Subject: Re: Free software and free music have some similar problems.
From: Bernard Lang <Bernard.Lang@inria.fr>
Date: Sat, 24 Jul 1999 21:57:21 +0200 (MET DST)

From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <turnbull@sk.tsukuba.ac.jp>
> Not the same procedures, but the same functions.

No ... in paper technology the filtering has an essential economic
role since it is not feasable to print everything and distribute it.
Hence filtering must precede dissemination ... with various hidden
costs like enormous power to the filtering bodies (and some have been
known to abuse it ... power games, as everywhere), loss of too
original papers, lost of papers with a good idea, potentially
useful, but not enough to make it (I have seen such on program
committees, which I felot sorry for, but could not help).

I do not belive any of this really work in the paper world.
When interested in a topic, I can use a search engine to catch
the literature on the web, white, gray or black ...
Then I decide what I read, based on comments (filtering by the
community, currently indication of where it was published,
when applicable) or on hunches. I get lots of interesting stuff that
way ... much more than wasting time shuffling paper in the library.
And I get documents I would never get on paper, certainly
not in a timely fashion, and probably never at all in most cases.

> I think it is the attention deficit of the individual members
> of each research community.

Good point ... but what matters is not the attention of each member
but the attention of all (permanent or temporary) members of the
community... so that anything gets a real chance of being noticed.
Free software teaches us that is it the global action that matters.

In any case, the burden of the filtering function cost is not
on the publisher. Most of what he does can be fully automated.

sorry if I ahev been repeating myself some.

Must rush to vacations ... bye

Bernard

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