[Taxacom] LSID versus names

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Tue Jun 19 17:21:50 CDT 2012

well, I'm no techie (a little techy maybe!), but I'm not convinced that it makes any difference at all to computers whether a string is meaningful to humans, or just an arbitrary alphanumeric string?
at any rate, why do websites designed for human use proudly parade their LSIDs? For example: 
the irony here is that Heteroplocamus is *not* a N.Z. endemic monotypic genus, as all recent "official" databases and checklists would have you believe, but rather an unnecessary replacement name for the nonendemic polytypic genus Kaloplocamus! So, it all looks very nice and official and rigorous with those LSIDs plastered all over the place, but the actual information presented is sometimes, as in this case, $hit!!

From: Jim Croft <jim.croft at gmail.com>
To: Stephen Thorpe <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz> 
Cc: Richard Pyle <deepreef at bishopmuseum.org>; Chris Thompson <xelaalex at cox.net>; Neal Evenhuis <neale at bishopmuseum.org>; Roderic Page <r.page at bio.gla.ac.uk>; Frederick W. Schueler <bckcdb at istar.ca>; "taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> 
Sent: Wednesday, 20 June 2012 10:02 AM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] LSID versus names

For humans, it is a total waste of time. I would love a cent for every
hour squandered discussing GUID/LSIDS in groups of more than two or
more people. It would make a handsome endowment for taxonomy.

But they are not designed for humans. They are designed for computers
to communicate with each other unambiguously. Which is a bit of a
challenge given the inherent ambiguity in taxonomy and nomenclature.

And yes, they do need to be assigned to every minor variation an
fictional entity. Without these unique identifiers we will not be able
to document that they are a minor variation or fictional entity.


On Wed, Jun 20, 2012 at 7:34 AM, Stephen Thorpe
<stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz> wrote:
> I think I have some sympathy for Chris' views on this issue. I just can't escape the feeling that this whole GUID/LSID thing is just a big waste of time. I can't really see how it can solve any actual real world problems (meaning problems in nomenclature and/or taxonomy/systematics). What I see happening is GUIDs being assigned willy nilly to various minor variations of the same name, and sometimes even to fictional entities. How does this help?

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