[Taxacom] Sherborn & literature code challenge

Chuck Miller Chuck.Miller at mobot.org
Thu Sep 1 18:37:14 CDT 2011


I think they probably had a better social life then than we do now.
Certainly, less distractions. No interrupting phone calls.  And all the
whiskey and beer in those days was what we call "artisan" now. 

Not to take anything away from Sherbourn and his incredible
accomplishment, but the astounding thing to me is that using BHL we can
now index 35 million pages of botanical, zoological, ecological, et al
literature in just a matter of minutes.  Then revise our methods, and
run it all again discovering even more.  And a scientist on Easter
Island can use all 35 million pages of it.  Freeing us all up to
hopefully have a better social life.

Chuck

-----Original Message-----
From: Neal Evenhuis [mailto:neale at bishopmuseum.org] 
Sent: Thursday, September 01, 2011 6:07 PM
To: Chris Thompson; Chuck Miller; taxacom
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Sherborn & literature code challenge

On 9/1/11 1:01 PM, "Chris Thompson"
<xelaalex at cox.net<mailto:xelaalex at cox.net>> scribbled the following
tidbit:

Chuck:

I fully understand what you are saying, but I need to note in regards to
your statement:

"... accept that the volume of those results could not be achieved by
the available imperfect humans in several short lifetimes ..."

That there was one man, who in a half of a life time, indexed all the
Zoological literature published between 1758 and 1850. That was Charles
Davies Sherborn, who produced the Index Animalium.

We will celebrate him and his great achievement this coming October. See
the announcement at the ICZN website (http://iczn.org/ )


AND ... he did all of that without a computer.

AND .. he actually had a social life too ....! :-)

-Neal





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