Jeff Dalton reports on a presentation by Dave Jensen and David Smith on the Myths of Research in Computer Science. A key insight is that Computer Science Research is not about systems. Designing a better spam filter is a great idea, and might make you wealthy, but it is not what Computer Science is about.
I like the approach described by Jeff’s post:
Design an experiment to learn regardless of the outcome.
Of course, we all want to improve computations. However, you do not have to prove that your way is better than their way (the macho approach). This sort of contest gets boring rather quickly.