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Re: [ontolog-forum] Ontologist Aptitude Test?

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 18 Jan 2010 01:59:45 -0500
Message-id: <4B5406E1.7040502@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Gary,    (01)

Those are good points.    (02)

GBC>  I think that the value of such creative people and the atmosphere
 > they create often exceeds the small salary and lab costs they require.    (03)

Yes.  The cost of a major project with a cast of thousands is enormous.
In comparison, the salaries of a few talented people like Claude Shannon
or Richard Hamming are relatively modest.  They might not come up with
revolutionary ideas on a predictable schedule, but the ideas that they
do create can lead to breakthroughs that the large projects would never
produce.    (04)

GBC> Indeed keeping these technologists seems much cheaper and more
 > important than keeping corresponding financial types with 100 million
 > dollar bonuses.    (05)

Yes indeed.  At IBM (and other companies), the largest payments went to
the sales division, where the employees got a commission on each sale.
But the scientists and engineers who designed the products got a nice
plaque to hang on the wall.    (06)

This disparity in earnings is not lost on students, who discover
that they can get much bigger rewards by becoming fast-talking paper
shufflers than by spending long years in studying science.    (07)

GBC> Companies like At&T that embraced new ideas were likely to have
 > higher stock prices and to appear on ‘most admired’ lists.    (08)

The admiration is nice, but the steady stream of creative innovations
supports long-term growth, which makes such companies sound investments.    (09)

In high-tech industries, innovations are essential to growth.  But in
financial institutions, the things they call "innovations" tend to be
the risky "derivatives", whose impact on the economy can be disastrous.    (010)

In the recent economic meltdown, Canada was relatively unscathed
because their bankers were very stodgy and traditional Scottish
"penny pinchers", who didn't trust those new fangled innovations.
And they were right.    (011)

Bottom line:  The best bankers are the ones who *don't* get bonuses.    (012)

John    (013)

PS:  Lloyd Blankfein, the CEO of Goldman Sachs, said that he was
just a banker doing "God's work".  A columnist remarked "Yes, and
his god is called Mammon."    (014)

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