Note For Anyone Writing About Me

Guide to Writing About Me

I am an Autistic person,not a person with autism. I am also not Aspergers. The diagnosis isn't even in the DSM anymore, and yes, I agree with the consolidation of all autistic spectrum stuff under one umbrella. I have other issues with the DSM.

I don't like Autism Speaks. I'm Disabled, not differently abled, and I am an Autistic activist. Self-advocate is true, but incomplete.

Citing My Posts

MLA: Hillary, Alyssa. "Post Title." Yes, That Too. Day Month Year of post. Web. Day Month Year of retrieval.

APA: Hillary, A. (Year Month Day of post.) Post Title. [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Review: Democratizing Innovation

I read this book called Democratizing Innovation, by Eric von Hippel. Eric makes the pdf available for free on his website, so yes, this is a book I got for free. You can get it for free too. And I do suggest it for people who are interested in innovation, technology, engineering, and maybe even politics. Plus it's got a free translation into Chinese, so I can use the two together to learn better Chinese.
Reading it made me think about a lot of things: I think there are parallels between hacker culture (what most non-computer-nerds think of when they hear the word hacker is actually a cracker,) and anarchism, which is interesting. It's not the thing I know most about, since my experience with anarchsim basically extends to reacting to a couple Slingshot articles and I'm not actually an anarchist, but the book made me think of that parallel. That's why I think it could be interesting for someone who is into politics, especially anarchist politics.
It also made me think about possible parallels between user-innovators and scholar-activists, since both wind up creating things that they need and don't have. Scholar-activists come up with the words they need to describe things they run into in activism, sometimes. User-innovators come up with the inventions they need. It's similar. So an activist (especially a scholar-activist!) could find this book interesting.
I read a bit where manufacturers (incorrect) conventional wisdom caused them to not realize how many of their major innovations actually came from user-innovators, who are apparently invisible to them. It reminded me a bit of how it sometimes seems like big organizations don't notice the individuals who actually made things happen. (Hi Autism Speaks, I am looking at you right now.)
That's on top of the interest to people who are interested in innovation or engineering or technology, the topics this book is actually supposed to be about. It really is about those things, and it does a good job looking at what sorts of innovations come from which places and why. The effect of the internet is also looked at, including how people are using the internet to spread their own innovations and how Firefox is basically a pile of user innovations stuck together, same as most open source projects.
Besides this, there was examination of who makes these innovations. It seems to be the early adopters and people who are in similar but more advanced areas who make innovations, so the first people to get a car were innovators and the racecar drivers are innovators. It's actually really cool!
It even took the time for economic implications of widespread user innovation. Manufacturers would need to adjust, but overall social welfare can be increased with more user-innovators. 
Democratizing Innovation also has a good bibliography, from which I noted several pieces I am interested in reading. That's these:

Amabile, T. M. 1996. Creativity in Context. Westview.
Antelmon, Kristin. 2004. “Do Open Access Articles Have a Greater Research Impact?” College and Research Libraries 65, no 5: 372-382
Christensen, C. M. 1997. The Innovator's Dilemma. Harvard Business School Press.
Morris, A. D. and C. McClurg, eds. 1992. Frontiers in Social Movement Theory. Yale University Press.
Harhoff, D., J. Henkel, and E. von Hippel. 2003. Profiting from Voluntary Information Spillovers: How Users Benefit by Freely Revealing Their Innovations.” Research Policy. 35, no 10: 1753-1769.
Mishina, K. 1989. Essays on Technological Evolution. PhD Thesis, Harvard University.
Von Hippel, E. 1976. The Dominant Role of Users in the Scientific Instrument Innovation Process. Research Policy 5, no 3: 212-39

This is by no means the whole bibliography; it's just the items from it I think I want to read.

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