Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community
More on the question of evidence for decision-making. "What does 'evidence-gathering' entail? There is a real danger that selective evidence-gathering is used in order to justify a particular position. This is a approach which has been discredited when governments in the UK and US sought evidence to demonstrate Saddam Hussein’s possession of weapons of mass destruction." A higher standard, says Kelly, is quite rightly demanded. "We do need to continue to gather evidence of the value of services, and not just library services. But we need to understand that the evidence will not necessarily justify a continuation of established approaches to providing services. And if evidence is found which supports the view that libraries will be extinct by 2020 (PDF format) then the implications need to be openly and widely discussed." People like Rudolf Carnap used to talk about 'the requirement of total evidence' and the 'principle of indifference'. These are as valid today as when they wrote it.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Last Updated: Jul 01, 2022 07:35 a.m.