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Software isn't like infrastructure. You are not required to have big teams to produce good results.

  1. One solution behind writing good software lies in accepting that there is some other motivational factor beyond and orthogonal to money and probably also beyond fame. There seems to be a motivational factor of doing the right thing, which maybe correlates to doing the motivation of doing pure science. It sometimes might be the wrong 'right' thing, so someone else has to backtrack and go some other direction. It is like searching the path in a landscape full with small and large hills, and some hills (local optima) aren't that optimal, in hindsight.

  2. Writing good software needs openness, so avoid patents or IPR that is too stringent to allow reuse of ideas.

  3. Writing good software takes time, so how should society provide the time ?

  4. Writing good software needs a certain brilliance in thinking and it is still undecided whether this skill can be acquired (and how) or what else brings it into the world.

One idea is to provide scholarships like we do for literary works. Or give 5-year grants to people that already proved that they might be able to turn out results. If they do not, there should be no harm in failing. If they do provide results, allow them to re-apply for additional 5-year-terms.

It is probably similar to a professorship.

We can even give journalism room to breathe with this kind of process.

Now what ?

by pi (etrib@opsec.eu) on Sun Jun 9th, 2013 at 04:44:05 PM EST

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