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Re: [school-discuss] RE: [Ossi] Government Open Code Collaborative

This movement of GOCC.GOV is actually good for Open Source.  Open Source will go its own way, doing its own thing, and good programs such as Linux will get better, it is an engine that can't be stopped, because it represents a true antithesis movement to the proprietary world, ala Kant, Marx and Kunz.  In a few years, governments will recognize their own failure, and so will its citizen constituents.  then, they will most probably try something that works, albeit 10 years late.  Timing will syncronize with the retirement from public office of the current crop of duds who staff this silly plan.  I am sure Harvard and MIT are involved solely for the political contacts -- they are places to send their more mediocre graduates.
Joseph.Kolibal@usm.edu wrote:

I am less concerned about any bureaucratic aspect of the process than perhaps
you are. The reason is that I do not believe bureaucracy is a function of
whether something is a government of private enterprise; instead, my experience
is that bureaucracy is a function of size and organizational complexity.
Government is often accused of being bureaucratic, but that is because
most of the extremely large processes that it is required to engage in,
do not scale well.

When I was a young fellow studying chemical engineering, one of the 
required courses in engineering focused on the affects of scale because one
of the task in chemical engineering is to learn how take the laboratory
experiment and  move it from there to the bench scale demonstration, 
then to the pilot plant, and then hopefully into commercial operation.
At each step you must carefully engineer the process to account for the 
change of scale.

Some processes never scale well. This is why the pressurized water reactor
that worked so well in nuclear submarines at a few hundred megawatts never
succeeded commercially when scaled to a commercial power plant delivering
several thousand megawatts (the size of the core to deliver this increased
power barely increases, however the power density is significantly higher
making the risks of potential meltdown that much more difficult and hence
costly to contain). This is also the same problem that most parallel
algorithms struggle with, and many parallel methods do not scale well
with problem size).

I do not have a sense for how well GOCC.gov can work, and if as you point
out, it it deliberately ignoring resources that are out there, then
it will certainly run afoul of itself. That would be a shame because
there is so much potential for getting this right, but I do not think
it fails because it is intrinsically government and hence bureaucratic. I think
if it fails then it is mismanaged, and I have seen mismanagement, particularly 
in large companies, at levels that make even the US military seem
paragons of efficiency. I do agree with you that if it is ignoring the community
out there, then it is set up to fail. Linux and open source work when they
work as a community engaged in cooperative development.

Thank you, as always, for an interesting review.


On 03-Dec-2004 Tom Adelstein wrote:
This article starts off singing the praises of GOCC.gov, then reminds
the reader: you discover that it has built one more bureaucracy to
oversee its existing bureaucracy, with oversight over the new

It looked like a good idea at first. My original reservation about
walling itself off looks like a prophecy. A bunch of bureaucrats
contemplating their navels. Prisoners running the asylum?


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E-Mail: Joseph.Kolibal@usm.edu
Phone; (601)266-4301  FX:(601)266-5818
Date: 03-Dec-2004,  Time: 12:00:22
Sent: delphi

Joseph Kolibal
The University of Southern Mississippi
Department of Mathematics
118 College Drive 5045
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001

Web Links:
WWW http://delphi.st.usm.edu/kolibal (Home pages)
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