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Monday, January 04, 2010

FromDC2Iowa: Is the University of Iowa 'world class'?

Excerpted from this post at FromDC2Iowa

And Why We Shouldn't Care; Reconceptualizing the UI for the 21st
Century ... Quiz: "Is the University of Iowa 'world class'?"
(a) Yes (b) No (c) Because that is an inherently unanswerable
question, efforts to "answer" it inevitably will be as frustrating as
they will be futile. As you may have guessed, I think the best answer
is "c." Asking answerable questions. General semanticists warn us
about the consequences of attempting to answer unanswerable -- or what
they call "non-sense" -- questions (that is, questions for which there
are neither external referents nor sensory apparatus for finding
answers). Useful, constructive questions are those that contain a
suggestion as to how one might go about finding an answer -- such as,
"which college football teams won every game during their 2009
season?" or "is this generic statin as effective in lowering
cholesterol as this proprietary, heavily advertised drug?"

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Mike Schramm
Andy Szal

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