Fwd: Re: Electronic Registration

Richard Pyle deepreef at BISHOPMUSEUM.ORG
Fri Nov 16 09:04:28 CST 2001

> 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?).

Now who is building straw men?

> Every control group there is from the
> KKK to the EPA hides behind the word "standards".

...just as many extremists who engage is violent activity hide behind the
word "religion".  But that doesn't make religion bad (as you know well); and
in the context of scientific nomenclature, standards serve a common "good"
much moreso than they thwart progress (unless too much inertia must be
overcome in order to maintain the standards in synch with the evolving
community practice).

> "We just want standards" - bull.
> There are already plenty of standards, they're called the Codes we all
> operate under.

And as I pointed out in my last post, those codes/standards have "wisely"
evolved over time. I think the underlying point here is that we need to
consider how they will evolve next.  Given the dramatic magnitude of the
playing-field shift, it seems that a shift of commensurate magnitude ought
to be considered for the codes.

> 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.

Fair enough, and to this extent I wholeheartedly agree.  We need to tread
carefully; but that does not preculde the notion (which I hesitate to cite
every bit as much as Doug did) of "thinking outside the box".


Richard L. Pyle
Ichthyology, Bishop Museum
1525 Bernice St., Honolulu, HI 96817
Ph: (808)848-4115, Fax: (808)847-8252
email: deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
"The views expressed are those of the sender, and not necessarily those of
Bishop Museum."

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