[Taxacom] (no subject)

Pat LaFollette pat at lafollette.com
Tue Feb 9 15:23:47 CST 2010

At 11:32 AM 2/9/2010, Geoff Read wrote:

>On Pat LaFollette's "no form of electronic record is accepted as permanent
>by governments". Here in New Zealand all land ownership transactions and
>registrations are electronic only. It's enforced in statute. You can't get
>much more long-term legally or more serious than matters of property
>ownership. Boy, are we in trouble if the e-archives (hopefully multiple)
>ever fall over. But everyone has printouts so that's alright then.

Dear Geoff,

In the U. S., many jurisdictions have, to improve access and ease of 
use, created electronic databases for their land surveys and property 
ownership records; some are accessible via the Internet.  But the 
physical paper records are still warehoused somewhere and represent 
the ultimate legal record.

In New Zealand, what became of the property subdivision maps and 
registered deeds once they were digitized for the electronic-only 
record?  How are new deeds recorded? Is there a system for digital 
signatures and so forth to replace the traditional notarized 
signatures and official seals? A few years back, I worked at the U. 
S. Patent Office on a project to convert the application and review 
process to digital. (The final patents would be published as usual). 
To use digital signatures required Congressional approval but the 
technology and specifications kept changing faster than Congress could act.

As for digital taxonomic literature, in the absence of some 
governmental action mandating funds in perpetuity for the continuous 
maintenance of the electronic records, I think it would be 
considerably less secure than New Zealand's land records.  At LACM, 
the library is closed for seismic retrofitting, the books boxed and 
warehoused, and there is no librarian.  Yet when the construction is 
completed, a new librarian hired, and the books dusted off and put 
back on the shelves, I expect they will be in perfect working order.


Thank you for the correction.  Can you tell me, though.  Are

> >>> On 10/02/2010 at 7:45 a.m., Doug Yanega <dyanega at ucr.edu> wrote:
> > David Campbell wrote:
> >>In addition to the problem of intentional rogue taxonomy, e‑only
> >>accidental rogue taxonomy much easier, e.g. putting online something
> >>that is unpublished such as a dissertation; making and perpetuating of
> >>erroneous names; taxonomic changes occuring in poorly documented
> >>updates; etc.  We have these sorts of problems already in print;
> >>simply allows the problem to be much bigger.
> >
> > Before this gets any farther off track...
> >
> > The *idea* is to allow names published in e‑only *journals* to be
> > taxonomically valid. The idea is NOT to validate names appearing in
> > any electronic document anywhere.
> > Also, Pat LaFollette wrote:
> >
> >>So far as I have been able to discover, no form of electronic record
> >>is accepted as permanent by governments, business, or law.  (Apart
> >>from paper, only microfilm is acceptable in some cases.)  If e‑only
> >>is not considered suitable for laws, vital records, deeds, business
> >>contracts, or any other record that law requires be preserved for
> >>more than a few (3 to 7) years, how can systematic biology find it
> >>acceptable for the permanent taxonomic record?
> >
> > The amount of money that has been spent on the sequences stored in
> > GenBank is absolutely massive. There is no "print version" of
> > GenBank; they consider electronic archives to be perfectly
> > acceptable. If they can accept it, WE can accept it. There is nothing
> > *technically* challenging here, only a source of funding to maintain
> > and upgrade the archives.
>Geoffrey B. Read, Ph.D.
>Wellington, NEW ZEALAND
>gread at actrix.gen.nz
>Taxacom Mailing List
>Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
>The Taxacom archive going back to 1992 may be searched with either 
>of these methods:
>(1) http://taxacom.markmail.org
>Or (2) a Google search specified 
>as:  site:mailman.nhm.ku.edu/pipermail/taxacom  your search terms here

Patrick I LaFollette
Research Associate in Malacology
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
pat at lafollette.com 

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