electronic publication

Matt Davey matday97 at STUDENT.UMU.SE
Tue Mar 25 17:49:39 CST 1997


I agree with Joseph here, it seems very unlikely that organisations will be
able to afford the time and money to keep updating/changing the systems and
that systems will be able to read old data. The idea thou of eletrontic
publication seems great. =B4
Also, specimens may well be vunerable to insects but surely eletronic data
is vunerable to "viruses"?


At 07.08 1997-03-25 -0700, you wrote:
>Quote from yesterday:
>"Digital data  does not  change and  is less  perishable than
>specimens."
>
>Sorry to  be blunt,  but this  is total  nonsense. The debate
>thus  far   has  been   centered  around  whether  electronic
>publication  can  replace  printed  descriptions.  This  task
>presents enough  problems. The suggestion that digital images
>can replace specimens changes the nature of the question, and
>is an idea I must strenuously oppose.
>
>There are  specimens in  European herbaria  500 years old. If
>they are  properly cared for, they will still be available to
>be  examined   by  the  famous  24th-Century  botanist  Keiko
>O'Brian.  True,  specimens  are  subject  to  insect  damage,
>weather damage, water damage, and political misfortunes (such
>as what  happened to  B and  PNH in  the 1940's). Any digital
>archiving system  devised will  be subject  to all  the  same
>dangers and  more (except maybe the insects). Digital systems
>are also  subject to  technological  change,  something  from
>which specimens  are totally  immune. A few days ago, someone
>was touting  the advantages  of publication by CD-ROM, saying
>it will be "at least 30 or 40 years" before the technology is
>outdated. That  is not  good enough.  Because of the priority
>rules in  nomenclature, we need to look 100 or 200 years into
>the future.  Will present-day  technology still  be in use in
>the year  2197? No, of course not. It will be viewed upon the
>way we view upon parchment scrolls. Will our technology still
>be readable?  Maybe, maybe  not. We cannot assume it will be.
>As for the argument "This information is so important someone
>will undoubtedly  take care  of it,"  one cannot  assume that
>someone else  will value  your work as much as you do. Unless
>you are willing to contribute the time and resources yourself
>to ensure  that your work will still be accessible for future
>generations, do not assume that someone else will.
>
>--
>Dr. Joseph E. Laferriere, 4717 E First St., Tucson AZ 85711 USA.
>After 10 Apr 1997: Herbario, CEAMISH, Universidad Autonoma del
>Estado de Morelos, Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico.
>
>
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Mr. Matt P. Davey                     "i ain=B4t getting in no plane with=20
e-mail: matday97 at student.umu.se            no madman"
Address: 8-B001 Stipendiegrand,           - B.A. Baracus, the A-Team
         907 35 Umea,
         Sweden
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