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

To: gbergcross@xxxxxxxxx, Ontology Summit 2011 discussion <ontology-summit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Ali SH <asaegyn+out@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2012 14:56:40 -0500
Message-id: <CADr70E1p3f-qPq3YDda_hayXjgDNr=tp+uwjkmiDOgg6o6GctQ@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Dear Gary and Jack,

On Thu, Jan 19, 2012 at 2:47 PM, <gbergcross@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
(Ali wrote )  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.

People have discussed efforts to "engineer" solutions to climate change which as you say is a hybrid situation of socio-tech and natural.

Seems important.

Yes, a geo-engineering project would also be an example of an engineered system.

However, I'd like to emphasize that these aren't the only types of interventions. Scientists advising government for the appropriate fishing quotas for a species are proposing a system intervention, but may not consider it engineering.

A policy planner allocating funding for which transit corridors to build and develop first is designing and planning a system intervention, and again probably does not consider this as "engineering the system". They do however rely on models of population, economic flow and a whole slew of other factors.

[JR] Perhaps all natural/ecological systems are man presumed and contrived, the only animal on earth with sufficient arrogance to make such declarations.
Accordingly, we should be examining the ontology of the ladders of inferences that enable such 'systems' and the grand disagreements (such as man-caused global warming).

Jack, I would suggest that any system that is considered and involves a human initiated intervention would fall under how I would interpret a large-scale complex socio-technical system. To suggest that humans and their technologies play a role in effecting and altering "natural" systems is not to say it with arrogance. Similar, neither would be realizing that purposeful (designed) interventions in these systems is akin to the broader definition of "engineered system."


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