Intellectual Property

Howard Chu of Highland Sun and one of the chief architects of Openldap - a high-profile Internet database engine - in a posting to the Openldap mailing list, February 2003:

"In this day and age, computer systems are getting faster and more capable, but they still do not eliminate the need for a sensible, intelligent person to run the show. Computers will never be "smart enough for any fool to use."

Pardon me for a moment while I step on my soapbox - the whole Free Software phenomenon proves something that I've said for a long time - "Intellectual Property" doesn't have much intrinsic value. It is nowhere near as valuable as "Intellect." This is why I believe ultimately the Free Software model will succeed, and businesses based on the old proprietary model will ultimately fail. Companies pushing proprietary software take the attitude that it is the Intellectual Property they create wherein their value resides. The fact that Free Software-based enterprises are becoming more and more successful shows how wrong this is, IP is really a cheap commodity. The real value of any enterprise is in its Intellect, its talent base. And the best piece of software in the world is all just a bunch of colorful garbage, in the hands of an idiot. Without Intellect, Intellectual Property is worthless.

When you go looking for a software package, don't just look for which one has the most automation. Don't believe that because it has all that automation, it will make your job or your life easier. It won't. Many times it will make it harder, because it will automatically do a task in a manner unsuitable for your needs. This is true of programming languages, spreadsheets, databases, and any other system of greater than trivial complexity. There is no substitute for using your own brain to get a job done right."

My opinions only.

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Last updated Friday, 10-Apr-2009 07:00:00 UTC