Freepages-Help-L Archives

Archiver > Freepages-Help > 2010-10 > 1286837795


From: "Ralph Taylor" <>
Subject: Re: [FreeHelp] FREEPAGES-HELP Coding to help prevent online theft
Date: Mon, 11 Oct 2010 16:56:35 -0600
References: <mailman.426.1286833509.31687.freepages-help@rootsweb.com>
In-Reply-To: <mailman.426.1286833509.31687.freepages-help@rootsweb.com>


My additional two cents on a thread that's strayed far from coding, but is
still very interesting.

Publishing false data to catch thieves just seems unproductive and mean.
Those who steal probably won't be deterred and honest folk will be misled.
We already have enough fallacious information on the 'Net without people
like us deliberately creating more.

The idea makes me ask why we publish at all. Is it to share information? Or,
is it out of ego? If both, can we find an honest way to deal with
dishonesty?

I'm with the comment that facts can't be copyrighted and should be available
as freely as possible. We all stand on the shoulders of those who've gone
before; if every family history had to start from scratch, little progress
could be made. I've often used facts first gleaned by others (with citation
& attribution) to go beyond those facts and investigate other questions.

I'd caution that all "facts" are not equal; an author's willingness to cite
sources for "facts" is one index of reliability -- Copious citations = high
reliability; no citations = low reliability. Even from high-reliability
sources, verification is prudent.

I have enough ego to feel pride of ownership in conclusions drawn from
(sometimes) indirect evidence. The reasoning processes are my own; I stand
behind them; I invite criticisms in order to improve the conclusions.

Similarly, I may (as many of this list's contributors do) find a unique way
to explain something complex and make it interesting Or, perhaps narrarate a
story from a different perspective.

With facts a conscientious user cites the source(s). With conclusions,
explanations or narratives an honest borrower acknowledges the debt. For the
unconscious, dishonest or lazy, exposure of the transgression is its
punishment.

But, what are we gonna do? Our choices boil down to "share or don't share".
If you once chose "share", there must have been reasons -- reasons which
have little to do with unauthorized, unattributed use.

-rt_/)


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