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Re: [ontolog-forum] Ontologist Aptitude Test?

To: "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Rich Cooper" <rich@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 15 Jan 2010 12:12:09 -0800
Message-id: <20100115201236.91BCC138D2B@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Rich Cooper
Rich AT EnglishLogicKernel DOT com    (01)

MW wrote:    (02)

Dear John,    (03)

> I'm back from my travels and catching up on some emails.
> Following are some comments on your notes from Jan 5 and 6:
> MW> 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.
> First of all, it's often hard to distinguish "blue sky" research
> from "applied" research -- except in retrospect.  Nuclear fusion,
> for example, has always held the promise of limitless amounts
> of power, but none of the "applied" R & D has come to fruition.
> Conversely, the "blue sky" research on lasers and solid-state
> physics has reaped benefits beyond anybody's wildest dreams.    (04)

MW: By applied research I mean what was funded as applied research. Negative
results are almost as valuable as positive results, because they stop you
betting on a loser.
> MW> 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.
> Nobody states or evaluates alternatives in that form.      (05)

MW: That is simply not true. Most of the oil companies are doing precisely
this, and so are many governments. For example Shell has consistently done
research in various renewables aimed at establishing technical viability and
the price of oil at which they would become economic.    (06)

Regards    (07)

Matthew West                                (08)

I agree with Matthew.  At the top level of budgeting, the rough budget is
established as a goal.  Each department has a slice, and must justify what
it can do with the money in terms of RESULTS.  Private companies measure
results in terms of financial profile.  After some filling in of plan
details, the finished marching orders accumulate up the decision tree until
the final budget is agreed on.      (09)

No budgets get set aside for research in any publicly traded company that
are there without some payoff.  The payogg may be political good will, as in
the Bell Tel case, where they bought good will with taxpayer money.  As in
the French 17th century case, such untargeted money brought out good
research results, but the taxpayers who paid for it were not the
beneficiaries of it.  But responsible companies support their stockholder
interests, not because of moral compass, but because they can't keep trading
stock at levels that pay off without such results.      (010)

-Rich    (011)

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