lonely Dan Janzen

Daniel Janzen djanzen at SAS.UPENN.EDU
Wed Mar 24 06:31:11 CST 2004


Dear All

Before we get too worried about using me as the arch-typical user (I
am not, because I use the taxasphere's products on a hourly basis
365, while most of the world will only directly intersect with the
taxasphere at very long intervals, and usually only care about one
species - albeit VERY intensively - at that moment), let me attempt a
bit of a rebalance.  Yes, I as a user care hugely about species-level
names as stable unique identifiers (and other-level names as
identifiers for their group).  But, in the same breath let me say
that many - and I dare say some day nearly all - users also make very
extensive use of the marvelous inferencial (=predictive) power of the
phylogenetic components of your classification systems.    You are
all aware that the more phylogenetically-based your system(s), the
more inferentially powerful it is for us users.  Terrific.  The
opposing force is the nomenclatorial instability introduced by the
continually shifting (and growing) knowledge base.  Whatever we use,
it will always be a sort of fuzzy compromise between these two
forces.  We users understand this, even when we grumble.   We also do
not want all things that look like cats in a rainstorm in the dark of
the night to be put in the Felidae.   Finally, before disappearing
off to the top of a volcano today (drool, drool), let me emphasize
that YOU, the taxasphere, are also major users and whatever solutions
emerge have to work for you too.

Dan Janzen and all of Alexander beetle's friends and relations.




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