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Re: [ontology-summit] Large-scale engineered systems vs. large-scale soc

To: Ontology Summit 2011 discussion <ontology-summit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Ali SH <asaegyn+out@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2012 14:14:28 -0500
Message-id: <CADr70E1BaM_vci16pMxFjg+fTR6HX-rC=Gd1EqNwhnoTfSH8EA@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
On Thu, Jan 19, 2012 at 2:04 PM, Nicola Guarino <nicolguar@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
[GBC] I like the phrase "Large-scale socio-technical systems"
Do you include natural/ecological systems in this?

[NG] No. Natural/ecological systems do not necessarily have a social component, nor a technical component.

Similarly, someone building models for the climate are definitely trying to analyze a complex socio-technical system. It would not be very useful (or accurate) to remove human activity from the picture. Are they engineering the system? I don't think so, not in the traditional sense at least. Indeed, I would suspect that one of the great challenges of the 21st century is being able to get a handle on these types of systems.

Similarly, I would argue that the same goes for studying the evolution and diversity of flora in the Amazon or a whole slew of other problem domains that we might be tempted at first glance to consider as purely "natural" systems. Is the melt of glaciers a purely natural system? Depleted cod or blue fin tuna stocks? 


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