[Taxacom] saturday morning fun

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Sat Nov 27 15:54:32 CST 2010

Yes, this may seem like a joke, but no doubt there is some seriousess in that 
humour ... these "official" databases like GBIF (and NZOR for a local example) 
are just parasites, sucking money out of the system and treating us like 
mushrooms (feeding us sh!t, and keeping us in the dark!) It turns out, by the 
way, that NZOR is going to be the full "nightmare scenario", to my mind. Instead 
of giving power to the people, like Wiki, it will just take money from the 
people, and not empower the end user to verify data for themselves, but will 
instead hold them hostage to the trust of the "official expert" rubber stamp, 
where the "official experts" are (by some sort of twisted Darwinian selection) 
just those people who are best suited to bringing in funding to profit hungry 
institutions, not necessarily those with the best knowledge, and they may well 
make heavy use of data on the wikis (but would never admit that). It is 
interesting that no "official expert" in Coleoptera wanted any part of the 
poorly funded Species2000 project, so a "patsy" was found (and not 
the one originally intended!) to do it on the cheap, and the public get the result of that in the published book. The next step after that is for the 

well funded NZOR to get it all checked and rubber stamped by an "official expert" for their database (why not for the Species2000 book???), 

so Biosecurity NZ can feel confident using it and at least have something "official looking" to cite, even if there are 

errors ... and I thought that the dark ages were over centuries ago!


From: Wolfgang Lorenz <faunaplan at googlemail.com>
To: "taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu" <Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
Sent: Sat, 27 November, 2010 8:51:00 PM
Subject: [Taxacom] saturday morning fun

Dear All,
GBF has more than 267 million occurrence records.
No doubt, there is some quality in that quantity - accessible for those who
have plenty of time and knowhow to tickle it out. Much easier to see some of
the most spectacular errors:

E.g. this:

GBIF informs us they have 4.485.773 records for Insecta Coleoptera.
Of these, 643.863 georeferenced records ("from a total of 583.664 records"
[sic!]) are displayed on the map for a single nearctic species: "Mimus
polyglottos", the Northern Mockingbird, a curculionid beetle species which
has some subspecies belonging to birds.

..... but, okay, they wanted to arrive at full operational status in 2011
(according to GBIF's own strategic plan)



Wolfgang Lorenz, Tutzing, Germany

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