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Electronic Publication/Response



In a message dated 95-08-15 14:50:59 EDT, rowe@lepomis.psych.upenn.edu
(Mickey Rowe) writes:

>  No, George, read it again. Printed is not a criteria, so electronic
>  format such as the net would seem to be applicable. It could be
>  argued that being posted on the net is permanent and it is certainly
>  simulatneous editions if each individual computer capable of reading
>  it is considered to be and "edition". Computer printout does not
>  enter into it because it is not the printout that is the primary
>  reference but the posting to the net.  Basically, I can see no
>  barrier to publication on the net meeting all criteria as stipulated
>  by the code. Again, the only real test will be to do it and see what
>  happends (lead by the boot).
>
>

I see the terminology "...ISSUED PUBLICLY for the PURPOSE of proving a
PERMANENT SCIENTIFIC RECORD..."

If this isn't printing, what is it? Electronic media are certainly NOT
permanent the way paper is; nor are they public. Do you think an electronic
posting to a dinosaur list in the year 1995 will be readable by computers in
the year 2195 as easily as I or anyone else can read Mantell's original paper
on _Iguanodon_ from 1825?? Heck, WordPerfect 6.1 has to do text conversion
just to retrieve documents in WordPerfect 4.2, only a few years older and
basically the same system! Remember that to read an electronic message
requires not just the message itself but scads of ancillary hardware and
software that has the most disturbing tendency to become obsolete right out
from under us. There are US government-archived computer tapes from early in
the space program containing data that cannot now be read because the
relevant hardware is no longer being manufactured and all the existing old
tape drives have been scrapped. Not to mention the physical deterioration of
the tape media themselves.

Or, suppose the posting just gets "stuck in an Error Condition" and NEVER
reaches its intended readers...?

There was a nice article on this situation in a recent issue of _American
Scientist_ (if memory serves me).

George O.