Re: from EduPage (electronic publishing)

Fanderclai Tari (tari@UCET.UFL.EDU)
Tue, 25 Jun 1996 19:13:00 -0400

Gee, Steve, I didn't say we shouldn't compare print and electronic
publication, nor that we shouldn't mention the problems and advantages of
each. That would be stupid. How would we figure out how one complemented
the other, or which one we wanted to use for a particular purpose, or even
why we wanted to introduce electronic publication in the first place, if we
didn't compare the two?

The problem I have is that we seem to be making those comparisons a lot of
time in order to prove that electronic publication should replace print
or that it's plain superior to print. That doesn't seem like a practical
way to go at it. Print is an institution of the Institution. Institutions
don't change just because it would make the inmates happy. Heck, they
don't even change to make the guards happy. They change because it makes
the People in Charge happy. And they resist if you say you've got
something better than what they've got. How can you have something better
than they've got when you're not in Charge? (What, are you going to
beseige the Ivory Tower with slingshots, hmm?)

You have to be You have to show the People In Charge
something that will make THEM happier, and it seems to me you'll have
better luck doing that if you propose an addition to rather than a
replacement of what's already in place. I don't think any of us really
need or want print journals to go away anyhow. What I *think* we're asking
for is to have electronic publication recognized as a valid way to spend
your time, and something the academy ought to give you credit for. So show
them (you know, Them) how what you're doing is useful to them. You have to
get in the door.

Or else you can start your own kingdom, I suppose.

And hey, what happens when you convince the People in Charge they want your
little slingshot, and then they shoot you with it? We're pretty happy
ranting away in our little electronic world and thinking wouldn't it be
wonderful if the whole Academy was like us...but do we really think it will
be just like now only bigger and with better interfaces?

Hey, maybe I should shut up before I think of something depressing.

Tari Lin Fanderclai
Boston, MA
Subvert the dominant paradigm.