lördag 31 januari 2015
As shown in http://gettingsciencegoingagain.blogspot.se/2015/01/non-status-science-is-possible.html , hierarchical and authority-based "thought" ends where the ability to think scientifically begins. So when talking about theories having to be "understandable" to be scientific, a totally important counter-question is: understandable to who? By just vaguely defining "understandable", it could as well be argued that just because gorillas cannot understand a theory, the theory is not scientific. Demanding that theories must be understandable for gorillas in order to be scientific would cause science to cease to be science. Logically, this means that defining "scientific method" in a way adapted to be understandable to authority-believers also causes science to cease to be science. So defining "science" by reference to some kind of authority (which "peer review" does) is to abandon science.
fredag 16 januari 2015
"Peer review" very closely resembles what C Northcote Parkinson referred to as injelitis, more specifically stage 2. An organization organized around the snubbing of anyone or anything too competent for the controllers to control, and the diagnostic stage 2 symptom of being proud of a low mistake rate while ignoring the fact that it is due to getting little done. The only real difference between "peer review" and classic stage 2 injelitis is that "peer review" is organized in a way that makes it impossible for any masked competent person to get to a position of firing all incompetent people (there is no position for firing all incompetent people in "peer review") which makes spontaneous healing of the condition from within impossible. In this scale, the academic status obsession that existed even before compulsory pre-publication "peer review" induced major stagnation was stage 1 injelitis (the "no firing position" anatomical deviation had not yet developed by then). The currently discussed ideas of making "peer review" even stricter (even admitting that it would make research even slower, especially novel research, but still believing it to be worth it) closely resembles the description of the transition to stage 3 injelitis, the total extermination of the last traces of competence in an organization. If that happens, there will no longer be any idea in using the "no redundant publication" policy against itself, but the effort will instead have to be focused on organizing people fired from academia during the transition to stage 3 into doing real science without academia or "peer review".
torsdag 15 januari 2015
Advocates of "peer review" often claim that it prevents nonsense and ask what we should trust without it. The answer is that the question "what shall we trust" is a question for religitards and not for critical, scientific people. Science is for those who think critically about the actual content, not for those who want to believe in trustworthiness of specific institutions. "Scientific authority" is an oxymoron. When critical people see contradictions, they seek out more empirical data to form an opinion for themselves. That's how real science is done. While there may be a chance that some (maybe even many) people who do not do so can learn to do so, any attempts to use rules and institutions to give scientific "truth" to those who do not think critically is futile. And, if those attempts restricts the testing of theses and according changes of theories in any way, worse than futile. Uncritical people destroying themselves due to uncritical belief in nonsense is collateral damage compared to the horrendous disaster of "peer review" strangling the scientific method and freezing scientific progress.
söndag 11 januari 2015
Those who claim status thinking in science to be "inevitable" claim we have "brain modules" for status from ape ancestors. But advances have happened after Carl Sagan's death, e.g. discovery of neocortex homolog in brains of reptiles. Since other organs like skeletons evolve by modification of existing parts, organs of the same origin get totally different functions (not by preserving old bones unchanged and forming new bones for each new function) this is logic. Since directed emotions cannot exist without cognition recognizing what to direct it at, the concept of emotions existing independently of cognition and cognition being a mere tool is nonsense. Higher cognition evolves by improving that simple recognition, not as separate encapsulated modules. Claiming that intelligent people have "status brains" under their "analytical brains" is like claiming that penguings have "flying wings" under their "swimming wings". Since I am as smart as I am, I like being informed regardless if it means being told that I overlooked something and regardless of who informs me. I never want anyone to avoid commenting my theories out of politeness, at any level whatsoever.
lördag 10 januari 2015
The recent discussions about even stricter "peer review" as a purported "solution" to nonsensical publications is an example of an attempt to solve a problem with more of the same stuff that causes it. Status thinking, including all kinds of "do it because it is not forbidden", is inherently incapable of generating scientific progress. Even stricter review routines would only shift "peer review"'s paralysis from near-total to 100% total, avoiding mistakes by getting nothing done. The only positive thing that may lead to is showing the uselessness of all formal review systems, though there is a risk that "peer review" may keep falsely claiming credit for the continuing purely practical technological progress despite total theoretical-scientific stagnation. One-way sending of a paper for review cannot distinguish statusian bullshitting from scientific thinking. This distinction requires dialogue to detect, accepting only identity-neutral facts reasoning while discarding all "rationalization" of irrational claims.
torsdag 8 januari 2015
In recent years, official academia has became increasingly hostile to falsifiability. They use fallacious "reasoning" to ridicule it, e.g. false generalization. They claim that just because there are some cases where an empirical discovery have been claimed to debunk an entire "paradigm" but did not do so, that "proves" that there are no key discoveries that can entirely falsify theories. Examples are cited in some older blog posts, contrasting neutrinos on one hand to non-aether on the other. Another example is association fallacies. One example is to claim that viewing falsifiability as the definition of science would lead to belief in "intelligent design". There, they ignore JBS Haldane's point that for example a fossil rabbit in the precambrian would falsify evolution if discovered, and that "intelligent design" have never made any falsifiable predictions (claiming one designer for all of nature leaves no room for differences in intelligence with falsifiable effects). As if ignoring a few falsifications was not bad enough, academia's division into separate disciplines (enforced by "peer review"'s definitions of who is allowed to review what papers) means that theories that make lots of false predictions in many officially different disciplines are believed by peer reviewers to make only the predictions in their particular "field".
måndag 5 januari 2015
One of the worst pseudo-arguments used by ivory tower advocates, if not the worst one, is the one-way naturalistic fallacy. The fallacy consists of purporting to be of the opinion that a "should" cannot derive from a "is" and using it as a defense against accusations of one's theories supporting a particular political agenda, but at the same time accusing opposing theories of leading to a certain political agenda. The standard formulation of the fallacy is to say that not all followers of the opposing theory must support the political agenda in question and that the theory should not matter for the political views, but at the same time emptying those statements of relevance by claiming that public support of the opposing theory "increases the risk" of said political views. That is, effectively using arguments from putative adverse effects but camouflaging them under a disguise to hide the fallacies. Even worse, those who "argue" in that way invariably advocate theories that can be distorted into a political agenda just as easily as can the theories they oppose, but simply ignore that fact. Worse still, and this is why it is on a blog about getting science going again, the distinction between in-academia debate and public debate that is implicit in the fallacy is part of pro-ivory tower rhetorics.
lördag 3 januari 2015
While reductionism itself can be useful if used correctly, academic discipline distinctions guarantee that it is used incorrectly. Using reductionism in discipline-divided academia leads to explanations clustering at arbitrarily constructed demarcations between disciplines (the most "reduced" explanations at your side of the discipline limit). That explanative clustering is not scientific at all. In fact, it's as bad as religious fundamentalism. And by making peer status specific to arbitrarily-demarcated disciplines, peer review journals are main culprits behind that unscientific practise.
Some gorillas have scored 95 in IQ tests for adult humans by exploiting the fact that IQ tests focus on answering in time (turning their animalistic lack of time-"wasting" critical thinking to their advantage). Just like IQ tests, academic examination focuses on answering questions in time. The fact that scores are judged by what already-existing literature considers "correct" does not improve the situation. Since critical thinking is often considered obnoxious (especially if judged by uncriticals), lack thereof gives positive "social intelligence" points at employment interviews. This gives lots of uncriticals, whose fast answer speed is the only reason why they are not considered retarded, employment as "scientists", with peer status and egibility for reviewer status in their respective fields. And the greater number of reviewers at a journal is, the more closely the risk of at least one of them being a uncritical fool approximates 100%. Since journals with greater numbers of reviewers are considered more respectable by peer review standards, peer review respectability is measured in risk of uncritical fools stopping the publication of anything really intelligent.