[Taxacom] Sorry, but you are out-of-line

Richard Pyle deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
Sun Nov 14 21:55:00 CST 2010

This reminds me of a conversation Jim and I had over a decade ago about the
dreaded "C" word ["Centralization"].  What I advocated for back then is what
I advocate now:

"Centralization" in the sense that EVERYONE shares the same idnetifiers to
the shared data objects when building data cross-links; but "Distributed" in
the senese that EVERYONE has their own local copy of the COMPLETE shared
dataset, which they can use as they see fit.

The *only* requirements for such a system are:

1) A robust mechanism for maintaining synchrony among the datasets; and

2) A core set of community-generated and -agreed policies to mitigate the
amplifiction of crap data in the shared datasets.

I see NO OTHER WAY to progress in our community without FULL AND DIRECT OPEN
ACCESS to shared electronic data content (at least the non-copyrightable
stuff, like taxon names, literature citations, etc.), based on a mechanism
that ensures MASSIVE (but harmonized) redundancy across the plant.  Fail
either of these two critera, and it's just not worth the effort.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu 
> [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Jim Croft
> Sent: Sunday, November 14, 2010 5:10 PM
> To: Stephen Thorpe
> Cc: TAXACOM at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Sorry, but you are out-of-line
> This does not worry me at all. Different interfaces to 
> different questions, different purposes - horses for courses, 
> tools for the job.
> The real nightmare is different (and worse incompatable) 
> underlying standards and the inability to get a single view 
> of the whole lot, with all the duplication and 
> incompatability resolved.
> Centralism is one way (the technically easy way, becasue 
> everybody tries it) to deal with this, but the thought of a 
> single taxonomic/nomenclatural/biodiversity monolithic 
> juggernaut fills me with abject fear and dread.
> Ask any major institution - centralism is fine, as long as it 
> does not happen 'at that other place'... :)
> jim (a distributed and replicated, belt and braces kida guy; 
> a guy who is not only glass half empty, but who is scared 
> shitless because the container is made of glass)
> On Sun, Nov 14, 2010 at 12:11 PM, Stephen Thorpe 
> <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz> wrote:
> > ... on the other hand, the problem with biodiversity informatics 
> > projects (lime CoL, EoL, GBIF, WoRMS, etc.) is that although they 
> > share their data, they all want to create their own interfaces ...
> --
> _________________
> Jim Croft ~ jim.croft at gmail.com ~ +61-2-62509499 ~ 
> http://www.google.com/profiles/jim.croft
> 'A civilized society is one which tolerates eccentricity to 
> the point of doubtful sanity.'
>  - Robert Frost, poet (1874-1963)
> Please send URIs, not attachments:
> http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/no-word-attachments.html
> _______________________________________________
> Taxacom Mailing List
> Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> http://mailman.nhm.ku.edu/mailman/listinfo/taxacom
> 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

More information about the Taxacom mailing list