Create an Account
username: password:
  MemeStreams Logo

MemeStreams Discussion


This page contains all of the posts and discussion on MemeStreams referencing the following web page: Is MIT Obsolete?. You can find discussions on MemeStreams as you surf the web, even if you aren't a MemeStreams member, using the Threads Bookmarklet.

Is MIT Obsolete?
by noteworthy at 4:51 pm EST, Feb 15, 2009

Neil Gershenfeld:

Today's advanced research and education institutions are essential to tackling the grand challenges facing our planet, but they've been based on an implicit assumption of technological scarcity — advances in those technologies now allow these activities to expand far beyond the boundaries of a campus.

Research requires funding, facilities, and people; I came to MIT to get access to all of these. State-of-the-art research infrastructure, large library collections, and world-class faculty are all expensive resources that limit admission slots, classroom space, and research positions. But what would happen if these things were no longer scarce?

Recently, Bernardo Huberman:

Scarcity of attention and the daily rhythms of life and work makes people default to interacting with those few that matter and that reciprocate their attention.

Richard Hamming:

If you do not work on an important problem, it's unlikely you'll do important work.

Seth Godin:

One day, you may be lucky enough to have a scarcity problem.

David Lynch:

Ideas are like fish. Originality is just the ideas you caught.

David Isenberg:

The shift from scarcity to plenty is often the harbinger of new value propositions.


Courtesy of CIBC World Markets, you too can peer ahead into The Age of Scarcity!

RE: Is MIT Obsolete?
by knowbuddy at 6:33 pm EST, Feb 15, 2009

It seems to me that Gershenfeld is missing the other half of the equation: the actual environment. Not just the access to expensive tools and smart people, but the relative social seclusion and coddling that MIT and other think tanks engender. Ref Anathem.

MIT is a patron in the old-school sense of the word, and that to me has always been just as important as the laundry list of benefits that Gershenfeld mentioned.

You can be the smartest person in the world with access to everything you could ever need ... but if you're working 40 hours a week as a fry cook at McDonalds, you're probably not going to solve the world's problems. Sometimes, you just need someone to say "don't worry about it, you go do your thing" so that you can get stuff done.

Powered By Industrial Memetics