[FRIAM] Subject: Re: Friam Digest, Vol 180, Issue 3

Robert Wall wallrobert7 at gmail.com
Wed Jun 6 13:43:42 EDT 2018

> It seems silly to say that one would democratize elite bicycle racing.

This reminds me of Kurt Vonnegut's satirical and dystopian science-fiction
short story *Harrison Bergeron
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harrison_Bergeron>* (1961).  😊  Full text
<http://wordfight.org/bnw/bnw-unit_packet.pdf> (20 pages).

Remember that Oracle acquired MySQL.  It is now a free product (likely with
no meaningful updates, not sure) but with an option to upgrade to supported
Oracle extensions at a premium.  Hopefully, PostgreSQL, which can compete
with Oracle, will remain open.   ESRI accommodates PostgreSQL for
geodatabases. I always appreciated that along with their replacing Visual
Basic scripting with Python.  Anywho ...

On Wed, Jun 6, 2018 at 10:52 AM, Marcus Daniels <marcus at snoutfarm.com>

> Glen writes:
> "This reminded me of my (postmodern) criticism of open source (in spite of
> any of my advocacy of it), that open source *can* be exploited by an elite
> set of people who are elite by their capability to know how to read, use,
> and think about code, or design google queries, or SEO. It's only
> "democratization" IF the skills and resources to use it are available to
> everyone."
> How about bicycle racing.   Not everyone can achieve > 80 ml/kg/min VO2
> max, but a few people can.    These are biologically gifted people, and
> then they train like hell too, and/or sometimes use performance enhancing
> drugs.   There are some people that can train like hell but always be
> beaten by someone than trains as hard or less.  They just don't have it.
> Open source as a meritocracy is attractive to its adherents because it
> selects for individuals that succeed in developing a particular kind of
> sustained intellectual productivity, based on nothing else but the fact
> that they do.    You can't just go through a particular training procedure
> and come out a productive peer in this community.  It doesn't matter if you
> are born a citizen of a hypothetical Code Nation.    People from all over
> the world end-up being recruited to major tech firms who can see the value
> of their work, and not just the bullet points on a resume.
> It seems silly to say that one would democratize elite bicycle racing.
> Marcus
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