[p2p-research] Building Alliances (basic income and entrepreneurship)

Paul D. Fernhout pdfernhout at kurtz-fernhout.com
Sat Nov 7 16:07:39 CET 2009

J. Andrew Rogers wrote:
> On Fri, Nov 6, 2009 at 9:07 PM, Paul D. Fernhout
> <pdfernhout at kurtz-fernhout.com> wrote:
>> How can you expect a
>> million people to help with your deepest technical problems when you
>> probably can't even legally talk about them in public and ask for help with
>> them?
> Huh? Why can't I legally talk about them in public? If there actually
> were millions of people that could help with my deepest technical
> problems it would certainly make my life easier, but the reality is
> that those people don't exist for the most part.
> You've painted a really weird fantasy.

Maybe. But it's based on my first hand experience around research labs and 
small companies.

For most companies in the past (maybe this is changing at some) talking to 
others in detail about the current problem you are working on would be seen 
as giving away key competitive information in a commercial context, and thus 
violating either signed employee documents about confidentiality or 
violating a fiduciary obligation to the company. Discussing your work may 
also effect the patent status of it. Even at universities now, academics are 
often not allowed to discuss their work until patents are filed (which may 
delay communications by years). That's why I said it was probably illegal 
for you to talk in detail about your work. Some very successful companies 
have moved beyond that, but for many, secrecy is a big part of the game. And 
it's a sad game, ultimately. It may make sense, but only, to use your words, 
as part of "a really weird fantasy" about scarcity instead of abundance.

Even Google searches from a corporate IP address could be problematical, 
because they leak information about company interests.

Anyway, I appreciate your other comments. I think we are just looking at 
these issues from very different paradigms.

--Paul Fernhout

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