[Taxacom] ICZN procedure question

Paul Kirk p.kirk at cabi.org
Thu Nov 11 19:23:34 CST 2010

Jim, I agree, but ... :-)
Once Librarian go digital and relax their obsession with filling shelves with paper things (the things cost, the space costs, the equipment cost ...) then the publishers will lose their (current) reason to print longish runs - which have a real cost, and generate revenue. So, should they print 2 copies with nomenclatural novelties, 5, 10, 25? And where would they go? Paper is good for permanence so what is needed, imho, is some designated paper archives, perhaps 10 spread across the planet, where all these paper things can go to be piled up in case anyone gets a touchy feely urge ... I'll reword that - in case there is any dispute about the digital content, copies of which are likely to be held in some fairly secure (i.e. they cannot be changed) responsible institutional archives. Some could be 'semi-official' and linked with bit level instant comparisons so that where someone wants confirmation that what is on the paper thingy is what we are using digitally can be confirmed.
And once we get away from the old web technology to the web of data Tim B-L is talking about these paper manuscript thingies become part of the past ...
nuff pontificating from me :-)


From: Jim Croft [mailto:jim.croft at gmail.com]
Sent: Fri 12/11/2010 00:59
To: Paul Kirk
Cc: Stephen Thorpe; fwelter at gwdg.de; Doug Yanega; TAXACOM at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] ICZN procedure question

Always wondered why these conversations end up at the 'either/or'
nexus.  I am a great fan of the obvious advantages of electronic
access to data and information, but I really worry about entrusting
something as important as the establishment of a new taxon name to
ONLY something as demonstrably fickle, unreliable and evanescent as
the realm on the internet.

The medium of paper and the infrastructure of libraries have had
centuries, nay, millenia, to prove themselves, yet we are willing to
throw the foundation (and the legacy) of our science at a technology
that has really only shown its potential in the last few years.
'Exciting new kid on the block' is all well and good, but what about
'scars, experience and wisdom' (yes, I am looking at you libraries)?

Surely the precautionary principle would suggest we do both as part of
a considered transition? I would most happy if it was a 'mandatory
both' - paper AND electronic to show we are serious about embracing
the technology and serious about what we are creating as legacy for
the next 250 years (decades).

The point of truth... as a doubting Thomas, I want to know that
someone, somewhere, can touch and feel the wound...

jim (and yes, I worry about the proliferation of digital-only images as well)

On Fri, Nov 12, 2010 at 11:21 AM, Paul Kirk <p.kirk at cabi.org> wrote:
> answer to question (i): physical objects can only exist in one place ... and for journals/books that means rich institutions in the 'north' (generalization!) - electronic objects [in an open archive, free to the end user] are universal ... so bridging the 'north south divide'
> answer to question (ii): see question (i)
> written from the 'south' but I live in the 'north'
> Paul
> ________________________________
> From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu on behalf of Stephen Thorpe
> Sent: Thu 11/11/2010 23:02
> To: fwelter at gwdg.de; Doug Yanega; TAXACOM at MAILMAN.NHM.KU.EDU
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] ICZN procedure question
> the clarifications that I am seeking are (once again):
> what are the advantages of e-only over the status quo?
> who wants e-only and how will they benefit from it?

Jim Croft ~ jim.croft at gmail.com ~ +61-2-62509499 ~
'A civilized society is one which tolerates eccentricity to the point
of doubtful sanity.'
 - Robert Frost, poet (1874-1963)

The information contained in this e-mail and any files transmitted with it is confidential and is for the exclusive use of the intended recipient. If you are not the intended recipient please note that any distribution, copying or use of this communication or the information in it is prohibited. 

Whilst CAB International trading as CABI takes steps to prevent the transmission of viruses via e-mail, we cannot guarantee that any e-mail or attachment is free from computer viruses and you are strongly advised to undertake your own anti-virus precautions.

If you have received this communication in error, please notify us by e-mail at cabi at cabi.org or by telephone on +44 (0)1491 829199 and then delete the e-mail and any copies of it.

CABI is an International Organization recognised by the UK Government under Statutory Instrument 1982 No. 1071.


More information about the Taxacom mailing list