A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Frank Reed
Date: 2018 Sep 21, 11:15 -0700
[Spinning off from the backup for GPS dicussion...]
Bob, you wrote:
"I see that Archive.org keeps a copy of the site at: https://web.archive.org/web/20180919170551/http://www.fer3.com/arc/"
Website archives at archive.org are generally very shallow. They keep a copy of a few top-level pages. This can be useful for "historical research" but they do not create a real archive of the content of most websites. You can see this by following the links for the individual months of NavList messages at archive.org. Even recent months have not been archived. Very few actual NavList posts have been archived.
In general, of course, the complete NavList archive, stored on my website (fer3.com), has been well-copied and stored multiple times. No worries!!
I must add, however, that the archives sometimes help kill NavList discussions. When someone new visits here, and all you can say is, "Oh yeah, it's in the archives," you demonstrate that the community is bored with its own thoughts, no longer interested in crafting a new answer to a question or starting a new line of thought. We just dump people into an archived thread from a decade ago, as if that's generous of us. In addition, the NavList archives are not the work of contemplative scholars with long beards. There's an illusion at work here. If you find great information in one NavList post, then it predisposes you to think that it's all good. But there are mountains of garbage and out-right nonsense in the archives, too. How could that be? Because NavList messages are not curated. These are the archives of discussions among ordinary human beings who share nothing more nor less than an interest in celestial navigation and other forms of traditional navigation. Naturally there's some confusion in the archives. This is how we learn.
The archives would benefit from some curation -- a selection and identification of quality posts among the dross. I'm thinking of a "+1" or "favorites" or "I approve" ranking system in which NavList members could tag posts that are valuable to them. This would require some thinking and careful selection on the part of NavList members. We might have to ration out the "+1" votes. How's this: you get ten votes for every new NavList post that you have made in a month, and we'll start out active members with a pool of 250 votes or something like that? A visitor could then ask to see only those archived posts with a score greater than "+3" for example. This would be an example of crowd-sourced content curation. How's that for a mouthful? It would also require some significant coding on my part. Anyone else think this is a good idea?
Please bear in mind, also, that many authors of NavList posts put a great deal of thought and effort into their posts here. Just because you read some words on the internet (or receive them in an email, for those of you who follow NavList messages by email) does not mean they are immediately "yours" to do with as you see fit, nor do they enter the public domain by being posted online. Law in the US provides automatic copyright protection for any non-trivial prose, and in addition, there has been an explicit statement on the main NavList website homepage for nearly a decade: "Copyright notice: please note that the rights to all messages and posts in this discussion group are held by their respective authors. No messages or text or images extracted from messages may be reproduced without the explicit consent of the message author." You can, of course, archive any messages you read for personal use and reference, and you can also refer to messages in immediate follow-up discussions. These uses fall under the standard copyright principle of "fair use".
How many of you would like to acquire a copy of the complete NavList archives (with appropriate reading software) on a USB thumb drive? I could put something together for perhaps $20 per copy plus $10 for shipping and materials (within the USA, higher shipping internationally). Any authors of NavList posts could opt to have their posts (individually or all posts) omitted in keeping with the copyright rules. If you're interested in such a thing and just want to say "yes, I would like one", please email me at email@example.com. If you want to discuss properties of such a "USB archive" please post publicly (reply to this message).