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Competence, Creativity, Mastery, Genius: The Essential Role Of Risk

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,

When risk vanishes, so does creativity.

Which characteristics lead to success? Which lead to greatness? Let's start by pondering companies that were once dominant in their respective fields: Microsoft and Nokia. Microsoft recently bought Nokia's mobile phone business, once valued at $240 billion, for $7.2 billion. Nokia's share of the global smart-phone business is around 4%. Microsoft's share of the global smart-phone software market is less than 1%, despite spending billions of dollars developing and promoting its mobile software.

Bill Gates created a powerhouse based on two principles--monopoly (getting a lock on the PC market as the default operating system) and copying and/or buying successful competitors. MSFT would then slowly increase their market share with two strategies: integrate the new software into their Windows/Office monopoly and keep adding features. In the case of web browsers, this was a successful strategy, as Microsoft's IE (Internet Explorer) overcame Netscape Navigator and its offspring, Mozilla, to dominate the browser market.

In the gaming space, Microsoft took on the established leaders with XBox, using its cash flow to develop the platform during the initial money-losing years--losses that would have doomed less well-funded companies.
Under CEO Steve Ballmer, these strategies have failed spectacularly. Microsoft has continued buying companies left and right, and spent a reported $10 billion trying to compete with Google in search. Its search engine, Bing, remains an also-ran. MSFT also spent billions attempting to dominate the mobile software space, but the results have been catastrophic: MSFT's share of mobile software has declined from around 10% to 1%.

Microsoft's tablet is also an also-ran. Its plan to leverage the XBox platform into the convergence-TV space has also come up short of expectations.

Microsoft's core monopoly continues to generate billions in profits because it is the tech equivalent of a utility: anyone who buys a PC has to pay MSFT $100 for the operating system, and if they are in any sort of business or job that requires computers, then they also have to pony up $300-$500 for Office.

But MSFT's core monopoly is under threat as Google's free operating system Chrome expands from mobile phones to tablets. As PCs lose their dominance, so too does MSFT. If Chrome is good enough to power tablets, why not PCs? Google already offers Google Docs as an alternative to Office. If someone comes up with Word-Lite and Excel-Lite which can open Office docs, MSFT's last bastion of monopoly will face real competition.

Here is an interesting quote on the tone-deaf corporate culture that leads to systemic failure: (Nokia Deal Marks a New Chapter for Microsoft)
 

"It is hard to stress the importance of culture for a technology company; after all it is a transit system for creativity. In an industry that was moving fast, Microsoft became fat and slow. Its products suffered. This brings us to Windows 8. I installed a preview version of Windows 8 on my computer a few months before it was officially released and was shocked at how horrible the product was. I am a computer geek, but I could not figure out how to use that product. Windows 8 was not just buggy, it was thoroughly terrible. 

To be effective and well compensated (within Microsoft), employees don’t need to be good at their jobs, they need to be good politicians. This turned Microsoft from a technology company into the U.S. Congress and therefore its software products started to resemble legislature by Washington’s finest — bulky and full of pork."

Tech darlings Samsung, Google and Apple are also huge companies with plenty of political jockeying and wasted resources--it goes with bureaucratic bloat. Even back in 1983, a few years after Apple went public, Steve Jobs had to physically and managerially sequester the Macintosh development team from the bureaucracy of Apple.

Nokia and Blackberry both squandered dominance and have shrunk to irrelevance. Microsoft is heading down the same path. On the surface, the management of all three firms was competent; but competence doesn't spawn Creativity, Mastery and Genius; competence in a no-risk environment leads to failure.

I think we can draw several conclusions from the MSFT/Nokia story.

1. Doing what worked spectacularly in the past is not guaranteed to keep working.
2. When risk vanishes, so does creativity.

When management and employees alike feel the security of dominance and near-monopoly, they are free to indulge in bureaucratic infighting and loss of focus.When risk has been vanquished, there is no compelling need to keep in touch with the market and customers: dominance/monopoly means they have to take whatever we provide and like it.

Without an awareness of risk, even competence disappears. Creativity, mastery and genius either fall on parched, dead soil or are ruthlessly suppressed as political threats.

I think the same is true of individuals and nations: competence can be reached with practice, but Creativity, Mastery and Genius all require space for spontaneity and risk.

I came across the 1982 obituary of Arthur Rubinstein, one of the 20th century's most famous pianists. I think his story illustrates the limits of practice and competence.

Rubinstein was a bon vivant, and this persona masked the type of practice he undertook in his 20s to acheive mastery. The cliche is that 10,000 hours of practice yields mastery, but this turns out to be false: only practice with the express purpose of getting better has any effect. For Rubinstein, getting better meant being technically good enough to become expressive and spontaneous. 

What Mr. Rubinstein offered, above all others, was the ability to transmit the joy of music.
In a recording session for RCA Victor Records, in Webster Hall here, he would play and replay a piece until he was satisfied that it was his best; and before a concert he would practice, particularly passages that he thought he might have difficulty with. Nothing less than perfection was tolerated.

Practice for its own sake, however, was not Rubinstein's notion of how to extract music from the printed notes. "I was born very, very lazy and I don't always practice very long," he said once. "But I must say, in my defense, that it is not so good, in a musical way, to overpractice. When you do, the music seems to come out of your pocket. If you play with a feeling of 'Oh, I know this,' you play without that little drop of fresh blood that is necessary -and the audience feels it." 

On another occasion he explained in his tumbling English his philosophy this way: "At every concert I leave a lot to the moment. I must have the unexpected, the unforeseen. I want to risk, to dare. I want to be surprised by what comes out. I want to enjoy it more than the audience. That way the music can bloom anew." 

Another ingredient of Rubinstein was an unusually fine ear that, among other things, permitted him to spin music through his mind. "At breakfast, I might pass a Brahms symphony in my head," he said. "Then I am called to the phone, and half an hour later I find it's been going on all the time and I'm in the third movement." 

In his late 20s, he began to take stock of himself as an artist. The result was the end of his days as a playboy and intensive study and practice - six, eight, nine hours a day. In the process he brought discipline to his abundant temperament and intelligence to his grand manner."

Perhaps Competence, Creativity, Mastery and Genius form a sort of matrix. Creativity is limited without basic competence, but competence alone is not fertile ground for creativity. Technical mastery does not lead to genius unless the creativity born of risk and spontaneity is allowed to bloom.

 

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Sat, 01/04/2014 - 18:06 | 4300296 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

Micro$hite NSA Office 365 - Where your dreams & ideas become ours.

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 19:58 | 4300538 outofideas
outofideas's picture

You should see my management who can't wait to find a way to migrate everyone to 365. Not only do they not understand cloud services, or care about the NSA debacle, they actually want to pay MORE for a LESSER service then what we currently run in house.

The real problem here is not risk or innovation, is that operating systems are very mature and for the average user they don't really add much value. We've been treading water for nearly a decade, searching for something new, and tablets aren't it. They are cool and everything and useful but they are nowhere near replacing full size computers yet.

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 20:06 | 4300557 Occident Mortal
Occident Mortal's picture

There are two kinds of companies in the world.

1). Market Leaders
2). Everyone else

The shareholders of market leaders are keen to protect the status quo and they choose their board accordingly,

The shareholders of everyone else are clawing to be disruptive and they choose their board accordingly.

And as we all know... The culture of any organisation flows down the hierarchy.

This is why big companies make poor innovators. No incumbent company in the world is going to disrupt their own marketplace until they have booked the depreciation on all their plant and production.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 11:22 | 4301589 geewhiz
geewhiz's picture

Shumpeter would be proud of you for that insight.

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 23:06 | 4300953 texas sandman
texas sandman's picture

Yeah, but if you eliminate risk you become richer than everyone else and get a cool pair of Presidential cufflinks to boot.

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 18:11 | 4300306 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Probably a lot of truth in this.  Look what happened to Germany, both East and West, after the war.  Risk and reward both vanished, and a culture which had traditionally been in the forefront of medicine, chemicals, aviation, physics, construction, etc, has produced almost nothing genuinely new since.

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 18:30 | 4300341 Soul Glow
Soul Glow's picture

When you wrote, "After the war", you probably meant after WWI, because it was WWI that led Germany down the perverbial black hole.

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 18:37 | 4300351 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Not in technology.  During the Second World War, Germany invented jet aircraft, modern rocketry, the best tanks by far, and without some timely sabotage, would probably have been the first with nuclear weapons.

 

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 19:25 | 4300441 logicalman
logicalman's picture

I think (could be wrong, it does happen occasionally! :-) - not often) but I think Frank Whittle had the first design, but Heinkel had the first flying example.

Please correct me if I am wrong.

Strangely, they never put nukes on a very high priority - I think 'the Nazis might get it first' was a reasonable fear, but mostly unfounded - I've done a lot of historical research on this one, but again, I'm open to correction.

 

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 22:31 | 4303271 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Hitler & Mussolini had nukes.

History Channel aired footage of a test. I didn't find it but I did find this.

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 19:33 | 4300459 0b1knob
0b1knob's picture

"Microsoft's IE (Internet Explorer) overcame Netscape Navigator and its offspring, Mozilla, to dominate the browser market."

Browser share:

Chrome 43.92 %

IE        23.24%   (less than 25% is dominating?)

Firefox  18.95%

Microsoft is so yesterday.     Bloated junk spyware with a hundred NSA backdoors.   Once freeware windoze emulators get started its curtains for MightGrowSoft.    The WINE windows emulator for linux distros will get there eventually.

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 22:15 | 4310114 flapdoodle
flapdoodle's picture

B.S. on most of you pro-German spiel.

German tanks were far from the best during WWII, the T-34 Soviet tank with the Christie suspension was far, far better and had a major role in stopping the German advance. Panzer rounds during the initial invasion of USSR tended to just bounce off the T34. The Soviet tank was a really, really unpleasant surprise to the Nazis.

The fabled "Tiger" later in the war was a tank equivalent of a hanger-queen and had to be shipped to the front on railroad cars as the engine required major overhaul every few hundred kilometers. Even the horrible US tanks had excellent reliability and could be driven for hundreds of miles to the front...

Kursk was supposed to be the Tiger's great introduction and it was mediocre at best at that point in the war and partially as a result Kursk was a major defeat for the Germans and sealed their fate.

As for jets, the Italians and British (Whittle) independently both had jets even earlier than the  Germans (even the Japanese had early jet engines), but the Germans had better metallurgy to handle a high speed turbine blade, hence their jets were actually faster than prop planes. Same for rockets... Goddard was no sloutch and neither were the Russian scientists, starting with Konstantin Tsiolkovsky

As for nukes, the Germans were *really* far behind - the sabotage is a really lame excuse. Building a bomb required *really* good science management and teamwork, and the German were hampered by racial prejudice against "Jewish Physics" and of course the Allies ended up with all the Jewish scientists.

 

 

 

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 18:15 | 4300310 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

Mr. Charles, are you seriously advocating the usage of Sploogle's direct-to-web document/spreadsheet/operating system over standalone products that perhaps are not so direct-to-web? (I still don't know if every word doc I've made ended up at Microballs or not)

Here are the three man-made barriers to free human expression:

a) Accreditation
b) Regulation
c) [Unwarranted] Taxation

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 18:51 | 4300382 Papasmurf
Papasmurf's picture

 

Here are the three man-made barriers to free human expression:

a) Accreditation
b) Regulation
c) [Unwarranted] Taxation

d) apathy

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 18:58 | 4300387 Musashi Miyamoto
Musashi Miyamoto's picture

Get accredited news now:

http://accredited-times.com/

Legitimate news from accredited writers

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 19:28 | 4300449 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

Now that's what I'm talking about, MDB's own accredited satirical news site. Perfect name for it too.

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 19:51 | 4300510 Musashi Miyamoto
Musashi Miyamoto's picture

MDB is the Shakespeare of satire.

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 19:35 | 4300465 logicalman
logicalman's picture

Don't do that.

I clicked the link, started reading and immediately felt like throwing up.

Please put a warning label on all future posts.

Thanks in advance.

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 19:50 | 4300506 Musashi Miyamoto
Musashi Miyamoto's picture

My apologizes for the discomfort. Older, and, hopefully, wiser than yesterday.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 22:25 | 4303250 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

That site is a joke site started by MDB

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 19:42 | 4300486 Musashi Miyamoto
Musashi Miyamoto's picture

Caveat Emptor

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 19:26 | 4300443 logicalman
logicalman's picture

Think Adobe.

I'm in the graphics business.

 

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 22:24 | 4303248 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

when I think of Adobe I think of Adobe Connect.

I think of how your company uses it to run conferences and how much it crashes so the conferences start late or not at all.

Hmmm.

I think I'll stick with opensource.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 22:26 | 4303255 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

d) copyright : http://flic.kr/p/dMLsb9 stop copyright, it's information terrorism

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 18:16 | 4300312 Xibalba
Xibalba's picture

UBUNTU, bitchez! 

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 18:31 | 4300343 bobert
bobert's picture

I'm there.

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 18:49 | 4300373 Zero Point
Zero Point's picture

Yup. Linux (whatever flavour, I prefer Mint myself) is excellent, especially for office type tasks.

Libre is every bit as good (or bad depending on how you look at things) as Office, and in fact is better at some things.

Add into that, Gimp, the free Photoshop, and I often wonder why any office would bother paying MSFT.

I must admit to not liking Thunderbird, but you can't win 'em all.

 

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 18:58 | 4300385 malikai
malikai's picture

+Evolution.

Unless you get 10,000+ emails a day.

That could be a problem, as it is for me.

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 19:29 | 4300451 Zero Point
Zero Point's picture

I'll chuck that on my notebook, and give it a whirl. Thanks!

Most of the cool shit on my machines I discover thanks to posts like yours.

I probably only get a thousand or so, so I should be OK, heh.

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 19:28 | 4300448 logicalman
logicalman's picture

I do a lot of 3D modelling - Blender, open-source amazing!

Gimp, Inkscape, Scribus, Libre Office.

Not much you can't do with the above mentioned programs.

 

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 20:42 | 4300640 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Gimp is a great image editor.

Photoshop is a gigantic pain in the ass.

The best image editor I ever used was Paint Shop Pro version 5 but it was bought out by Corel and they have progressively fudged it up since.

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 23:59 | 4301044 ronaldawg
ronaldawg's picture

I've engineered an entire ISP with NetBSD and OpenBSD.  It worked verywell for years.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 22:17 | 4303237 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

I actually really like Thunderbird.

What I don't like is how hard GIMP is to use at first.
That program seriously needs a good tutorial video & HTML docs to go with it, not just a man page & guessing.
However, once you master it you can pump out things on par with WilliamBanzai7 or just about any corporate graphics for advertising, etc.
For the extreme to ensure no pixelation yet lots of re-scaling I gather the program to use is Inkscape.
I haven't had time to mess with it yet.

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 18:50 | 4300378 Musashi Miyamoto
Musashi Miyamoto's picture

sudo apt-get remove zeitgeist zeitgeist-core zeitgeist-datahub python-zeitgeist rhythmbox-plugin-zeitgeist geoclue geoclue-ubuntu-geoip geoip-database whoopsie

(logging software)

https://sites.google.com/site/howtomakeubuntu1204notterrible/

Fuck Ubuntu

You need to move to a better Distro. Period

http://distrowatch.com/

find something else, anything else.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 22:15 | 4303228 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

none of those things are installed on mine.
Zeitgeist may be stupid but it's not being forced on me.
Freedom means the chance to do things you think are wrong because someone else wants to try.
Any software has NO negative affect on my life. It's not on my computer, never was.
As for logging/reporting that shouldn't happen, I'm using Ubuntu 12.04/precise from Mint 13 and it's not reporting shit on me.

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 18:19 | 4300323 HardlyZero
HardlyZero's picture

Animal sprits lead to ...

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 22:12 | 4303217 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

http://youtu.be/TXKjRkkoIOU stoned kids - treating cancer & seizures with cannabis (Vice magazine)

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 18:39 | 4300352 Peter Pan
Peter Pan's picture

While risk has an element of intuition, good luck and bad luck, it is nevertheless essential that a balance also be struck between and micro and macro considerations.

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 18:42 | 4300359 I am Jobe
I am Jobe's picture

Look at Dell pushing Cloud Shit just like AMZN and IBM. More partying at NSA. WTF 

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 18:58 | 4300388 Papasmurf
Papasmurf's picture

Who will put their shit in the cloud after Snowden's revelations?

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 19:09 | 4300405 I am Jobe
I am Jobe's picture

Lots of sukers. Dell world was fuil  of this crap over and over. Of course edlon Musk was the Guest with Michael Dell. Dell is pushing their customers with no regard to the cloud shit. I fel sorry for the suckers at Dell who has to sell this shit

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 19:26 | 4300454 logicalman
logicalman's picture

Who, in their right mind, would have put everything on the cloud BEFORE Snoden????

 

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 19:09 | 4300410 29.5 hours
29.5 hours's picture

 

 

"If someone comes up with Word-Lite and Excel-Lite which can open Office docs, MSFT's last bastion of monopoly will face real competition."

Hmmm... OpenOffice.org and other totally fine substitutes for MS Office are out there. These software products are worthy, free and no more buggy than MS products. Jeez, even the latest Word still chokes on simple nested lists.


 

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 19:15 | 4300422 Musashi Miyamoto
Sat, 01/04/2014 - 19:21 | 4300431 29.5 hours
29.5 hours's picture

 

 

Yup. Both suites are fully interoperable with .doc, .docx, .rtf, .xls and all MS formats. They are free and stable.

MS cannot claim in any way to have a superior product for the money. From my own experience, MS expensive software continues to be favored by corporate purchasing departments for reasons that have nothing to do with the needs of the workers who use the software.

 

 

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 23:55 | 4301041 ronaldawg
ronaldawg's picture

Stupid lazy people, ala secretaries will never learn anything new.  That is why we are stuck with Microsoft office.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 12:56 | 4301784 Papasmurf
Papasmurf's picture

Businesses can't afford the hit for secretaries to learn a new word processor on company time.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 22:00 | 4303197 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

They can. It takes less than 5 minutes. Some features are better, don't exist in MS, others are identical. That's that.

Of all things the corporations are telling their managers that the Microsoft stuff is more "secure".

No, seriously, that's what they're saying.

That's why where I run conferences it's all MS crap and nothing opensource.

Mon, 01/06/2014 - 12:36 | 4304517 ronaldawg
ronaldawg's picture

I've taught literally hundreds of employees new word processing systems with little or no cost to the employer.  There is one animal that will not learn no matter how easy you make it - elderly legal secretaries.  Legal secretaries are the bane of my existence. 

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 02:29 | 4307133 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

raise a drink to you on that one.

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 20:37 | 4300634 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

LibreOffice works quite well.  It is a little more user friendly than the Apache OpenOffice V4 but both do exceedingly well and have better menu options than the newer versions of Microsoft Office.

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 19:42 | 4300484 itstippy
itstippy's picture

Risk can also stymie World-class creative brilliance.

I have an old friend (he's in his 80's) who has more raw mechanical intelligence and creativity than anyone else I've ever met.  He's had no schooling past 6th grade; he had to leave school to help work the crappy family sand farm. A tractor tipped on him at age 14 and he lost his right leg at the knee.  He's ignorant as Hell about literature, philosophy, science, politics, economics, etc. His reading skills are abysmal.  He's racist, sexist, and crude.  Don't mistake ignorance for stupidity though.

Lenny can examine any piece of broken machinery, completely disassemble it, locate the worn or broken components, procure or fabricate replacement components, and reassemble the machine.  Any machine from a 1930's Oliver tractor to a $10,000 shotgun.

Lenny spent his adult working career at a large local ordinance works that was built to provide munitions for WWII.  It got multi-million dollar Federal contracts.  He started at age 18 on the production line making gunpowder.  Soon he was maintaining the machines. Soon after that he was repairing the machines.  He went on to become chief machinist and ruled the tool shop.

I have no doubt that Lenny could have been one of the best mechanical engineers in the World.  He's that good.  He could have designed and built rocket ships and Lunar rovers, but he never got the schooling or opportunity.  Lenny came from a family with no means whatsoever.  He's always had to support himself and others, and the risk of failure was just too great for him to "follow his dreams".  You don't pursue greatness when the risk is that you, your parents, your wife, and your kids starve to death.  Instead you do the very best with the hand you're dealt.

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 19:44 | 4300493 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

Governments are giant failures same as old corporate giants.  DC has rolled out nothing but failures for nearly 50 years.

 

 

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 19:48 | 4300507 QEpp
QEpp's picture

OpenOffice / LibreOffice also supports direct export / print to PDF.  Something that has been lacking in MS Office for the past decade.  Makes sense though, why would M$FT promote a competitor's format?

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 00:40 | 4301100 ronaldawg
ronaldawg's picture

Adobe Acrobat for $350-$450 was the security standard which allowed any word processing program to print directly to pdf (actually any program).  That was of course before Adobe got hacked and their source code was compromised.

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 20:34 | 4300585 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Windows 8 (8.1) sucks ASS.

It isn't an operating system, it is a marketing system.

Why the numb-nuts didn't come out with Windows 8 for desktop/laptop (you know, devices with keyboards for humans with opposable thumbs and intelligence above that of a Lemur) versus Windows 8 for Notepads (browsing toys for the dull who can't form complete sentences) is beyond me.

If you know how to use a computer and how a computer works and want to actually accomplish something avoid Windows 8 like a syphilitic prostitute with leprosy and lice (and the plague).

I would have converted to Mac and Apple if they had the guts to allow the informed to put their O.S. on non-proprietary hardware but they are desperate to maintain their hoity-toit hob-knobbing pinkie-in-the-air veneer of exclusivity.

What was the article about again?  Oh yeah...risk.  THERE IS NO RISK, that is the problem.

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 21:17 | 4300715 deerhunter
deerhunter's picture

itstippy,  your mechanically inclined friend reminds us of another important thing.  Keeping himself and family from going hungry is a good motivator for staying employed.  When we feed people who are not working and most probably never will we take away all of their desires to innovate,  design,  create and improve.  Our country decided with Johnson to feed people for breeding and not working followed by 73 abortion laws.  We as a country welcomed in sloth and murder and now fifty years later are still dealing with the consequenses.  If you asked your friend if he was happy would he answer no?  My guess is he would not.  I have met many creative people and many educated fools in my day.  College does not spit out creative people.  Creativity and mechanical aptitude need to be encouraged and appreciated.  I have met a few people like your friend in my life and consider myself better off for it.  It is good for you to laud his skills.  That gunpowder plant wouldn't be NE of Cincinnati by chance would it?  Just wondering.

Sat, 01/04/2014 - 23:00 | 4300946 logicalman
logicalman's picture

You are only at risk of dying when you are alive.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 21:59 | 4303186 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

"If someone comes up with Word-Lite and Excel-Lite which can open Office docs, MSFT's last bastion of monopoly will face real competition."

CHS:
It exists. OpenOffice and LibreOffice available in Windows and Linux, open source & free.

For those using Linux & in particular Debian or Ubuntu (or Linux Mint which is Ubuntu other than LMDE) you can get LibreOffice easily by adding to sources.list:

 

deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/libreoffice/ppa/ubuntu/ precise main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/libreoffice/ppa/ubuntu/ precise main
or change precise to another distro name within Ubuntu.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!