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IZES - Zoo Grapevine Magazine

Discussion in 'Zoo Memorabilia' started by snowleopard, 12 Nov 2012.

  1. Tim Brown

    Tim Brown Well-Known Member

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    I hate to disappoint Jurek but it is VERY unlikely that we will EVER make the magazine available online.Possibly if the circulation dropped catastrophically low,so one should never say "never" , but we stand in defence of the printed word,libraries,book collecting,zoo guide books and however far you want to go with that principle.Clearly the internet has very many significant advantages and i would be a Luddite were I not to recognise that fact, but I dont want it to have every advantage,so much so that when a book I wrote(not about zoos/zoology) was placed on Kindle I had it removed despite decent sales!
     
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  2. LaughingDove

    LaughingDove Well-Known Member

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    This is getting a bit off topic for the thread, but with all due respect, I cannot understand why you hold this position. In what way is the printed word, books, or literature any different when printed on paper or displayed electronically on a screen? I love books and reading and literature and I certainly defend the printed word when used in a metaphorical sense to also include electronic books. In at most 50 years, I imagine very few people will still read printed books, and a printed book will be more of an antiquity than a usable item, so I don't see why book lovers don't embrace this inevitable change. Dare I say it a change for the better? I don't see how books can survive into the future unless they are digitised, and I'm sure we both share the opinion that we wan't books and literature to still be read and enjoyed 50 years from now. Additionally, digital books make them available cheaper (of course still paying the authors but without the cost of paper and printing and distribution), more quickly, more environmentally friendly, and to a wider range of people around the world than printed books ever can be. (and I personally find it much easier to carry around a e-reader than physical books).

    I think parallels can be drawn between physical books and other now outdated technology, for example horse and carts over cars. Many would argue that the experience of riding a horse and cart is superior to driving in a car, and if the demise of horse and carts was looming imminently I'm sure many people would be against cars defending the horses and the people who breed and look after them. But I think you would probably agree that overall the car is superior, and even if you didn't the majority of people in the world would. And I think think this will happen with ebooks.

    However, I totally understand collecting things. I like collecting things ranging from zoo guides to magazines to wildlife field guides etc. (though I rarely find myself reading paper novels any more) and things that include a visual element other than words so field guides, glossy magazines etc. with the current technology at least I would agree are better as hard copies. I don't see why electronic books can't exist for functional purposes while printed books continue to exist as collectors items. Many people still keep horses and enjoy horse riding even if they use a car.

    Also as a separate point and more to the point of the thread, I recently subscribed to the IZES magazine and this most recent edition was my first one (other than the four I received when first joining). It has been literally over two years since I first heard of IZES and wanted to join, but I only recently actually got around to joining and I wish I'd done it sooner! To any others contemplating whether to join now or do it later, I would recommend not waiting for two years as I did. (And even if the magazine was available electronically, I'd still want a hard copy ;))
     
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  3. FunkyGibbon

    FunkyGibbon Well-Known Member

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    Also worth pointing out that I imagine that the postage is why overseas membership costs quite a bit more? Do correct me if I'm wrong. This, coupled with a slight lack of confidence in the Chinese postal system, and an inability to attend UK events, is what has kept me from joining so far.
     
  4. bongorob

    bongorob Well-Known Member

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    Lack of confidence in the Chinese postal system? The UK postal system managed to lose two copies of Zoograpevine sent to me :eek:
     
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  5. sooty mangabey

    sooty mangabey Well-Known Member

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    An interesting discussion brought about by Tim's ludditism, and Laughing Dove's neophilia. My sympathies lie wholly with Tim in this discussion!

    I think this is wrong, actually. Plenty of research indicates that the absorption of information is much better when one is using traditional paper, as opposed to a screen, and the deleterious effects of reading from screens are becoming more and more widely understood. Interestingly, in the U.K., the bottom has fallen out of the market for e-books, while the sales of traditional paper books have stabilised after several years of decline. For whatever reason, when it comes to books, there seems to be a widespread rejection of new technology, and an embrace of paper.

    ...and here is the real problem! I don't think anyone has found a workable business model for publishing of magazines in this way to really work. The newspaper industry is dying, while the circulation of even pretty mainstream magazines has simply collapsed.

    For me, something that is electronic is only ever going to be ephemeral: I need to be able to hold it for it or have real value. And the pleasure of reading from paper is simply so much greater than the pleasure that comes from reading from a screen.
     
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  6. Maguari

    Maguari Never could get the hang of Thursdays. Premium Member

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    Without becoming too embroiled - I'm not sure that digital publications are more future-proofed than paper ones - we can still read Shakespeare's First Folio from the 17th Century, but digital files are dependant on the software (and hardware) needed remaining available.

    That said, I'm sure an 'e-option' would be welcomed by potential overseas members - though how it would effect the Society's economics I'm not sure - and of course, it'd be much more likely to be shared around non-members without any direct benefit to the IZES.
     
  7. FunkyGibbon

    FunkyGibbon Well-Known Member

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    I once read an interesting observation that societies have gone from stone carving to clay tablets to parchment to paper to flash drives, at every stage exchanging durability for convenience. Electronic memory is vulnerable to radiation degredation over timescales of 50 or so.
     
  8. LaughingDove

    LaughingDove Well-Known Member

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    Do you mean the effect as in damage to eyes? That's what e-ink etc. is for and technology like this is only going to get better.

    Absorption of information from a screen being worse that from paper is surprising to me. I'm not doubting the validity in general, but if anything I find the opposite is true personally. With a screen with constant lighting, I find it much easier to read, and you can customise the text, font, etc. to your liking. Additionally, with an ebook I can carry all of my books around all the time allowing me to easily read for five free minutes when I might not have a physical book on me, not to mention it being much lighter to carry around. I also find that I'm very reluctant to highlight and annotate a physical book but I don't have that problem at all with ebooks for obvious reasons.

    I do agree that with current technology and screens magazines and newspapers cannot be satisfactorily presented electronically. Though I'm sure a solution will be made eventually, that doesn't change that as far as I can see, if it's just text like a novel there's no difference whether it's electronic or printed.

    I still don't buy digital books being less durable and future proof than paper. Any physical thing can of course be burnt or damaged, what percentage of Greek Tragedy from a couple of thousand years ago is still around? Hardly any. However now that the remaining plays have been digitised I'm convinced that they're much more likely to survive. Although each individual digital file may be less durable than each paper book, digital files can be backed up and easily stored safely. Even if one file was destroyed there are likely to be copies all over the place and you could have three or four backups of your own. Of course this does reveal the problem of copyright and digital files being widely distributed, but paper books are not immune to this either, anyone can just scan a paper book and send it, it's just a bit more work.
     
  9. LaughingDove

    LaughingDove Well-Known Member

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    I don't think £10 per year extra is that much for overseas postage. £2.50 extra postage per magazine seems quite reasonable to me.
     
  10. FunkyGibbon

    FunkyGibbon Well-Known Member

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    I was just pointing out that the postage cost of a .PDF is zero.

    With regards to durability, you are completely correct in the short term. There's no significant danger of information loss. But in 500,000 years archeologists will most likely recover very little information from the last 500 years of history. Does that matter? Not really, but I find something poignant in it.
     
  11. Maguari

    Maguari Never could get the hang of Thursdays. Premium Member

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    That's fine for keeping files a few years, and for things that are widely kept, but if you don't continually update the format and storage medium of all digital data eventually some content will be lost. Forgotten passwords, changes to reading programs, operating systems - anyone who's ever opened up an Excel spreadsheet last saved a couple of versions ago will know that probably there are already features of the original that are no longer available. And that's even before considering the fact that most people's data will be lost to the world when they die - unless you make your own arrangements, beyond financial information and possibly photographs your data and records are unlikely to be anyone's priority until it's too late.

    I think the so-called 'digital dark age', in which the last two decades of history ends up being more poorly-represented by accessible records than the prior century, is probably not such a crazy idea.

    Of course, the real best-case from a historical survival position is for both physical and digital copies to exist (or to carve Zoo Grapevine into stone tablets ;) ).
     
  12. LaughingDove

    LaughingDove Well-Known Member

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    Rarely is data actually lost as software and hardware updates. The key advantage of digital information is the ease at which it can spread so one person forgetting a password or losing their data does not mean the loss of shared on the whole. And when software and hardware updates, there is always some sort of software or hardware available to update the data, and even if data becomes inaccessible by the user, it's still there to be accessed by someone who knows how to get at the raw data itself. When files get corrupted there are usually remote backups, often on the other side of the world, and the data can often be recovered anyway. The same can't be said for a library burning down.

    However I appreciate that the permanence of digital data storage into the more distant future is largely speculation. Mass data storage like this simply hasn't been around long enough to tell. I believe that although local storage of data is fragile, once information is widely distributed around the internet I think it is much more future proof and more permanent than physical stuff. Though I'm open to being proved wrong on all of this. We'll see in 50 years! :p

    Though I do completely agree with you that for now at least, having both digital and physical copies is generally best.
     
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  13. Maguari

    Maguari Never could get the hang of Thursdays. Premium Member

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    I guess my point is - do you really believe this is all happening for, for example, zoo maps? Or guides? Or non-mass market publications on any subject?

    We live in a world where future-proofing is a nice idea but rarely truely followed through. We have 97 missing episodes of Doctor Who, and 3 of Dad's Army - both massively successful shows but TV producers right up into the 70s didn't think it was worth keeping a copy. And this applies to dozens of other famous shows - The Avengers, The Likely Lads, The Sky at Night... even the BBC's coverage of the Apollo 11 moon landing only exists as fragments. Even today, with mass storage cheaper than ever, shows such as game shows and local news are regularly deleted for ever. And this from massive media organisations with a specific archive.

    So to think that, for example, Chester or Marwell are necessarily continually digitising and backing up and re-formatting their maps, guides and magazines (or constantly-changing apps!) to ensure they are retained is wishful thinking. The IZES is no-one's job - I struggle to think they have a lot of time or money to spend on this either.

    There's no reason data couldn't be retained digitally for decades - my main point is that, sadly, that doesn't mean it will be. Meanwhile, a paper copy can sit on a shelf minding its own business for decades without any work being needed and still be just as accessible.
     
    Last edited: 21 Mar 2017
  14. Crowthorne

    Crowthorne Moderator Staff Member

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    This might be of interest to some of you here. There has been a push lately in museums and archives to preserve digital material effectively for future accessibility. I went to a few talks at my old job about this, all very interesting, but with so much material being produced, and with so few existing guidelines, it will take a long time to make much headway.

    Home - Digital Preservation Coalition
     
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  15. MikeG

    MikeG Well-Known Member

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    Amen to that, bro' :)
     
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  16. devilfish

    devilfish Well-Known Member

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    I stand by my recommendation that you should join, from when we met up in June. :)
    I can't think of a more enjoyable regular publication than this magazine.
    Just about the postal system; Deer Forest is a member and has received his copies without any issues. :)
     
  17. MikeG

    MikeG Well-Known Member

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    Yes, reaching China usually isn't a problem. It's only in the most lawless and primitive corners of our globe - like Stoke-on-Trent - where we encounter difficulties...
     
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  18. LaughingDove

    LaughingDove Well-Known Member

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    Maybe it's not happening, but in an ideal world, I think we both agree stuff should be backed up digitally as much as possible, and even one backed up digital copy is better than none (and that was the original point of my argument). We're certainly moving in the right direction with digital data being preserved anyway, now it would be impossible for producers to get rid of all digital copies of even a moderately popular TV programme if they tried and of course continuing the trend more and more stuff will be backed up automatically on the internet with wayback machines and suchlike. The cost of backing up a PDF of all editions of the Zoo Grapevine to a cloud would probably be free and take minutes.

    I certainly agree that data storage and backing up could be better, but that's not a reason not to use it at all, and it's not a reason to think that it never will be.
     
  19. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    The latest issue is Spring 2017, and it consists of 46 large, glossy pages with a plethora of wonderful articles. Included:

    - 5 page review of Bioparque los Ocarros (a small zoo in Colombia)
    - 10 page article called "Visiting Dolphinaria in Japan - Part One"
    - 5 page review of Calgary Zoo (Canada's 2nd largest zoo)
    - 3 page overview of the new orangutan habitat at Barcelona Zoo
    - 3 pages on the breeding of the Sulawesi Forest Turtle
    - 2 pages of book reviews
    - plus another 18 pages of news, articles and essays

    Here is the society's newly designed website:

    http://www.izes.co.uk/
     
  20. Coelacanth18

    Coelacanth18 Well-Known Member

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    @snowleopard What does the review about Bioparque's giant armadillos, if anything? Anything about breeding or numbers?