http://worrydream.com/2017-12-30-alan/


68 bookmarks. First posted by jbrennan december 2017.


funding research alankay parc innovation
6 days ago by andrewn
if you squint you can see a vision for how post-capitalist organizations and societies could outperform capitalism:
from twitter_favs
10 days ago by avi
Brad Victor has a fascinating post with excerpts from Alan Kay emails. (I think?
digest  hackers 
february 2018 by mahu
if you squint you can see a vision for how post-capitalist organizations and societies could outperform capitalism:
from twitter_favs
february 2018 by avi
Brad Victor has a fascinating post with excerpts from Alan Kay emails. (I think? That's what the headline suggests at least; some might be his own commentary; for our purposes it doesn't matter.) The theme is that those who make a lot of money on the back of advanced technologies stand on the proverbial shoulders of giants, who shared their work for the public to use one way or another. And that a lot of the most valuable work in research and development in fact come out of undirected research:

"The "golden age" funding included a lot of funding for "problem finding" -- which means the funders were not vetting specific proposals or funding "directed research". The points of agreement were on a "vision of desired future states", not goals or routes. An example of the vision was Licklider's "The destiny of computers is to become interactive intellectual amplifiers for all humans, pervasively networked world-wide". This vision does not state what the amplification is like or how you might be able to network everyone in the world."

More significantly, he goes on to consider how if you benefit from other people's freely shared work and build your fortunes on them, you might want to consider paying it forward: You already got a freebie, why try and claim much more by "investing" your money rather than giving it to more free research?

"Licklider "just funded" period.

As I pointed out in a previous email, Engelbart couldn't get funding from the very people who made fortunes from his inventions.

It strikes me that many of the tech billionaires have already gotten their "upside" many times over from people like Engelbart and other researchers who were supported by ARPA, Parc, ONR, etc. Why would they insist on more upside, and that their money should be an "investment"? That isn't how the great inventions and fundamental technologies were created that eventually gave rise to the wealth that they tapped into after the fact.

It would be really worth the while of people who do want to make money -- they think in terms of millions and billions -- to understand how the trillions -- those 3 and 4 extra zeros came about that they have tapped into. And to support that process."

I find this a simple and incredibly powerful point. The obsession with commercial investments rather than more fundamental "investment" in research—knowledge infrastructure if you will—can be damaging and exploitative, and frankly seem a little small-minded.
newsletter  innovation  research  funding 
january 2018 by thewavingcat
(Some excerpts from recent Alan Kay emails) -- Most of the funding of research efforts I've been involved in since ARPA-Parc have been with various profit…
from instapaper
january 2018 by nzeribe
(Some excerpts from recent Alan Kay emails)
from twitter
january 2018 by jamescampbell
RT : Missed including this nice bit the first time.
from twitter
january 2018 by dunstan
Socrates didn't charge for "education" because when you are in business, the "customer starts to become right". Whereas in education, the customer is generally "not right". Marketeers are catering to what people *want*, educators are trying to deal with what they think people *need* (and this is often not at all what they *want*). Part of Montessori's genius was to realize early that children *want* to get fluent in their surrounding environs and culture, and this can be really powerful if one embeds what they *need* in the environs and culture.
education 
january 2018 by tamberg
RT : Missed including this nice bit the first time.
from twitter_favs
january 2018 by briantrice
RT : Missed including this nice bit the first time.
from twitter_favs
january 2018 by ichthyos
I once gave a talk to Disney executives about "new ways to kill the geese that lay the golden eggs". For example, set up deadlines and quotas for the eggs. Make the geese into managers. Make the geese go to meetings to justify their diet and day to day processes. Demand golden coins from the geese rather than eggs. Demand platinum rather than gold. Require that the geese make plans and explain just how they will make the eggs that will be laid. Etc.
[...]
The Parc money came from Xerox, the ARPA money came from DoD via the Cold War, but was unfettered and in the public domain. The most important difference between the "Golden Age" funders and those of today, is that the former didn't confuse responsibility with control -- they were responsible but they knew that the researchers had to control the choice of projects and methods. The funders of today -- most particularly the tech billionaires, but also execs in companies, bureaucrats in DARPA and NSF, etc -- think that they have to control. This winds up with bad choices for goals and projects, and bad processes. The "Golden Age" funders "funded people, not projects".

If "good funding" were to come from the pop culture, I wouldn't turn up my nose at it (nor would any of my past colleagues). The main aim is to make qualitative improvements in the human condition. I think everyone would agree that making a billion dollars does not qualify a person to play professional sports, nor to be a classical violinist. Nor does it qualify a person to be able to direct fundamental research. These are all deep skills that anyone with a billion can learn, but if they don't learn them, then having them deep in the loop is a real problem for progress.
history  research  funding  organization 
january 2018 by mayonissen
RT : Missed including this nice bit the first time.
from twitter
january 2018 by niralisse
Missed including this nice bit the first time.
from twitter_favs
january 2018 by rtanglao
Missed including this nice bit the first time.
from twitter_favs
january 2018 by eesur
(Some excerpts from recent Alan Kay emails) -- Most of the funding of research efforts I've been involved in since ARPA-Parc have been with various profit…
from instapaper
january 2018 by gadzhi
(Some excerpts from recent Alan Kay emails) -- Most of the funding of research efforts I've been involved in since ARPA-Parc have been with various profit…
from instapaper
january 2018 by johnrclark
(Some excerpts from recent Alan Kay emails) -- Most of the funding of research efforts I've been involved in since ARPA-Parc have been with various profit…
from instapaper
january 2018 by leeomara
RT : "If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh or they will kill you."
from twitter
january 2018 by gaelicWizard
(Some excerpts from recent Alan Kay emails) -- Most of the funding of research efforts I've been involved in since ARPA-Parc have been with various profit…
from instapaper
january 2018 by divergio
Alan Kay and the flaws in funding of fundamental research
software  funding  alankay  tech 
january 2018 by sudocurse
"If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh or they will kill you."
from twitter_favs
january 2018 by blowery
"If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh or they will kill you."
from twitter_favs
january 2018 by girma
Alan Kay old email brilliance
history  philosophy  research  amazing 
january 2018 by sprafa
(Some excerpts from recent Alan Kay emails) -- Most of the funding of research efforts I've been involved in since ARPA-Parc have been with various profit…
from instapaper
january 2018 by matttrent
"As I pointed out in a previous email, Engelbart couldn't get funding from the very people who made fortunes from his inventions.

It strikes me that many of the tech billionaires have already gotten their "upside" many times over from people like Engelbart and other researchers who were supported by ARPA, Parc, ONR, etc. Why would they insist on more upside, and that their money should be an "investment"? That isn't how the great inventions and fundamental technologies were created that eventually gave rise to the wealth that they tapped into after the fact.

It would be really worth the while of people who do want to make money -- they think in terms of millions and billions -- to understand how the trillions -- those 3 and 4 extra zeros came about that they have tapped into. And to support that process."
research  funding  alan-kay 
january 2018 by arsyed
(Some excerpts from recent Alan Kay emails)
research  funding  alan-kay 
january 2018 by cpt.kolute
Another way to think about this is as a confusion with what kinds of reasoning that is needed when the funding is for "art". The MacArthur people have seen that they need to "fund ahead" for the Fellowships -- but their "100&Chan
philosophy  history  research 
january 2018 by shorn
(Some excerpts from recent Alan Kay emails) -- Most of the funding of research efforts I've been involved in since ARPA-Parc have been with various profit…
from instapaper
january 2018 by nsfmc
The "golden age" funding included a lot of funding for "problem finding"
technology  art 
january 2018 by danny.hope
"Socrates didn't charge for "education" because when you are in business, the "customer starts to become right". Whereas in education, the customer is generally "not right". Marketeers are catering to what people *want*, educators are trying to deal with what they think people *need* (and this is often not at all what they *want*). Part of Montessori's genius was to realize early that children *want* to get fluent in their surrounding environs and culture, and this can be really powerful if one embeds what they *need* in the environs and culture."

[via: https://www.are.na/block/1546832 ]
alankay  brettvictor  socrates  education  sfsh  mariamontessori  montessori  children  environment  lcproject  openstudioproject  unschooling  deschooling  culture  society  consumerism  marketing  howweteach  howwelearn  history  parc  philosophy  learning 
january 2018 by robertogreco
(Some excerpts from recent Alan Kay emails) -- Most of the funding of research efforts I've been involved in since ARPA-Parc have been with various profit…
from instapaper
january 2018 by disnet
Most of these kinds of misunderstandings are because many people really want other people to be like them, and they want to be able to use what they would do to ask others to do, etc. It was harder to explain to the Disney execs -- and many potential contemporary funders -- what the golden age funders understood full well. Namely, the reason they are the funders is because they did something that got them in control -- in one way or another -- of money. Meanwhile, the people who should be funded were spending their time getting deeper and better at their arts.
history  philosophy  research 
january 2018 by jtth
(Some excerpts from recent Alan Kay emails) -- Most of the funding of research efforts I've been involved in since ARPA-Parc have been with various profit…
from instapaper
december 2017 by fogus
Most of the funding of research efforts I've been involved in since ARPA-Parc have been with various profit making companies -- Atari, Apple, Disney, HP, SAP, Infosys, etc. And there have been various kinds of compromises involved. And some good work on smaller scales did get done. Others of my colleagues in the diaspora that started in the early 80s wound up at Microsoft, DEC, IBM, Bell Labs, etc.

These same people with the same big ideas, talents, more skills and knowledge, and energies, were not able to muster the critical masses of "psychic resources" that are needed to get to the "other worlds" places that were routinely the province of the smaller but "felicitous" and longer range resources of ARPA-Parc.

Bell Labs is a great alternate example. Before the divestiture it was a fountain of qualitative advances -- afterwards, it couldn't get out of its own way -- most of the good people were still there, but the management contexts changed.
internet 
december 2017 by zryb
RT : Some excerpts from recent Alan Kay emails
from twitter_favs
december 2017 by mellowfish
(Some excerpts from recent Alan Kay emails) -- Most of the funding of research efforts I've been involved in since ARPA-Parc have been with various profit…
from instapaper
december 2017 by trs
(Some excerpts from recent Alan Kay emails) -- Most of the funding of research efforts I've been involved in since ARPA-Parc have been with various profit…
from instapaper
december 2017 by dylan
"Yet another perspective is to note that one of the human genetic "built-ins" is "hunting and gathering" -- this requires resources to "be around", and is essentially incremental in nature. It is not too much of an exaggeration to point out that most businesses are very like hunting-and-gathering processes, and think of their surrounds as resources put there by god or nature for them. Most don't think of the resources in our centuries as actually part of a human-made garden via inventions and cooperation, and that the garden has to be maintained and renewed."
research  alankay  history  bret_victor 
december 2017 by mechazoidal
(Some excerpts from recent Alan Kay emails) -- Most of the funding of research efforts I've been involved in since ARPA-Parc have been with various profit…
from instapaper
december 2017 by kohlmannj