[Taxacom] Fwd: Nature needs names: 60 new dragonflies from Africa

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Fri Dec 11 21:16:15 CST 2015

Thanks Peter (note that I make sure to spell your name correctly),
Luckily I have a thick skin, and am almost totally impossible to offend. You appear to have completely misread me on this. I'm not trying to "shit" on anybody's achievements. I was just pointing out that this particular article appears to have gotten a great deal of media attention (something that didn't "just happen", but which was engineered), but it is in reality nothing special. It seems a bit hard on those taxonomists who quietly work hard and make more of a contribution (not me, by the way, I don't describe new taxa) to see stuff that is no better than what they do be the object of a big media blitz. Taxonomy is valuable, but not really "newsworthy".

On Sat, 12/12/15, Peter Halasz <list at pengo.org> wrote:

 Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Fwd: Nature needs names: 60 new dragonflies from	Africa
 To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
 Received: Saturday, 12 December, 2015, 3:15 PM
 Naively, I would have to
 assume you write to this list because you want to
 disrupt it and shit on people's
 achievements. Naively, I would have to
 assume you are also happy to get your name
 known as that of a troll because
 you hate
 your father and want his name muddied as a weird,
 masochistic form
 of revenge. Naively I would
 assume you are paid to write to this list by
 the number of people you frustrate.
 This is a cognitive bias
 called correspondent inference, where you assume
 someone's motivations are to do exactly
 what the results of their actions
 are. If
 someone slams a door and the room goes quiet, then you
 assume they
 slammed the door because they
 wanted quiet. And John Grehan has already
 pointed out how this has plays out for you.
 I'm not naive. I assume
 good faith in peoples actions because to jealously
 ascribe motivations of power and money to
 someone for getting media
 attention for
 their 15 years of work in describing 60 dragonflies is
 most ridiculous thing I have ever heard.
 I find it nonsensical to talk of
 media attention as if science communication is somehow
 to science.
 If you have nothing constructive to say, why
 say anything at all, unless
 your goal is to
 be a troll or to have a pissing contest over who
 the most species in one
 publication? If you cannot assume some good faith
 of others then I'm certainly not going to
 do it for you.
 If you think
 the media is too "dodgy" to save the Earth then go
 work on
 your Earth-saving machine in your
 basement. I'd love to hear about it but I
 wouldn't want you to promote yourself by
 talking about it or showing any
 one. So
 please don't.
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 Taxacom in 2015.

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