Re: [unrev-II] Important Quotes

From: Eric Armstrong (
Date: Fri Oct 19 2001 - 22:35:53 PDT

  • Next message: Jack Park: "[unrev-II] SSSCA and the end of open source software"

    Jack Park wrote:

    > I confess before all who would read this, and, as they say, the front
    > page of the NY Times, that I was a lousy student until I entered grad
    > school. One size just didn't fit this writer.

    Pretty much the same here.

    College was good for teaching me how to be disciplined about studying,
    And that was a useful thing to learn.

    I was a big fan of Summerhill. The guy figured out that a kid could
    screw around
    and have fun for 11 years, then buckle down for two (as a much more
    teenager) and learn enough to pass college entrance examinations and
    a decent engineer. So why force kids to march in lock step for 11 years,
    they could be pursuing their passion, whatever it was?

    (Of course, most students screwed around for a month or two before they
    bored and started going to classes. But even in this hard core example,
    results were great.)

    Then, too, I am fond of noting that an aborigine spends 2 hours a day
    for his/her needs. Now, granted their needs are a lot less. But when
    "civilization" become a thinly-disguised version of slavery, made all
    the more
    poignant by the fact that we appear to "choose" it?

    It is for that reason that I am a big fan of a social "safety net". It
    should be
    possible to live, and get by, with very little effort. If you lived in
    surroundings -- yet still had the chance to pursue your passion,
    whatever it
    may be, then I think a lot of good would come out of such a program.

    The trick, of course, is to figure out a way that someone living in
    spartan surroundings has the means for doing whatever it is they want to

    be doing -- writing a program, building a boat, learning to dance, or
    But if a way can be found to do these things, then possibly people can
    be at
    once happier, and likely far more productive, than ever before in

    These be but utopian dreams -- but I have never quite given up on the
    plan I dreamed up in college. I figured I would need to encasulate it in
       * One on the nature of utopia -- how a reasonably utopian
          could be devised.
       * One on the nature of power and charisma -- how one manages to
          change a society
       * One on a simulation of the current state of the world, with a
          leading from there to the utopian vision.

    Thirty-some years later, I confess to being someone stymied on chapter
    of the first book! But it is still a dream.

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