[Taxacom] ICZN procedure question

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Thu Nov 11 19:36:36 CST 2010

Paul has got a point. I guess the "nightmare scenario" (which may have already 
started) is this:

libraries, seeing all the e-journals on the web, ask "why the heck are we buying 
hard copies of this sh!t?", and so they stop. The publishers still have to keep 
printing them (or else the nomenclature isn't valid), but with nobody buying 
them the publishers hit a financial crisis and go out of business (or just give 
up printing the hard copies and to hell with the nomenclature)!

what to do?

From: Paul Kirk <p.kirk at cabi.org>
To: Jim Croft <jim.croft at gmail.com>
Cc: Stephen Thorpe <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz>; fwelter at gwdg.de; Doug Yanega 
<dyanega at ucr.edu>; TAXACOM at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Sent: Fri, 12 November, 2010 2:23:34 PM
Subject: RE: [Taxacom] ICZN procedure question

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)

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