Re: Web Pages: Future of Scientific Debate?

Joel and Lynn GAzis-SAx (
Mon, 23 Oct 95 08:46:23 GMT

In article <46f0s2$>, (Kenneth B. Cadby) wrote:

[Stuff deleted]

>If/when someone made their own unsupported theory, it would be easy for
>most readers to conclude inadequate referencing. It would also be easy to
>link your own pertinent, scientific critism DIRECTLY to the enemies'
>page(s), or bogus reference, as long as the source document(s) were
[more stuff deleted]

>Part of the scientific community must already be publishing hypotheses,
>theories, and research this way somewhere, because it's so easy to do?
>Does anyone know of any papers published this way?
>It's all just a grand conspiracy... pass it on!

I am inclined to agree with you, Kenneth, that USENET is not the place for
scholarly dissertation, try as certain groups might to make it such. The very
open nature of USENET invites free conversation. It is a place for testing
the waters, for asking questions, for meeting new people. For publishing,
however, it is unsuitable for most people.

I publish a horror magazine as a Web Page. True, this is not anthropology,
but I feel for the medium of short stories and the like, it is a better
vehicle than newsgroups. For one thing, you can structure discussion through a
letters to the editor page. This lets you weed out the downright frivolous
and stupid. For another, you can structure the document for "power browsing".
Footnotes and the like can be added so that you can jump right to them.

The advantages of such publication are manifold. When on the USENET, I let my
standards for discussion drop because that is the nature of the beast. They
are higher when I participate on a mailing list and higher still when I edit
my magazine.

We can't do much to keep the sloppy traffic out of our groups short of
moderating them. Some groups prefer to resort to flames as their means of
enforcing their alledged high standards, which is neither professional or
productive in the long wrong. The best process for weeding out the wheat and
the chaff is one of submission and selection by an editor or editorial
committee. The Web is a fine place for such activity.


Joel GAzis-SAx

Joel and Lynn GAzis-SAx Main email: Visit Alsirat, the horror magazine
The Marx Brothers@Darkweb (Joel) Whoopi@Darkweb (Lynn)