Friday, October 08, 2010

McGarty critiques Vaishnav paper: MIT healthy discussion on telecoms reform?

Very interesting (or controversial, or sour, delete as appropriate) discussion of Chintan Vaishnav's TPRC paper - which appears to have attracted internal criticism both for its prominent plugging by the public relations folks at MIT and for its use of mathematical modelling for what are (claims the critic) ultimately judgment calls. The latter may be legitimately argued (questioned/lampooned), especially as the main beef appears to be reliance on regulation for regulated industries (sic), the former is an internal argument that I would like someone to cast light on - is this unusual publicity for an MIT paper?
The paper itself is to a European non-controversial in its conclusions (use SMP to prevent abuse of dominance, encourage interoperability/modularity and encourage co-regulatory type consensus building), though clearly I don't follow the modelling, and I rather like the allusion to herding an elephant (Ma Bell) which transmogrify into sheep (BabyBells and CLECs) and then multiply into cats (current landscape - though Verizon, Comcast and AT&T are more like tigers stalking deer?).
Oh, and it looks like Dr Vaishnav is a very proper engineer, so that particular criticism seems inappropriate. One does not have to make billions to be an analyst of telecoms....


Anonymous said...

I would be interested in real critiques of this paper; but the blog you cite reads more like a Tea Party fact-free rant.

chris said...

I hope my tone conveyed a similar impression - 'tall poppy' syndrome seems alive and well in MIT as in other august academic institutions. I recall being trashed at my own conference 11 years ago by a now-retired prof, not disagreeing with my claims but dismissing my claim to influence as not a 'true disciple' - ludicrous. Their sub-folder on their academic page was somewhat appropriately - the lesson is to ignore the personal and focus on whether the actual substance has merit. It demeans the critic.