Re: Understanding Academia

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Fri May 05 2000 - 02:58:03 MDT writes:

> In a message dated 5/4/00 11:40:03 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
> writes:
> > If an idea is genuinely new, then
> > there are not going to be a lot of "references" you can cite, and academics
> > love references since they have a community bonding function.
> I disagree. You will usually find references from people
> who have tackled this problem in the past, and from people
> who have tried techniques like yours in other fields and
> areas.

I agree with Curt. Even a totally radical new idea is linked to other
subjects, and a paper about it needs to both have links to explain the
subject it deals with, other theories to be shown less likely and
often a lot of standard references for basic data. In fact, the more
radical the theory, the more important it is to get the citation
apparatus working right since the paper and its conclusions will be
scrutinised severely.

> I would think citing such things would
> signal to reviewers you were a) familiar with the literature
> b) cognizant of how science works and c) not prone to
> claim credit for other's idea. I speak from logic, though,
> not experience.

Yes, this is true in practice too. In fact, one of the surest signs of
a crackpot theory is the complete absence of any references other than
a few written by the author.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

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