ACM communications editorial

Open letter to Mr. Moshe Vardi, president of ACM, in reaction to his article in ACM Communications:

“ACM’s Open-Conference Principle and Political Reality,”

I have subscribed to ACM to read the interesting articles that apply to myself and to delve into the educational resources, in advancement of my career as a (business) software engineer.

It is with dismay that I view so many emphatic opinions tending to encourage ever more intervention by government on behalf of computing.

The vast ocean of technology and information advances we are now swimming in due to rapid creativity and growth in our field, did not come from government much more often in spite of them.

It was not until 1982 that the government-enforced monopoly over long distance and the telephone system was broken up. That immediately unleashed a market for long distance improvements in the free market. In the 1990s mobile phones began to multiply across the land.

The Internet was presaged by the private bulletin boards that popped up everywhere, and then private services like Prodigy, Compuserve, AOL, and others, that were cajoled into merging into the ARPA network. So the Internet is NOT thanks to the government. A more organic growth might have even resulted in better security environment.

So I would like to see a more neutral tone on such matters. I realize that the bulk of the membership is probably on the academic and research side, and that these are dependent on government money.

But it is offensive to see such leaders in this field jump so enthusiastically into this “resistance” against what is really the resistance by the electorate against policies and programs that they see as a movement toward subjecting political and economic freedom to unelected international councils that have shown callous disregard for the effects on the poor and middle class.

How about promoting computing as a career and a profession?

If a social cause is truly just for all, it will attract the beneficiaries without joining the mutli-billionaire financiers that are paying for riots and mayhem and strategic disruption, led by professionals trained in “community organizing”.


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