LINGUIST List 12.1524

Fri Jun 8 2001

Disc: Web-based vs Paper Pubs, Next to Last Issue

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <>


  1. Larry, Disc: Re: Ethics of Web-based vs Paper Publications

Message 1: Disc: Re: Ethics of Web-based vs Paper Publications

Date: Fri, 8 Jun 2001 20:03:46 +0900
From: Larry <>
Subject: Disc: Re: Ethics of Web-based vs Paper Publications

(Re Linguist 12.1516)

"Dr. Ali Aghbar" <> posted the following question:
> 1. How do I, as a reader, ascertatin what I have accessed is worthy
> material and not junk.

Maybe an autobiographical comment might help: I have been as an avid reader
since early childhood, a voracious listener to radio programs from
countries all over the globe since age 10, and an enthusiastic participant
in public discussion circles, forums, and such, sincemy years in junior
highschool. When I encountered the internet (in its manifestations of
gopher, web, and e-mail) in 1993 I added that channel to my palette and
have never looked back.

I would suggest that there are only two viable strategies/methods for
ascertaining the degree of usefulness of any given idea or data:

One is what I could call the "Echelon" or "Carnivore" method: it is simply
to process enormous amounts of information from all areas of human inquiry
and to continually cross-reference new information with previously received
information and to apply logical filters (Occam's razor, fallacy checks,
consistency check, etc.). By doing that one may be able to seperate useful
ideas from not useful ones.

The other one is what i might call the "Emmanual Kant" or "Buddha" method:
take in relatively small amounts of data and contemplate long and hard, and
you may come up with some clear insight into what is a useful idea and what

Both methods are, admittedly, hit-and-miss methods - but everythig else, I
would like to assert, is even *more* of a hit-and-miss proposition! Most
importantly, in the context of this particular discussion, whether you get
your information from a scientific journal or from the web is actually
quite irrelevant to either of the two above mentioned methods.


Larry (who just may have put his tongue into his cheek on the odd occasion)


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