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Re: [ontolog-forum] memory loss

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Paola Di Maio <paola.dimaio@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 11 Oct 2009 20:02:54 +0100
Message-id: <4a4804720910111202y35e326b8s1c93c9da4077267e@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>


The relatively small minority of people with the cognitive abilities and
proclivities to do science and engineering are enough to move the human
race forward.

I find this statement very revealing of what some lucky people think of themselves. The way people's 'cognitive abilities' are measured is based on a number of factors that are often purely statistical. I found out only recently what 'alpha kids' are.
Children are ranked statistically based on their parents jobs, income and wealth, into A, B, C classes

Many other factors influence people cognitive abilities, first is FOOD. Amazing how many clever kids in poor countries
manage to get through their A levels, considering they dont eat much, in comparison to ther luckier friends in developed nations
Others are family, psychologial conditions, safety, even the socio-economic environment, and
the politics of their country . No electricity, no clean water, I wonder if you have travelled outside developed nations

I reject your statement above entirely, and wonder, would you be born and bred the Usa?

About Google you say ' it's largely
incidental; a "right place at the right time with the right tool" kind
of thing.' 

doesn't the whole universe looke like rather incidental too?
(but yes, I am a bit scared too, until they selle every Google Mail user some shares at least)

The rest that you say I have no quibble with


With their contributions in circulation, exploitation of
novel developments is easy and never requires anything like the depth
of understanding required to realize any given bit of technology (with
its attendant scientific underpinnings). This is why we have so many
nasty "side-effects" and "unintended consequences" from our use of
technology—'cause those who make decisions about using the technologies
do so with scant understanding of what accompanies those technologies
and are almost always primarily motivated by their desire to accumulate
wealth with little regard for other predictable outcomes.

And, to be honest, even the genuine experts do not and cannot predict
all of the consequences of a given technology (let alone combinations
or constellations of technologies), but when the unexpected occurs,
they're still the ones who have to figure out what's going on but are
not often the ones who are listened to in figuring out how to respond
to these unforeseen and undesirable results.

> ...
> The web (okay, and Google)  is changing everything, including
> allowing this discussion, enabling us to make exponential progress in
> all areas of knowledge (cetainly in my case). For that alone,  I am
> perfectly happy and grateful.

Let's not overestimate Google's essential contribution to either the
potential or current state of realization of networked information
systems. Surely they're big, important players now, but it's largely
incidental; a "right place at the right time with the right tool" kind
of thing. That allowed them to jump ahead of their immediate
predecessors and accumulate a lot of resources that fed their
phenomenal growth, affording them the opportunity to explore so many
fields well beyond Web indexing and search.

> >From here onwards we ll just have to work things out on a daily
> > basis. See what sticks....

That is not a new state of affairs!

> P

Randall Schulz

Paola Di Maio
Networked Research Lab, UK


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