[Taxacom] Proposed ICZN amendments on electronic , > publishing - what about types?

Richard Zander Richard.Zander at mobot.org
Fri Dec 5 12:23:48 CST 2008

An undercurrent in the present thread seems to be that we are all talking about a kind of registration. Namely, some way to easily access all effectively published new names.
Suppose we say that all paper (and CD publications in zoology) were right now a sort of registration, just exploded and poorly formated, and difficult to access. 
Suppose there were metadata software that would determine what is effectively published and combine relevant "registration" information from all databases on past names, all pdf "reprint" publications, and everything else on the Web (JStore, whatever). Suppose this software presented this information as a kind of lumpish first attempt at retrodictively retrieving a quasi-registration, or a list of page shots of publications of new names?  Would this be valuable? Would this be a start at forcing registration on others such that if your species is not in the lumpish database, well it isn't registered, and a future nomenclatural session may vote on just accepting the ad hoc registration as a done deal, and your species are "out"? 
In my own field, it has been suggested that we change the start of nomenclatural priority to Index Muscorum, published in the 1960's. Good idea. No action. The lists of universally accepted names in botany were trashed at a recent Congress. I think we like chaos. 
Nomenclature is not science, it's a way to organise the results of scienctific endeavor. Many, however, feel it is a science. Some think it must be a fully logical system, and inflict such things as (my favorite bete noir), the autonym, on us. 
Richard H. Zander
Missouri Botanical Garden
PO Box 299
St. Louis, MO 63166 U.S.A.
richard.zander at mobot.org

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