[tdwg-tag] RDF/OWL Good Practices Task Group

Hilmar Lapp hlapp at nescent.org
Thu Sep 29 00:25:06 CEST 2011

Pete -

let me just steal a quote from the numerous people who must have  
stated this before in some form or another: When you set something  
free, it's free. It is no longer yours to control.

While I think most or all of us understand this very well for open- 
source and certainly for public-domain software source code, this is  
as true for publishing (freeing) data, and certainly as much for  
freeing knowledge and ideas. If you put an idea out on a public  
discussion forum, you've set your idea free. You've set it free for  
others to reuse in whatever form they see fit. That's the power of  
openness in advancing science, whether by open-sourcing code,  
publishing data under CC0, or posting ideas on blogs (let alone  
mailing lists).

If you don't want your ideas reused, or can only tolerate certain  
kinds of reuses but not others, then keep them to yourself. In my  
mind, open groups such as mailing lists, and the TDWG interest groups  
for that matter, are for merciless reuse, within the confines of  
common professional ethics. There is nothing unethical, in my mind, if  
someone were stimulated or persuaded by your efforts to change their  
mind on something, even if to the extent that they now vigorously  
argue that new standpoint as their own. What could be more convincing  
about the merits of the efforts that led to that. If that's something  
you can say you've accomplished within TDWG, I'd be very proud of it;  
it's certainly much more than I ever have.

We all know the saying of plagiarism being the sincerest form of  
flattery. In that sense, if I ever got someone in TDWG to copy an idea  
of mine and reproduce it as their own, it'd be one of my proudest  
moments (unless, of course, it were one of my numerous bad ideas).  
This isn't about you or me or us, Pete - at least as far as I'm  
concerned the reason I'm in here is to advance our knowledge of  
biodiversity so that in the end this world becomes a better place. If  
in order to get there it takes someone else copying my idea as theirs,  
that's fine - it won't dampen my energy for a second.

And no, I won't say anything further on this matter - to me, it's just  
really a huge distraction from what we, including you, Pete, can  
really contribute to the group.


On Sep 28, 2011, at 5:11 PM, Peter DeVries wrote:

> Hi TDWG'ers,
> I thought it would be good to explain in a different way how I see  
> TDWG functioning.
> There are people who take pride in their intellect.
> If it turns out that they are wrong they can experience a form of  
> cognitive dissonance.
> The either consciously or unconsciously convince themselves that the  
> original person taking the "correct side" was wrong, or that they  
> had actually heard it somewhere else (they were never on the "wrong"  
> side)
> In some cases, they are aware of what they are doing and actively  
> try to punish or exclude the person who "corrected" them.
> In the tale "The Emperor's New Clothes" ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Emperor's_New_Clothes 
>  )
> a child spoke up while others remained silent - afraid of what might  
> happen to them if the told the King the truth.
> The reason this is popular tale has been translated into 100  
> languages, is that this kind of behavior is so common.
> The irony is that not about intellect. but emotions.
> Has anyone else on this list had the experience of be punished after  
> correctly pointing out a flaw in someone else's logic?
> Is this behavior at odds with the goals and best interests of the  
> group?
> I am concerned that there is only place in TDWG for the Kings and  
> those that allow them to keep there Ego's happy.
> Respectfully,
> - Pete
> On Mon, Sep 19, 2011 at 2:46 PM, joel sachs <jsachs at csee.umbc.edu>  
> wrote:
> Greetings everyone,
> After some back and forth amongst Steve Baskauf, myself, Greg  
> Whitbread,
> and the executive, we've decided to move forward with an RDF/OWL task
> group, convened under the TAG. Our task will be to deliver a document
> comprising
> i. use cases and competency questions;
> ii. well documented examples of addressing those use cases via rdf and
> sparql; and
> iii. discussion of advantages and disadvantages of the approaches
> illustrated by the examples.
> Our draft charter is at
> http://code.google.com/p/tdwg-rdf/wiki/CharterOfTG
> and we welcome comments, suggestions, and better ideas. One area where
> we're still open is the question of whether or not our deliverable  
> should
> be an official Best Current Practice document [1]. The charter  
> reflects
> our current feeling that it should not. After we deliver our "book  
> of use
> cases and examples", options would include being re-chartered by the  
> to produce a best practices document, spinning off as a "Semantic Web
> Interest Group", or disbanding (either in triumph or despair).
> When we were planning to convene as an Interest Group, several of you
> accepted our invitation to serve as core members, and we hope that
> convening as a Task Group does not change your willingness to do so.  
> If
> you would like to be a core member of the group, and we haven't yet
> contacted you, there's a good chance that we will. But don't wait!  
> Feel
> free to volunteer for core membership. (And recall that you don't  
> have to
> be a "core member to" contribute.)
> In regards timeline, I'd like to incorporate any feedback we  
> receive, and
> submit the charter to the executive at the end of this week, in  
> hopes of
> being chartered by New Orleans.
> Many thanks!
> Joel.
> 1. http://www.tdwg.org/standards/status-and-categories/
> _______________________________________________
> tdwg-tag mailing list
> tdwg-tag at lists.tdwg.org
> http://lists.tdwg.org/mailman/listinfo/tdwg-tag
> -- 
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Pete DeVries
> Department of Entomology
> University of Wisconsin - Madison
> 445 Russell Laboratories
> 1630 Linden Drive
> Madison, WI 53706
> Email: pdevries at wisc.edu
> TaxonConcept  &  GeoSpecies Knowledge Bases
> A Semantic Web, Linked Open Data  Project
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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: Hilmar Lapp  -:- Durham, NC -:- informatics.nescent.org :

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