Fwd: Re: Electronic Registration

Ron at Ron at
Fri Nov 16 14:56:18 CST 2001

----- Original Message -----
From: "Doug Yanega" <dyanega at POP.UCR.EDU>
Sent: Friday, November 16, 2001 1:28 PM
Subject: Fwd: Re: Electronic Registration

> Ron Gatrelle wrote:
> >There is a very good reason why the ICZN does not (and
> >hopefully never will) "require" review of authors papers.  It is
> >that wants this requirement (control).[snip] It is a very small step
> >from "review" to "censorship".
> If a taxonomist wanna-be self-publishes a piece of garbage, it hurts
> all of us (and, due to the nature of the system, it hurts us into

There is already plenty of  produced garbage about to keep us busy for the
rest of our lives.

> perpetuity). It's not wanting control, it's wanting *standards*.
> Establishing a set of standards serves to protect us from the most
> egregious offenses (like I said, think doctors and lawyers) - and the
> odds of such offenses are much greater now that the act of
> self-publication is easier than it has ever been. The reason the Code
> can't require peer review is simply because it is too slippery a
> thing to define, and impossible for them to police, NOT because
> there's anything wrong with it in principle. It's inertia and ennui -

No one said there was anything wrong with peer review - so don't go trying
to build a straw man.    Specifically, I just stated the obvious truth that
it is a -- small step from "review" to "censorship".  And I said that in
the context of your proposed Almighty Agency (of paid people = bureaucrats)
who would be empowered to pass "review" of all submitted materials (can we
also set up lobbyists?).   Every control group there is from the KKK to the
EPA hides behind the word "standards".  "We just want standards" - bull.
There are already plenty of standards, they're called the Codes we all
operate under.

> very few of us are preoccupied and worrying about what kind of havoc
> one determined fool could wreak, and the ICZN probably wouldn't take
> action proactively. But ask yourself this: if someone released a CD
> tomorrow that validly established 5,000 new names for North American
> swallowtail butterflies (and NONE of which were actually new taxa),

Since you want to use words like wanna-be and fool in this post, then I
will just ignore the above nonsence.  This nonsense is not reality -- a
suggested Big Brother Zoa-Agency is.

> wouldn't you scream bloody murder about being forced to designate and
> list all those synonyms for the rest of human history? Or are you
> telling me that you would happily embrace it, and not complain,
> simply because the author fulfilled all the technical requirements of
> the Code, though every single name was a synonym?

Back to the subject. Since we all agree that there is an existent
information overload and we would all like to see this organized and made
readily available, it is important that the negatives also be considered so
that they can (will) be avoided.  Electronic publication will someday
surely be embraced and regulated within the format of Codes.  We already
have on-line synonymic life lists and many other types of published
taxonomic information.  Things are evolving - perhaps too slowly for some.
But there is a dark door in here somewhere that can only lead to control
and censorship.   I am simply saying it needs to be found before the fact
not after.

Ron Gatrelle

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