Collection location: Jack Creek, Deschutes National Forest, Jefferson Co., Oregon, USA [Click for map]
Collector(s): Candace Parmer
Determiner: Joseph D. Cohen
Original Determination: Sarcosphaera coronaria
Other Habitat & Locality Notes:
Other Specimen Notes: no mushroom photo available
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Pictures are far more verifiable, when someone posts pictures of insects from Mexico and try to say they were found in Texas to get past bugguide’s location restrictions (Which MO is best without) they will be called out on it. I’m not trying to claim these empty records are entirely useless to everyone, just that they don’t have any use for the MO community as a whole and at worse even hurt the distribution maps. I know there have been some talks about not including imageless observations in the maps, but I’m not sure much has been done to put that in place yet. As far as professionals go, many won’t even spend more than a moment if you can’t provide them with an actual specimen, but that’d be just silly for MO which is a collection of digital photos.
Really though, all I wanted to say is that Joe is capable of doing better and he’d be better off spending his time working on that instead of photographing pieces of paper to post on MO.
MO is good as it is. I would not put any restrictions on what should be or not should be posted as observations. If you look at MO users’ profiles and their postings, you can very quickly assess levels of their mycological knowledge and experience. Leave MO as it is!
1. So that the tone doesn’t get too hot, I urge anyone who adds to this thread — or adds any Comments to MO on any topic — to measure their words, keeping them objective and non-personal. Some threads I’ve seen on MO are snarky, insulting, or otherwise over the top. Although I lack empirical evidence, I expect that tends to discourage participation in MO by both professionals and amateurs.
2. Let’s assume that no professional mycologist would waste a second on an imageless, specimen-less Observation. It doesn’t follow, and I don’t believe that Byrain argues — he can correct me if I misunderstood, that such Observations are absolutely useless to everyone. I posted these Observations (22 of them) because they are useful to me and some other people.
3. It’s clear that such Observations are less valuable than Observations accompanied by a good specimen or a good image.1 How much less? I don’t know and cannot quantify. I’d prefer to work toward something which lets people filter out — from all their views of MO: User Activity, Comments, Names, Maps, etc. — stuff that seems useless to them.
1 Consider whether:
(a) an imageless Observation, determined by someone reliable is less valuable than
(b) an Observation with an image (perhaps a poor image) determined by someone unreliable.
The best observation on this site is only a digital rendition of light that bounced off an object through a lens onto a sensor interpreted by a processor compressed into a jpeg bound by the confines of the sRGB color space resulting in a collection of pixels on a screen translated by the rods and cones in the eye and processed by the visual cortex into what, on faith, we believe was, once upon a time ago, a fungus. Who’s to say that image wasn’t lifted from somewhere else on the web, or it simply wasn’t photographed when and where the uploader said it was?
I not only try to encourage users here to be more thorough in their documentation, I have borderline berated them (Observation 86475, Observation 10957). You’re preaching to the site’s unofficial frasser about frassing. I am not promoting that observations be name proposals and photographs slips of paper. I am defending the stated intentions of the site and its developers, namely that contributions need not necessarily be accompanied by photography or an herbarium specimen in order to be posted and preserved. Users also need not agree with any name proposal offered up by anyone else, original uploader or otherwise. If you cannot, will not believe Joe Cohen and Candace Parmer that they collected Sarcosphaera coronaria or anything remotely like it on May 10th, 2014 at Jack Creek, Deschutes National Forest, Jefferson Co., Oregon, USA, propose Undetermined and let the votes fall where they may.
Then again, observations of this type aren’t intended to be debated. Not everyone uploads with the purpose of gathering input from the community on what they believe the observation is or isn’t, not always at least. Adolf thinks he’s landed a diss by calling this a glorified spreadsheet cell. That’s more or less exactly what it is, and so what? I’ve made observations just like these for forays where something was seen but not photographed or deposited, and I’ve given it the best conservative guess I can. They’ll never be deleted. They serve a purpose, if only for me and me alone. They record a what, where and when.
Sorting observations based on their degree of documentation would solve this problem completely. Instead of prohibiting the less-than-perfect, incentivize the excellent.
Yea, you are making more sense now Danny, but really your arguments are outright silly like that quote of the day, inconsequential, or even misleading. Sure, you and others have tried to explain your views, but so far they are entirely unconvincing, especially when compared with the compelling example bugguide sets with their quality control. And I have not once claimed anyone should be banned, Joe has several observations I would argue against being deleted as I would for everyone else who has participated in this discussion. Saying things like that makes me wonder how well you understand how bugguide runs things? Posting frassable images is not a bannable offense, it merely results in the image being moved, an explanation of why, and any identification help if possible, I have had a few images frassed there myself.
Now, I’m only trying to discuss this and get others to honestly consider the issue, I have no power or desire to force it… And so back to the main point, this is an observation of a non-fungal piece of paper that may or may not represent something that was once upon a time ago fungal, that can’t be verified and thus the data loses almost all value and even contributes negatively to the distribution maps causing them to be less valuable too. Again, no professional biologist would waste a second with these as the only thing we can do is rehash this dead horse as is being so perfectly demonstrated here. So I ask, why are we wasting our time with these?
Those least acquainted with the less than perfectly documented observations on the site are the least qualified to judge them.
I’ll keep it simple.
1. The observations you think are worthless aren’t. Christian, myself, the creators of this site and others have explained why over and over again.
2. Those least acquainted with the less than perfectly documented observations on the site are the least qualified to judge them.
3. Joe’s observations are as welcome as yours or mine. They fall well within the parameters of what Mushroom Observer is and it’s intended use(s) (http://mushroomobserver.org/observer/intro, paragraph 1). In this case it’s documenting a what, when and where on the authority of a mycological society identifier. We call that data. If you don’t like it, if Adolf doesn’t like it, don’t look at it. I support the implementation of filters like the ones Joe humbly suggested, so that observations can be distinguished and differentiated by their degree of documentation. I do not support banning people or their observations which fail to meet the criteria of a select few irate users.
I’ll have a careful look at bugguide. But probably not for another month or so; too much on the calendar now and then will be out of town.
Joe, while you may think these records are useful, the truth is they are not, any professional wouldn’t spend a moment considering them and they will only serve to make the useful observations harder to find not mention further alienate any professional mycologists that may find their way here. We don’t need the admins for you to kindly delete them. Pleas take a look at bugguide, their guide, ID request, and frass sections. There is a reason they have so many professional entomologists at the very least responding to e-mails from bugguide users.
Christian, just because I am disagreeing with you does not mean I don’t understand you, I’m sure I have told you this before…
myxomop, I’m afraid you spent so much time wording those paragraphs that w/e point you originally had has been so obscured I haven’t a clue what it is…
I am glad that you enjoy Joe’s label postings. Do you want to see our lists as well? Piecemeal, I mean.
As perhaps the only user — me, not you — to routinely go through the backlog of this site, the “pile of useless observations,” as you call it, I regret to inform you that you have no idea what you’re talking about. In this case, I’m grandma, and these are my eggs, and your going on about how I’m supposed to suck them can only serve to further embarrass you.
There is not a single observation on this website that I don’t see, if only in thumbnail form from the activity log or specific search results. I have had internet access for about four weeks (cumulatively) in 2014 so far. When time has been afforded to me, I have combed through the several hundred pages of site activity I’ve missed during periods of being away, in the field or elsewhere; proposing, voting, commenting, flagging and assigning to species lists observations requiring attention. I know this “pile” you speak of better than anyone. That you consider it useless is evidence of your profound unfamiliarity with it, and with Mushroom Observer as a whole.
In that “pile” are extraordinary pieces of internet real estate. The “pile” itself is in considerably more organized shape than you think. It colors in the pages of this website in ways you clearly have not taken the time to appreciate. I recommend that you do, particularly before you decide to speak out against it again.
As for the merits of the “wide inbox, narrow outbox” dynamic in data collection, that case has been made in every shape, color and size elsewhere on this site, again and again. Unfortunately, the effect appears to have been less than impressive.
I am using Mushroom Observer for storing all the visual material (photographs, microphotos and drawings) that goes with our real herbarium specimens. I suggested to Nathan to make another version of MO that would not accept specimens without a corresponding herbarium collection and I called such a system “Mushroom Observer Plus”. Nathan rejected my suggestion and he suggested to call my system “Mushroom Observer Minus”. I would not mind to call it “Mushroom Observer Minus”, but something should be done before MO sinks under the pile of useless observations.
I don’t see any reason why one would use MO for something that the ordinary programs (such as Excel or MS Word) would handle better. Adolf
this kind of contribution has always been accepted, is currently accepted, and will not likely ever not be accepted on the site, despite the indignant outcry of some. I, for one, wouldn’t wish it to be any different. your suggestions with regard to user preferences are sound ones. there are many stories along similar lines over at https://www.pivotaltracker.com/s/projects/224629.
My use case for these Observations: At a minimum — they track: what was seen, when, and where. It’s like keeping notes without photographs, with the additional advantages that: the notes are searchable, they are viewable by anyone, and they are integrated with other features MO, e.g., the Name database, Species Lists.
I realize that some people don’t find that useful, and may even find it irritating. But it is (at least at present) an allowable use of MO. So, I will consider your comment, but at least for the present cycle, will complete the posting of imageless Observations. (I have about 20 left.)
(1) If you can find enough support in the MO community, get the MO policy changed. E.g., ban imageless Observations (and/or perhaps a few other things, e.g., Locations bigger than a county or some maximum area).
(2) Even better, each MO user should have the ability to select (in Preferences) one or more filters. For instance, a user could filter out Observations which have no images. (I think that would be relatively easy to implement.) Another idea: give each Observation a “reliability” score — based on the ID of the voters, the strength of the vote, presence of photos, maybe photo quality. You could then filter out Observations below a chosen threshold. (The filters might give us something like the “MO Professional Version” suggested by Adolf Ceska.)
it’s based on the evidence of your continued comments.
Excel ‘works’ (sort of) as a record keeper. But so does MO, and it’s an actual database that dynamically relates a lot of items beyond the record (and it’s public, georeferences, searchable)
See link here if you still don’t see the difference
I really do not appreciate when someone assumes what I do or do not understand, please do not do that. Excel would work fine for these non-observations.
you still don’t get it.
That said, here’s a suggestion for OMS:
Make a species list for these, so you can pull up all the
species found at the Jack Creek Foray as a single list.
If you want help doing so, message me and I’ll show you how.
Please stop spamming MO with your useless observations, its highly unappreciated and only helps drive quality posters away.
Created: 2014-06-06 21:33:09 0300)
Last modified: 2014-09-06 18:53:29 0300)
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