“Wiener on Innovation” – Introduction — Greg Adamson
Greg Adamson: In his book ‘Invention: The Care and Feeding of Ideas’ reflected his lifelong experience with the difficulty of how to encourage creativity in the development of technology. He knew what it wasn’t, he knew that simply by grouping together huge numbers of inventors in large corporations, you don’t encourage creativity. In some of his writings he’d point out that the tools that many of the most creative needed were simply a pencil and paper, and that some of the greatest ideas that were being developed not only hundreds of years ago, but even the last few decades throughout the 20th century, were brilliant ideas by individuals. This morning we’ve got a terrific panel with some speakers on the subject of Wiener and innovation, and they’ll be speaking, each of the three speakers is an expert in their field.
We’ve got John Sullivan, director of The Free Software Foundation, and people would be aware that a huge amount of work has been done by the FSF around the question of maintaining and developing innovation and achieving new things despite all the structural impediments. Our second speaker will be Frank Levy, Professor Emeritus from MIT, and the third Ted Postol, Professor of Science Technology and International Security from MIT. Each of these is very well known in their own field, they will speak, we have just under an hour for this session, they will keep their talks within time, so hopefully we’ll be able to have some great discussion afterwards. I’ll start off by asking John from The Free Software Foundation to speak.