To: "Tony Russell" <>
Subject: science
From: "Scott O'Keeffe" <>
Date: Wed, 7 Mar 2001 14:47:43 +1000
Dear, oh dear!

What a lot of things Tony has read into my posting.  Twitching is in the
same league as stamp collecting. But where did I say this was a bad thing?
Did I say that people who collect never learn?  No.  Did I claim that no
enjoyment can be derived from collecting?  Did I claim that there is
something wrong with deriving enjoyment?  No.  Tony, not I, writes these
things.   And where did I say anything about contributions to science?  It
almost looks as if Tony has some sort of inferiority complex about
twitching, ticking, collecting, atlasing, or whatever it is that he does.
It is true that twitching contributes little, directly, to science.  Does
this mean I am claiming twitching is not a worthwhile pastime?  Certainly
not.   Am I arguing that you Tony be stopped, or that he is wasting his
time?  No.  I certainly did not say, or even imply that he has no right to
indulge in his interests?   All I have said is that twitching is not
scientific investigation, but that it is similar to various types of
collecting. I could just as easily put it the other way around- scientific
investigation is not similar to twitching.  Nor is science similar to
collecting cigar bands.  So what?  The statement nowhere implies that anyone
should be stopped from collecting cigar bands (which I have been known to
do).  I have, contrary to Tony's indignant reply, absolutely no interest in
stopping other people from 'living their lives', preventing them from
'exercising their rights' (to twitch?), etc.  If one looks at the two short
sentences I wrote, there is no suggestion that I would support any such
ridiculous position.  Any claim that I have is just ranting.

Tony, if you want to put your interests down, that is your affair.  But if
you want to reply to something I have written, please direct your comments
at what was actually said.  Where is the need for all this huffing and
puffing, and (apparent) moral indignation?

Scott O'Keeffe
Ecologist, collector, poet..... etc.

-----Original Message-----
 Behalf Of Tony Russell
Sent: 07 March 2001 13:03
To: Scott O'Keeffe
Cc: birds
Subject: science

What a terribly narrow view !
 If that's all you really see it as I feel sad for you because you seem to
be missing a point.
Of course science is important, but not everyone has scientific (or career
or conservation ) imperatives driving them along.
Some people birdwatch, twitch, atlas ( murky differentiations in there ) for
sheer joy of seeing birds, for the enjoyment of being out in the natural
environment with friends and associates of similar interests. To devalue
this is to imply that these are worthless things providing no benefit to the
participants.  Believe me, they are what keep some people going,
contribution to science/conservation or not.

We all have our individual lives and roles to live. We should allow others
the right
to think and behave differently, there's no need to put them down for it.

BTW, I also collect stamps, and in my youth collected bus and train
numbers - great fun, great cameraderie, friendly competition and great human
interaction. Contribution to science? - not a relevant question.
Adelaide birding by 4WD
phone: 08 8337 5959

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