Commercials on anthro-l

Elizabeth C Dunn (dunn_ec@JHUNIX.HCF.JHU.EDU)
Mon, 1 Aug 1994 17:07:47 -0400

In reference to J.D. Iverson's advocacy of the "hypertextbook" that he
publishes and sells, Richard Wilk wrote that he had asked Mr. Iverson for
a copy of his "hypertextbook," which he thought would be free, and was
billed $5.OO.

Richard Wilk continued,
> Selling one's own efforts on anthro-l is not always a bad thing. Many of
> us have advertised our ideas, papers, and books here. But none of us are
> in the publishing business. So I think Mr. Iverson has crossed the line.

I think there is a big difference between "publicizing" your own efforts,
i.e. trying to get people to read what you have written and to give you
some feedback, or to engage in a constructive debate, and "selling" your
own products. When we try and get people to read what we have written,
we're trying to _communicate_. (Self-aggrandizement and career
advancement are only secondary, of course ;-) )

There's a big difference between communicating and doing what Mr. Iverson
is doing, which is using a free resource in order to turn a profit.

This debate may seem nitpicky and unanthropological. But I like to think
of us as the ancestors/founding parents/creators of a new community.
Collectively making up social rules, manners, mores, and traditions in a
community seems pretty anthropological to me!