Re: "The average PC modern department..."

Cameron Laird (claird@STARBASE.NEOSOFT.COM)
Mon, 13 Jun 1994 09:52:08 -0500

Please note that "industry" is manifold. Some
"well-off" companies creak by with XT-level
technology, even in the US; some marginal organ-
izations dissipate the few resources they have
on risky "bleeding-edge" purchases.

It begins to be interesting when one observes
that industry *ought* to be a bit more ration-
alized in its acquisitions: if a technology
justifies its quantifiable costs and benefits,
then an organization buys, otherwise, not.
Academe, with its so more complex objective,
presumably finds these calculations more
problematic. I'm not sure it works out this
way. CERTAINLY I see a lot of acquisitions in
BOTH domains made in terms of status, power,
and other old standbys, rather than because of
any of the ostensible purposes of the enter-
prises involved. The advantage academe has in
this particular race is that so much of industry
has yet to catch on that education is paramount;
learning and change are necessary, not frills.
I can't testify to whether college administrators
truly believe this, but at least there's an
institutional acceptance of it on campus.

My conclusion: pick your spots. There are
technologic wastelands, and gardens, in both
academe and industry. Moreover, as anthro-
pologists, we should understand that both
wastelands and gardens are subject to
cultural understanding and exploitation.
get the funding to develop applications? When will modeling become an
acceptable and credible form of scholarly presentation? (Not something that
those other folk in Computer Science do.) And what do we do for those of us
Just make it so. Be a leader. Strong
presentations will find their audiences;
just don't expect external rewards for
Cameron Laird ( +1 713 267 7966 ( +1 713 996 8546