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  •  I'd like to see some more cross-pollination (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    play jurist, ER Doc, Larsstephens

    as painful as that might be in certain instances, e.g., the book on Feng Shui I was gifted that starts out with the increasingly common spiel that "quantum mechanics proves that everything is energy!" There's a considerable value in having a fresh pair of eyes to look at something, and more value in having to leave the comfort of your professional jargon and its unspoken tenets to explain what you're thinking to someone in plain English. The best way to learn is, in fact, to teach.

    And the process you describe to weed out cranks works exactly the way that damming a river works to stop floods: It smooths out the little ones, but it makes the big ones much worse than they would otherwise be (e.g., turns out the department chair is the crank. Whoops!).

    I'm 100% with you concerning the impact of "quantitative metrics" on academia. People should publish when they have something to say. I wish there was more fact-checking by publishers, as well. I know for a fact that some novels have been more rigorously fact-checked than a great many non-fiction books.

    Government is not instituted for the good of the governor, but of the governed; and power is not an advantage, but a burden. -Algernon Sidney

    by James Robinson on Mon Apr 19, 2010 at 01:58:51 PM PDT

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