This blog describes some ideas that seem to be different from the current train of political thought. I will try to bring up somewhat unique and innovative ideas regarding political systems and policies in the US. I hope those who comment also bring in such ideas.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Fear of failure, and lack of innovation

One of the biggest reasons for not innovating is the fear of failure. Glyn Moody on Open... points out that one of the reasons governments do not innovate is this fear of failure. Specifically, it is pretty obvious that open source software provides many benefits for governments, but government IT are afraid to try anything different.

I'm not sure I totally agree, as government employees basically have "tenure," and are hard to fire. But, I think there is a lack of effort to try anything new, because it is a very static environment. The government contributions to open source have largely come from scientists, such as Beowulf and ImageJ, and not from IT. It seems that IT innovation in government is dead, but not the IT innovation of the users.

One big advantage of a federalist system is that things can be tried at a smaller scale. Different states try different things, and those that work can be passed on. For example, the state of Arizona has an excellent system of charter schools. Thus, even in an area with terrible schools such as Tucson, you are still able to get an excellent education. I would love to see a similar system of charter schools in Virginia, where the gifted programs are extremely limited.

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