Re: SOC/SCIENCE: Something Rotten at the Core of Science?

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Thu Apr 26 2001 - 03:45:21 MDT

Amara Graps wrote:
> I learned last Fall from an article in Physics Today (1) that several
> subfields of physics almost completely bypass the paper journals and rely
> on the Los Alamos Preprint Server (

I'd love nothing better than to see The Literature go online, and I think
the existing peer-review mechanism has serious problems, but this still
makes me uneasy. It only works as long as the vast majority of
contributors are already highly competent people - like Usenet in the days
when only scientists and programmers used the Internet. In essence,
they're taking the peer-reviewed authors and putting them straight to
LANL, and indeed this will work fine, until the day when thousands upon
untold thousands of non-peer-reviewed authors crash the system and the
whole thing goes the way of Usenet. Not only does this system need a
reputation manager, but I also want to see the reputation-manager problem
*thoroughly* solved, tested, and debugged for, say, the Extropian mailing
list, before we try replacing the peer review system. I am fully in favor
of the Open Archive initiative, but not if this is the consequence.

-- -- -- -- --
Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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