Peter Lindberg, blogger at tesugen.com, linked to an intriguing interview with Richard Gabriel, a Distinguished Engineer at Sun, about the poetry of programming.
Writing software should be treated as a creative activity. Just think about it – the software that’s interesting to make is software that hasn’t been made before. Most other engineering disciplines are about building things that have been built before. People say, “Well, how come we can’t build software the way we build bridges?
Virginia Postrel has an interesting column and comment in her weblog regarding the success of the Industrial Revolution. Joel Mokyr, author of The Lever of Riches, has a new book The Gifts of Athena in which he argues the success of the Industrial Revolution was due to cultural encouragements to share information.
Through most of human history, periods of invention did not create sustained economic growth. Population might increase because, say, agricultural yields improved.
Peter Lindberg links to a very interesting piece on the power of groups to promote creativity and innovation. Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point, in a review of books about comedy, Saturday Night Live and the Sociology of Philosophy makes the following point:
One of the peculiar features of group dynamics is that clusters of people will come to decisions that are far more extreme than any individual member would have come to on his own.