Innovation and expertise

I spent my summer doing a bunch of things, but the most interesting was research for a book about the conflict between expertise and innovation.

At Toorcon Seattle I gave a brief talk about the book, and I asked the gathered hackers for ideas about projects to cover, people to talk to, places to visit. I also made a stop at Defcon, and a trip to MakerFaire NYC, and I’ve had some fantastic conversations that have reinforced for me the importance of what I’m calling a ‘habit of mind’ shared by the hacking and making communities.

I’ve spent nearly two decades in the world of academia, where expertise is carefully cultivated, assiduously evaluated, and, of course, rewarded. But there are all kinds of innovation happening in other arenas, and over the past five years that’s where my intellectual curiosity increasingly lays.

And that curiosity is beginning to take me in some unexpected directions.

But right now I have a ferry to catch. More later.

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