The Web Runs on Love, Not Greed

JS Kelly jskelly@jskelly.com
Fri, 4 Jan 2002 12:16:47 -0800 (PST)


On Fri, 4 Jan 2002, carey wrote:

> First off, to the better part of your argument:
> 
> Coulda, woulda shoulda.
> Move on.

move on and... what? just leave it as a festering pile of 404s with the
occasional treasure trove, or move on and actually do something to fix it?
 
> > > Seriously, the Web makes it so easy to find information
> > > on so many subjects that the traditional encyclopedia
> > > is obsolete.
> >
> > maybe. but i wish some of the traditional encyclopedia's editors could
> > edit the web. 

> This argument has steadily become more and more BS as the years go by. 

has not.

> The
> assumption that it has to be bound to be factual

didn't say that. said there should be better editing being done online.
and i guess i could add, more ambitious projects which are funded, not
necessarily with the monetizing profit motive being the single solitary
thing driving them. there should be many, many more of these than there
are.

> or that a bound volume
> won't be full of misinformation 

things like encyclopedias and dictionaries have high standards of editing. 
some other books do too, but none so high that i'd cite them as an example
of what we should strive for (as a general thing, online & off -- and
(especially!!) on the tv news -- which is more of a wasteland than even
the net) 

> (For anything John Hall's reference to Love
> Canal would at least bring the latter into question) has gotten tiresome.

that was from reason -- a paper magazine with real editors
 
>  Sure, there is a whole festering pile of shit out there on the web.  As
> (someone? ) said, a ton more articles on people's cats then on say
> astrophysics.  But at the same time, there are bits (WELL researched bits by
> the way) on topics that would never have a hope of being published. 

to say that is to admit you know little about the world of publishing. go
to the library and you can see the amazingly vast number of topics which
get whole volumes or even genres and which are in print (or do the same at
powells.com or bibliophile.net, though they won't be quite as
comprehensive as the library).

 For
> example, when I did my research on the DMCA, it was still so unbelievably
> new and fresh, I believe I found 2 published books vaguely dealing with the
> topic, none even coming close to the DeCSS case. 

it's hard to have a large number of published volumes available for
breaking news... that's why it's called... what's the term? o ya,
'breaking news'...

> So where was the credence
> and factual basis I used for my paper?  On the fucking net, baybee.  And I
> have a feeling that quite a few of our academic friends on FoRK had much the
> same circumstances when writing their papers/books/etc.

not sure what the point is here. the net is certainly useful. never said
it wasn't. an equally-good source you might have used, had the net not
been available (and in addition to newspapers & npr) might have been
interviews... which were also possible in the old days.

>  To say that the net is somehow inferior merely because it publishes bits
> about people's cats,

i didn't say that either. in fact, i love the web. and i think it's
superior *because* it publishes pages about people's cats. it's so
superior and so spectacular that what i am complaining about is that it
should be better. it should be better than it is by now. 

> and to assume that all of the net (Or even most of the
> clueful bits) are infested with these mundane points.  

? not sure what this means

> To assume that
> publications on the net are somehow vastly inferior because you don't need
> to suck up to a publisher to get published, is crap.  

never said this either.

While I admit peer
> review, and editors are valuable (and perhaps that could be incorporated
> more)

yes yes

> I have a hard time buying that a well-researched bit (i'm thinking a
> lot of the lanl.gov stuff here) is somehow less than a published one.

gov sites and universities offer up a lot of good info. and most (if not
all) of it is edited. but all of these also could have (and did) exist
offline before the net. so did those cat home pages by the way -- as
family newsletters. or as zines. 

> And misinformation has been dealt with.  We have misinformation in
> newspapers, in magazines, and in books.  PUblishers dont' seem to
> necessarily stop this, in fact, in some cases they may even encourage it.

sure, this is true. the world of print publications, too, could stand an
ocean or two of improvement.
 
> > in the last ten years (approximate time since when the net/web has gotten
> > to be more and more accessible to more people -- and hence more and
> > more popular) we really could have done *so much* more than what we have.
> >
>  >
> So we fix it now.  Again, shoulda, woulda coulda.

OK, so how do we fix it?

-jsk