17.759 sustainability?

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk)
Date: Fri May 07 2004 - 16:58:10 EDT

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 17, No. 759.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                         Submit to: humanist@princeton.edu

             Date: Fri, 02 Apr 2004 07:39:15 +0100
             From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk>
             Subject: sustainability?

    To the extent I hear what urban planners are talking about these days, I've
    noticed the term "sustainability". This, it seems to me, bespeaks more
    wisdom than "innovation". Sustainability concerns should also be high on
    the agenda of those who deal with electronic resources. Beyond the
    technical questions (which are hard ones, to be sure) is the one I'd like
    to raise here: how do we keep things such as the Stanford Encyclopedia of
    Philosophy going financially and editorially?

    Let us for the purposes of argument grant that this is a resource without
    which a significant number of philosophers, their students and others would
    suffer. Let's say it's a must-have. Who, then, makes sure it continues? Who
    makes sure that the editor is replaced when the current one goes off to do
    something else? Do we hit up our hard-pressed libraries for the cash? Do we
    want funding agencies to decide whether and how an academic resource
    continues? Consider, for example, an essential resource in Middle Eastern

    A proposal for you to challenge. Returning to the example of philosophy,
    organizations representing this discipline through the national academies
    world-wide, take charge. Even if the Stanford Encyclopedia were not
    good (which it is), let us say that some such resources reach the level of
    quality at which they really should be a product of the disciplines to
    which they belong. Is it reasonable to consider that somehow the
    collective members of these disciplines could see that they are not lost?



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