[Taxacom] EoL getting heavy!

Stephen Thorpe s.thorpe at auckland.ac.nz
Mon Sep 14 16:15:24 CDT 2009

>Judge for yourself whether I was "getting heavy".
Context is everything, and this is the context (see below), so, yes, please do judge for yourself:
Edwards suddenly becomes active on taxacom, attempting to discredit by ideas about species concepts, saying things like, for example, 'It is ludicrous to say ...'
This happens a relatively short time after I had a brief correspondence with Cyndy Parr on Taxacom about the nature of EoL compared with Wikispecies (both of which are in competition - not for the same funding, but for the same audience)
I easily defend my ideas about species concepts against Edwards' criticisms
Then I get an off-list email from him in which he refers, not to species concepts, but, for the first time, to the correspondence I had with Cyndy, and quotes me as having suggested something that is ludicously stronger than anything that I did in fact suggest!
Weren't we talking about species concepts, Jim, or did you have your own agenda, perchance???
I would also add that some time ago Wikispecies contacted EoL about the possibility of coordinating our efforts in some way, but this never got off the ground, though not through any lack of interest on the side of Wikispecies!


From: Edwards, James [EDWARDSJL at si.edu]
Sent: Tuesday, 15 September 2009 8:55 a.m.
To: Stephen Thorpe; taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: RE: EoL getting heavy!

With his comment that "Suffice it to say that the topic and tone of this message from him was quite different to what one would expect from a mere debate on species concepts!" Thorpe implies that I was being inappropriately heavy handed with him.

Here is what I sent to him, along with a request that he not forward it to Taxacom. Since he alludes to my message, I post it for you all to see.

"Your personal attacks against all people who disagree with you are beyond the pale, as was your inane suggestion to Cyndy Parr that the people involved with EOL are only interested in lining their pockets. Until you can engage in civilized behavior, I will refrain from further "discussions" with you."

Judge for yourself whether I was "getting heavy".

            --  Jim

Dr. James L. Edwards
Executive Director
Encyclopedia of Life
National Museum of Natural History
Smithsonian Institution
P.O. Box 37012, MRC 106
Washington, DC 20013-7012

Phone:  1 202 633 8730
Mobile:  1 571 230 4098
Fax:      1 202 633 8742
Email:   edwardsjl at si.edu

-----Original Message-----
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Stephen Thorpe
Sent: Sunday, September 13, 2009 9:28 PM
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: [Taxacom] EoL getting heavy!

Dear all,
I just got another response from Jim Edwards (EoL executive director), which he insisted that I don't forward to Taxacom, so I won't. Suffice it to say that the topic and tone of this message from him was quite different to what one would expect from a mere debate on species concepts! I would remind you all that in recent correspondence with Cyndy Parr (of EoL), I was NOT suggesting that EoL are only interested in lining their own pockets! I was contrasting the factors at play in EoL as compared with Wikispecies. I made the point that since the contributors to Wikispecies have no financial interests in it, it is very different in this regard to EoL where economics is more of a factor to be balanced against providing rapid output. It was not a criticism of EoL people, but an observation on the kind of structure that EoL is compared with Wikispecies. Both EoL and Wikispecies have their own pros and cons, and this particular aspect is just one of the disadvantages of EoL (from t
 he perspective of the end user), along with several others (including error fixing, and keeping up-to-date). Wikispecies also has its disadvantages ...

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