Dear John, (01)
A nice cartoon. Although I think it is a little pessimistic. Whilst I do not
think you should attempt to justify blue skies research, I think there are
things you can do to work out if industrial, or applied research is
worthwhile, based around the reduction in risk of decisions that you make
based on the results of the research. (02)
Let's take a topical example from the energy sector. (03)
Should I invest in fission reactors, fusion reactors, solar cells, wind
farms, tidal barrages, carbon capture, biomass (which sort), clean coal? I
have $50b+ to invest over 20 years. (04)
Making a bet on any of these today carries a huge risk. What is the
information that would help reduce that risk? Notice that it is almost as
useful to discover that any of these is a non-starter, as it is to discover
that one or more of them is viable, and at what energy price it is economic. (05)
Tens of millions of dollars is a good investment to reduce the risk of
getting it wrong. You just need to be clear how the results of the research
are going to answer the questions, which is where research design comes in. (06)
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> -----Original Message-----
> From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ontolog-forum-
> bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of John F. Sowa
> Sent: 05 January 2010 14:54
> To: [ontolog-forum]
> Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Ontologist Aptitude Test?
> A recent document appeared on the WWW today, which may help to
> clarify those points:
> >> ... we've been doing software (creating 1,000s of languages in the
> >> process) for about 50 years & still have no widely accepted means
> >> of measuring it.
> JB> ... Yet every one of the ways of measuring software performance has
> > been successful in its own right for building a foundation of
> > something to improve.
> Following is the document (but check it for Jan 5, since it changes
> every day): http://www.dilbert.com/fast/
> The text without the graphics:
> Pointy-Haired Boss: "Maybe somebody can help you quantify your
> research and development work."
> Dilbert: "The only people who can quantify research are liars
> and morons."
> PHB: "Maybe we could hire a consultant."
> Dilbert: "That just turns a liar into a thief."
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