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Re: [ontolog-forum] Time representation

To: <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: <matthew.west@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2008 17:51:58 -0000
Message-id: <808637A57BC3454FA660801A3995FA8F06455333@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Dear Pat,    (01)

I think you are misunderstanding Paola's real point.    (02)

> At 4:35 PM +0700 1/24/08, paola.dimaio@xxxxxxxxx wrote:
> >RANT/
> >The important role of speculative enquiry is accepted to some extent,
> >but a lot of effort imho is spent on research (done with 
> public money)
> >that is not useful (enough) nor applied , or  only benefits the
> >researchers and their private clients.
> >Research funded with public money should benefit the public at large    (03)

MW: What I take from this, with some inside knowledge of how EC
funding sometimes seems to work, is that at least some EC funded
research projects seem to do little more than support organizations that
appear to be set up to exploit the opportunities to gain EC research
funding. There being little useful research, and what there is, not
being publicly available. Whilst this is supposed to be OK because
it provides seedcorn for small and start-up type companies, there are
notably few companies that have really "made it" with an EC funded
start.    (04)

> Bullshit. This is like the standard American right-wing fantasy that 
> the government is "spending our money". The purpose of research is to 
> investigate new areas of knowledge. The benefits, if any, to this 
> mythical entity called "the public at large" may or may not accrue 
> downstream, but to demand immediate 'relevance' (to what, exactly?) 
> is to cripple research. Experience suggests that it is worth 
> investing a substantial fraction of a group's or society's available 
> effort into pure research, undertaken for no other reason than to 
> find something out. For technology companies, the ideal fraction 
> seems to be about 20%, for example (Xerox, Google, HP); for a nation 
> Im not sure of the appropriate figure, but right now the USA is way 
> below par, and its economy is suffering in large part because of that.    (05)

MW: And I suspect both Paola and I would agree, especially if the
results of the research were publicly available - where they had been
publicly funded.    (06)

MW: As an aside, I have noticed that often the best research is
slightly underfunded. This forces collaboration and invention. Large
research projects with large budgets only guarantee to spend the
budget.    (07)

Regards    (08)

Matthew West
Reference Data Architecture and Standards Manager
Shell International Petroleum Company Limited
Registered in England and Wales
Registered number: 621148
Registered office: Shell Centre, London SE1 7NA, United Kingdom    (09)

Tel: +44 20 7934 4490 Mobile: +44 7796 336538
Email: matthew.west@xxxxxxxxx
http://www.matthew-west.org.uk/    (010)

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