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Showing posts from February, 2010

The Power of the Open Source Periphery

Like a lot of people in the tech world, I try to read a variety of publications (both online and physical versions) to keep up with what is going on in the dizzying world of technology. Recently, I read a great article in a recent issue of Wired entitled Accept Defeat: The Neuroscience of Screwing Up. This article explains in some detail, with examples, the problem of 'failure blindness' in scientific research.

This phenomenon causes scientists and researchers to ignore anomalies in their results they didn't expect, which are therefore categorized as 'failures'. The article goes on to state that one of the best ways of overcoming this bias is to involve other people from outside of your immediate speciality in discussions about your results.

For me, this triggered the thought process of why it's important to encourage participation in your communities (Open Source or internal) from folks on the periphery of your project - non-specialists who have something…