Democracy breaks out on message board webmaster demands recount


Philip Hind

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I've been scratching my head to think of new discussion categories which might help to spread things out a bit on the board. It seems a bit of a shame to shunt discussions to the closed section just because they are a bit long. Now that the board self-archives this isn't such a problem. However it might be useful to add a couple of more discussion areas. I'd like to hear suggestions for new areas which we could add.

e.g.
These topics come up a lot and might have their own sections:

* Technical / construction / layout
* The Californian / Mystery ship /Rockets
* The Sinking
* FAQ - In which people ask themselves an obvious question about the Titanic and then proceed to answer it for the benefit of newbies.

I think modelling is covered in another board so we might avoid that one.

I need good titles for these too!

I am open to any suggestions as to how we might take the board forward so if anyone has a burning issue that they would like to support a discussion on let me know.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Hi Phil; an FAQ page would be a good idea. Some of the other aspects such as the sinking can be covered under technical, and I would reccommend That a technical folder be labled as you just put it: "Technical/Construction/Layout" if you decide to start it. Or perhaps"Rivet Counters." I'm not sure if it would serve well in the long run as most technical questions and debates would tend to gravitate to the General Folder, but it's worth a try.

Hope this election works out better then the fiasco in Florida.
happy.gif


Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Wow, Phil, you may become President if we don;t dimple the Board doing this! ha ha

Anyway, thanks so much for asking us.

I kinda agree with Michael about the sinking thing and the technical being closely associated.
Sinking normally brings up several ideas.

Perhaps "Technical Structure/Construction/Layout" for those regarding technical and architectural specs and "Science/Research/Scientific Phenomonen" for stuff on stress loads, metalurgy, refraction and stuff like that. And "locations and positions" for stuff regarding ship locations/positions and lifeboat positions/locations.

The other recommended ideas I think are wonderful, like the "FAQs" and also the "Californian, Mystery Ship and Rockets".

Thanks again for asking us Phil.
Maureen.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Dear Bill,
FAQ: Phil has Old Rose's death certificate. He found it on the cutting floor right next to the close-up of Larry Hagman as Captain Lord with the purple, pink and lavender colored rockets in the background to bring out his cheeks.

(you guys are a riot!) giggles galore
Maureen.
 
K

Kimberley Dayle Edwards

Guest
Hi Everyone,
Do you think a thread for the Titanic fashions would be a good idea? I think that would be quite succesful too.
Hope this helps
Kimberley
 

Philip Hind

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Thanks for these suggestions, keep them coming, I have added in a few new categories but we can always change them or create new ones.
 
Dec 4, 2000
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Phil--

How 'bout a more formal type of posting that would require peer review and revision somewhat the way scientific publications operate.

My thought is that everyone who is a regular participant in the forum could list area(s) of expertise. Authors would post "drafts" to these people who would respond, perhaps anonymously. The authors could then rewrite and correct before publication. (Or, at least they could address the criticism in their text.)

Prior to official publication on the TE site, the authors would have to provide documentation in the form of endnotes, etc. on the sources of their facts.

The idea would be to build "nuggets" of well-researched information that has been through the fire of criticism. Not everyone is working on a book-length project. In fact, I believe most people are interested in much narrower aspects of the story. This would provide an outlet for these authors. And, because of peer review, the information would be a reliable resource for those of us who do serious, book-length manuscripts.

-- David G. Brown
 
Dec 2, 2000
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I'm not sure a peer reveiw section would be useful on a general and decidedly informal forum, but it may well be a useful section elsewhere on the board to help out authors and aspiring authors. I don't have the kind of access and materials that some do, but I'd be glad to help out to whatever extent I can.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 

Inger Sheil

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Dec 3, 2000
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Phil - Like the new subject headers...and is that a hint of that wry English humour of yours in the subject descriptions?

David - only problem I see with the idea of peer review is that this is one field with far too many self-proclaimed experts!

Ing
 
Dec 2, 2000
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It might be helpful if active discussions rotate to the top of the list in all the folders anytime sombody posts to them. It would save a lot of time when searching for a thread in which there is an on-going interest.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 

Philip Hind

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That should happen already Mike. When a new topic is posted it is added to the top of the list. Similarly when a reply is posted it causes that thread to be listed above all others. In this way the active discussion is always at the top of the list.
 

Paul Rogers

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Nov 30, 2000
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Phil,

Sometimes a thread, um, digresses into general "chatting" between folks on the Board. What about setting up a "General Chit-Chat" Folder, for threads which refer only indirectly to Titanic?

Regards,
Paul.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Dear David Brown,

As a person who ends up writing ALOT in my day to day work, I can fully appreciate what you are saying about a "Peer Review" being quite helpful. But unfortuantely I can also see what Inger is talking about as well regarding many experts with all kinds of views.

But one serious thing that I woould take to someone involved in Copyright laws and that is first if you were to get input from folks especially anonymously, one could not provide proper credit. But also, you may wish to chcek out copyright laws regarding publication. If you send a letter or email to someone, does it become their property to do with what they want? For youyr own protection and others, I would recommend checking on that. Maybe there are others who actually know this stuff?

But I do think that it is a very good concept. Maybe something like a "reading room" where folks who wish to can "volunteer" by filling out a form with experince, skills and references. Authors can say reach into the pool and request say 2-3 "volunteers" to read and comment on their work with perhaps no expectation of payment but inclusion in credits or nothing at all if the volunteer so desires.

Some people can get a writing person motivated. Others can tear apart and help to contruct. Yet, others are exceptionally good at editing. These traits can be used at all phases of writing.

Just some thoughts.
Maureen.
PS- BTW Phil, I really like the new titles.
 
Dec 4, 2000
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Maureen--

Copyright remains with the writer unless assigned. Ownership of the letter (a snail mail piece) resides with the recipient. Presumably, the same dichotomy would be applied to an e-mail posting.

Under current law, copyright originates with the creation of "the work." An author does not need to file copyright papers to have rights to his work. Filing copyright allows the author to collect damages for infringement.

Ideas are not copyrightable as such. For instance, I suggested in my book that Titanic ran over an underwater ice shelf and not into the side of the iceberg. My words describing this idea have been copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without permission. But, someone else can say the same thing in her own words without copyright infringement.

Thus, an author can take concepts or ideas from others and write them in her own words without violating copyright.

There is a more likely source of problems. Let me illustrate with a current situation. Parks Stephenson has told me some of his research which contradicts something in my book. I have agreed not to use his findings until after he publishes them. But, I would not be violating his copyright to go to his sources and write my own words describing Parks' research and conclusions. Obviously, such an act would be violation of a personal trust. So, I plan to leave my text as-is in any future editions until Parks publishes. At that point, I can properly cite his conclusions with the appropriate attribution.

Other than personal honor, there is no practicable way to prevent one person from using another's ideas. This situation exist currently, although the informal nature of the postings hides it from view. Just as any other writer, I am quite free to read through the postings for ideas that I can later develop in my own words.

After reading the posts on this web site I have come to the conclusion that a lot of people have specific knowledge about very narrow portions of the story. I think we need to promote the publication of this knowledge in a more formal manner that would be acceptable to the academic crowd. Right now, if I were to write another Titanic book, I could not cite much of the most valuable information posted here because it is not presented in an authoritative manner with attribution, etc. What I'm seeking is a way for the many part-time researchers on this site to get proper credit for what they have done.

Talk of copyright always preceeds discussion of money. Don't expect much from this sort of research. If you divide what I've earned from my book by the four year time it took to write, I've made wages of 42.7 cents per hour!

By the way, "publication" is a word with a very broad definition. It obviously means books and magazine articles, but also messages like this one on a web site.

-- David G. Brown
 
G

Gavin Murphy

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David,

As a modest writer of sorts, I like the idea of a peer review. I always dread publishing something without a second set of eyes on same. I don't know how it would work, but in principle I like it.

As for copyright, that is a v. complex area. I think you are generally right, although there has been case law in UK saying as regards copyright and letters, that the paper belongs to the recipient and the words belong to the author, thereby maintaining the traditional notion of copyright remaining with the creator of the work. There is no assignment of the words. I would assume that principle would have some application in USA too, but I don't know to what extent. It would certainly be persuasive in Canada and Australia.

Hope this helps.

G
 
Dec 2, 2000
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David, I work for the US Federal Governement and therefore my words aren;t even worth two cents or copyrightable. So at 42.7 cents an hour, that's a wind fall!

I see myself as an encourager of sorts. I see some talent here on the board and when someone gets stuck, I like to give them that little push. But I am no Titanic writer. But I have no problem encouraging others with talent to write. My comment on the copyright stuff was just a thought. You know much more than I do on the topic. Thanks for sharing with me.

Maureen.
 

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