[Taxacom] lectotypification?

Jim Croft jim.croft at gmail.com
Sat Aug 2 21:01:32 CDT 2008

And yet still today, people are attracted to the idea of assigning
unique memorable alphanumeric codes to species.  And you can see why -
it works really well for a small domain (ecological or taxonomic) but
when you scale this to all of biodiversity the whole exercise goes
totally pear-shaped - or PYCO-shaped or PYRCOM-shaped, if you want to
use two of the systems that have emerged from time to time.

Nevertheless, the limitations of the human brain should not stop
computers doing what computers do best - using numbers to remember
unmemorable stuff.  If Clarke had known about LSIDs, he probably would
have written an entirely  different article...  :)

It is interesting to watch the persistence of an idea even though the
technology is not there to support it.  But now it looks as though the
technology has arrived and we can have have a usable number for every
species...  It is just a pity that humans can't use them...  but hey,
that is why we have computers...



On Sun, Aug 3, 2008 at 11:12 AM, Wilson Karen
<Karen.Wilson at rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au> wrote:
>  On the matter of how collectors numbered specimens, there's a nice explanation of the different ways it was being done in the 19th century in a Presidential Address ot the Linnean Society of London by the celebrated British botanist C.B. Clarke - in Proc. Linnean Soc. 1895-96, pp. 19-22.
> It's worth reading. He gives various examples of who was using which system, and makes it clear that he saw no virtue in the species-numbering system.
> Karen Wilson
> ****************************************
> Karen L. Wilson
> Acting Manager Plant Diversity Section
> National Herbarium of NSW
> Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney
> Mrs Macquaries Road
> Phone: +61 2 9231 8137
> Website: www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au
> The Botanic Gardens Trust is part of the Department of Environment and Climate Change (NSW).

Jim Croft
jim.croft at gmail.com

"Words, as is well known, are the great foes of reality."
- Joseph Conrad, author (1857-1924)

More information about the Taxacom mailing list