[Taxacom] data quality vs. data security: a survey
s.thorpe at auckland.ac.nz
Sat Feb 13 17:41:55 CST 2010
>Isn't it somewhat subjective what constitutes a benefit?
Probably! But, just as an example, "maximum benefit to the world" could perhaps be achieved in some sort of scenario where the world economy was being run by drug barons, and millions of people were being exploited and suffering as a consequence of their addiction, but more millions were living in relative prosperity, being employed by the drug barons to manufacture and market the drugs, or being funded by the barons to produce art of various kinds to keep the barons amused, etc...
>Don't all tasks come with some cost and some benefit, and the relative balance between them is at least *somewhat* influenced my subjective matters?
Absolutely right! My example above is meant to illustrate that very point.
My "assumptions", upon which I base my estimations of overall benefit, include such "controversial principles" as:
if the public is funding taxonomy, then that money should be used for taxonomy
if the public is funding bioinformatics, then they ought to be getting more useful content than they are currently getting from an already existing resource called Wikispecies, or at least taxonomists ought to be getting more useful content out of it, to facilitate more taxonomy...
if public funding for taxonomy and/or bioinformatics is primarily being used as a way of keeping people in paid employment, with less emphasis on the useful outputs from that activity, then fine, but it needs to be transparent and not covert ...
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Richard Pyle [deepreef at bishopmuseum.org]
Sent: Sunday, 14 February 2010 12:11 p.m.
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] data quality vs. data security: a survey
I have to say I'm having a little bit of difficulty reconciling this
> it doesn't at all
> imply any sort of subjectivity of opinion. At least one of us
> is wrong in our ideas about this!
....with the premise that what we are discussing is "maximum benefit to the
Isn't it somewhat subjective what constitutes a benefit? Don't all tasks
come with some cost and some benefit, and the relative balance between them
is at least *somewhat* influenced my subjective matters?
> A related issue which I find "very odd" is giving unique
> identifiers to taxon names, when taxon names are already
> unique identifers for taxa (and when that does go astray due
> to homonymy, it is easily fixed by replacement name).
I WISH I had the time to dissect this ... but I don't, so I won't. If
nobody else does, I may give it a shot later.
> Though "pointless" is a value judgement relative to one's
> values (different values may include (1) furtherance of human
> knowledge, or (2) economic prosperity, in varying
> proportions). Do you and I have different values, Richard?
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