[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[Xmca-l] Where bureaucrats feast



Just an interesting discovery maybe some people might be interested in.  I have been doing some research on Vannevar Bush who it seems was one of the most extraordinary people of the 2oth century - and yet I had never heard of him until a few years ago - funny that.

It was Bush who more or less envisioned the information age and the Internet in a short, very public article in 1945 called "As We May Think."  What I just found out is that Bush - who was chief engineer for the allies during WW II also was instrumental in developing our current university research system including the NSF (and I guess by extension the NIH).  Bush wanted research to be funded separately from commercial interests because he believed really worthwhile research as associative, where researchers followed ideas wherever those ideas took them.  There should be no absolute end point because that would destroy innovation.   Innovation is in large part serendipitous, allowing human thinking to take ideas where they may go.

I think today how projects are funded with specific outcomes and intense methodological sections showing how you are going to get there, tightly controlled, with not an inch left for the odd left turn.  More and more emphasis on a preordained bottom line (so of course there is not innovation).

It made me think, that bureaucrats feast in vineyards planted by visionaries.

For what it's worth. 

Michael