Dear John, (01)
It seems to me you are deliberately twisting what I am saying. (02)
There are at least 3 kinds of thing here which you are trying to insist are
only two: (03)
1. Blue skies research. (04)
2. Applied research. (05)
3. Engineering. (06)
I agree that it is pointless trying to direct blue skies research. You never
know where a key breakthrough is going to come from. (07)
I agree that when you have a problem that you have the technology, methods
and techniques to apply, that producing a solution is engineering, not
However, there is also a class of problem, where you know what the problem
is that you want to solve, but you do not have the methods, tools and
techniques to solve the problem. You then have to do research to find the
solutions. This is applied research. It is research because you do not know
the answer to the question, or how to work it out, and it is applied because
there is a specific question you are trying to find the answer to (not
necessarily the case with blue skies stuff). (09)
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> -----Original Message-----
> From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ontolog-forum-
> bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of John F. Sowa
> Sent: 15 January 2010 22:43
> To: [ontolog-forum]
> Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Ontologist Aptitude Test?
> Dear Matthew and Rich,
> I believe that we were talking about different kinds of things.
> MW> 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.
> RC> 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.
> I agree with you about the importance of that kind of activity.
> But that is not the kind of research I was talking about. Note
> the terms you used: technical viability, economic, financial,
> budget, and planning.
> That is consistent with the definition of engineering that I have
> quoted in several email notes:
> The application of known scientific principles to the solution
> of problems within the limits of budgets and deadlines.
> Engineering usually involves ingenuity and creativity, and it normally
> requires an evaluation of several different designs to determine which
> is the most cost effective, reliable, and likelihood of being completed
> on time and within budget.
> But I would consider that to be normal, predictable development.
> It is not research into uncharted territory.
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