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We (humans) make things happen.

I know people who actually believe that the infrastructure (computers, and cool tools/ gadgets) in their institution is more important than their people. So, they invest in infrastructure instead of ideas.

In academia, without people who have ideas to innovatively use your infrastructure, you have a slowly dying (or dead) institution that looks good on the outside, but that might be decaying on the inside.

People with ideas are the ones who design systems, tools, and technologies. While your infrastructure stays, those people with ideas will go. I worry about any institution that invests in its infrastructure before its ideas.

People with ideas win grants to break rules, they take us to places we never dreamt possible, and develop cures for diseases. I have never once seen a machine win a Nobel Prize. As far as I know, people do. Academia is about knowledge production, and that’s what humans are able to do.

I believe in ideas before infrastructure. With your ideas we can get infrastructure, and do ground-breaking work. With the presence of infrastructure and an absence of people with ideas to run them, you are alone with your toys, and no one to play with.

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