Date: Sat, 06 May 2000 18:08:32 -0400
From: Robin Hanson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Understanding Academia
>> But the point is whose rules .... I am outside the academic journal loop,
>> 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
>You don't play against other games; you play against other players in a
This is plainly wrong .... surely Basketball and American Football and
Ice-Hockey compete for the same sports audience!? And what about the role of
the "house" in casino games, which is both meta-player and referee!?
And if I am "playing" against other academics in some "authority" game, then
this game is bigger than just the academic arena, and the rules are not the
conventionalist academic rules, since I don't need any academic journals or
> >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"
> the human-era past, but with the post-human age will not necessarily
> continue to have authority. It must earn this authority constantly by
> "correct." ... if academics are wrong surely they forfeit authority?
>Being wrong sometimes won't hurt academia very much, if there is no
>clearcompetitor that is right more often.
There is a difference of scale ... academia being right often on minor
things, but if it is wrong on (arguably) the biggest question, then this
error might prove fatal.
> You might personally be right. But you aren't an institution people can
turn to again and again to ask >questions. How often are people *like you*
For a start everyone is unique, and no one else is like me (apart from which
I have done the academic stint).
Einstein for one was outside the academic loop during his breakthrough
years. Wittgenstein got pissed off with academia and left. The list is
actually quite long .....
>That is, consider the set of people who look to ordinary people similar to
you in terms of ability to answer >abstract questions; how often are they
The mavericks are often correct, because complaince and agreement with the
norm isn't going to acheive any breakthrough. The true innovator must
"rebel" against the norm ..... in some way or other, if only on the
intellectual plane and not the political ... my departure from the
human-been identity is more radical (or more precocious) than most.
>But the point is whose rules .... I am outside the academic journal loop,
>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
Ha, are you being serious. You get a different answer from virtually every
academic you ask, because none of them know for sure. Lawyers and
journalists are very aware that for every "expert" there is an equal and
opposite one somewhere else in academia.
>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
>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?
I suppose the religious authorities are what you have in mind ...
>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
OK Robin, which academics are offering a theory of the evolution of all
types of consciousness (waking and sleeping) that competes with MVT? Sure
there are piecemeal findings on a range of topics, but I have not come
across anything remotely on the scale of MVT (except possibly for Jerison's
Recency Theory, which is severely flawed, and even then does not give an
account for paradoxical sleep/ dreams).
Maybe you think MVT isn't true? http://www.multi.co.uk/primal.htm Space will
be given to you in EXTROPIA to make a good counter-case.
Official NetZine of the Post-Human Age
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