Some advise academics not to post working papers, as others might steal your ideas. Many fiction writers are afraid editors will steal their ideas. Many are afraid that venture capitalists will steal their business idea instead of funding their team.Of the three examples in the first paragraph, I think the least to worry about are the academics posting their working papers. First, publishing on the net gives them a provable priority date for any plagiarism dispute. Second, it is already hard enough to persuade others to accept one's original ideas, even when fully argued--"you will have to ram it down their throats."
Howard Aiken said 'Don't worry about people stealing an idea. If it's original, you will have to ram it down their throats.' I don't think it is quite that simple - people can and do steal ideas. But if what you want is influence, instead of credit, the choice should easy: you should want people to steal your ideas. So think about it: how much do you or should you care about credit, versus influence?
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Robin Hanson, Overcoming Bias: Choose: Credit or Influence (Jun. 12, 2007) writes:
Posted by Stephen C. Carlson