Re: Copyright: Form, Content, and Prepublication Incarnations

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Mon, 19 Nov 2001 14:52:35 +0000

On Mon, 19 Nov 2001, Chris Armstrong wrote:

> the reason I do not usually enter into these discussions
> with you is that you never reply except as a put-down...
> You rarely add to a Socratic discourse, or so it seems to
> me; only to a long list of didactic statements.

Dear Chris,

I apologize.

Although it is obviously no excuse for hurting anyone's feelings, I
think if my polemics have become increasingly impatient it is a
cumulative consequence of the fact that I find myself still responding
over and over to the very same prima facie worries (which I eventually
compiled into the list of "Zeno's FAQs"). It seems that for every
worrier I respond to, two more worriers pop up in their place! And this
is still going on after 10 years and countless talks and papers and
discussion lists.

But no one forces me to keep responding, so let's see if I can do a
better job this time of following Thumper's advice: "If you can't say
nothin' nice, don't say nothin' at all"...

> I do not have worries that belong on a Zeno's Paralysis
> list. I would just like the community - in its widest
> sense - to have the opportunity to discuss these issues.

But surely, if I have been guilty of being too impatient and critical
in my style of response, I have not been guilty of preventing the
community from airing its views!

> On second thoughts, I do have one worry. It is that
> authors and universities will be railroaded into the
> Subversive Proposal without understanding the issues
> involved or realising that there may just be alternatives
> ... that may just be better.

Please let me set your mind at ease on that score. Far from being
"railroaded" into anything, it is a historical fact that authors and
universities (with the exception of some physicists) have been
indescribably sluggish about doing anything about freeing online access
to their research so far. It is precisely this inertia and hysteresis
across such a long time period that has made my own tone increasingly

In the next posting, I will respond (temperately, I hope) to your long
posting to the Virtual Colloquium at
which I have also branched to the Amsci Forum.

Best wishes,

Stevan Harnad

NOTE: A complete archive of the ongoing discussion of providing free
access to the refereed journal literature online is available at the
American Scientist September Forum (98 & 99 & 00 & 01):

You may join the list at the amsci site.

Discussion can be posted to:
Received on Mon Nov 19 2001 - 14:53:30 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Dec 10 2010 - 19:46:18 GMT