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Re: A Voice from East

Hello Elena!

Nice to have you with us!

But there's one bit of your message, snipped below, which I am not at
all sure I agree with.

DOES evaluation always imply competition? 

If I think of it from a user point of view, and do so in every day
terms, that really doesn't seem to me to be necessarily the case.

It may be that I want or need something that simply doesn't exist, but I
don't know that it doesn't. Let's imagine, for example, that I have a
large family and that I would like a device for poaching eggs that will
hold 10 eggs at a time. I go around the shops and look at egg poachers,
only to discover that all available egg poachers only hold four eggs. I
resign myself to not being able to have what I want. There has been no
competition, but I have evaluated the product(s) available.

The argument carries through to technical matters. I want a spelling
checker for Welsh, discover that one exists, try it for a while and
discover that it's lousy, so stop using it. No competition, but I have
done an evaluation.

I think that the idea that evaluation necessarily implies competition
comes from thinking of evaluation as being necessarily tied to the
context of evaluating different technological approaches in an attempt
to find out which is more suited to solving some technical problem.

It disappears when we think of evaluation aimed at finding out user
needs and trying to discover whether some product will meet them.


Elena Paskaleva wrote:
> I would only like to add the following: as it is very often mentionned in
> your discussion, evaluation implies competition. The word competition makes
> me imagine a competition like Formula 1. If you go out of the internal
> circle of this competition (Europe and USA) and think about a competition on
> our territory then you should chose another type of machines - rather
> Landrover than Ferrari. The competition won't be so flashy, the speeds won't
> be so high but it will undoubtedly be useful. The local organizers of the
> competitions (our side) should make certain efforts - to prepare some roads
> and speedways. 
Please note my new e-mail address (old address was king@divsun.unige.ch)
Maghi King                   | E-mail: Margaret.King@issco.unige.ch
ISSCO, University of Geneva  | WWW: http://issco-www.unige.ch/
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