From the Startup Journal:
The study of entrepreneurship is just starting to generate sufficient data to conclude that laid-off workers, also known as necessity entrepreneurs, don’t, as a rule, start companies that employ a lot of people. That’s the province of so-called opportunity entrepreneurs – those who choose to start their own business out of a burning desire, not because they lost a job.
Robert Kagan has written an interesting analysis of why Americans and Europeans have such different attitudes to the use of force in foreign policy. Power and Weakness His basic contention is that America and Europe have traded attitudes toward power since a century ago. Back then Europe wanted to exercise unilateral power over its empire, shipping, etc. while America wanted to work multilaterally through international law. The situation is now reversed because the relative power of America and Europe has flipped: America now has the military and economic power that Europe once commanded.
Jon Udell continues to produce thought provoking content on the nature of weblogs and online interaction. He wrote one of the best books I’ve read about online collaboration back in 1999: Practical Internet Groupware His latest piece is an attempt to map some of the links between webloggers by examining the links they have posted from their aggregators. This analysis of social clusters is still in its infancy but it has tremendous promise.
As part of my forays into the blogosphere I’ve discovered and begun using some news aggergator programs. Radio Userland contains a default news aggregator that is incredibly easy to use and configure, just click on the XML banners at other radio sites and the feed is added to your list automatically. On the Windows desktop I’ve discovered some interesting standalone applications. Jon Udell’s radio weblog provided this list. I’ve downloaded most of them and am giving them all a try.
The Future for Intelligent Simulation Models is an article from the Edge newslettre published by the MITRE organazation, a think tank that works on technology and the military. The author, Gary Klein, outlines the history of agent based analysis and the object oriented based approaches that began to be adopted in the 1980s. The most recent developments are to add adaptive intelligence to the agents to allow them to change their strategies over time.
Knowledge@Wharton has an interesting summary article (Regulating the Information Railways? Antitrust Law in the High-Tech Era) on the problems of anti-trust law in the modern age. The author deftly summarizes the two big areas of current anti-trust action: Microsoft and the telephone/telecommunication system. He concludes that the telephone or ‘last mile’ system is more amenable to anti-trust action because the networks were developed by AT&T as part of a protected monopoly and thus, in some sense, belong to the public already.
British prime minister Blair makes some important points on the value of science in this article from the Times. The recent death of Stephen Jay Gould reminds me of how important it is to keep telling people about the value of science. Although I’m sympathetic to the critiques made by the critics of science, particularly the questions about power and discourse, I believe science has been a net gain for humanity.
Derrick de Kerckhove is the director of the McLuhan program at the University of Toronto and has the following things to say in a recent interview. TF: What will be the key societal impact of mobile telephony/Internet? De Kerckhove: Acceleration. Mobile telephony and Internet is accelerating society in at least two ways: Vastly increasing the volume of human transactions, and reducing the time delay between transactions. … The difference between today’s accumulation of knowledge and connectivity and that of the Renaissance is qualitative as well as quantitative.
Technology Review also contains an interesting article on imitation and innovation.
Mimetic Management By Michael Schrage Schrage wrote Serious Play about using simulation in business. This article makes the crucial point that most companies want to imitate the leaders in their fields, not necessarily create their own methods. Particularly interesting for the promotion of innovations.
Technology Review has two interesting articles about the recent activities of Nathan Myhrvold, the former director of Microsoft Research. Myhrvold left MS two years ago to begin his own company basically to research whatever Nathan was interested in looking at. Ah, the pleasures being a multimillionaire with curiosity. The results/goals of this venture are described as the creation of an ‘an invention factory.’ The second article is an interview transcript with Myhrvold Myhrvold’s Exponential Economy where he mentions some very interesting topics on innovation.