A few weeks ago, we had an Emerging Media Initiative Faculty Symposium at Ball State. A few of the participants were invited for interviews to discuss the impact of the Symposium on the University community. They’re kind of fun to watch.
Here’s Mahesh Senagala, one of my favorite people on campus. I am always impressed by the lucidity of his extemporaneous commentary. Then again, maybe he cheated and actually prepared. http://vids.emergingmediainitiative.com/?t=Mahesh&f=mahesh&w=604&h=340&m=So+it+was+a+bit+longer+than+18+minutes+and+20+seconds…&l=1
Here are Petra Zimmerman and I. At this point in the day, I had a ripping headache and had lots of coffee to try to counteract it. (Didn’t help.) However, watching this again, I don’t make as little sense as I feared I would. Clearly, I expected them to cut out some of my hemming, hawing, and wristwatch commentary, and right at the end I get cut off just as I am asking them to do some editing to make me make sense. Oh well, at least my tirade against the plans for the commercialization initiative were not caught on camera. I do not know Petra very well, but she’s quite friendly, from Geographical Sciences, and a climatologist (IIRC).
For all ten of you who read this blog, my statements about the relative values of ideas and execution were directed against the last session of the symposium, which was a discussion of institutional commercialization plans. In a nutshell, the plan as presented was that a professor takes an idea from scholarly work and hands it off to undergraduate entrepreneurship majors for business development. Undergraduate education needs to be a “safe fail” environment, and if I have potentially commercializable intellectual property, the last thing I’m going to do is hand it over to a group of 20-year-old non-experts. That’s the sideways point I was trying to make during this interview: that if you have an idea and you want to commercialize it, the right thing to do is hire the best people you can afford to make it happen, not to give it to students for a learning experience. I don’t know if that changes your interpretation of the interview, but that’s a little backstory on my mental state at the time.
Yes, and it is kind of fun to have been mentioned in all three, but fame is a carrot, and I’m busy defibrillating my intrinsic motivation.