fredag 16 januari 2015

Injelitis and "peer review"

"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".

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