now here is someone that, so far as the materials covered, I would love to see in the oval office!
direct, straight to the point, and looking for good stimulus and ongoing long term plans.
wonder what his feelings are in some other area's inthane proprietor, The Grab Bag, for blind computer users and programmers http://grabbag.alacorncomputer.com Owner: Alacorn Computer Enterprises "own the might and majesty of a Alacorn!" www.alacorncomputer.com Owner: Agemtree "merchants in fine facetted and cabochon gemstones" www.agemtree.com----- Original Message ----- From: "Nimer Jaber" <nimerjaber1@xxxxxxxxx>
To: <blind_html@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> Sent: Tuesday, April 14, 2009 8:34 AMSubject: blind_html Fwd: Stimulus: Stanford's president on the $800 billion question
-------- Original Message -------- Subject: Stimulus: Stanford's president on the $800 billion question Date: Tue, 14 Apr 2009 14:02:57 -0000 From: Ray T. Mahorney <coffee-craver@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> Reply-To: Blind-chit-chat@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx To: <blind-chit-chat@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> Stimulus: Stanford's president on the $800 billion question http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2009/04/ars-asks-stanfords-president-what-would-you-do-with-800-billion.ars Ars interviews John L. Hennessy, RISC computing pioneer and Stanford University's 10th president, on rebuilding America's research infrastructure, intellectual property reform, and the hard problems in computing. As of February's passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the US is now committed to spending almost $800 billion to stimulate our stalled economy over the next few years. Apart from job creation, one of the goals of the stimulus package (as it's commonly called) is to boost long-term American competitiveness by rebuilding the now-depleted fund of basic research capital that the Cold War era produced, the dot-com era spent, and the post-9/11 security state finished off. If I were the Obama administration, and I were really serious about putting those billions into the hands of a crowd that has a spectacular record of turning public money directly into transformative public goods, I'd go straight to the area in and around Palo Alto, CA, home of legendary labs like Xerox PARC and ground zero of the still-mushrooming information explosion. And to narrow the geography even further, I'd make my way to the campus of Stanford University, and ask the school's president, computer architecture pioneer John Hennessy, how to spend the stimulus money. So, when I recently got the chance to interview Hennessy at a conference on technology and public policy, that's exactly what I did. And while I had a minute with one of the fathers of the RISC movement and the co-author of the main textbook in the computer architecture field—the Gray's Anatomy of computing—I also asked him about the multicore revolution, and about the on-going evolution of computer architecture. Stimulating innovation JS: If you were in charge of spending $800 billion dollars worth of stimulus money to get the country back on track, how would you split that money up? JH: There are what I would call several pots [that you can put the money in]. First of all, there's core research, and what we should be doing is laying down a ramp of research funding that will take us [from where we are now up] to a level of where we might be on base-level funding on NIH and NSF, say, two years out. So what we want to do is say, "we believe the budget can support this funding level, which is higher than were we are today, at NIH and NSF, so let's construct a ramp between here and there." Pump some money into DARPA to try to get it back on the track of long-term research, as opposed to these shorter-term, metric-driven, six-month/one-year check-ins—wrong idea. Fund big strategic areas, and fund multiple teams at multiple universities. That's what you do on the research-funding side. And obviously, there's a set of key problems you can think about. There are computing problems, the energy issue, in the biological sciences there a number of opportunities. We haven't funded stem cell research at the level we should. Neuroscience has big new opportunities; I think this next 50 years is going to be the neuroscience equivalent of the understanding of DNA—the 50 years that went from DNA to the sequencing of the human genome; the same thing will happen in the neurosciences. We understand how neurons fire, but we don't understand how the brain works. There's a big gap in-between. Close that gap, and that will lead to much more robust treatments for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's and diseases that right now we treat in a sort of hit-or-miss, empirical fashion. So I think there are lots of good things to do on the research side. Secondly, you take a pot of money and say that we've got an ailing, out-of-date infrastructure, both in terms of instrumentation and equipment in the labs, as well as some of our research buildings. Let's go invest in that, and that creates lots of jobs. Increasingly, in the physical sciences and the biological sciences, instrumentation is the make-or-break piece of it. You've got smart people, and you've got instrumentation, and you have to bring those together. So I think we need to really invest there. The cost of setting up somebody who's working in basic materials area, for example, has gone up to $1 million per investigator, $2 million for a more senior person, and $10 million for a shared facility of some sort. So we need to be thinking about numbers like that when we invest in facilities and infrastructure. Then, I think you have to deploy a bunch of this money to do a bunch of things that we're simply behind on. Fixing the broadband infrastructure in this country. Fixing our piggish use of energy in lots of places—going back and really inspiring people to do energy efficiency, and supplying the up-front capital so that they get there. I think there are a number of things like that—roads, and the transportation infrastructure, as well. You want to be doing things like that because that will help put us in a better economic situation so that the rest of our economy can run better. Intellectual property reform JS: One thing I'm surprised that you didn't touch on is intellectual property reform. Do you see a role for IP reform? JH: Yeah, I do. My good friend Rick Levin, the president at Yale, participated in this study that was done by the national academies on intellectual property reform—trying to streamline the process and make it cleaner. I support what's being done there and I've argued in favor of it. It does place some additional burdens on universities to be more prompt about recording, because one of the key issues is switching to first-to-file instead of first-to-discover, but I think the reality is that that's where we have to go to, and the universities shouldn't block something that is so obviously good for the rest of the economy and the high-tech sector. So that's my feeling about that, and we ought to just get our act together. If intellectual property protection is important to the universities... I don't think that it's the most important thing, by the way. The most important thing that universities do is fuel the rest of the economy by the creation of intellectual property—sometimes it's patented, sometimes it's not, but the country benefits in the end. Even private institutions are quasi-public in terms of their funding, so I'm less concerned about protecting intellectual property than I am in ensuring that the country reaps the rewards of that benefit. But I think that the concept of a challenge period for a new patent, where external people can submit claims or requests to investigate before the new patent is nailed down—I think that is absolutely required. If you visit the patent office and talk the patent officers, you realize that these guys are just overwhelmed. Typical processing time is down to less than 24 hours, meaning 24 hours of one person's time, or about three days. They simply don't have the time to keep up on all the literature. Despite recommendations in the past that they create a sabbatical program or a continuing education program, it hasn't really been done at the level it needs to be done. So the result is that the patent officers look primarily at the contents of the patent. Sure, they can do a patent database search or a literature search, but if they're not an expert in the field then it's almost impossible to search the literature in the field and read it and figure out whether or not this invention is a trivial extension of something that has already existed. So I think we need this [challenge period], and we need it also from a global perspective, because technology is now globally created and distributed, and we need to deal with it that way. ------------------------------------ Yahoo! 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