Pseudo-Publications on the WWW -Reply

Anonymous prophet at name.suppression.granted.com
Fri Nov 1 20:13:00 EST 1996


I would like to prophesize an alternative, the opposite -
unfortunately technology is such that I cannot be anonymous (unlike in
hard-copy submissions).  I prophesize that over the next decade there will
be a computer revolt.

I do not see electronic publication leading to better quality of publication;
sure it will be cheaper (but does this mean we are to believe cheaper is
better, go to your local hardware store); perhaps it may expedite the
process of publication (but this will depend entirely upon the same
editorial standards presently faced), and sure (for the better) it will
expedite access to information - but do we really, as a species, want to
withdraw ourselves further into the computer screen and go fully
electronic.  Walk down the corridor, look in the rooms (don't forget to
smile - that's important these days), if people are not at tea break then
they are staring into the computer screen.  Give us a break - lets have
more electronic files to read - the latest version of polychaete news on
CDROM - just what we needed.  Bedside reading, oh darn, the laptops
batteries are flat.  Whatever happened to sitting on a bench in the sun, a
coffee in one hand, a journal in the lap and a tweety-bird singing a
delightful chorus in the background?   Is polychaete science moving at
such a rapid rate, is so much work being done, so many descriptions
appearing, so many new cladistic reappraisals of higher order systematics
being undertaken, so much, so much.........that electronic publication is
absolutely essential to disseminate, assimilate or interpret the data?  I
don't think so!  If electronic copies of publications are required by a select
few, why not subscribe to some (establish one) electronic journal bank -
where electronic copies of papers are sent; if you want to prophesize 3
years down the track, tell me what kind of word-processing packages we
will have; can you tell me what kind of word processing packages we will
have in 100 years time.  Darn, most of the literature I deal with is pre-1930
 -what if they'd had electronic copies then - would I be able to convert
the formatting to present day technology - I DON'T THINK SO! - thank
heavens for hard copies!  Let us not worry about viruses and harddrive
meltdowns, lets worry about book moths - far more civil. 

Some people just don't like computers and their effect on people; I like
my journals above the desk; I like that tweety-bird, cigarette and coffee -
and I like that park bench.  Stand united against electronic journals!! 
Revolt against computers!

I am sorry, I'm just having a bad day!

Anon.



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