Posted Jan 18, 2007 4:54 UTC (Thu) by modernjazz
In reply to: Paying nVidia
Parent article: LCA: The state of the Nouveau project
I have a PhD in physics and I write 3d software (or even n-d software,
take that!). Expertise is partly a matter of having some ability, but
perhaps more a matter of devoting the time to master a subject---and once
you've done so, it usually seems quite easy and straightforward. (As a
mathematician would say, "trivial!") But I don't know a damn thing about
writing even bare-bones HTML, so I guess I'm both a genius and a dunce in
My personal view is that hierarchies like the one you proposed tend to be
more confusing than helpful: there is a range of talent in every field,
and the standard deviation within a community often exceeds the
difference in means between communities. Yes, some fields are
unapproachable without a certain baseline ability, and that tends to
guarantee that most of the people working in them are at least decent.
But one also finds that absolutely terrific people pop up in the
strangest of places. Unfortunately, it's harder to remember this if you
also maintain a mental hierarchy.
I guess it's part of the power of open source: an acknowledgement that,
sometimes, the person with the best idea may be "out there" and without
any obvious credentials, other than the code s/he writes.
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