Re: Understanding Academia

From: Steve (
Date: Sat May 06 2000 - 09:45:11 MDT

>Date: Fri, 05 May 2000 12:47:22 -0400
>From: Robin Hanson <>
>Subject: Re: Understanding Academia

>steve-nichols wrote:
>>... I have always refused to submit any of my MVT (Median Vision Theory)
>>material to any academic journals ..... mainly because they don't pay
>>much but expect all the reproduction rights. Since I am not a "career
>>academic" publishing in these journals and playing the silly game you
>>detail, always seemed pointless to me. I prefer to retain my own
>>...In my case, MVT offers a solution to the hard/ mind problem in
>>which reduces all the second-order theorising and "made-up names" that
>>comprises the "Analytic" school of philosophy. Academics want to
>>problems, not solve them ... it simply isn't in their interest to shorten
>>their "philosopher's debate."

>It seems to me that you *are* playing in the academic game, even if you
>don't realize it.

But the point is whose rules .... I am outside the academic journal loop, so
might be said to playing *against* the academic game rather than in it. I
aim for a big inter-theoretic reduction that will shake-up many academics.

Academia has succeeded across many centuries as remaining
>the most authoritative source people turn to when asking abstract

Along with the various Churches &c, yes, it has been the "establishment" in
the human-era past, but with the post-human age will not necessarily
continue to have authority. It must earn this authority constantly by being

... if academics are wrong surely they forfeit authority?

>You can see this by seeing who reporters ask, or policy makers ask, when
>want to ask a question about an area they don't know very well.

Which makes a different point that maybe the *reporters* are the
idea-formers ... I am certainly going the TV route with my new MVT
documentary ... although I do include interviews with prominent academics in

 And you
>can see by who people give money to in order to help abstract questions get
>better answered.

They can get it for free off the internet maybe ....

Although we might think we see lots of inefficiencies in
>how it works, we must acknowledge that it has so far beat most competitors
>hands down in the niche it competes for.

What competitors are you talking about here? Academia only seems to compete
amongst itself.

>If you are trying to convince the world you have a better approach to the
>mind body question, you are most certainly competing most directly with
>academics. You may be choosing a different strategy from they, but you
>are playing the same game: convincing people you are an authority on an
>abstract topic.

I prefer to develop (and use) applications developed from MVT to change
people's minds by pointing to the benefits that could accrue to them from
using MVT-based applications ..... authority (as I have learnt from my
hypnotherapy theory and practise) comes from *congruence* not by virtue any
formal academic position.

Steve Nichols
Editor Official Journal of the Post-Human Age

Robin Hanson
Asst. Prof. Economics, George Mason University
MSN 1D3, Carow Hall, Fairfax VA 22030
703-993-2326 FAX: 703-993-2323

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