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Comments and Reviews by DJ Cline

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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 1 of 29 , Apr 1, 2005
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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 2 of 29 , May 1 7:56 PM
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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 3 of 29 , May 1 9:58 PM
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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 4 of 29 , May 1 11:52 PM
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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
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
          • 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 5 of 29 , May 1 11:58 PM
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              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
              > protection around
              > http://mail.yahoo.com
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been
              > removed]
              >
              >
              >
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              http://us.click.yahoo.com/EA3HyD/3MnJAA/79vVAA/sVPplB/TM
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              > to:
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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 6 of 29 , May 2 3:49 PM
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                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]
              • 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 7 of 29 , May 3 9:03 AM
                • 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
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                • eleanor kruszewski
                  you know, I wrote intrafirm in here when I meant interfirm... my latin fails me today apologies eleanor
                  Message 8 of 29 , May 3 1:05 PM
                  • 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]
                    >>
                    >>
                    >>
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                    >> computers.
                    >> At Network for Good, help bridge the Digital Divide!
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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 9 of 29 , May 3 9:44 PM
                    • 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
                      >>----------------------------------------------------------------------
                      >>__________________________________________________
                      >>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
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >


                      ---------------------------------------------------------------------
                      "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]
                    • Wayne Radinsky
                      ... Here s a research article that may help you. + Collective Intelligence Quanitifed for Computer-Mediated Group Problem Solving +
                      Message 10 of 29 , May 3 10:16 PM
                      • 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
                        > > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                        > > __________________________________________________
                        > > 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
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                        >
                        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        >
                        >
                        > bafuture-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                        > Yahoo! Groups Links
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                      • 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 11 of 29 , May 6 9:51 AM
                        • 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
                          ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                          __________________________________________________
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                          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 12 of 29 , May 6 12:56 PM
                          • 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 13 of 29 , May 6 5:24 PM
                            • 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 14 of 29 , May 6 9:05 PM
                              • 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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                              • 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 15 of 29 , May 10 12:38 AM
                                • 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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                                  > "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed
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                                  > 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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                                • 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 16 of 29 , May 19 3:07 PM
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    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 17 of 29 , May 25 3:12 PM
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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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                                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                    • 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 18 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 19 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 20 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 21 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 22 of 29 , Jun 13, 2005
                                              • 0 Attachment
                                                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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                                              • 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 23 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 24 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 25 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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