chapter  13
20 Pages

Reaching Out

In the preface to one of his novels, Henry James describes melodrama as an abrupt discontinuity in the coherence of a narrative; it is characterized by an event that previous events have not prepared the reader to understand or accept. In this sense, the military engagement in technology transfer is melodramatic. During most of the Cold War, the defense R&D activities served a culture that avidly acquires knowledge and then carefully locks it up. Then, with little or no preparation, they were ordered to transfer most of this knowledge to civilian organizations.