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Re: [ontolog-forum] Ontologist Aptitude Test?

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 13 Jan 2010 13:39:37 -0500
Message-id: <4B4E1369.6030908@xxxxxxxxxxx>
I recently heard a radio program with economists who were
analyzing last year's financial disaster.  Some of the comments
were relevant to any technical subject, including ontology.    (01)

Example:    (02)

    "The use of jargon as a way of limiting the number of
     people you have to interact with."    (03)

As a result of this technique, decision makers in governments,
businesses, and even financial institutions did not understand
the risks and vulnerability of their investments.    (04)

Many of the decision makers trusted the ratings agencies.
Standard and Poor's, for example, claimed (and still do claim)
that they use "time-tested methodologies and deep knowledge
of market dynamics."    (05)

But the economists noted that so-called "financial consultants,"
who were advising companies about improving their ratings, were
not telling them how to make their companies financially sound.
Instead, they focused on making them *look* sound according to
the criteria used by the ratings agencies.    (06)

In effect, the advisers were teaching the companies how to
"game the system" in order to increase their S&P ratings.
Their advice was successful.  The ratings improved.    (07)

Unfortunately, decision makers who did not understand the jargon
believed the ratings.    (08)

As I said earlier, people who discuss interoperability in today's
systems use different jargon to discuss the same issues as the
conferences in the 1980s.  My greatest fear is that an OAT is
likely to measure how well the students have swallowed and can
regurgitate the latest jargon.    (09)

To avoid that danger, my recommendation is to measure candidates
by their ability to design and implement systems that are actually
deployed and used by the people who paid for them.    (010)

John Sowa    (011)

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