## Gas Price Fact Vacuum

President Obama claims that speculation in oil markets are responsible for high gas prices. While others see only supply and demand.

Two stories, very different takes on the gas price question. The only fact the stories have in common is that gas prices are high.

In a high school debate setting, we would say the two teams did not “join the issue.” That is they don’t directly address the questions raised by their opponents but trot out their “evidence,” which is ignored in turn by the other side.

The result is a claim rich but fact poor environment that leaves readers to cherry pick claims that support their present opinions.

If you are interested in public policy, for an area like gas prices, topic maps can capture the lack of “joining the issue” by both sides in such a debate.

Might make an interesting visual for use in presidential debates. Where have the candidates have simply missed each others arguments?

Topic maps anyone? (PBS? Patrick Durusau)

If you want a more “practical” application of topic maps and the analysis that underlie them, think about the last set of ads, white papers, webinars you have seen on technology alternatives.

A topic map could help you get past the semantic-content="zero" parts of technology promotions. (Note the use of “could.” Like any technology, the usefulness of topic maps depend on the skill of their author(s) and user(s). Anyone who says differently is lying.)