinions. Your brief analysis seems to prove my initial conjecture: there is a trade of between performance and the innovation paths. Sharing information can improve performance along the R&D path the joint venture picked; but they tend to focus or converge, which will cause to sacrifice the novelty/differentiation level of the final products. The difficulty I have now is, this sounds a pure logic derivative or something from thought experimentation. I would love to know any specific case or story about it.

                                        Nanyun

                                        "Peter C. McCluskey" <pcm@...> wrote:
                                        nanyun_zhang@... (Nanyun Zhang) writes:
                                        >Hello,
                                        >
                                        >I am wondering whether anyone here has any idea about the negative effect of knowledge/information sharing on innovation. It sounds ridiculous, I know. And I am not talking about the possible efficiency loss in the cooperation process, or the inherited problem due to heterogeneous representation languages among researchers. I want to know whether and how the information sharing can negatively influence research outcomes, more precisely, the innovated products. Could coordinated research reduce the novelty level? The innovation paths?

                                        I expect information sharing could cause some negative effects by reducing
                                        the diversity of opinions. It appears inevitable that organizations have
                                        some incentives for people to align their beliefs with the beliefs of other
                                        people in the organization (partly because sharing beliefs with the rest of
                                        the organization signals a greater probability that the person is willing to
                                        make a long-term commitment to the organization).
                                        This means that better understanding of what approaches others are taking
                                        will tend to cause the most unusual approaches to be abandoned.
                                        This seems less important than changes in incentives, but still likely to
                                        produce some effects.
                                        --
                                        ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                        Peter McCluskey | Everyone complains about the laws of physics, but no
                                        www.bayesianinvestor.com| one does anything about them. - from Schild's Ladder


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                                        ---------------------------------------------------------------------
                                        "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you did not do than those you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. Give yourself away to the sea of life."
                                        -Mark Twain
                                        ----------------------------------------------------------------------

                                        ---------------------------------
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                                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                      • Joschka Fisher
                                        from joschka fischer: Oh boy! Did you ever pick a broad subject. Frist off, nanym Zhang s opinion is far too provincial. 2ndly....we have to focus on some
                                        Message 19 of 29 , May 10, 2005
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          from joschka fischer:

                                          Oh boy! Did you ever pick a broad subject.

                                          Frist off, nanym Zhang's opinion is far too
                                          provincial.
                                          2ndly....we have to focus on some clearity:
                                          What do you mean by innovation? ( Even Bill Gates
                                          had to ask this one at a certain trial.)

                                          Next: why are you limiting this to a business
                                          perspective?

                                          I'll wait for your response(s).

                                          My examples range from everyday common sense
                                          examples to patent law all the way back to the
                                          Telephone.




                                          --- Nanyun Zhang <nanyun_zhang@...> a écrit :

                                          > Thank you for sharing your opinions. Your brief
                                          > analysis seems to prove my initial conjecture: there
                                          > is a trade of between performance and the innovation
                                          > paths. Sharing information can improve performance
                                          > along the R&D path the joint venture picked; but
                                          > they tend to focus or converge, which will cause to
                                          > sacrifice the novelty/differentiation level of the
                                          > final products. The difficulty I have now is, this
                                          > sounds a pure logic derivative or something from
                                          > thought experimentation. I would love to know any
                                          > specific case or story about it.
                                          >
                                          > Nanyun
                                          >
                                          > "Peter C. McCluskey" <pcm@...> wrote:
                                          > nanyun_zhang@... (Nanyun Zhang) writes:
                                          > >Hello,
                                          > >
                                          > >I am wondering whether anyone here has any idea
                                          > about the negative effect of knowledge/information
                                          > sharing on innovation. It sounds ridiculous, I know.
                                          > And I am not talking about the possible efficiency
                                          > loss in the cooperation process, or the inherited
                                          > problem due to heterogeneous representation
                                          > languages among researchers. I want to know whether
                                          > and how the information sharing can negatively
                                          > influence research outcomes, more precisely, the
                                          > innovated products. Could coordinated research
                                          > reduce the novelty level? The innovation paths?
                                          >
                                          > I expect information sharing could cause some
                                          > negative effects by reducing
                                          > the diversity of opinions. It appears inevitable
                                          > that organizations have
                                          > some incentives for people to align their beliefs
                                          > with the beliefs of other
                                          > people in the organization (partly because sharing
                                          > beliefs with the rest of
                                          > the organization signals a greater probability that
                                          > the person is willing to
                                          > make a long-term commitment to the organization).
                                          > This means that better understanding of what
                                          > approaches others are taking
                                          > will tend to cause the most unusual approaches to be
                                          > abandoned.
                                          > This seems less important than changes in
                                          > incentives, but still likely to
                                          > produce some effects.
                                          > --
                                          >
                                          ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                          > Peter McCluskey | Everyone complains about
                                          > the laws of physics, but no
                                          > www.bayesianinvestor.com| one does anything about
                                          > them. - from Schild's Ladder
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                                        • Wayne Radinsky
                                          Ok first a number of people have been writing privately saying you never say anything good about Microsoft so I wanted to respond publicly since I figured
                                          Message 20 of 29 , May 19, 2005
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                                            Ok first a number of people have been writing privately saying "you
                                            never say anything good about Microsoft" so I wanted to respond
                                            publicly since I figured there are other people thinking the same
                                            thing.

                                            First of all, while Microsoft uses competitive performance reviews,
                                            (a) this is a good thing and what all good companies should be using,
                                            and (b) this does not have as much negative political side effects as
                                            my posting implied. The reason for (b) is because Microsoft makes
                                            inter-group and inter-personal cooperation a performance review goal,
                                            therefore harnessing the power of competition to reduce office
                                            politics and foster inter-group and inter-personal cooperation within
                                            the company.

                                            The reason for (a) is because any company that does not weed out bad
                                            exployees is going to become the victim of the sucky people princple,
                                            where you hire one sucky person, and then they hire another sucky
                                            person, and that person hires another sucky person, and before long
                                            your organization is infliltrated with sucky people. See
                                            http://bnoopy.typepad.com/bnoopy/2004/09/hiring_no_false.html

                                            Most people fired by Microsoft are sucky people who suck at their
                                            jobs and deserve it. Microsoft is exceptionally good in its treatment
                                            of talented employees. Microsoft has made over 10,000 millionaires.

                                            People must be graded on results and not effort. In business, what
                                            matters are results and not effort. It does not matter if you worked
                                            80 hours per week and were up for the last 35 hours writing code, if
                                            your competitor ships their product first and gets all the customers.
                                            Microsoft judges by results and employees who deliver good results
                                            will perform will in performance reviews.

                                            In short, Microsoft are good people and they are doing exactly what
                                            good managers in good companies do. If you were a shareholder in a
                                            company, you would want your managers to carry out exactly the kinds
                                            of policies that Microsoft managers do.

                                            When Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer originally designed Microsoft's HR
                                            policies in 1975, they based in on the principle of natural selection
                                            from the biological sciences. You can think of Microsoft, therefore,
                                            as being a giant, deliberate, corporate-sized genetic algorithm,
                                            using hiring as the point of replication and variation, and firing as
                                            the point of selection. Like computer-simulated genetic algorithms,
                                            this process results in substantian and sustainable learning and
                                            adapting capacity. Microsoft is one of the most rapidly-learning and
                                            adaptave corporations on the planet.

                                            It must also be pointed out that Microsoft's perforance review
                                            policies are merely making explicit something that is implicit in all
                                            jobs -- the competition of the job market. Therefore, this kind of
                                            competition between individuals in the job market occurs at all
                                            companies everywhere. This is why individuals in all businesses
                                            everywhere must continue to learn and adapt and update their skills
                                            to a changing environment. Microsoft is simply putting the process in
                                            plain sight.

                                            From a moral persective, Microsoft people are some of the most
                                            morally good people on the planet, and Bill Gates is probably the
                                            most morally good person on the planet, if you think about it
                                            objectively. If you define "good" as a person who "brings the most
                                            hapiness to the largest number of people" and "bad" as a person who
                                            "brings the most misery to the largest number of people", i.e. (moral
                                            goodness) = (people made happy)*(amount of happiness) - (people made
                                            miserable)*(amount of misery). Bill Gates has commited something like
                                            $60 billion to his foundation, which puts the money into 3rd world
                                            sanitation projects and medical research projects, and the like. For
                                            all the thousands of people whose lives are saved by these proects,
                                            Bill Gates is their angel. I was thinking the other day, Bill Gates
                                            is putting millions into malaria research, what if they were to find
                                            a cure for malaria? Then Bill Gates would be personally responsible
                                            for saving the lives of 5 or 6 *million* people per year. Wouldn't
                                            that instantly justify whatever 'unfair' business practices his
                                            critics accuse him of using? Wouldn't it make Bill Gates,
                                            objectively, the most morally "good" person to have ever lived on
                                            this planet? So So if you are basing your software purchasing
                                            decisions on moral grounds, you should always by software from
                                            Microsoft.

                                            Yes I previously made 'negative' comments regarding Linux vs Windows
                                            server stability. Specifically, I said it is possible to run 4000
                                            database-driven websites off a Linux server but not a Windows server.
                                            I did not mean to imply by this that (a) Microsoft would not close
                                            the gap and achieve parity with Linux in the near future, nor (b)
                                            that Windows is not still the preferable choice, because other
                                            considerations, such as total cost of ownership (TCO) must be
                                            factored into software deployment decisions. Stability issues can be
                                            handled by proper application isolation and delpoyment procedures.
                                            CheckFree Corporation, a financial services company, conducted a 2
                                            year study comparing Red Hat Linux 9.0 operating system, IBM DB2
                                            Universal Database, and IBM WebSphere, versus Microsoft Windows
                                            Server 2003, Microsoft SQL Server 2000, and the Microsoft .NET
                                            Framework. delivered 14 percent faster performance and an anticipated
                                            24 percent lower TCO, with no loss in reliability. Regal
                                            Entertainment Group, a motion picture exhibitor, switched from Linux
                                            to Windows XP Embedded for their 7000 point-of-service terminals, and
                                            they concluded that because everything besides the Linux Kernal came
                                            at a cost, Windows provided significantly lower TCO. Safeway switched
                                            its 1,800 in-store application processor servers from SCO UNIX and
                                            Informix to Microsoft Windows Server 2003. The .NET Framework is the
                                            foundation for all future custom projects at Safeway. Royal Caribbean
                                            Cruises installed 1,200 Microsoft Windows XP Embedded thin clients on
                                            their new ships. Samsung, the Korean electronics powerhouse,
                                            estimates they save $2.9 million annually by using Windows for their
                                            internet portal and internally for accessing SAP/R3. Even internet
                                            hosting companies, to go back to my original website hosting example,
                                            internet hosting companies like Rackspace, save significantly in the
                                            long run by using Windows and Microsoft Operations Manager 2005.
                                            Rackspace estimates Microsoft Operations Manager 2005 will pay for
                                            itself within six months of its deployment.

                                            While its true that I do development for my small websites using
                                            Linux and PHP, that doesn't mean that it's appropriate for enterprise
                                            use. You should use the .NET framework for your enterprise software
                                            development. Sun's J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) is also a popular
                                            choice. The point is you should not view my choice to use PHP as
                                            implying anything negative about Microsoft or that you should not go
                                            ahead with .NET deployment.

                                            It's also true that I don't recommend Microsoft stock as an
                                            investment, but again this should not be viewed as critical of
                                            Microsoft. The reason for this is, when it comes to investment, I'm
                                            looking for "the next Microsoft", meaning the next stock that will
                                            double every year for 10 years or more. Microsoft's market cap is
                                            currently $272.49 billion. If it doubled every year for the next 10
                                            years, it would become $279,029.76 billon. (That is more than the
                                            total number of dollars in circulation, which is about 9 trillion.)
                                            Now, I know Gates & company are smart, but I am skeptical that they
                                            can pull this off. Microsoft stock is mostly of value for its
                                            dividends now anyway. I do expect some technology company to see this
                                            kind of doubling -- Moore's Law, the doubling of computing power and
                                            the underlying driver of Microsoft's and other tech company's
                                            doublings, has not stopped. I just expect it will be a small company
                                            in a new and undeveloped part of the computer industry, just as PC's
                                            were new and undeveloped when Microsoft began in 1975. None of this
                                            is meant to suggest that buying Microsoft stock wouldn't be a good
                                            investment. Microsoft has committed to paying $75 billion in
                                            dividends, and Microsoft continues to increase sales substantially
                                            every year. I expect this cash flow will continue to increase for the
                                            foreseeable future, because

                                            In short, none of the 'negative' comments I made were intended to be
                                            interpreted as negative. If you think I said something 'negative'
                                            about Microsoft, you are probably mistaking bitterness about not
                                            being good enough to be a Microsoft employee with genuine criticism.
                                            I apologise for my unjustified bitter feelings towards the company.
                                            Sometimes it is hard to feel good about people who have condemned you
                                            even if the condemnation was correct and justified. Yes, Microsoft is
                                            a competitive company. The point is, they *should* be a competitive
                                            company. Life is fundamentally all about competition -- the process
                                            of natural selection is a process of competition for resources
                                            between individuals striving to maximize inclusive genetic fitness.
                                            So I want to assure you all that I have the highest respect for
                                            Microsoft.

                                            Microsoft opens the door to innovations in every field of human
                                            endeavor, delivering new opportunity, convenience, and value to
                                            people's lives. Microsoft creates new form factors like the Tablet PC
                                            and Media Center. With Microsoft's continued innovation of Windows
                                            Media technology, they enable people to use computers in more ways,
                                            in more places, and more often than ever before. Microsoft files more
                                            than 2000 patents every year. Microsoft is better than anyone in the
                                            industry at translating these innovations into shareholder value,
                                            from market expansion, market share growth, entirely new markets and
                                            value-added services. Microsoft continues innovation of Windows
                                            Server 2003, with relentless improvement in performance,
                                            productivity, applications development tools, security,
                                            manageability, everything. Microsoft continues innovation of the
                                            Windows client, making the interface easier to use, improving
                                            compatibility with a broader and broader range of hardware and
                                            software applications. Microsoft has the largest support network for
                                            any operating system. Microsoft continues to improve the .NET
                                            framework that competes with J2EE, BEA Systems, Borland, IBM, Oracle,
                                            etc, with continuous innovations in the development environment and
                                            applications development tools. Microsoft is developing financial
                                            management, supply chain management, and CRM solutions to competer
                                            with Intuit, Sage, Oracle, PeopleSoft, and SAP. Microsoft is the only
                                            company that can tie all these dispirate pieces into an integrated
                                            platform that incorporates the MSN portal, the XBox video game
                                            console, providing integrated advertising, music download, instant
                                            messaging and other communications services. Microsoft enables people
                                            and businesses throughout the world to realize their full potential.
                                            What do I do? In comparison, not much. So you can freely dismiss any
                                            apparent "criticism" of Microsoft from me.

                                            People often dismiss claims of "innovation" on the part of Microsoft
                                            by saying that Microsoft never invents anything, but just copies
                                            other people's inventions. There are two things to be said about
                                            this. First consider what would happen if Microsoft didn't "copy"
                                            other people's ideas. People would criticise Microsoft for having
                                            "Not Invented Here Syndrome". When you think about it, if you are a
                                            smart person, shouldn't you copy other people's ideas once they have
                                            clearly been proven to work in the real world? When you learned how
                                            to tie your shoes did you say, "Oh, I didn't invent this shoe-tying
                                            process, I won't use it." Imagine the complaints from users that
                                            Microsoft doesn't have feature X or Y that a competitor has, if they
                                            did not copy the good ideas from other products. Microsoft does not
                                            have "Not Invented Here Syndrome" and this is a good thing -- a sign
                                            of good rather than bad management. So that's the first thing. The
                                            second thing is that, fundamentally, what Bill Gates and Paul Allen
                                            invented wasn't any particular type of software, it was a software
                                            business -- the whole process of building and marketing any type of
                                            software. Microsoft produces whatever type of software people will
                                            pay for. This is like the old question of, suppose you invented a
                                            better tasting burger than McDonald's. That would be great, but
                                            inventing a better burger is not the same as inventing a better
                                            burger business -- have you invented a better way to build and
                                            franchise restuarants, come up with better hiring and training
                                            processes, figured out a better means of distribution of meat and
                                            buns and soda pop, or a better way to advertise and create brand
                                            identity for your burger restuarant? No? Then who cares if you
                                            invented a better burger? See the point? Gates and Allen created the
                                            closest thing to a "assembly line for software" that exists in the
                                            world, and they have proven that there is more value in the assembly
                                            line than in any particular software feature.

                                            Having said that, let me address the specific issues that Nanyun
                                            raised.

                                            > Interesting experience at Microsoft.

                                            Oh yes it was the best learning experience of my life. It transformed
                                            me into a fundamentally different person.

                                            It's the reason I got into all this "Futurist" stuff. Before I
                                            thought the meaning of life was to "be a good person" and "make the
                                            world a better place". I didn't believe in things like AI. I was
                                            writing software the old-fashioned, conventional way -- trying to
                                            make programs that would be useful to people, to use my intellectual
                                            ability to solve problems facing the world. To be able to say, no,
                                            it's just a fight to the death for money, everyone fighting for the
                                            money they need to survive and reproduce, which is driving an
                                            evolutionary process, the same evolutionary process that has been
                                            going on for 3.5 billion years on this planet, the same evolutionary
                                            process that created mammals and human beings and human language and
                                            human technology in the first place, and that will lead to the
                                            creation of AI and the technological obsolencence of the human mind
                                            -- this took an absolute revolution in my worldview. My worldview was
                                            wrong and my experience at Microsoft provided the impetus for
                                            correcting it. I threw out everything I believed about the world and
                                            started over. That's how I became "a Futurist".

                                            > According to an article in Time 2001 which I just checked, about 20%
                                            > of American companies are using "Rank and fire" performance ranking
                                            > system, including Ford, MS, and Enron. ...BUT, you are talking about
                                            > performance review system. "Rank and fire" review system is
                                            > perfectly compatible with cooperative working system, right? Think
                                            > about "Apprentice", you need to cooperate with your teammate to get
                                            > the result, although everyone is in a competitive ranking system for
                                            > the evaluation of his/her performance.

                                            Yes, exactly! I tell everyone that The Apprentice is the best
                                            television show ever made. People always disagree with me about this,
                                            but I don't understand how. The Apprentice covers many essential
                                            business skills -- leadership, because everyone must play the role of
                                            team leader at one time or another, how to cooperate with teammates
                                            so the team will win, and how to interact with the boss, how to
                                            defend oneself and blame someone else for problems so that someone
                                            else gets fired instead of you. In addition, all of the tasks that
                                            the contestants perform are genuine business objectives -- selling a
                                            product, creating a marketing campaign, impressing a particular
                                            client, etc.

                                            Now in the interest of fair and honest disclosure, I have to add that
                                            the people who disagree with me about The Apprentice have more money
                                            than I do. If you accept the theory that money is the most objective
                                            available measure of total intelligence (not just that portion of
                                            intelligence that is measured by an IQ test), then these people are
                                            smarter than me, so you should believe them and not me. (Of course,
                                            by that measure, everyone on this list is more intelligent than me,
                                            so you shouldn't pay attention to anything I write.)

                                            Speaking of TV shows, I recently saw an episode of The Amazing Race.
                                            Now, if The Apprentice is about office politics, The Amazing Race is
                                            about the role of dumb luck in life. Of course they don't say that --
                                            the winners gave a big talk about faith and prayer and so on when
                                            they won their $1 million prize. But if you ask me, the show is about
                                            dumb luck.

                                            On the show, teams of 2 people (husband/wife or boyfriend/girlfriend)
                                            compete in a race around the world, flying from city to city and
                                            within each city racing through various obstacles that the show's
                                            producers set up. In the show I saw, they were already down to 3
                                            teams. (I don't know how many they started with.). I don't remember
                                            the people's names so I'll just call them A, B, and C. First team B
                                            came in last because their taxi had a flat tire. But! They were told
                                            it was a non-elimination round, so instead of being eliminated they
                                            would just have all their money taken away for the next round. If the
                                            race had ended there, the winner would have been team A. So while the
                                            others left in taxis, they went to thei airport and begged for money.
                                            This is the team that ended up winning. What happened was at the next
                                            city there was a gate that closed at 4pm, and the first two teams
                                            arrived after 4 pm, so they caught up. If the race had ended there,
                                            team C would have been the winner. Team C lept out ahead after that
                                            in a swimming challenge, but was passed by team A at a tollboth
                                            because they got in a slow lane. If the race had ended there, team A
                                            would have won. Team C made a wrong turn approaching the airport, so
                                            A and B got on the first flight and C was on the 2nd flight -- the
                                            flight was to Miami. In Miami, the next challenge was to find a
                                            certain cigar shop, which had a spanish name. Team B found it quickly
                                            because they had a spanish-speaking taxi driver. Team A had an
                                            english-speaking taxi driver and drove in circles for hours. Driving
                                            to the finish line, team B ran out of money and had to beg people on
                                            the street for more. Team A almost caught up -- they reached the
                                            finish only minutes behind team B, but team B still won.

                                            What does this have to do with business? Just that intense
                                            competition *vastly* amplifies the effect of tiny mistakes and random
                                            dumb luck. You lost a million dollars because your taxi driver didn't
                                            speak spanish? How could you have known? The point is, you couldn't
                                            have.

                                            Why are most of the people who sat alongside me at Microsoft in 1993
                                            millionaires today while I am dirt poor? Probably because in 1995 I
                                            got sick, and I got fired for it, and they didn't. Of course, I can't
                                            prove that if I hadn't been fired then, that I wouldn't have been
                                            fired the next year for some other reason, like some political
                                            mistake. So who knows. And of course, what about all the brilliant
                                            programmers working at other companies, not Microsoft, in 1993,
                                            companies that went out of business because they were crushed by
                                            Microsoft, or companies that failed just because they are part of the
                                            7/10th of startup companies that always fail? Are those millionaires
                                            from Microsoft really smarter and really better people, better, more
                                            deserving human beings than than all the tech industry people that
                                            ended up losers? Well, obviously yes they are, I'm just asking you to
                                            think about why.

                                            See:

                                            http://www.fooledbyrandomness.com/prologue.pdf

                                            (I haven't had time to read the rest of fooledbyrandomness.com but it
                                            looks good, too.)

                                            And

                                            + The Six Serendipities of Microsoft +
                                            http://www.vcnet.com/bms/features/serendipities.html

                                            So now you know what you need to succeed in business:

                                            + Great health and stamina,
                                            + A high IQ with lots of billiance and ingenuity,
                                            + excellent political skills, especially, when to be nice to others
                                            and cooperate and when to clock your enemy upside the head
                                            + and a healthy dose of plain old dumb luck.

                                            Failure on any one of these points can cause failure in business.
                                            Failure in business can cause death from lack of money. Of course,
                                            death is necessare for evolution to work -- natural selection would
                                            not work if every organism survived and reproduced. So overall, the
                                            system works.

                                            The article on the Six Serendipities of Microsoft concludes by saying
                                            Microsoft is "a company that is desperately resisting change" and
                                            that the company has a "defensive posture". As we've seen in the
                                            years since this webpage was written, Microsoft has proven the writer
                                            wrong and been enormously successful. Microsoft is on the verge of
                                            even greater success with their SmartPhones and XBoxes and so on.
                                            While Microsoft has had lucky breaks, undeniably, the writer has
                                            clearly underestimated their brilliance. Success is not *just* dumb
                                            luck, it's also being smart enough to know what to do when you get
                                            lucky breaks.

                                            Microsoft is in such a strong position today that the future is
                                            entirely theirs to lose. They can't be touched by any business
                                            competitor. They can't be touched by the DOJ or the EU -- Microsoft
                                            knows if they get fined by these agencies, they will make more money
                                            by continuing the "unethical" business practictices and just paying
                                            the fine. So the fines have no practical effect. Microsoft has so
                                            much cash that when it comes to business and technology mistakes and
                                            misjudmements, the "margin of error" is so large as to be
                                            meaningless. Microsoft is simply too smart to make a blunder big
                                            enough to exceed the margin of error. So nobody can touch them, only
                                            they can shoot themselves in the foot, and they're too smart to shoot
                                            themselves in the foot. So it won't happen. Even Linux and the Open
                                            Source Movement won't have any serious negative impact on Microsoft.
                                            The best that can be said for Linux and OSS is that Linux has slowed
                                            Microsoft growth into server rooms and "back office" applications, so
                                            without Linux, Microsoft's revenues would be even higher than they
                                            already are. So I predict Microsoft will continue to be successful
                                            for decades to come.

                                            > So, cooperation still can be the best strategy for each individual
                                            > in such a competitive system.

                                            Absolutely not. Ever see a person on The Apprentice apologize for a
                                            mistake and try to learn from it? They get fired in a heartbeat. On
                                            The Apprentice, Nice guys finish last. In the Real World it's usually
                                            the same way. Corporations do not ruminate when failures occur. They
                                            quickly find the person responsible and fire that person, then move
                                            on to the next problem.

                                            The best approach is what I call "selective altruism". Think again
                                            about Bill Gates. He has been best friends with Steve Ballmer since
                                            1975. He has stable long-term relationships with his wife and kids.
                                            At Microsoft, he has made over 10,000 other people millionaires.
                                            Microsoft has partnered with dozens of other companies, hardware
                                            companies, software companies, video game companies, cell phone
                                            companies, what have you, and made them rich as well. But is Gates
                                            nice to everybody? Of course not. The field is littered with
                                            companies Microsoft crushed in one way or another. So Gates is
                                            ruthless or kind on a case-by-case basis. The problem is, if you are
                                            another business and you enter into some kind of agreement with
                                            Microsoft, you never know ahead of time whether you're going to be
                                            one of the people that gets screwed over or not. Every year we see
                                            businesses lining up to work with Microsoft, and I'm sure they are
                                            all thinking, "These people from Microsoft seem so nice. I know other
                                            companies have been screwed over by these guys in the past, but we're
                                            going to be different." Microsoft always partners with people for
                                            carefully thought out strategic reasons. But you have no way of
                                            knowing what the strategy is. Gates has said he views business as a
                                            chess game, where if your competitor is thinking 4 moves ahead,
                                            you're thinking 10 moves ahead, so you beat him. Everything Microsoft
                                            does has a strategic purpose, so if you ever see Microsoft acting in
                                            ways that don't make sense to you, it's because you don't know the
                                            strategy.

                                            I think a lot of people have "nice guy" tendencies genetically,
                                            because in the historical evolutionary past, people lived in tribes
                                            of related people, and often it did pay to be completely cooperative
                                            to other members of the tribe. (A person in such an environment
                                            probably had little or no interaction with people outside the tribe
                                            on a day-to-day basis.) In a modern corporation, however, the people
                                            you work with are not genetically related to you -- so any
                                            cooperative interaction with them has to be based on the evolutionary
                                            psychology principle of reciprocal altruism, rather than kinship.
                                            Although your corporation may have a warm tribal feeling, especially
                                            if it is a very small corporation, you have to remember,
                                            fundamentally, corporations are not tribes.

                                            > Free riding is a big problem whenever more than one party are
                                            > involved. It is rational, no matter for money or for reputation. But
                                            > it can be mitigated or avoided by well-designed and enforceable
                                            > contract and by effective monitoring system, regarding to inter-firm
                                            > research joint ventures.

                                            Sure, if you are only looking at inter-firm research joint ventures
                                            as a closed system. If you step back and look at the big picture, you
                                            can see that the people in charge of writing the well-designed and
                                            enforceable contract and those in charge of the effective monitoring
                                            system can still rig the game in their favor and ride free.

                                            Remember the Golden Rule: He who has the gold makes the rules. People
                                            at the top of a social system always try to rig the rules in their favor.
                                            For an example, see Bush, George W.

                                            > As for "stabbing in the back" or "stealing", you are right,
                                            > economists could call it "economically rational" and even can model
                                            > the decision making process in choosing between putting research
                                            > effort, being inactive(free riding) and stabbing partners in the
                                            > back. But, stealing being an option does not necessarily mean that
                                            > people in a research cooperation do always choose it.

                                            No, in fact people often don't behave in an economically rational
                                            manner.

                                            > Actually economists have developed a whole theory system to describe
                                            > the conditions that will sustain the cooperation and collusion, as
                                            > well as the ones that destroy them and seduce the betray.

                                            I'm not familiar with this particular theory, but I know economists
                                            are trying to come up with models for human emotions. Every marketer
                                            knows that to get someone to buy, you have to manipulate their
                                            emotions. Economists took a long time to recognize this, but it seems
                                            like in recent years they have been working on it at lot.

                                            > Anyway, no matter how hard it is, firms need to conduct
                                            > joint-research with other firms for at least two reasons: to lower
                                            > the risk; and to seek partners with complementary competencies or
                                            > assets.
                                            >
                                            > PDA is a good example. In its early development stage, several firms
                                            > in computer, telecommunication and electronics worked together to
                                            > share the risk and to gain the access to the enabling technologies
                                            > their partners own.

                                            I agree. In the case of Microsoft it is generally the second reason,
                                            because they want to partner with a company with complementary
                                            assets. For example a hardware company.

                                            In the semiconductor industry, on the other hand, you see a lot of
                                            partnerships for the first reason. Semiconductor fabs are so insanely
                                            expensive that few companies can afford to develop their own. Even
                                            amount giants like Intel, you see widespread research colaboration
                                            projects with industry research groups and universities. Intel winds
                                            up sharing the technology that results from these with their business
                                            competitors (Motorola for example), but they do it anyway because
                                            they also lower their share of the risk.

                                            > I could not agree more that innovation and creativity are get
                                            > turbocharged by competition; as for other thoughts you revealed
                                            > here, I did not see anything crazy either. But it seems that you a
                                            > little bit undervalued the function of cooperation in economic
                                            > system and in the evolutionary process of human society. The goals
                                            > are always the result, or the performance; competition or
                                            > cooperation are just tools, or the ways people can use to achieve
                                            > the goals. People choose either to compete or cooperate to fit
                                            > different circumstances and they are intertwined forces in
                                            > evolutionary process I think. If cooperation is the best way to
                                            > survive, people won't compete. You may think war is the perfect case
                                            > for competition, cruel to death, but read this: the
                                            > Live-and-Let-Live System in Trench Warfare in World War I.
                                            > http://www.heretical.com/gameplay/trenches.html

                                            Hey, that website has some pretty interesting stuff on it. Like this
                                            page.

                                            http://www.heretical.com/wilson/forgasms.html

                                            But anyway, this article about trench warfare reminds me a lot of
                                            Edward Teller. Edward Teller, "the father of the hydrogen bomb",
                                            you'll recall, strongly advocated making the most destructive weapons
                                            possible as a means to achieve peace. And the nuclear stalemate
                                            between the US and USSR did basically that -- it prevented another
                                            world war and brought peace to the world (mostly).

                                            Because I can't help but notice, the underlying basis for the
                                            cooperation that occured in trench warfare was the fact that neither
                                            side could compete and win. In other words, both sides would rather
                                            win that cooperate, but they end up in a standoff, so they cooperate.

                                            As a thought experiment, think about what would happen if Bush and
                                            Rumsfeld actually could achieve a perfect anti-nuclear-missile
                                            defense like they are trying to do. Could that alter the basic logic
                                            of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) that is the basis for the
                                            nuclear standoff and bring an end to this period of peace (mostly) on
                                            the planet?

                                            So you can't have a completely cooperative stance -- you don't have
                                            the option of "not fighting". To survive you must fight someone. If
                                            you want a job, you have to compete with others on the job market.
                                            After you get the job, you will have competitors inside the office
                                            (thus office politics), competing with you for the finite revenues of
                                            the company. If you want to start a business, you will have business
                                            competitors. You can't call them up and say, "Hey, I'm a nice guy, I
                                            have some great ideas that will help you make money" and give them
                                            all your business plans, can you? So it's one thing to sit and
                                            theorize about competition vs cooperation. It's another to get
                                            clocked in the head by your competition. It makes you wake up and pay
                                            attention.

                                            You say I undervalue cooperation. I probably do. That's because I
                                            *overvalued* cooperation in my previous life, and I got my ass
                                            kicked. I survived, but I had to change my belief system. I had to
                                            learn the importance of competition.

                                            > As for other thoughts you revealed here, I did not see anything
                                            > crazy either.

                                            That's nice. Believe me, a lot of people disagree with everything I
                                            say. People have told me, my experience is not typical, and therefore
                                            wrong -- that the average person has a much different experience of
                                            life on this planet from me, and naturally comes to completely
                                            different conclusions about what it all means. But I always think,
                                            even if my life experience is an outlier, it's still real. It's still
                                            a real data point.

                                            Wäyne
                                          • Nanyun Zhang
                                            I was wondering what causes our difference of opinion about competition&cooperation. No matter from which perspective you approach the issue, empirical or
                                            Message 21 of 29 , May 25, 2005
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                                              I was wondering what causes our difference of opinion about competition&cooperation. No matter from which perspective you approach the issue, empirical or rationalistic, it is not a complicated question. It is actually easy to show by using game theory, that pure competition is the best strategy when players are in a zero-sum game; and pure cooperation or a mixed strategy will be adopted when playing a non-zero game. "The apprentice" is the best example of "zero-sum game"--dozens of people compete for one job; no wonder they compete fiercely and never apologize for mistakes. Trench warfare in WWI is a good case for non-zero game--none had to die; they could both live if they cooperate; so I fully agree with your analysis. Even in business world, there are full of win-win situations, and with a "selective altruism" attitude or not, people may cooperate with each other to get the best results for themselves.

                                              Back from specific situations to the big picture. I agree, people ultimately need to compete to survive, facing the scare resources on earth; but people still cooperate so as to compete more efficiently. From historical perspective, human culture has been evolving from tribes in barbaric competition to larger groups in civilized cooperation in either economic or political sense. When I read F. Hayek 's "the fatal conceit" many years ago, I could not understand its first sentence, "This book argues that our civilisation depends, not only for its origin but also for its preservation, on what can be precisely described only as the extended order of human cooperation, an order more commonly, if somewhat misleadingly, known as capitalism." I thought the spirit of capitalism is competition. Maybe I was wrong. The spirit of capitalism could be cooperation. People compete in how well they are in cooperation; and it is the extended order of cooperation that brought more prosperity and
                                              relaxed the limited resource constraint to the world.

                                              Thanks for sharing your many other thoughts with us. I agree with part of them; and I have no opinion on the other part since they are far beyond my expertise.

                                              Nanyun

                                              Wayne Radinsky <waynerad@...> wrote:
                                              Ok first a number of people have been writing privately saying "you
                                              never say anything good about Microsoft" so I wanted to respond
                                              publicly since I figured there are other people thinking the same
                                              thing.

                                              First of all, while Microsoft uses competitive performance reviews,
                                              (a) this is a good thing and what all good companies should be using,
                                              and (b) this does not have as much negative political side effects as
                                              my posting implied. The reason for (b) is because Microsoft makes
                                              inter-group and inter-personal cooperation a performance review goal,
                                              therefore harnessing the power of competition to reduce office
                                              politics and foster inter-group and inter-personal cooperation within
                                              the company.

                                              The reason for (a) is because any company that does not weed out bad
                                              exployees is going to become the victim of the sucky people princple,
                                              where you hire one sucky person, and then they hire another sucky
                                              person, and that person hires another sucky person, and before long
                                              your organization is infliltrated with sucky people. See
                                              http://bnoopy.typepad.com/bnoopy/2004/09/hiring_no_false.html

                                              Most people fired by Microsoft are sucky people who suck at their
                                              jobs and deserve it. Microsoft is exceptionally good in its treatment
                                              of talented employees. Microsoft has made over 10,000 millionaires.

                                              People must be graded on results and not effort. In business, what
                                              matters are results and not effort. It does not matter if you worked
                                              80 hours per week and were up for the last 35 hours writing code, if
                                              your competitor ships their product first and gets all the customers.
                                              Microsoft judges by results and employees who deliver good results
                                              will perform will in performance reviews.

                                              In short, Microsoft are good people and they are doing exactly what
                                              good managers in good companies do. If you were a shareholder in a
                                              company, you would want your managers to carry out exactly the kinds
                                              of policies that Microsoft managers do.

                                              When Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer originally designed Microsoft's HR
                                              policies in 1975, they based in on the principle of natural selection
                                              from the biological sciences. You can think of Microsoft, therefore,
                                              as being a giant, deliberate, corporate-sized genetic algorithm,
                                              using hiring as the point of replication and variation, and firing as
                                              the point of selection. Like computer-simulated genetic algorithms,
                                              this process results in substantian and sustainable learning and
                                              adapting capacity. Microsoft is one of the most rapidly-learning and
                                              adaptave corporations on the planet.

                                              It must also be pointed out that Microsoft's perforance review
                                              policies are merely making explicit something that is implicit in all
                                              jobs -- the competition of the job market. Therefore, this kind of
                                              competition between individuals in the job market occurs at all
                                              companies everywhere. This is why individuals in all businesses
                                              everywhere must continue to learn and adapt and update their skills
                                              to a changing environment. Microsoft is simply putting the process in
                                              plain sight.

                                              From a moral persective, Microsoft people are some of the most
                                              morally good people on the planet, and Bill Gates is probably the
                                              most morally good person on the planet, if you think about it
                                              objectively. If you define "good" as a person who "brings the most
                                              hapiness to the largest number of people" and "bad" as a person who
                                              "brings the most misery to the largest number of people", i.e. (moral
                                              goodness) = (people made happy)*(amount of happiness) - (people made
                                              miserable)*(amount of misery). Bill Gates has commited something like
                                              $60 billion to his foundation, which puts the money into 3rd world
                                              sanitation projects and medical research projects, and the like. For
                                              all the thousands of people whose lives are saved by these proects,
                                              Bill Gates is their angel. I was thinking the other day, Bill Gates
                                              is putting millions into malaria research, what if they were to find
                                              a cure for malaria? Then Bill Gates would be personally responsible
                                              for saving the lives of 5 or 6 *million* people per year. Wouldn't
                                              that instantly justify whatever 'unfair' business practices his
                                              critics accuse him of using? Wouldn't it make Bill Gates,
                                              objectively, the most morally "good" person to have ever lived on
                                              this planet? So So if you are basing your software purchasing
                                              decisions on moral grounds, you should always by software from
                                              Microsoft.

                                              Yes I previously made 'negative' comments regarding Linux vs Windows
                                              server stability. Specifically, I said it is possible to run 4000
                                              database-driven websites off a Linux server but not a Windows server.
                                              I did not mean to imply by this that (a) Microsoft would not close
                                              the gap and achieve parity with Linux in the near future, nor (b)
                                              that Windows is not still the preferable choice, because other
                                              considerations, such as total cost of ownership (TCO) must be
                                              factored into software deployment decisions. Stability issues can be
                                              handled by proper application isolation and delpoyment procedures.
                                              CheckFree Corporation, a financial services company, conducted a 2
                                              year study comparing Red Hat Linux 9.0 operating system, IBM DB2
                                              Universal Database, and IBM WebSphere, versus Microsoft Windows
                                              Server 2003, Microsoft SQL Server 2000, and the Microsoft .NET
                                              Framework. delivered 14 percent faster performance and an anticipated
                                              24 percent lower TCO, with no loss in reliability. Regal
                                              Entertainment Group, a motion picture exhibitor, switched from Linux
                                              to Windows XP Embedded for their 7000 point-of-service terminals, and
                                              they concluded that because everything besides the Linux Kernal came
                                              at a cost, Windows provided significantly lower TCO. Safeway switched
                                              its 1,800 in-store application processor servers from SCO UNIX and
                                              Informix to Microsoft Windows Server 2003. The .NET Framework is the
                                              foundation for all future custom projects at Safeway. Royal Caribbean
                                              Cruises installed 1,200 Microsoft Windows XP Embedded thin clients on
                                              their new ships. Samsung, the Korean electronics powerhouse,
                                              estimates they save $2.9 million annually by using Windows for their
                                              internet portal and internally for accessing SAP/R3. Even internet
                                              hosting companies, to go back to my original website hosting example,
                                              internet hosting companies like Rackspace, save significantly in the
                                              long run by using Windows and Microsoft Operations Manager 2005.
                                              Rackspace estimates Microsoft Operations Manager 2005 will pay for
                                              itself within six months of its deployment.

                                              While its true that I do development for my small websites using
                                              Linux and PHP, that doesn't mean that it's appropriate for enterprise
                                              use. You should use the .NET framework for your enterprise software
                                              development. Sun's J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) is also a popular
                                              choice. The point is you should not view my choice to use PHP as
                                              implying anything negative about Microsoft or that you should not go
                                              ahead with .NET deployment.

                                              It's also true that I don't recommend Microsoft stock as an
                                              investment, but again this should not be viewed as critical of
                                              Microsoft. The reason for this is, when it comes to investment, I'm
                                              looking for "the next Microsoft", meaning the next stock that will
                                              double every year for 10 years or more. Microsoft's market cap is
                                              currently $272.49 billion. If it doubled every year for the next 10
                                              years, it would become $279,029.76 billon. (That is more than the
                                              total number of dollars in circulation, which is about 9 trillion.)
                                              Now, I know Gates & company are smart, but I am skeptical that they
                                              can pull this off. Microsoft stock is mostly of value for its
                                              dividends now anyway. I do expect some technology company to see this
                                              kind of doubling -- Moore's Law, the doubling of computing power and
                                              the underlying driver of Microsoft's and other tech company's
                                              doublings, has not stopped. I just expect it will be a small company
                                              in a new and undeveloped part of the computer industry, just as PC's
                                              were new and undeveloped when Microsoft began in 1975. None of this
                                              is meant to suggest that buying Microsoft stock wouldn't be a good
                                              investment. Microsoft has committed to paying $75 billion in
                                              dividends, and Microsoft continues to increase sales substantially
                                              every year. I expect this cash flow will continue to increase for the
                                              foreseeable future, because

                                              In short, none of the 'negative' comments I made were intended to be
                                              interpreted as negative. If you think I said something 'negative'
                                              about Microsoft, you are probably mistaking bitterness about not
                                              being good enough to be a Microsoft employee with genuine criticism.
                                              I apologise for my unjustified bitter feelings towards the company.
                                              Sometimes it is hard to feel good about people who have condemned you
                                              even if the condemnation was correct and justified. Yes, Microsoft is
                                              a competitive company. The point is, they *should* be a competitive
                                              company. Life is fundamentally all about competition -- the process
                                              of natural selection is a process of competition for resources
                                              between individuals striving to maximize inclusive genetic fitness.
                                              So I want to assure you all that I have the highest respect for
                                              Microsoft.

                                              Microsoft opens the door to innovations in every field of human
                                              endeavor, delivering new opportunity, convenience, and value to
                                              people's lives. Microsoft creates new form factors like the Tablet PC
                                              and Media Center. With Microsoft's continued innovation of Windows
                                              Media technology, they enable people to use computers in more ways,
                                              in more places, and more often than ever before. Microsoft files more
                                              than 2000 patents every year. Microsoft is better than anyone in the
                                              industry at translating these innovations into shareholder value,
                                              from market expansion, market share growth, entirely new markets and
                                              value-added services. Microsoft continues innovation of Windows
                                              Server 2003, with relentless improvement in performance,
                                              productivity, applications development tools, security,
                                              manageability, everything. Microsoft continues innovation of the
                                              Windows client, making the interface easier to use, improving
                                              compatibility with a broader and broader range of hardware and
                                              software applications. Microsoft has the largest support network for
                                              any operating system. Microsoft continues to improve the .NET
                                              framework that competes with J2EE, BEA Systems, Borland, IBM, Oracle,
                                              etc, with continuous innovations in the development environment and
                                              applications development tools. Microsoft is developing financial
                                              management, supply chain management, and CRM solutions to competer
                                              with Intuit, Sage, Oracle, PeopleSoft, and SAP. Microsoft is the only
                                              company that can tie all these dispirate pieces into an integrated
                                              platform that incorporates the MSN portal, the XBox video game
                                              console, providing integrated advertising, music download, instant
                                              messaging and other communications services. Microsoft enables people
                                              and businesses throughout the world to realize their full potential.
                                              What do I do? In comparison, not much. So you can freely dismiss any
                                              apparent "criticism" of Microsoft from me.

                                              People often dismiss claims of "innovation" on the part of Microsoft
                                              by saying that Microsoft never invents anything, but just copies
                                              other people's inventions. There are two things to be said about
                                              this. First consider what would happen if Microsoft didn't "copy"
                                              other people's ideas. People would criticise Microsoft for having
                                              "Not Invented Here Syndrome". When you think about it, if you are a
                                              smart person, shouldn't you copy other people's ideas once they have
                                              clearly been proven to work in the real world? When you learned how
                                              to tie your shoes did you say, "Oh, I didn't invent this shoe-tying
                                              process, I won't use it." Imagine the complaints from users that
                                              Microsoft doesn't have feature X or Y that a competitor has, if they
                                              did not copy the good ideas from other products. Microsoft does not
                                              have "Not Invented Here Syndrome" and this is a good thing -- a sign
                                              of good rather than bad management. So that's the first thing. The
                                              second thing is that, fundamentally, what Bill Gates and Paul Allen
                                              invented wasn't any particular type of software, it was a software
                                              business -- the whole process of building and marketing any type of
                                              software. Microsoft produces whatever type of software people will
                                              pay for. This is like the old question of, suppose you invented a
                                              better tasting burger than McDonald's. That would be great, but
                                              inventing a better burger is not the same as inventing a better
                                              burger business -- have you invented a better way to build and
                                              franchise restuarants, come up with better hiring and training
                                              processes, figured out a better means of distribution of meat and
                                              buns and soda pop, or a better way to advertise and create brand
                                              identity for your burger restuarant? No? Then who cares if you
                                              invented a better burger? See the point? Gates and Allen created the
                                              closest thing to a "assembly line for software" that exists in the
                                              world, and they have proven that there is more value in the assembly
                                              line than in any particular software feature.

                                              Having said that, let me address the specific issues that Nanyun
                                              raised.

                                              > Interesting experience at Microsoft.

                                              Oh yes it was the best learning experience of my life. It transformed
                                              me into a fundamentally different person.

                                              It's the reason I got into all this "Futurist" stuff. Before I
                                              thought the meaning of life was to "be a good person" and "make the
                                              world a better place". I didn't believe in things like AI. I was
                                              writing software the old-fashioned, conventional way -- trying to
                                              make programs that would be useful to people, to use my intellectual
                                              ability to solve problems facing the world. To be able to say, no,
                                              it's just a fight to the death for money, everyone fighting for the
                                              money they need to survive and reproduce, which is driving an
                                              evolutionary process, the same evolutionary process that has been
                                              going on for 3.5 billion years on this planet, the same evolutionary
                                              process that created mammals and human beings and human language and
                                              human technology in the first place, and that will lead to the
                                              creation of AI and the technological obsolencence of the human mind
                                              -- this took an absolute revolution in my worldview. My worldview was
                                              wrong and my experience at Microsoft provided the impetus for
                                              correcting it. I threw out everything I believed about the world and
                                              started over. That's how I became "a Futurist".

                                              > According to an article in Time 2001 which I just checked, about 20%
                                              > of American companies are using "Rank and fire" performance ranking
                                              > system, including Ford, MS, and Enron. ...BUT, you are talking about
                                              > performance review system. "Rank and fire" review system is
                                              > perfectly compatible with cooperative working system, right? Think
                                              > about "Apprentice", you need to cooperate with your teammate to get
                                              > the result, although everyone is in a competitive ranking system for
                                              > the evaluation of his/her performance.

                                              Yes, exactly! I tell everyone that The Apprentice is the best
                                              television show ever made. People always disagree with me about this,
                                              but I don't understand how. The Apprentice covers many essential
                                              business skills -- leadership, because everyone must play the role of
                                              team leader at one time or another, how to cooperate with teammates
                                              so the team will win, and how to interact with the boss, how to
                                              defend oneself and blame someone else for problems so that someone
                                              else gets fired instead of you. In addition, all of the tasks that
                                              the contestants perform are genuine business objectives -- selling a
                                              product, creating a marketing campaign, impressing a particular
                                              client, etc.

                                              Now in the interest of fair and honest disclosure, I have to add that
                                              the people who disagree with me about The Apprentice have more money
                                              than I do. If you accept the theory that money is the most objective
                                              available measure of total intelligence (not just that portion of
                                              intelligence that is measured by an IQ test), then these people are
                                              smarter than me, so you should believe them and not me. (Of course,
                                              by that measure, everyone on this list is more intelligent than me,
                                              so you shouldn't pay attention to anything I write.)

                                              Speaking of TV shows, I recently saw an episode of The Amazing Race.
                                              Now, if The Apprentice is about office politics, The Amazing Race is
                                              about the role of dumb luck in life. Of course they don't say that --
                                              the winners gave a big talk about faith and prayer and so on when
                                              they won their $1 million prize. But if you ask me, the show is about
                                              dumb luck.

                                              On the show, teams of 2 people (husband/wife or boyfriend/girlfriend)
                                              compete in a race around the world, flying from city to city and
                                              within each city racing through various obstacles that the show's
                                              producers set up. In the show I saw, they were already down to 3
                                              teams. (I don't know how many they started with.). I don't remember
                                              the people's names so I'll just call them A, B, and C. First team B
                                              came in last because their taxi had a flat tire. But! They were told
                                              it was a non-elimination round, so instead of being eliminated they
                                              would just have all their money taken away for the next round. If the
                                              race had ended there, the winner would have been team A. So while the
                                              others left in taxis, they went to thei airport and begged for money.
                                              This is the team that ended up winning. What happened was at the next
                                              city there was a gate that closed at 4pm, and the first two teams
                                              arrived after 4 pm, so they caught up. If the race had ended there,
                                              team C would have been the winner. Team C lept out ahead after that
                                              in a swimming challenge, but was passed by team A at a tollboth
                                              because they got in a slow lane. If the race had ended there, team A
                                              would have won. Team C made a wrong turn approaching the airport, so
                                              A and B got on the first flight and C was on the 2nd flight -- the
                                              flight was to Miami. In Miami, the next challenge was to find a
                                              certain cigar shop, which had a spanish name. Team B found it quickly
                                              because they had a spanish-speaking taxi driver. Team A had an
                                              english-speaking taxi driver and drove in circles for hours. Driving
                                              to the finish line, team B ran out of money and had to beg people on
                                              the street for more. Team A almost caught up -- they reached the
                                              finish only minutes behind team B, but team B still won.

                                              What does this have to do with business? Just that intense
                                              competition *vastly* amplifies the effect of tiny mistakes and random
                                              dumb luck. You lost a million dollars because your taxi driver didn't
                                              speak spanish? How could you have known? The point is, you couldn't
                                              have.

                                              Why are most of the people who sat alongside me at Microsoft in 1993
                                              millionaires today while I am dirt poor? Probably because in 1995 I
                                              got sick, and I got fired for it, and they didn't. Of course, I can't
                                              prove that if I hadn't been fired then, that I wouldn't have been
                                              fired the next year for some other reason, like some political
                                              mistake. So who knows. And of course, what about all the brilliant
                                              programmers working at other companies, not Microsoft, in 1993,
                                              companies that went out of business because they were crushed by
                                              Microsoft, or companies that failed just because they are part of the
                                              7/10th of startup companies that always fail? Are those millionaires
                                              from Microsoft really smarter and really better people, better, more
                                              deserving human beings than than all the tech industry people that
                                              ended up losers? Well, obviously yes they are, I'm just asking you to
                                              think about why.

                                              See:

                                              http://www.fooledbyrandomness.com/prologue.pdf

                                              (I haven't had time to read the rest of fooledbyrandomness.com but it
                                              looks good, too.)

                                              And

                                              + The Six Serendipities of Microsoft +
                                              http://www.vcnet.com/bms/features/serendipities.html

                                              So now you know what you need to succeed in business:

                                              + Great health and stamina,
                                              + A high IQ with lots of billiance and ingenuity,
                                              + excellent political skills, especially, when to be nice to others
                                              and cooperate and when to clock your enemy upside the head
                                              + and a healthy dose of plain old dumb luck.

                                              Failure on any one of these points can cause failure in business.
                                              Failure in business can cause death from lack of money. Of course,
                                              death is necessare for evolution to work -- natural selection would
                                              not work if every organism survived and reproduced. So overall, the
                                              system works.

                                              The article on the Six Serendipities of Microsoft concludes by saying
                                              Microsoft is "a company that is desperately resisting change" and
                                              that the company has a "defensive posture". As we've seen in the
                                              years since this webpage was written, Microsoft has proven the writer
                                              wrong and been enormously successful. Microsoft is on the verge of
                                              even greater success with their SmartPhones and XBoxes and so on.
                                              While Microsoft has had lucky breaks, undeniably, the writer has
                                              clearly underestimated their brilliance. Success is not *just* dumb
                                              luck, it's also being smart enough to know what to do when you get
                                              lucky breaks.

                                              Microsoft is in such a strong position today that the future is
                                              entirely theirs to lose. They can't be touched by any business
                                              competitor. They can't be touched by the DOJ or the EU -- Microsoft
                                              knows if they get fined by these agencies, they will make more money
                                              by continuing the "unethical" business practictices and just paying
                                              the fine. So the fines have no practical effect. Microsoft has so
                                              much cash that when it comes to business and technology mistakes and
                                              misjudmements, the "margin of error" is so large as to be
                                              meaningless. Microsoft is simply too smart to make a blunder big
                                              enough to exceed the margin of error. So nobody can touch them, only
                                              they can shoot themselves in the foot, and they're too smart to shoot
                                              themselves in the foot. So it won't happen. Even Linux and the Open
                                              Source Movement won't have any serious negative impact on Microsoft.
                                              The best that can be said for Linux and OSS is that Linux has slowed
                                              Microsoft growth into server rooms and "back office" applications, so
                                              without Linux, Microsoft's revenues would be even higher than they
                                              already are. So I predict Microsoft will continue to be successful
                                              for decades to come.

                                              > So, cooperation still can be the best strategy for each individual
                                              > in such a competitive system.

                                              Absolutely not. Ever see a person on The Apprentice apologize for a
                                              mistake and try to learn from it? They get fired in a heartbeat. On
                                              The Apprentice, Nice guys finish last. In the Real World it's usually
                                              the same way. Corporations do not ruminate when failures occur. They
                                              quickly find the person responsible and fire that person, then move
                                              on to the next problem.

                                              The best approach is what I call "selective altruism". Think again
                                              about Bill Gates. He has been best friends with Steve Ballmer since
                                              1975. He has stable long-term relationships with his wife and kids.
                                              At Microsoft, he has made over 10,000 other people millionaires.
                                              Microsoft has partnered with dozens of other companies, hardware
                                              companies, software companies, video game companies, cell phone
                                              companies, what have you, and made them rich as well. But is Gates
                                              nice to everybody? Of course not. The field is littered with
                                              companies Microsoft crushed in one way or another. So Gates is
                                              ruthless or kind on a case-by-case basis. The problem is, if you are
                                              another business and you enter into some kind of agreement with
                                              Microsoft, you never know ahead of time whether you're going to be
                                              one of the people that gets screwed over or not. Every year we see
                                              businesses lining up to work with Microsoft, and I'm sure they are
                                              all thinking, "These people from Microsoft seem so nice. I know other
                                              companies have been screwed over by these guys in the past, but we're
                                              going to be different." Microsoft always partners with people for
                                              carefully thought out strategic reasons. But you have no way of
                                              knowing what the strategy is. Gates has said he views business as a
                                              chess game, where if your competitor is thinking 4 moves ahead,
                                              you're thinking 10 moves ahead, so you beat him. Everything Microsoft
                                              does has a strategic purpose, so if you ever see Microsoft acting in
                                              ways that don't make sense to you, it's because you don't know the
                                              strategy.

                                              I think a lot of people have "nice guy" tendencies genetically,
                                              because in the historical evolutionary past, people lived in tribes
                                              of related people, and often it did pay to be completely cooperative
                                              to other members of the tribe. (A person in such an environment
                                              probably had little or no interaction with people outside the tribe
                                              on a day-to-day basis.) In a modern corporation, however, the people
                                              you work with are not genetically related to you -- so any
                                              cooperative interaction with them has to be based on the evolutionary
                                              psychology principle of reciprocal altruism, rather than kinship.
                                              Although your corporation may have a warm tribal feeling, especially
                                              if it is a very small corporation, you have to remember,
                                              fundamentally, corporations are not tribes.

                                              > Free riding is a big problem whenever more than one party are
                                              > involved. It is rational, no matter for money or for reputation. But
                                              > it can be mitigated or avoided by well-designed and enforceable
                                              > contract and by effective monitoring system, regarding to inter-firm
                                              > research joint ventures.

                                              Sure, if you are only looking at inter-firm research joint ventures
                                              as a closed system. If you step back and look at the big picture, you
                                              can see that the people in charge of writing the well-designed and
                                              enforceable contract and those in charge of the effective monitoring
                                              system can still rig the game in their favor and ride free.

                                              Remember the Golden Rule: He who has the gold makes the rules. People
                                              at the top of a social system always try to rig the rules in their favor.
                                              For an example, see Bush, George W.

                                              > As for "stabbing in the back" or "stealing", you are right,
                                              > economists could call it "economically rational" and even can model
                                              > the decision making process in choosing between putting research
                                              > effort, being inactive(free riding) and stabbing partners in the
                                              > back. But, stealing being an option does not necessarily mean that
                                              > people in a research cooperation do always choose it.

                                              No, in fact people often don't behave in an economically rational
                                              manner.

                                              > Actually economists have developed a whole theory system to describe
                                              > the conditions that will sustain the cooperation and collusion, as
                                              > well as the ones that destroy them and seduce the betray.

                                              I'm not familiar with this particular theory, but I know economists
                                              are trying to come up with models for human emotions. Every marketer
                                              knows that to get someone to buy, you have to manipulate their
                                              emotions. Economists took a long time to recognize this, but it seems
                                              like in recent years they have been working on it at lot.

                                              > Anyway, no matter how hard it is, firms need to conduct
                                              > joint-research with other firms for at least two reasons: to lower
                                              > the risk; and to seek partners with complementary competencies or
                                              > assets.
                                              >
                                              > PDA is a good example. In its early development stage, several firms
                                              > in computer, telecommunication and electronics worked together to
                                              > share the risk and to gain the access to the enabling technologies
                                              > their partners own.

                                              I agree. In the case of Microsoft it is generally the second reason,
                                              because they want to partner with a company with complementary
                                              assets. For example a hardware company.

                                              In the semiconductor industry, on the other hand, you see a lot of
                                              partnerships for the first reason. Semiconductor fabs are so insanely
                                              expensive that few companies can afford to develop their own. Even
                                              amount giants like Intel, you see widespread research colaboration
                                              projects with industry research groups and universities. Intel winds
                                              up sharing the technology that results from these with their business
                                              competitors (Motorola for example), but they do it anyway because
                                              they also lower their share of the risk.

                                              > I could not agree more that innovation and creativity are get
                                              > turbocharged by competition; as for other thoughts you revealed
                                              > here, I did not see anything crazy either. But it seems that you a
                                              > little bit undervalued the function of cooperation in economic
                                              > system and in the evolutionary process of human society. The goals
                                              > are always the result, or the performance; competition or
                                              > cooperation are just tools, or the ways people can use to achieve
                                              > the goals. People choose either to compete or cooperate to fit
                                              > different circumstances and they are intertwined forces in
                                              > evolutionary process I think. If cooperation is the best way to
                                              > survive, people won't compete. You may think war is the perfect case
                                              > for competition, cruel to death, but read this: the
                                              > Live-and-Let-Live System in Trench Warfare in World War I.
                                              > http://www.heretical.com/gameplay/trenches.html

                                              Hey, that website has some pretty interesting stuff on it. Like this
                                              page.

                                              http://www.heretical.com/wilson/forgasms.html

                                              But anyway, this article about trench warfare reminds me a lot of
                                              Edward Teller. Edward Teller, "the father of the hydrogen bomb",
                                              you'll recall, strongly advocated making the most destructive weapons
                                              possible as a means to achieve peace. And the nuclear stalemate
                                              between the US and USSR did basically that -- it prevented another
                                              world war and brought peace to the world (mostly).

                                              Because I can't help but notice, the underlying basis for the
                                              cooperation that occured in trench warfare was the fact that neither
                                              side could compete and win. In other words, both sides would rather
                                              win that cooperate, but they end up in a standoff, so they cooperate.

                                              As a thought experiment, think about what would happen if Bush and
                                              Rumsfeld actually could achieve a perfect anti-nuclear-missile
                                              defense like they are trying to do. Could that alter the basic logic
                                              of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) that is the basis for the
                                              nuclear standoff and bring an end to this period of peace (mostly) on
                                              the planet?

                                              So you can't have a completely cooperative stance -- you don't have
                                              the option of "not fighting". To survive you must fight someone. If
                                              you want a job, you have to compete with others on the job market.
                                              After you get the job, you will have competitors inside the office
                                              (thus office politics), competing with you for the finite revenues of
                                              the company. If you want to start a business, you will have business
                                              competitors. You can't call them up and say, "Hey, I'm a nice guy, I
                                              have some great ideas that will help you make money" and give them
                                              all your business plans, can you? So it's one thing to sit and
                                              theorize about competition vs cooperation. It's another to get
                                              clocked in the head by your competition. It makes you wake up and pay
                                              attention.

                                              You say I undervalue cooperation. I probably do. That's because I
                                              *overvalued* cooperation in my previous life, and I got my ass
                                              kicked. I survived, but I had to change my belief system. I had to
                                              learn the importance of competition.

                                              > As for other thoughts you revealed here, I did not see anything
                                              > crazy either.

                                              That's nice. Believe me, a lot of people disagree with everything I
                                              say. People have told me, my experience is not typical, and therefore
                                              wrong -- that the average person has a much different experience of
                                              life on this planet from me, and naturally comes to completely
                                              different conclusions about what it all means. But I always think,
                                              even if my life experience is an outlier, it's still real. It's still
                                              a real data point.

                                              W�yne


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                                            • Wayne Radinsky
                                              ... Ok, so here is the question for you: To what extent is the business world a zero-sum game vs full of win-win situations ? Here s some numbers for you:
                                              Message 22 of 29 , Jun 12, 2005
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                                                Nanyun Zhang wrote:
                                                > I was wondering what causes our difference of opinion about
                                                > competition&cooperation. No matter from which perspective you
                                                > approach the issue, empirical or rationalistic, it is not a
                                                > complicated question. It is actually easy to show by using game
                                                > theory, that pure competition is the best strategy when players are
                                                > in a zero-sum game; and pure cooperation or a mixed strategy will be
                                                > adopted when playing a non-zero game. "The apprentice" is the best
                                                > example of "zero-sum game"--dozens of people compete for one job; no
                                                > wonder they compete fiercely and never apologize for mistakes.
                                                > Trench warfare in WWI is a good case for non-zero game--none had to
                                                > die; they could both live if they cooperate; so I fully agree with
                                                > your analysis. Even in business world, there are full of win-win
                                                > situations, and with a "selective altruism" attitude or not, people
                                                > may cooperate with each other to get the best results for
                                                > themselves.

                                                Ok, so here is the question for you: To what extent is the business
                                                world a "zero-sum game" vs "full of win-win situations"?

                                                Here's some numbers for you:

                                                In the software industry, the top three companies generate 75% of the
                                                profit, and the top one generates 57% of the profit.

                                                In the home construction industry, the top six companies generate 22%
                                                of the profit.

                                                In other words, software is a "winner-take-all" game and home
                                                construction isn't.

                                                Why isn't it? I would say, because the lack of automation in the home
                                                construction industry prevents the business from becoming monopolized
                                                by a handful of companies.

                                                People who have been on this list for long enough will remember our
                                                discussions of Pareto curves and scale-free-networks and the
                                                concentration of wealth that results. Home construction industry has
                                                enough friction (manual labor, geographic barriers to expanding
                                                business) that the business can't be completely taken over by the
                                                largest and most cost-efficient companies.

                                                However, the process of automating home construction apparently has
                                                just begun:


                                                + The Whole-House Machine +
                                                In a sunny laboratory at the University of Southern California, a
                                                robotically controlled nozzle squeezes a ribbon of concrete onto a
                                                wooden plank. Every two minutes and 14 seconds, the nozzle completes
                                                a circuit, topping the previous ribbon with a fresh one. Thus a
                                                five-foot-long wall rises—a wall built without human intervention. If
                                                all goes as planned, Khoshnevis will use a larger, more advanced
                                                version of the device later this year to erect the first robotically
                                                constructed house in just one day.
                                                http://www.discover.com/issues/apr-05/features/whole-house-machine/


                                                Once robotics advances to the point where home construction is
                                                sufficiently automated, I expect the home construction industry to
                                                have a similar profit profile as the software industry, with a
                                                handful of home construction software companies getting all the
                                                profits.

                                                > Back from specific situations to the big picture. I agree, people
                                                > ultimately need to compete to survive, facing the scare resources on
                                                > earth; but people still cooperate so as to compete more efficiently.
                                                > From historical perspective, human culture has been evolving from
                                                > tribes in barbaric competition to larger groups in civilized
                                                > cooperation in either economic or political sense. When I read F.
                                                > Hayek 's "the fatal conceit" many years ago, I could not understand
                                                > its first sentence, "This book argues that our civilisation depends,
                                                > not only for its origin but also for its preservation, on what can
                                                > be precisely described only as the extended order of human
                                                > cooperation, an order more commonly, if somewhat misleadingly, known
                                                > as capitalism." I thought the spirit of capitalism is competition.
                                                > Maybe I was wrong. The spirit of capitalism could be cooperation.
                                                > People compete in how well they are in cooperation; and it is the
                                                > extended order of cooperation that brought more prosperity and
                                                > relaxed the limited resource constraint to the world.

                                                This view is more along the lines of John Smart's way of thinking. He
                                                says complex adaptive systems become more positive-sum as technology
                                                advances and we go further up the Moore's Law curve.

                                                Is he right? If he's right, then we all have nothing to worry about:
                                                continued advancement of technology will steadily improve the quality
                                                of life in the future for the majority of people.

                                                The question I have is: historically, technology has tended to
                                                complement, rather than compete against, human abilities. In the
                                                future, won't robotics and artificial intelligence compete directly
                                                against humans? If that view is correct, then all the trends people
                                                usually cite (improved health, life expectancy, lower stress, more
                                                free time, etc etc) as results from technology are really just
                                                temporary results from a peried of "symbiosis" between humans and
                                                technology that won't continue beyond the development of AI. (This is
                                                the point where people always jump in and predict that humans won't
                                                be displaced because we'll have computer chips in our brains, or
                                                "nanites", or we'll upload ourselves into computers, or something.)

                                                Also, John Smart says that complex adaptive systems become more
                                                positive-sum as technology advances -- but how do you measure
                                                "positive-sum"ness quantitatively? I don't know of any good way. If
                                                you measure by profit margins, the example I gave of concentration of
                                                wealth in the software industry would suggest that advancing
                                                technology *decreases*, rather than increases, positive-sum
                                                interactions. Can you find a more objective measurement that shows
                                                the world becoming more positive-sum?

                                                Wayne
                                              • Troy Gardner
                                                ... Other attempts at manufactured homes have been tried in the past (i.e. Buckminster Fuller). A major reason why they haven t been successful are a) local
                                                Message 23 of 29 , Jun 12, 2005
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                                                  > In other words, software is a "winner-take-all" game and home
                                                  > construction isn't.
                                                  >
                                                  > Why isn't it? I would say, because the lack of automation in the home
                                                  > construction industry prevents the business from becoming monopolized
                                                  > by a handful of companies.

                                                  Other attempts at manufactured homes have been tried in the past (i.e.
                                                  Buckminster Fuller). A major reason why they haven't been successful are

                                                  a) local labor unions are firmly entrenched, eventually you need one for
                                                  something, and via stalling they can make things very difficult.

                                                  b) building codes vary dramatically from county to county, much as tax codes
                                                  do. Until software can learn and keep up (much like untold number at TurboTax
                                                  keep their software upto date). It's very hard for a single entity to keep up
                                                  on a wide area. Give it time and when rapid house prototype/builders are up to
                                                  speed with software this will overtake a).

                                                  I'm particularly excited about extruded/poured concrete. It's cheap and
                                                  depending on it's composition (adding fiber for strenght, fiber optics for
                                                  light, styrofoam for insulation) it can be used in a myriad of fashions for
                                                  pretty much any surface/structure in a building. Especially when dealing with
                                                  rebar enforced you can make very ridgid structures (www.monolithicdomes.com).
                                                  Printing a house could let you do things akin to other rapid prototyping, like
                                                  printing wires, color, and holes for plumbing, fasteners into the structure.

                                                  Troy Gardner -"How you live your seconds, is how you live your days, is how you live your life..."

                                                  http://www.troygardner.com -my world
                                                  http://www.troyworks.com - building Rich Internet Applications
                                                  http://www.intrio.com -helping bridge the gap between the humans and machines. Home of the Flickey™
                                                • Andrew Pimlott
                                                  ... www.monolithicdome.com in case anyone else had trouble. Concrete is an amazing material. Andrew
                                                  Message 24 of 29 , Jun 12, 2005
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                                                    On Sun, Jun 12, 2005 at 06:42:40PM -0700, Troy Gardner wrote:
                                                    > I'm particularly excited about extruded/poured concrete. It's cheap and
                                                    > depending on it's composition (adding fiber for strenght, fiber optics for
                                                    > light, styrofoam for insulation) it can be used in a myriad of fashions for
                                                    > pretty much any surface/structure in a building. Especially when dealing with
                                                    > rebar enforced you can make very ridgid structures (www.monolithicdomes.com).

                                                    www.monolithicdome.com

                                                    in case anyone else had trouble. Concrete is an amazing material.

                                                    Andrew
                                                  • Alan Patrick
                                                    ... This is often a major block, but consumer resistance is another that is often forgotten ... Concrete got itself a very bad reputation in the 60 s as it was
                                                    Message 25 of 29 , Jun 13, 2005
                                                    • 0 Attachment
                                                      > b) building codes vary dramatically from county to county, much as tax
                                                      > codes
                                                      > do.

                                                      This is often a major block, but consumer resistance is another that is
                                                      often forgotten

                                                      > I'm particularly excited about extruded/poured concrete. It's cheap and
                                                      > depending on it's composition (adding fiber for strenght, fiber optics for
                                                      > light, styrofoam for insulation) it can be used in a myriad of fashions
                                                      > for
                                                      > pretty much any surface/structure in a building.

                                                      Concrete got itself a very bad reputation in the 60's as it was the
                                                      "wonder-solution" then - turns out it rots and looks awful without a lot of
                                                      maintenance. About 15 years ago the "new thing" was polystyrene blocks that
                                                      you poured concrete through to form a strong, insulated structure very fast,
                                                      and then clad the outsides...never caught on as it became clear it couldn't
                                                      take the knocks.

                                                      Wooden frames have been the most used so far, but many countries codes
                                                      forbid them and (certainly in countries where brick is used) they are seen
                                                      as very inferior structure.

                                                      Alan
                                                    • Nanyun Zhang
                                                      ... world a zero-sum game vs full of win-win situations ? ... construction isn t. ... construction industry prevents the business from becoming monopolized
                                                      Message 26 of 29 , Jun 13, 2005
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                                                        Wayne Radinsky <waynerad@...> wrote:

                                                        >Ok, so here is the question for you: To what extent is the business
                                                        world a "zero-sum game" vs "full of win-win situations"?
                                                        >Here's some numbers for you:
                                                        >In the software industry, the top three companies generate 75% of the profit, and the top one generates 57% of the profit.
                                                        >In the home construction industry, the top six companies generate 22% of the profit.
                                                        >In other words, software is a "winner-take-all" game and home
                                                        construction isn't.
                                                        >Why isn't it? I would say, because the lack of automation in the home
                                                        construction industry prevents the business from becoming monopolized by a handful of companies.

                                                        When you analyze an industry through the concentration level of profit, you have ASSUMED that they are playing a zero-sum game. It is biased from the start.

                                                        I never did any research on concentration-profitability issue. But it is an interesting that you tried to compare home construction industry and software industry from the profit-distribution perspective. Probably, home construction industry is highly differentiated by taste of customers and naturally segmented by location, which means that it is more easily to earn a local monopoly position without worrying too much about your whole market performance. While in software industry, network effects can be enormous and firms tend to conquer and grow so that they can benefit from the cost effectiveness.

                                                        "Winner-takes-all" game! Guess your experience with MS influenced you a lot. It is one of the major argument Microsoft used in court that it is in a industry characterized by a catastrophic entry: firms compete FOR the market, not compete IN the market. That means, you are either a monopoly, or are driven out of the market. I would say, it is a genius point and observation. But, it pushed "competition" too much that it has lost the spirit of competition--the competition in my dictionary, not yours.

                                                        "Winner-takes-all" has another name: "survival of the winner". That is not how the world operate in my eyes. I more believed in Darwin's "survival of the fittest" and I never interpreted "the fittest" as the "winner". And I never worried about MS as a monopoly.

                                                        <<Also, John Smart says that complex adaptive systems become more
                                                        positive-sum as technology advances -- but how do you measure
                                                        "positive-sum"ness quantitatively? I don't know of any good way. If
                                                        you measure by profit margins, the example I gave of concentration of
                                                        wealth in the software industry would suggest that advancing
                                                        technology *decreases*, rather than increases, positive-sum
                                                        interactions. Can you find a more objective measurement that shows
                                                        the world becoming more positive-sum?>>

                                                        Good question; and I have not read anything done specifically to measure it. Applying to business world, positive-sum game means that the total profit are increasing. So, two measures I could think at this moment: one is the absolute profit level of firms, another is the number of customers. Look at those profit and customer data, compare top 1 or top 3 with the rest of them. Does both groups have an increasing profit level and customer level with time? If yes, then it is not a zero-sum game, since you grow without cutting my profits or steal my customers. Make sense?

                                                        <The question I have is: historically, technology has tended to
                                                        complement, rather than compete against, human abilities. In the
                                                        future, won't robotics and artificial intelligence compete directly
                                                        against humans? If that view is correct, then all the trends people
                                                        usually cite (improved health, life expectancy, lower stress, more
                                                        free time, etc etc) as results from technology are really just
                                                        temporary results from a peried of "symbiosis" between humans and
                                                        technology that won't continue beyond the development of AI. (This is
                                                        the point where people always jump in and predict that humans won't
                                                        be displaced because we'll have computer chips in our brains, or
                                                        "nanites", or we'll upload ourselves into computers, or something.)>

                                                        You are experiencing the same panic that train had brought to the horse/camel herders, the automatic elevator to elevator operators, or the assembly-line to the assembling workers. I cannot prove anything; but to me, robotics and artificial intelligence still complements to human being and human abilities--essentially, they add new dimensions to the world and to our lives and expanded the possibilities beyond our imagination! In a minute I can tell you at least 10 needs that I have but cannot be satisfied without advanced technologies in robotics or AI; and once those technologies are as common as DVD player and cars in today, I can tell you another 10 needs that relies on some other more advanced technologies! So why people bother to compete with robots and AI... we have more fun by doing something more challenging! That is the way technology and lives expand. I definitely agree with John Smart that complex adaptive systems become more positive-sum as technology advances. To free
                                                        ourselves from zero-sum game, we need imagination, creation and a mind that is not obsessed by competition. When you concentrate on competition, you are constrained by it. You could get a leave--being a winner, but you could have lost the whole forest.

                                                        Nanyun


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                                                        -Mark Twain
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                                                      • Troy Gardner
                                                        ... consumer resistance from a price or aethetic standpoint? ... I ve tried looking on google for concrete rot and haven t seen anything, so has concrete
                                                        Message 27 of 29 , Jun 13, 2005
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                                                          > This is often a major block, but consumer resistance is another that is
                                                          > often forgotten

                                                          consumer resistance from a price or aethetic standpoint?

                                                          > Concrete got itself a very bad reputation in the 60's as it was the
                                                          > "wonder-solution" then - turns out it rots and looks awful without a lot of
                                                          > maintenance.


                                                          I've tried looking on google for concrete rot and haven't seen anything, so has
                                                          concrete formulation possibly changed to address this? Bridges, warehouses are
                                                          often made of concrete and I haven't seen much maintenence of them. Also
                                                          comparitively does it rot faster than say other materials (brink, wooden
                                                          shingle, vinyl siding) which can also be used with concrete.

                                                          > Wooden frames have been the most used so far, but many countries codes
                                                          > forbid them and (certainly in countries where brick is used) they are seen
                                                          > as very inferior structure.

                                                          they also suffer from termities, can rot (either moist or dry) depending on the
                                                          climate, are a cut surface so produce significant waste and have to come from
                                                          renewable sources, warp. I think (not 100% sure) that sand and lime are far
                                                          more accessible than trees, which is important if we are talking about
                                                          something that can go to 3rd world or hostile environments (e.g. arizona or the
                                                          moon)
                                                        • J. Andrew Rogers
                                                          ... Concrete can be susceptible to some environmental chemistry issues, but under most circumstances rotting concrete means poor/cheap implementation e.g. an
                                                          Message 28 of 29 , Jun 13, 2005
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                                                            Troy Gardner wrote:
                                                            > I've tried looking on google for concrete rot and
                                                            > haven't seen anything, so has concrete formulation
                                                            > possibly changed to address this?


                                                            Concrete can be susceptible to some environmental chemistry issues, but
                                                            under most circumstances rotting concrete means poor/cheap
                                                            implementation e.g. an improper mix or complete disregard for
                                                            environmental chemistry hazards when designing a structure. Under
                                                            typical circumstances, vanilla concrete should last a very long time.


                                                            > I think (not 100% sure) that sand and lime are far
                                                            > more accessible than trees, which is important if
                                                            > we are talking about something that can go to 3rd
                                                            > world or hostile environments (e.g. arizona or the
                                                            > moon)


                                                            Lime is easily manufactured, but energy intensive to produce. In terms
                                                            of MJ/kg: cement = 6.7, lime = 6.5, steel = 32. Old-fashioned bricks,
                                                            while durable, are by far among the least efficient building materials
                                                            in terms of required energy input to manufacture a given wall size.

                                                            Wood is very popular because it is not an energy or technology intensive
                                                            building material. If one travels through the parts of the US that had
                                                            no indigenous trees, e.g. Nebraska and Kansas, you can see the remnants
                                                            of large coal-fired brick and lime furnaces left over from the 19th and
                                                            early 20th centuries that were required because there were no other
                                                            substantial building materials. Fortunately for that region of the US,
                                                            vast deposits of limestone and clay are ubiquitous, and coal supplies
                                                            are relatively local. By my back-of-the-envelope calculation, it would
                                                            require on the order of 100 tons of coal to produce enough building
                                                            materials for one non-wood house.

                                                            The alternative to wood construction in most of the world is the energy
                                                            intensive output of coal-fired furnaces. The amount of direct and
                                                            indirect energy involved in wood construction is an integer fraction of
                                                            the amount of energy required to build the same structure with various
                                                            types of masonry. I prefer concrete/masonry myself, but it exacts a
                                                            pretty stiff energy cost.


                                                            cheers,

                                                            j. andrew rogers
                                                          • Alan Patrick
                                                            ... very few early adopters, most people are v slow to adopt new housing approaches. ... Possibly....my understanding is tht id formulation si wrong (or maybe
                                                            Message 29 of 29 , Jun 13, 2005
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                                                              > consumer resistance from a price or aethetic standpoint?

                                                              very few early adopters, most people are v slow to adopt new housing
                                                              approaches.

                                                              > I've tried looking on google for concrete rot and haven't seen anything,
                                                              > so has
                                                              > concrete formulation possibly changed to address this?

                                                              Possibly....my understanding is tht id formulation si wrong (or maybe
                                                              corners are cut?) concrete crumbles in about 20 years, esp in wet climates.

                                                              The Intermediate Technology Development Group (ITDG) has done a lot of work
                                                              on small scale low energy brickmaking, may understandings is that bricks,
                                                              despite being quite costly to make, last far far longer than anything else
                                                              except stone.
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