18th Century mentality in the 21st Century

Adolf Ceska aceska at VICTORIA.TC.CA
Mon Nov 19 00:01:47 CST 2001

On Thu, 15 Nov 2001, Panza, Robin wrote:

> There are 2 different functions of publication.  One is to quickly
> disseminate timely information to as many interested parties as possible.
> The web is wonderful for making known new discoveries, and I think even the
> most conservative of us can appreciate that.
> However, ... the web is too fluid; sites wink in and out of
> existence, URLs change, and sites are too easily altered.
> This is not a matter of antiquated thinking.  A good scientist should use
> the proper tool for a given purpose.  For dissemination of news, use the
> web.  For permanence of record, use print.

I have been running the electronic newsletter BEN (Botanical Electronic
News) for more than ten years now, and I have to agree with what Robin
Panza wrote. Electronic publication is good for quick dissemination of
information. At this moment, many electronic publications are archived,
but who knows how long those archives will be kept. How far back will be
web search machines able to search ten, twenty, or more years from now?
Nevertheless, I can see the power of electronic publishing, even if I
believe that at this moment, electronic publishing is just slightly better
than hearsay. Littera scripta manet! For quick and dirty communication,
the electronic publishing is fine. But for the permanency, paper,
parchment, or papyrus (clay tablets are already obsolete!) are a sure

Adolf Ceska, Victoria, B.C., Canada
BEN is archived at: http://www.ou.edu/cas/botany-micro/ben/

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