From: Jon Winters <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Henry van Eyken wrote:
> From: Henry van Eyken <email@example.com>
> Couple of quick answers, Jon:
> 1. I am not quite sure about those older executives not "understanding"
> technology. Besides, the understanding called for, it seems to me, is
> understanding technology in total, worldwide human context, not in isolation.
I can only speak about the older executives that I have come into
contact with. They have been, for the most part, good managers but they
have long since stopped 'keeping up with' technology. The folks I have
been working continually resist change and are only just now warming up
to the idea of using the world wide web.
> 2. Isn't it fair to say that the kind of people we are talking about, i.e.
> retired executives and managers with a social interest, have during their
> working lives laid the foundation that permitted some young people to become
> wealthy in a short time?
You are correct and I should have left money out of my post. I think
I'm a bit frustrated that Doug has been working on his bootstrapping
concepts since before I was born and I don't see all that much
Something like Napster on the other hand has gone from nothing to
millions users swapping hundreds of millions of files in a matter of
months. Napster is even being banned at some colleges because it is
being used to the point of clogging the network infrastructure.
> 3. Are savvy people of the younger generation willing to chuck the pursuit of
> personal success in order to work toward solving humankind's most urgent,
> complex problems?
There are a _lot_ of people in my generation who would donate time to
work on this stuff just for the oppurtunity to be involved in the
solution. Recognition drives many open source developers. Jobs and
money will come later on if you are good and your name is turning up as
having developed successful open source projects.
I donate time and energy to Gimp, Gphoto, Gnome, OpenVerse, and
PageCast. I also host a Boy Scout troops web site, toycamera.org and
NewBug.org. None of that stuff pays me a penny but I continue to spend
many hours every week working on it. I hope to find a place where I can
help out with bootstrapping in the future.
> And have they the needed insights and skills to actually
> make a contribution where it is so urgently needed?
I think so... otherwise I wouldn't have made the post. Please don't
misunderstand.. I'm not bashing the old timers or anything... just
trying to stir up some interest in getting younger folks involved.
> 4. If we don't find people prepared to work hard on developing the methods we
> need to cope with mankind's urgent problems, might not those savvy, young
> millionnaires find out one day hat their wealth will not do them or anyone
> else much good?
I was not suggesting we go after young millionaires... they will be more
interested in partying it up and wrecking fast cars than
bootstrapping... I thought it might be nice to seek out some younger
folks who have not been told 'you can't do that' a million times and tap
some of their un-polluted ideas.
> 5. With accelerating change all around us, those savvy, young millionnaires
> may find themselves relegated to the scrap heap rather sooner than they
> bargained for -- 12 years, say, instead of 40. Just imagine, if humans ever
> make it that far, how the generation that follows them may outpace them in
> short order.
Most children today know more about computers than their parents. (most
adults with living parents know more as well)
> 6. Come to think of it, "success" may well turn out to be one of the hardest
> and most dangerous paradigms ever to dispose of.
I'm in total agreement with you there. I have read some stuff written
by Eric S. Raymond and his concepts about "gift culture" and how it
relates to the Open Source software movement. It has really stuck with
me. Not a day goes by that I don't think about it. Its easy to
volunteer a little time every day on a project that I feel is
> Of course, none of these answers eliminate the fact that you offered valid
> points for consideration.
What we need is multi-generational input. (from as many different
cultures as possible)
> BTW, Doug Engelbart is 75. By golly, three years my senior!
Thinking about it a bit more.... In a virtual community age is much less
of a factor. I was talking to some friends in OpenVerse one night and
someone asked how old everyone was. I was surprised to learn the ages.
Some folks were older than I thought they would be and others were a LOT
-- Jon Winters http://www.obscurasite.com/jon/
"Everybody Loves The GIMP!" http://www.gimp.org/
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