Re: [unrev-II] Executive initiative (Was: Survey 7,under the shower and over drinks)

From: Henry van Eyken (
Date: Wed Mar 15 2000 - 13:03:25 PST

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    From: Henry van Eyken <>

    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.

    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?

    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? And have they the needed insights and skills to actually
    make a contribution where it is so urgently needed?

    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?

    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.

    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.

    Of course, none of these answers eliminate the fact that you offered valid
    points for consideration.


    BTW, Doug Engelbart is 75. By golly, three years my senior!

    Jon Winters wrote:

    > From: Jon Winters <>
    > Being one of the younger participants I'm a little puzzled about the
    > usefulness of retired executives. (there may be a few who can help, don't
    > get me wrong)
    > It has been my experience that executives don't understand technology and
    > they are very much in favor of old paradigms and the status quo.
    > Look at all the success stories that have been started by teens or young
    > adults... Linux, Yahoo, Amp, Napster and countless others.
    > The other day driving to work there was a story on NPR about a high school
    > freshman who was rejected when he wanted to take an advanced math course.
    > He used the spare time to write a program that would let you use popular
    > internet search engines anonymously. He sold the program for 1.5 million.
    > This kid can't even buy beer yet.
    > How can we find ways to get young people interested in our projects?
    > --
    > Jon Winters
    > "Everybody loves the GIMP!"
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