[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Analogies, was :Re: We have met the enemy...

As a biologist, I think the relationship you have in mind is
"commensalism", where the two organisms live in continuously association
with each other, getting their food from the same source. (Both we and the
publishers get our funds from the money spent for the dissemination of
information for higher education and research.)

Such relationships tend to evolve towards "mutualism", where both parties
get benefits from the association. The classic example is cowbirds, which
live on the back of large mammals and eat the ticks from the skin, where
the mammals benefit by being freed of the parasites.

In some cases they evolve further into "symbiosis" where the two organism
become intimately associated and cannot live without each other, as in the
protozoa that live in termite intestines and digest the cellulose --
neither can survive independently.

Over eons, this can become like mitochondria, which were once free-living
micro-organisms before them became the part of our cells that produces
energy but shares metabolism with the rest of the cell. I leave your to
draw your own analogies, but I will just mention that these succeeding
stages are not reversible.

David Goodman, Princeton University Biology Library
dgoodman@princeton.edu            609-258-3235


On Tue, 23 May 2000, John Cox wrote:

> ...Moreover, none of us can live without parasites!  Bernie Sloan is quite
> right in making it clear that both publishers and librarians have a
> relationship that is both intertwined and is parasitical - in the nicest
> possible way - upon scholars and researchers, who are our authors and our
> readers.  They will do what they need to do in other ways unless both
> publishers and librarians demonstrate that, together, they provide a
> vastly superior information service, with structure, navigation tools,
> quality control, context-specific products and brand recognition.
> John Cox
> John Cox Associates
> E-mail: John.E.Cox@btinternet.com
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Sloan, Bernie <bernies@uillinois.edu>
> To: 'liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu' <liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu>
> Date: 23 May 2000 01:57
> Subject: RE: We have met the enemy...
> >I agree with John Cox's statement that "One of the solutions is for
> >publishers and librarians to talk to each other..."
> >
> >The interaction of publishers with libraries is often a contentious
> >process. In a way, I tend to see the relationship as a symbiotic
> >relationship where each symbiont views the other as a parasite. In other
> >words, publishers and libraries need each other, but they all too often
> >tend to view each other as parasites, each out to bleed the other dry.
> >
> >Bernie Sloan