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Re: [Re: paper request]

In a message dated 12/31/00 11:10:35 AM Eastern Standard Time, 
larryf@capital.net writes:

>  *Hey, microfilm was invented as a way to store articles in a small space,
>  and make it easier to locate. We now have the technology  of Computers to
>  make this even easier, so why not???

I don't have a problem with improving paper availability. I am as 
technophilic as they come. My comments are directed at the cavalier attitude 
a disturbingly increasing number of people have to actually having to "look 
it up".

"Look it up". God I hated that phrase when I was a kid!  Every time I asked 
my parents the meaning of something , that was the common refrain. Now I am 
grateful to them for making me look it up. 
>  >>  can`t see how going through stacks of printed journals could possibly 
>  >>  "good for you"!
Tracy quite eloquently stated the best reason.

>  >>  How else are you going to find articles? Or even articles that you
>  >>  didn't even think about? I've walked the stacks for years and will
>  >>  constantly find articles that I want in volumes I hadn't thought about
>  >>  looking in before.

 Now let's say that your searching for a certain author's paper on the K-T 
impact. You may or may not know what journal it (or they) were published in 
but using your "must have now" method all you do is a search and the 
appropriate data are turned up.  Bang you get that article. Sure time was 
saved. That's great. But what of the "old fashoned" way? You go to the 
library, and physically go through the journal in which the paper you want 
resides. While doing so you find in the same journal or in another journal 
you had been thumbing through   
a paper or papers on a research subject you had to shelve for one reason or 
another. Let this secondary research be focused on a particular dinosaur that 
was no where around at the time of the K-T impact so a search string 
involving the K-T would never have turned up this new link. This is a bit too 
cut and dry but do you see my point? I think the hair is being split just a 
bit too fine. No matter how much the technology advances, and I will advance 
with it, I can never place 100% confidence in the results of an on line 
search. IMHO, nothing beats a hands on approach. 

 >  >Exactly! I find this is so even with my own personal library of journals
>  >(i.e. JVP, Geology, Geotimes, and Scinece).  Furthermore, careful 
>  >to the _BIBLIOGRAPHY_ of such papers often creates another list of refs to
>  >find. Just like the WWW, it is a seemingly never ending process. But 
>  >the fun of it, pursuit of knowlege.

>  *Don`t you think if all these articles were listed in a comprehensive
>  bibliography on a computer hard drive, they might be easier to search (by
>  subject etc.?)?

Sure. I have tried to do just that but you know, I just don't have the TIME 
and Energy to to do it. I Now have virtually 15 years of journals of various 
types, reams of papers, monographs etc. I would now need to hire someone to 
do that for me and I dont have the _money_ for that either. So imagine what a 
real library would have to  go through?

>  >>   OK,...perhaps  if we`re going to continue living in the
>  >>  past, and college students will continue to have to do it this way for
>  >years
>  >>  to come but it certainly isn`t progress, and the absence of progress
>  seems,
>  >>  (to me), not good.>   I
>  >>  can`t see how going through stacks of printed journals could possibly 
>  >>  "good for you"!
>  >
>  >A typically myopic and selfish attitude but considering events of the last
>  >decade But what else is new?  If immediate satisfaction is not obtained, 
>  >must not be "progress" , or it's "unfair" or "predjudicial"  etc.! Thats

>  *Hey! What`s wrong with wanting fast results (as far as finding
>  papers,...which is what I`m talking about here)? Perhaps "myopic and
>  selfish" would appropriately label an "oldtimer", who had to "hoof it",
>  cause computers were not available, and who is jealous of a younger
>  generation whose future seems easier in some ways due to technological
>  progress.

None. I want them too. But I can wait. Nor will I lose any sleep if it does 
not come about.

>  I once did an exterior paint job for a wealthy "senior citizen". Huge 
>  I went out and purchased an airless sprayer, and had the job done in about
>  half the time it would have taken by hand. After finishing , the senior 
>  me he didn`t like sprayers (although they do a fine job, and put on just as
>  much paint). 

 I know full well the generational aspects of this problem. That's almost 
precisely where it cuts although there are many my age (38) and older who are 
the same way. The system, our culture and our good fortune are turning us 
into a buch of fat, egotistical, lazy brats. Can't get what you want now? 
Scream and rant and attack. That's pathetic. I think people have watched too 
much Star Trek. Expectations are too high.
The question to you should become; What's wrong with establishing and 
maintaining personal contacts? Cooperative exchange? Dealing with people? Yes 
even snail mail and a phone call? I spend hours on the computer almost daily 
but I would never trade in my books and journals for an "on line version". I 
want my computer to remain a _tool_ and not to have me bound to it for 

Somehow, cause I got it done fast, he was somehow
>  disappointed,..maybe remembered how long it took himself once! By the way,
>  he didn`t ask how much the sprayer cost, (and it was a fraction of what I
>  spent on this computer!).
Or maybe he expected more labor for the price. I don't think a rich elderly 
person quite suits this debate.

>  *Hey! I`m an old timer myself,...almost 50! 
Now that's a switch! I was under the impression that you were younger based 
on the above remarks. Now a days, 50 isn't that old either. 

I went through the stacks
>  plenty, in obtaining my undergrad and masters degrees. 

And you don't feel that was rewarding? 

Now that I`m
>  researching as a hobbie, I still think the system could be improved.

I see where you are coming from but I really shudder at the thought of 
calling research a "hobbie". I take it much more seriously than that and I am 
in practically the same boat you are.

 A home
>  computer should be a portal to universal knowledge. That`s why I bought it!

Here we are in agreement. And improvements will inevitably come. As I said 
initially, I take issue with some of the sentiments _leading_ to your need 
and not the need itself and it was not necessarily personally directed at you.
>  *So? I`m not talking about freebies. Pay for access websites could be set
>  up, perhaps (and ideally) on a pay per article basis.
Some journals already do that. For just 10 bucks you can have a hard copy 
reprint of a _particular_ article or require you to already be subscribed to 
the print journal. At this point either option is not so great for the 
fiscally challenged but as pointed out previously with the music biz, we will 
have our turn. It's just not going to be anytime soon.!



Thomas R. Lipka
Paleontological/Geological Studies