Subject: Re: Open Source in E-Commerce
From: Lynn Winebarger <>
Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2000 15:08:48 -0500 (EST)

On Mon, 13 Mar 2000 wrote:
> Unless more express an interest we should probably take it to private
> email..
    Just one more.
    I apparently misinterpreted what you were saying.  I guess I should
explicitly separate out the two categories of "influence" we're talking
about here.  One is the "natural" and positive influence that an erudite
and active member of a community can gain.  The other is a malignant
and petty office-politics influence where an academic tries to control
debate in a Machieavellian attempt to increase their own stature.  I read
your post as saying academics were mostly of the latter, whereas it seems
now that you meant more the former.  I'm aware of academics of both types,
of course, even in mathematics.  (FWIW, that's the corner of academia I'm
in).  I also think there are wide variations between departments as to the
predominant types (I mean depts of different universities).
    I'd highly agree with Crispin's comments about "what is interesting?"
being a subjective question, and your comments about barriers to entry.
But I don't think (though I don't have any real evidence to support this)
that those are made deliberately as barriers.  It's a natural outgrowth of
in-depth study of a particular area.