[Original Link] John Naughton’s blog had a link to this interesting article by Philip Greenspun about the MIT Media Lab’s mode of operation, which in turn was a response to this Wired article about its current funding crisis and likely future.
When I visited the Lab a few years back, I, like many others, thought, “this is fun, but who pays for it?” I was a student at the time, and so I didn’t worry too much about these things. But I was working on similar stuff, and so was glad that somebody, or some bodies, had the vision to fund the wacky stuff.
The Media Lab is a bit like manned spaceflight. It probably doesn’t make sense, the funders seldom get their money back, there are more efficient ways to use resources, and so on. But the world would be a much less interesting place to live in without it.
I hope it survives. Or that something more exciting, rather than just more practical, rises up to replace it.