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    Superluminal Knee Jerk A Symptom But Transparent Science Maybe Cure
    By Sascha Vongehr | October 9th 2011 10:03 AM | 29 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Sascha

    Dr. Sascha Vongehr [风洒沙] studied phil/math/chem/phys in Germany, obtained a BSc in theoretical physics (electro-mag) & MSc (stringtheory)...

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    The observations of faster than light neutrinos have stirred up much debate, but the most important is not pointed out. Seen in a wider context, the affair sheds yet again light on the rapid decay of the academic science machinery, a social construct where the quest for truth has given way to career gaming as well as plain political and monetary interests.

     

    In 2007, MINOS observed that neutrinos arrived faster than light over non-astronomical distances. That experiment carried a significance level of 1.8 standard deviations, which means in plain language: If this were a study on the safety of a new vaccine, doubting it would according to usual practice equal being called a silly Luddite who was deceived by quacks.


    The recent 2011 OPERA results, although often portrayed as just a one-off strange fluke, is actually a confirmation of the earlier MINOS experiment (UPDATE: more details here). And what a confirmation it is: A whopping confidence level of six standard deviations. There are no studies that disagree either, because supernova data do not tell us anything about short distance behavior of high energy neutrinos. Translated in terms of vaccine studies: Your doubting this study would make scientists call you publicly a baby killer.


    This is certainly not the first time that a new result goes against the standard interpretation of accepted scientific knowledge about space and time, not even in recent times. The first ether-drift experiment found none of the ether that science strongly believed in around 1900. That is why Michelson and Morley repeated the experiment. They confirmed the unexpected result with better accuracy a few years later. In the 1990s, observing the universe accelerating its expansion went against orthodox dogma. The observations were repeated and accepted after confirmation (they have even gotten a Nobel Prize).


    This article does not demand to go ahead and accept superluminal speeds. I have stated repeatedly and early on that I expect them to be a systematic error.

    Especially many interested in STEM subjects do not grasp that science does not float in a social vacuum, so I apologize to those who may not need to be told repeatedly in bold face what this article is not about:

    This discussion is not about light speed and it is valid regardless of whether speeding neutrinos turn out to be real! I already discussed elsewhere (use that mouse thingy with the clicky-di-click sound) that particles could go faster and what new experiments this suggests, why it does not imply time travel or violates causality, why it is somewhat expected for neutrinos, and why short-distance propagation with many times the speed of light is indicated. This discussion here is not about any of that; none of that matters here except perhaps for proving that superluminal neutrinos are scientifically less problematic than the non-existence of ether in 1907.


    The only aspect important here is the bare fact of that scientists outright reject an experimental, high confidence level confirmation of a previous result, all completed by many established scientists using the most advanced, checked and double-checked means available that usual money can’t even buy.


    Ever been in the presence of scientists and tried to point out similarities between science and religion? Here we have an experiment that very many established scientists worked on with super reliable instruments, getting significant confirmation of another, already significant experimental observation, with no obvious financial or political interest at stake, no oil lobby, no pharmaceutical shills, yet the majority of scientists simply refuse the result because it does not fit their belief system.


    Did you ever try and doubt the one or the other study where a relatively small number of people partially funded by a big corporation proved yet again with ‘scientific significance’, meaning often a mere standard deviation (one, not six) that vaccines are safe and alternative medicine is useless? Feel free to put your pet issue here, GMO, global warming if you like, whatever rocks your boat.

    (UPDATE: Indeed, two days after I wrote this, Global Warming deniers have in fact started to use the discussions around the Neutrino data in order to argue against global warming in the manner that is indicated in this very article here, see details in the response to people misreading this article.)


    Of course you (you, not them) won’t ever change your opinion about XYZ, because after so many years of being such a clever person, you have the only reasonable opinion about XYZ that all truly reasonable Scotsmen can possibly have, no doubt about that, I know. But you see, XYZ is also not the issue. The issue is that the public does not trust science anymore and Exxon oil or woo doctors are not the main culprits. Superstition and manipulation have always been around, but today they bloom because of the corrosion that is internal to modern science, systemic in the social construct which is called “science”.


    The public trust crisis that science suffers today is not the media’s or the politicians’ fault, but it is a reflection of that science itself is in a deepening crisis. It is corroded by the publish-or-perish (POP-science) culture and the decadence that comes with the increasing participation in power and exploitation. The public starts to recognize this and reacts to the sheer arrogance they encounter. Too often they trusted experts just to find out that they were fooled, their families’ health and safety compromised, sometimes for nothing more than a single scientist getting tenure while his conscientious competitor goes unemployed.


    Every single scientist knows from her own field that the amount of sheer rubbish being published nowadays is astounding. Especially the ‘reputable’ high impact journals are full of it. If you take a paper on nanotechnology and actually believe that what they found happens to be 10% better than the result the competition published a few months back, you are naïve. If you just go ahead and trust the latest medical research results, you are stupid to the extend of being a danger to your health!


    However, instead of facing up to these problems and asking for help with reforms, the scientific community behaves like the usual Middle East dictator: Hide the problems; silence the critics. Every occurrence that just cannot be hidden, like preposterous claims of arsenic based life making it all the way into the most prestigious journals, are downplayed as unfortunate hiccups or “bad apples” instead of what they really are: The tip of the iceberg and direct consequence of science being done the way it is done today. Funding, jobs, publishing, all of it is the same connections and money game dependent on small established cliques without any independent external oversight and no alternative to young scientists who would like to do good science without participating in systemic corruption.


    Only in rare events, when they are caught off guard, taken by surprise as in the case of the recent neutrino observations, do scientists ever reveal hidden aspects, like that they themselves hardly ever follow the so called “scientific method” they preach. The public may not understand much science, but you do not need to learn Latin in order to understand that the catholic priests talk Latin just so you won’t understand.


    Arrogance is the true trigger of violent revolt against callous power. The arrogance with which scientists suppress critics of the growing corruption in science is what turns the distrust of the public into direct action. Science is attacked where it is perceived to invade ruthlessly like a religious occupation force or totalitarian police state. Laboratories are burned down, GMO fields destroyed, maybe soon conferences attacked. People fear, and rightly so if science is not carefully explained enlightenment but dogma shoved down our throats by clearly interested parties.


    I am not an expert on climate or public health. They tell me that I should therefore trust the scientific consensus on global warming and vaccine safety as it is explained to the public. I am an expert on space-time physics and nanotechnology. In both these fields, I know that the scientific consensus as it is portrayed to the public, whether it is on the safety of nanotechnology or the unassailable truth of orthodox relativity for example, are distortions, to say it euphemistically. How can I tell you to trust the consensus on something so politically volatile and economically important as medicine or climate; how can I possibly do such an irresponsible thing if in all the fields I actually know about, relatively unimportant and innocent fields at that, much of the “scientific consensus” as it is portrayed is basically convenient bullshit that sells?


    Will science get ever worse like evolution may generally predict (after all, science belongs to the selective perception apparatus of evolving super-organisms)? Can there be a turnaround, perhaps a Jasmine Spring of Science where young researchers just cannot take any more of the exploitation they themselves must endure in order to suck their way up in the hierarchy? Can science ever again embrace what it was based on, namely transparency (looking as objectively as possible at unbiased data)?


    Transparency has become the new battle cry, the slogan of Wikileaks and for example the Pirate Party (Piraten Partei), a political party that has gotten a surprisingly large number of votes recently in Germany, coming out of nowhere, much like The Greens before (or the tea party if you prefer). Maybe “Transparent Science” will someday be as well known as “Green Science”.


    Whatever the answer, I have promised many times to write future-relevant straight shit on the next level. After doing some thinking and encouraged by the uprisings against Western backed dictatorships in the Middle East and the increased rioting in the Western pseudo-democracies, all with transparency being one of the most important, and not surprisingly most consistently by the media ignored demands, I have decided that transparent science will become more to me than just explaining science clearly. Maybe it is as useless as life itself, but perhaps our practicing and solidarity concerning transparency can hold the neo-dark ages at bay for a little while. For starters, making the suppression of criticism via so called “peer review” public is long overdue, and maybe yet more researchers will join to expose this snake nest of opaqueness if I just join in and also start to shine some light.


    Sure, the establishment discusses such topics at times:
    The question therefore is whether the scientific community would benefit from knowing retrospectively what has been discussed during peer review, at least for those papers that do get published. Nature: Transparency in peer review

    Sorry my laughing out loud dear editor gods, but critique that is suppressed does not get published! We need transparency and the only way to get it is putting what they do not want you to see out there for everybody to see. Stay tuned.

    --------------------------------------------

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    Comments

    Gerhard Adam
    ...yet the majority of scientists simply refuse the result because it does not fit their belief system.
    They should.  Our belief systems are responsible for creating skepticism in the first place, so I don't have a problem with such a basic comparison.  This is precisely the reason why skepticism was immediately expressed regarding the arsenic-based life paper.  From this, additional investigation helped make the criticism more solid and helped expose some of the deficiencies.  If additional observations and data confirm the result, then clearly the belief system must be modified or they would be guilty of advancing scientific dogma.

    I fully agree with you regarding increased transparency, and would argue that all papers should be made available and that there be no special privileged position for "peer-review".  After all, if the peer-reviewed papers are largely rubbish, then what's the point?  Information, like evolution, works best when natural selection occurs and while there may be many false starts and blind alleys, the most successful interpretation of the data (i.e. the most useful) will invariably rise to the top.  Any caveats about popular opinions or hype dominating the public view are already being violated, so there's nothing gained by withholding information (in the interest of "peer-review" or because it is considered too technical).

    There are already enough opportunities for crackpots and speculative theories to get aired, but what's missing is to have a ready source of scientific papers available for public review.  We already have enough innuendo and conspiracy theories, so the risk of "bad science" being published is an irrelevant concern. 

    In my view the concept of peer-review is fundamentally flawed, because it attempts to create an "argument from authority" position in science.  Basically, that by being peer-reviewed, a paper acquires a level of authority over other sources of information without any actual confirmation that it is correct.

    In any case, I can think of no circumstance where withholding information has ever produced a good result.
    Mundus vult decipi
    vongehr
    "yet the majority of scientists simply refuse the result because it does not fit their belief system."
    They should.
    Yes they should. But why are those who do the same if it comes to their belief systems called out as unscientific? If it is fine for scientists to have knee jerk reactions against what questions their dogma, even in case of such evidence, then it should be fine elsewhere, too.
    This is precisely the reason why skepticism was immediately expressed regarding the arsenic-based life paper.
    If skepticism would have been "immediately expressed", how could it have made it through the long process all the way up to and through peer review at Science (nobody just submits to Science as a first step, that this is not how it works even if you found the holy grail of science)? No skepticism was expressed where it counts, not when "giving Felise a job", not when funding her, and certainly not during peer review. That nonsense having made it to the top implies a lot of other stuff that should be in Science has been rejected along the way for the same reasons: Connections, just they did not have them.
    there be no special privileged position for "peer-review".  After all, if the peer-reviewed papers are largely rubbish, then what's the point?
    We need peer review; there are too many crackpots. But we need scientific peer review and not social peer review. We need to base it on scientific arguments. Peer review now is just scientific when it does not matter anyway. Where it matters, it is sometimes scientific on the surface, but often not even that. The rejection is already decided after the reviewer reads the abstract and has figured out whether he/she likes the author or not. Especially critical papers are rejected just like that - reviewers do not even care to acknowledge the main arguments of a critical paper.
    the most successful interpretation of the data (i.e. the most useful) will invariably rise to the top.
    Yes, correct. But "the most useful" to who or what? As of now, it is squarely the most useful to the interest of an established in-crowd, for example the personal gain of editors and friends and the financial success of their journal. If you mean a time scale of twenty years or so: Also somewhat true, but scientists need to eat. They cannot wait twenty years and then finally eat. What happens is that after twenty years, the very people who made you unemployed will take the credit for your work they rejected!
    There are already enough opportunities for crackpots
    We do not want to have rubbish in the journals but instead the good stuff that is suppressed. Nothing to do with crackpots.
    In my view the concept of peer-review is fundamentally flawed, because it attempts to create an "argument from authority" position in science.
    That is how it is today, but I think it does not have to necessarily be that way. If the "authority" would be the scientific method for example, if reviewers were required to at least read the papers and prove it by giving a charitable/sympathetic introduction that acknowledges what the author aims at, the situation would be better already. As of now, peer review works only like this where it does not count; where it actually counts, it is pure power games.
    Gerhard Adam
    If it is fine for scientists to have knee jerk reactions against anything that scratches their dogma, even in case of such evidence, then it should be fine elsewhere, too.
    I don't think it is a problem.  It only becomes a problem when it persists after information/data is provided and it still continues.  Usually the problem in religious beliefs, is that the standard of scientific data isn't applied and yet the results are supposed to be accepted as scientific.  If someone wants to believe the creation story in place of evolution then that's fine.  However, when that creation story is presented as a scientific alternative, then we have a problem.
    If skepticism would have been "immediately expressed", how could it have made it through the long process all the way up to and through peer review at Science
    I understand your point.  Mine was only to consider the responses after the paper was published. 
    The rejection is already decided after the reviewer reads the abstract and has figured out whether he/she likes the author or not.
    I suppose it would be appropriate to ask why names are even attached to an article being reviewed?  I imagine that the authors can probably be guessed based on the natural of the article, but that might still be an improvement. 

    I was just thinking that it would be interesting if all the rejected articles (and the reasons for rejection) were published in an open journal.  It might be interesting to see how reviewers behave when they realize that their rationale for rejection was publicly available.

    In effect, it seems that the underlying problem is that reviewers are essentially anonymous with little or no accountability.  If that portion of it were made more transparent, then it seems that it might help in cleaning up some of the social power trips.
    Mundus vult decipi
    vongehr
    I suppose it would be appropriate to ask why names are even attached to an article being reviewed?  I imagine that the authors can probably be guessed based on the natural of the article
    Even with blind review, one immediately knows whether the author is established or not for example, and if he is established, who it is (even in larger fields, of course easy in small fields where everybody knows everybody else). Established people leave those little hints that you have no way of putting (e.g. certain references). If you have a novel criticism that neither belongs to one or the other established camp, you are basically automatically crackpot belonging "not to my camp".
    I was just thinking that it would be interesting if all the rejected articles (and the reasons for rejection) were published in an open journal.  It might be interesting to see how reviewers behave when they realize that their rationale for rejection was publicly available.
    In effect, it seems that the underlying problem is that reviewers are essentially anonymous with little or no accountability.  If that portion of it were made more transparent, then it seems that it might help in cleaning up some of the social power trips.
    Yes, this is what I think and wrote to Hank below. Not a big journal and all rejected articles (that would be impossibly much) but selected rejections that clearly show that the editors/reviewers of certain "respectable" high impact journals clearly do not give a shit about science or academic integrity.
    Halliday
    Sounds like we could use a sort of "Wikileaks" of science, or, at least, of science publishing.
    Hank
    I've said many times, we can create any journal anyone wants.  Null results? We can make that journal.  Rejection letters?  The same.  The problem would remain most scientists like it the way it is so new exposes would get a cold response.  Wikileaks had a market because a lot of people hate America and a loon like Assange could get attention, but if 95% of America were George Bush fans he would have gotten no press.   
    > Wikileaks had a market because a lot of people hate America

    Dontcha mean hate the disgusting Palpatine impersonators that are currently running America? Doesn't matter whether Snownose Bush or the Magic Multiracial Constitutional Law Lecturer is in charge. It's going downhill all the way,

    More loons, please!

    The best part, it places the public on par with science to speculate in real time. We all are "speculative crackpot's" equally at this point. To say the system is in error is as "Crackpot" as much as anything since no one really knows. It's sort of like a roulette table with everyone placing bets right now waiting for the ball to drop!!!.

    My own "crackpot speculation" all my chips are on HEISENBERG!!!!. If I"m right, everyone that did the easy bet " Errors are in the system" are idiots. Anyone can say that, that is not science, but dogma. If I am right, well then QM and relativity are reconciled at uncertainty in some new and primary way. If I am wrong, well then, a bet on Heisenberg, is better than a bet on dogma, both are equally "speculative, and crackpot" at this point in time due to "uncertainty"....

    Gerhard Adam
    I'm a bit reluctant to pronounce people as idiots, or call their views dogma.  At this point they are simply a perspective that will be shown to be true or not.  Then if they still persist, such a label might be appropriate.

    The distinction between a "crackpot" and simply speculating or being wrong, is that the latter position is based on the unknown.  The former is based on refusing to accept what is known.
    Mundus vult decipi
    vongehr
    Sorry to be harsh David, but you seem to be exactly the kind of person I meant with poor reading comprehension and not grasping the social aspects of science. My article is not about bets on "HEISENBERG!!!!". It is about the growing public distrust of science, about vaccination rates going below herd immunity, about conscientious scientists losing their jobs.
    "The distinction between a "crackpot" and simply speculating or being wrong, is that the latter position is based on the unknown. The former is based on refusing to accept what is known"

    Well I'm only using terms bandied around by physicist's and scientist's, like the religious use the term heretic. To me they have no real meaning actually but are collective agreements only made into sounds. I"m not autistic/aspergers but syntesthete so words have no "real" fixed true meaning definitively for me. Websters' isn't "real" just like math isn't "real" but collective agreement based on neurology is all. Your statement runs directly counter to Shechtman's own experience when he discovered quasicrystals within the peer group of chemistry. He definitely was treated as a crackpot and idiot, or heritic at the time, and he just won the Nobel this year.

    i think Socrates, in Meno is probably more clear on this, but sophistry whether it be in science or religion is consistently the same probably due too academics and the nature in how it's carried out. Aspergers has an extremely hard time with uncertainty, and thus math, language formalization becomes foundationally true or real, which is always false just based on simple bare eyed observational-ism of nature itself.

    Gerhard Adam
    He definitely was treated as a crackpot and idiot, or heritic at the time, and he just won the Nobel this year.
    I have no doubt that people may be treated that way, but my comment was simply to indicate what the differing criteria are.  Not how people may be treated.

    After all, there is a difference between being treated AS a crackpot and actually being one.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Hank
    I already discussed elsewhere (use that mouse thingy with the clicky-di-click sound) that particles could go faster and what new experiments this suggests
    I suppose I am not supposed to laugh in parts of this, but I still did.
    I have decided that transparent science will become more to me than just explaining science clearly. Maybe it is as useless as life itself, but perhaps our practicing and solidarity concerning transparency can hold the neo-dark ages at bay for a little while.
    And why not?  More 'me too' stuff won't get read very well.
    vongehr
    Well, maybe I am somehow mislead by that most people who click on the articles got here by accident and hurry away after a few seconds. However, looking at the hits (say 25 000) on certain articles that can actually only be properly understood when first reading other, linked articles (that still only have maybe 4 000 hits), it seems that people are unable to use the mouse when it counts. Comments confirm this interpretation.
    And why not? More "me too" stuff won't get read very well.
    Not sure what you are saying. I was thinking of perhaps a new science2.0 column that is dedicated to publishing rejection letters of well known journals that clearly show that the editors/reviewers do not give a shit about science. I would start with those I get, do a careful analysis of why the particular rejection should be totally unacceptable to a genuinely scientific community regardless the paper's content, and then see whether others submit similar stuff. Maybe a lot of work to sort out those of crackpots being fairly rejected, but on the other hand, it may become popular and actually make the editors more careful about hiding obviously unfair treatment of critical papers. Chances are small, but if we do not start at all ...
    Sascha,

    The general public doesn't distrust science because of problems with peer review. They don't even know what peer review is. They distrust science because honest, financially independent scientists tell them one thing, and then a paid "scientist" hack from Exxon tells them the opposite. With their complete lack of understanding in science, they perceive this disagreement as "they both don't know the hell what they're talking about." The cure for this is difficult and it surely involves punishing people who lie for money and power.
    Peer review prevents a lot of trash from being published in influential journals, but it also does bad things sometimes. I like the idea of having the reviews published along with the article. If I had known that the reviews I've done would be published, I would have spent more time and care in doing them.
    Keep up your good writing. I do indeed detect a dedication to telling-it-like-it-is, and I usually learn a lot from your articles.

    Hank
    They distrust science because honest, financially independent scientists tell them one thing, and then a paid "scientist" hack from Exxon tells them the opposite. 
    You're contending if a young scientist leaves the world of academia and joins Exxon, he becomes magically unethical.  That sort of disastrous groupthink is what has caused the world of academia to become overtly political.  Sascha's point is different from yours; he sees just as much confirmation bias in academia as he sees elsewhere.

    There are few financially independent scientists and income should not be equated to honesty. 
    No, I did not contend that all Exxon-employed scientists are unethical. In fact, I worked on oil and gas exploration technology for twenty-two years and considered and still consider myself to have done it ethically. Toward the end of that tenure, as I came to understand the issues of global warming and climate change, I told anyone who would listen that it was high time to get on with renewable energy. It's way past time that anybody, employed by any industry, should accept and spread that message. Most of my oil-and-gas friends understand that and would tell you so even though they still get paychecks from big oil.
    I do think, however, that when a person identified as a scientist or engineer appears in an Exxon commercial and tells us that all is well with burning lots of fossil fuel, then he is either lying or maybe just very misinformed by his employer and friends, and hasn't bothered to check what he is saying.
    I just read an excellent article that touches on this topic at Would Things Be Different If the Public Had Perfect Information on Climate Science and Solutions .

    BTW, I am wrong to refer to Exxon in particular in my comments. I have no personal knowledge of how they compose their commercials, how they choose the content, nor do I know any spokesperson directly. I apologize. I should have framed my comments with respect to a hypothetical company so as not to distract from my intended comment on how the public perceives conflict in the scientific community..

    vongehr
    Well, at least we agree half way with that Exxon isn't the main problem (as I wrote literally above). ;-)
    UvaE
    The "Philosophical Basis of Peer review and the Suppression of Innovation" by David F. Horrobin, was written with the biomedical sciences in mind, but it really applies to all sciences. Here's the abstract:

    Peer review can be performed successfully only if those involved have a clear idea as to its fundamental purpose. Most authors of articles on the subject assume that the purpose of peer review is quality control. This is an inadequate answer. The fundamental purpose of peer review in the biomedical sciences must be consistent with that of medicine itself, to cure sometimes, to relieve often, to comfort always. Peer review must therefore aim to facilitate the introduction into medicine of improved ways of curing, relieving, and comforting patients. The fulfillment of this aim requires both quality control and the encouragement of innovation. If an appropriate balance between the two is lost, then peer review will fail to fulfill its purpose.,

    Halliday
    Enrico:

    I wholeheartedly agree that
    ... Peer review must therefore aim to facilitate the introduction into [whatever science] [improvements in that science]. The fulfillment of this aim requires both quality control and the encouragement of innovation. If an appropriate balance between the two is lost, then peer review will fail to fulfill its purpose.
    However, I would contend that even if peer review focused solely upon quality control, of the submissions, without attempting to "screen" dissenting opinion/evidence/ideas/etc., such would be a significant improvement all by itself.  Of course, once one adds in the requirement of "encouragement of innovation", the system can't help but improve by "leaps and bounds", compared to what it appears to have become.

    David
    vongehr
    There is no need for the public to know anything about peer review in order for peer review to greatly participate in the corruption of science so that the effects include public distrust. The public mainly perceives the "scientific consensus" as it is portrayed to them (and media do not totally distort what scientists tell them). This "consensus" is stabilized by peer review for example.
    Peer review prevents a lot of trash from being published in influential journals
    No, it sadly does not. In fact, even influential and mainstream people (you know, acceptable folk, not little punks like me) have lately pointed out that the worst trash makes it always into Science and Nature. Peer review actually does work well sometimes. I just saw last week a rejection that was very well founded and where I agreed completely. However, it is mostly where it matters relatively little. Whenever there is critique however, when charitable reading matters most, peer review ensures that it is silenced.
    dorigo
    Dear Sascha,

    I am not too surprised by your tirade, but you do sound a bit like a disgruntled would-be scientist who throws stones at the system who rejected him. I just said you sound like one, so please don't get upset -I know you have an easy trigger. But may I ask you what's your H-index ?

    Getting to the point, I have two objections to make, which I think take down your main criticism. Since they are a bit long, I put them in my blog, please see here.

    Best,
    T.

    vongehr
    Well, I read your "objections", and I answered you there already: I am sad to see how you went straight into the reading-comprehension trap that I predicted especially STEM people will fall into. Yes, it is hard to see stuff in a wider, social context, isn't it? Especially if there is the real danger that one may find something that may topple one's core beliefs, the house of cards one stacked up to reach heaven.
    have an easy trigger
    I do not have an easy trigger at all. This is straight confirmation of your arrogance and very much the same as for example the arrogance of those religious people who are also so comfortable with their majority position that they go ahead and call every agnostic an immoral piece of trash but then feel all insulted and come with charges of "easy triggers" and what not if one points out very calmly certain obvious problems with their logic.
    Let me in on a little secret: You are far less clever than you think you are. It is not what you know that makes you clever, it is knowing what you do not know. You have such a self-reenforcing tunnel vision (selective perception) that you did not even understand the main gist of the post above while many readers who may have less bare IQ understood well even the finer points.
    There is much youthful anger in you.

    But ultimately what's the FRACKING POINT?

    Wanna reform the peer-review system? Get rid of old fogeys in science? Get rid of Bad Science? I classify this under "about as hard as revoking Peace Nobel prizes and deprogramming people from Keynesiansim/Socialism."

    But ultimately, who cares? Life goes on.

    Incidentally, what happened to the "variant alpha" results?

    H-Index is a measure of your popularity not the impact of the science that you do.

    Perhaps we could also note the arrogance of comparing h-indexes for, say, an experimentalist from a large collaboration to a theorist.

    Sasha

    I can't help but notice that you seem to reply to a lot of comments with the observation that the commenter hasn't understood your argument. Do you think this might be because, in fact, you don't communicate clearly?

    Also, when accusing people of arrogance and/or lack of intelligence, perhaps 'it takes one to know one'?

    What I like about science is that truth will out, in spite of the rants. And the 'oppression' of dissent has a long and respected history (I'm thinking Jeans/Chandrasekhar, among others).

    But, I respect your intention to purge science of the old boy network mentality. I just don't think, in the long term, it's going to make any difference.

    Phil

    vongehr
    commenter hasn't understood your argument. Do you think this might be because, in fact, you don't communicate clearly?
    Nobody can communicate so as to circumvent the selective perception apparatus of those who have already made up their mind that whatever is not on their side must be on the other side in some sort of black-or-white game. How often can I possibly repeat that this is not about that FTL neutrinos should be accepted? There is also a limit on the length of articles that are read at all given short internet age attention spans.
    when accusing people of arrogance and/or lack of intelligence, perhaps 'it takes one to know one'?
    Who accused people of lack of IQ? I always point out that the most problematic is the selective perception of high IQ people. You just did not let that enter your memory - which proves my point.
    What I like about science is that truth will out, in spite of the rants.
    If you want science to help with urgent problems, maybe it should be trustworthy without a 50 to 100 year time lag. Public distrust is an extremely important issue in a techno-world that tries to decide via democracy (see Wisdom of Crowds and Democracy). Moreover - those conscientious young scientists that are weeded out cannot forgo eating for 30 years. The truth coming out eventually does not help them and their not participating certainly does not accelerate science.