Comment: The Article makes some good points.

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The Article makes some good points.

The idea of peer review is that it provides some sort of measure of safety. It also provides a Procrustean Bed for ideas, such that non-conforming ideas are cut off, and reviewers force authors to stretch papers to meet standards of conformity.

As one who has some connections to the world of academia, I can tell you that papers are rejected for the most ridiculous of reasons, and some times researchers will gang up on someone they want to punish and make sure that their papers get rejected just by making a phone call. I have published papers, edited papers for others, answered reviewers, and I have even reviewed papers and rejected some.

Some papers are poorly written and half-baked, half-assed, and such need to be rejected.

On the other hand there is much intellectual dishonesty in academic circles and the academic mainstream is often realistically compared to a open sewer. Indeed I have suggested that rejected papers should be published online with the permission of the author.

The reader should beware of everything he reads.

Laozi said:
The highest good is like water.
It flows in places that are rejected by men,
and so is like the true way.

Fortunately some good does make it through the academic system but I would say that it is true that the great mass of what is published in journals is either pure crap or adulterated crap. It will get worse and worse as the evil administrators of academic evil force graduate students to publish papers in order to get their degrees.
The grad student will often be forced to assume the position on his knees and disgustingly fellate the status quo thinking of the academic powers that be.

There are a quite few good students and quite few good professors who are not felching Baal, but there are many that do, because they want to be successful. I was told flatly that if I wanted to be successful I would need to learn how to lie. Not all of the lying bastards get caught. Most dont because they are smart enough not to get outside the boundaries of accepted thinking. Some guy who made up tonnes of data on VIOXX was unlucky and got burned badly. It's sort of unfortunate. Actually Vioxx was a pretty good drug but overprescribed. All pain killers are controlled poisonings. So are cannabis and alcohol poisons, my libertarian and anarchist friends. Your body can tolerate some poisons. Plant products contain a multitude of toxicants. Broccoli is good for you because it contains a toxicant that strengthens your enzyme systems.

I have read thousands of research papers. I have read the abstracts of perhaps 100 papers today and read some 20 or so in detail, and have singled out a half a dozen or so to share with co-workers. I am not in academia per se anymore but research papers are a resource for us.