Re: Beyond Access and Impact: The Ultimate Benefit of SkyReading/Writing

From: David Goodman <dgoodman_at_PHOENIX.PRINCETON.EDU>
Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2001 15:30:51 -0500

I confess to never having thought of it before now, but it seems
apparent that we now need appproriate interpretive summaries of major
email message sites, aimed both at the specialist who wants a
comprehensive account, and , probably separately, at the non
specialist who wants to know what going on .

I know this may be met with some skepticism in this forum, but I suggest
(and very strongly) that this is an appropriate activity for human beings,
not computers. (Tho, as in so much else, the humans wont be able to do it
without the computer tools such as mentioned.

 David Goodman, Princeton University Biology Library 609-258-3235

On Mon, 26 Nov 2001, Stevan Harnad wrote:

> On Sun, 25 Nov 2001, Arthur P. Smith wrote:
> > The fact that we have some interactions "at the speed of thought"
> > surely does not preclude the simultaneous necessity for use of
> > other communication media with much longer interaction times
> This is almost exactly the same point made by Gene Garfield almost
> exactly 10 years ago (November 11, 1991) in Current Contents in
> response to "Scholarly Skywriting":
> "The Question of Reflective Time: The flaw in Harnad's argument,
> in my opinion, is that it ignores the reflective thinking process
> that accompanies the traditional printed article."
> And the reply is exactly the same: Near-immediate on-line interactive
> skywriting is a SUPPLEMENT to slower, off-line interactions, not a
> SUBSTITUTE for them. (It gives one the OPTION to shoot from the hip,
> not the OBLIGATION!)
> And let us not confuse interactive on-line commentary (the "labile"
> medium) with the refereed research corpus itself, which is, if you
> like, the lapidary textual ("skyreading") database on which the
> rapidfire skywriting can be based (if/when one wishes). Peer review
> itself is one of the intrinsic brakes on the process.
> Let 1000 flowers (conversations, letters, lectures, conferences,
> pre-refereeing preprints, post-refereeing postprints -- on-line and
> on-paper -- books, textbooks, reviews, comments, responses) bloom -- but
> let the self-archived on-line version of the refereed postprints be
> among them, free for picking, by one and all, forever.
> > Having Stevan's (and the rest of our) thoughts
> > spread across a thousand pieces of email with selective quotes,
> > replies, rebuttals, and novel thoughts interspersed almost randomly
> > makes this a very difficult medium (at least for most of us)
> Arthur is quite right. The indexing and navigation of "Quote/Comment"
> (Hypermail) space is one of the very interesting and important
> challenges for search and navigation engines under development. And it
> will be (and is being) met (Tom Rynne's prize-winning project is an
> example: -- Tim Brody's
> citation-engine too: After all, with proper
> subject-header management and hyperlinking of quotes to their original
> texts (just like citation linking), a commentary is just a microcosm of
> an article -- and XML will soon make the paragraph the canonical unit
> anyway (if not an even smaller part of each paragraph).
> As an example, the visibility, searchability and navigability of this
> American Scientist Archive Forum immediately went up an order of magnitude
> when the token finally dropped and a Hypermail Archive, with its 1600+
> items indexed by Google, was created from it a few months ago:
> Anyone can now search and retrieve their contributions to it by name,
> subject, or any boolean combination from the full-text. And of course
> that is only the beginning. Smart-indexing and smart-linking are around
> the corner. Don't despair about navigating skyreading/writing: it will
> only get better and better.
> Stevan Harnad
Received on Mon Nov 26 2001 - 20:53:56 GMT

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