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Thursday, February 27, 2020

Scientistry is fake science

Even without taking the reproducibility crisis into account, it is becoming readily apparent that "published, peer-reviewed science" is not the ultimate arbiter of the truth. Or even a moderately reliable proxy for it. From a 2019 paper published in Science and Engineering Ethics called "Assessing and Raising Concerns About Duplicate Publication, Authorship Transgressions and Data Errors in a Body of Preclinical Research":
Authorship transgressions, duplicate data reporting and reporting/data errors compromise the integrity of biomedical publications. Using a standardized template, we raised concerns with journals about each of these characteristics in 33 pairs of publications originating from 15 preclinical (animal) trials reported by a group of researchers. The outcomes of interest were journal responses, including time to acknowledgement of concerns, time to decision, content of decision letter, and disposition of publications at 1 year. Authorship transgressions afected 27/36 (75%) publications. The median proportion of duplicate data within pairs of publications was 45% (interquartile range 29–57). Data/reporting discrepancies [median 3 (1–5)] were present in 28/33 (85%) pairs. Journals acknowledged receipt of concerns for 53% and 94% of publications by 1 month and 9 months, respectively.

After 1 year, journals had communicated decisions for 16/36 (44%) publications. None of the decision letters specifically addressed each of the concerns raised. Decisions were no action, correction and retraction for 9, 3 and 4 publications, respectively: the amounts of duplicate data reporting and data/reporting discrepancies were similar irrespective of journal decision. Authorship transgressions affected 6/9 (67%) publications for which no action was decided. Journal responses to concerns about duplicate publication, authorship transgressions, and data/reporting discrepancies were slow, opaque and inconsistent.
Translation: you know that "science is self-correcting" idea? It's completely and utterly false. It's nothing more than propaganda for scientistry.

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58 Comments:

Blogger Jpc February 27, 2020 12:47 PM  

Huge problem is the pressure to publish papers. This gets you funding. That leads to the narrowing of research into ,"commercially relevant" fields.
What's often missed in research is results that don't match the original hypothesis might actually be the correct outcome.
But the pressure to present the "right results" is enormous.
All fine until another researcher who's using this work to follow another line of inquiry finds it's a crock.

Blogger R Webfoot February 27, 2020 12:53 PM  

The human body is self-correcting, until it doesn't. Then you get cancer.

Blogger mobius February 27, 2020 1:12 PM  

You mean, head girls and bois can't do science?
What a shock.

Blogger Sam Gem February 27, 2020 1:30 PM  

Things I learned from Voxiversity:

Science is not a truth telling device, it is intrinsically dependent on the integrity of the scientist. When you remove moral incentives and replace them with financial and corporate incentives science fails. Science is useless in a society with no moral foundation.

https://www.unauthorized.tv/programs/voxiversity?cid=414664

Blogger Doktor Jeep February 27, 2020 1:40 PM  

Are there any old school white lab coat guys left or is it all woke affirmative action now?

Blogger Rakshasa February 27, 2020 1:47 PM  

No holy cows or gay narrative last a second on /pol/, so we already know how to fix the issue of bad peer review and corrupt research.

Blogger dc.sunsets February 27, 2020 1:47 PM  

"Science" today often purports to answer all kinds of unanswerable questions. In this, the whole concept just became a subsidiary of the Rationalization Factory that confers rewards on those who confirm people's indulging in their favorite, often self-aggrandizing fantasies.

Belief comes first. There are no outside observers, everyone is in the Matrix because the Matrix is Nature's Laws of Human Behavior.

Many or most of life's most interesting questions cannot be studied via scientific test. Hypotheses become nothing more than naked assertions and rewards come to those who confirm the Theocracy's dogma and sacraments.

Blogger Silent Draco February 27, 2020 1:49 PM  

Those paragraphs are awfully bloody opaque themselves. The author can write in clear prose for this topic, and lay out the lack of corrections, etc. in plain language.

This just identified another wizard for the bears.

Blogger dc.sunsets February 27, 2020 1:56 PM  

Science will be "self-correcting" when you see the lead author of a dominant textbook accept going back to washing bottles for the post-doc whose studies destroy the foundation of the leading scientist's paradigm.

Thomas Kuhn's structure of scientific revolutions is a belly-laugh. Paradigms shift only when enough of the Old Guard dies off. In the meantime, when heretical truth means getting your career burned at the stake, everyone genuflects to the Big Lie and kisses the ring of whoever's on top (AKA whoever is peer-reviewing and approving grants.)

James Watson and Peter Duesberg are Poster Children for the fact that even the most prestigious of scientists cannot speak truth that conflicts with Theocratic Dogma.

Blogger Duke Norfolk February 27, 2020 2:05 PM  

A great turn of phrase at Jim's Blog on the topic of corrupt science:

"Science is now about one third global warming, one third the neglected role of women, and one third making stuff up in the style and subject matter of famous science papers from back in the day when scientists actually did science. Soon scientist will stop bothering with those postmodern pastiches on old fashioned science topics, and it will all be about the oppression of drag queens."

That about covers it!

Blogger An Orthodox Christian February 27, 2020 2:15 PM  

If you are like me and need a primer, see: https://voxday.blogspot.com/2016/04/scientistry-and-sciensophy.html

Question for more experienced bloggers: I found the above link using an outside search engine. What did I need to do differently to find it using the search box in the upper left hand corner of this site?

Blogger xsdenied February 27, 2020 2:26 PM  

"The human body is self-correcting, until it doesn't. Then you get cancer"

Cancer is the final attempt of the body to self correct. Don't believe everything your doctor tells you.

Blogger Kiwi February 27, 2020 2:30 PM  

The worst thing about all this is that the good scientists are spending time trying to debunk the bad stuff and neglecting their own research.

The only option is to scale the walls, jump to the ground and run into the trees without looking back. Who would have thought the academics would once again be living in the jungle with the savages.

Blogger Uncle Maffoo February 27, 2020 3:26 PM  

@1 Huge problem is the pressure to publish papers.

The pressure is to publish positive results. There's no money or fame in releasing something like "We have found no evidence to support the claim that X prevents cancer."

@4 Science is not a truth telling device, it is intrinsically dependent on the integrity of the scientist.

The only truth outside of Truth is mathematics. Science is merely a fact-verifying or -falsifying tool.

@5 Are there any old school white lab coat guys left or is it all woke affirmative action now?

The few who remain are close to retirement and death. Social and financial pressures have made science an unattractive career choice for solid men of Delta or higher status.

Blogger Nikolai Collushnikov February 27, 2020 3:27 PM  

"When you remove moral incentives and replace them with financial and corporate incentives "

Even worse, political incentives.
At least some times, scientific truth may be profitable.
Alas, scientific truth is almost never politically convenient.

Blogger repent or perish February 27, 2020 3:38 PM  

Hence the need for 'belief' in science.

Blogger rumpole5 February 27, 2020 3:39 PM  

What this is really about is that the key "gray haired ladies" who used to check up on everything, and keep things in order have all died or retired. When I was doing post conviction law, I had to prepare and file multiple responses. They had to be timely but no problem because there were about 5 matronly clerks that I interacted with at the Clerk of Court's office who were very picky, but dependable. Around 2003 or so I went into the clerk's office and there was a pimple faced youth in a tee shirt. The gray haired ladies were no more. Anticipating trouble, I asked for a copy of the first page of the response I was there to file with the clerk's time and date stamp on it, and sure enough, a couple of weeks later I got a call from the judge asking where my response was (it was lost in the fog of chaos that ensued when that last picky gray haired clerk retired). I faxed him a copy of that date/time stamped first page, and that solved MY problem, but the dearth of these picky, inconspicuous ladies who used to check every thing out is slowly causing the heat death of our civilization! It's why on our last flight the Credit Union declined our credit card for a 40 dollar luggage add on fee, even though we had informed the CU in three different ways about our travel plans, but the airline clerk couldn't take cash instead, and couldn't go on to the next passenger in the long line, while we called the Credit Union, because the clerk had us in her computer already. Of course we passengers had to solve the problem by having another passenger use his credit card to pay our luggage fee, in return for our cash, so the zillion other passengers in line could be serviced. It's why every time you want to go somewhere, buy something, or obtain some service and especially interact with any bureaucracy, it's a little more crazy. The Scientific community is VERY bureaucratic, so there you go. 75% of the little gray haired science ladies, who checked and rechecked everything, dotted every i and crossed every t, have had their retirement party and hit the door. They've been replaced by diversity hires and pimple faced adolescents.

Blogger Silly but True February 27, 2020 4:20 PM  

Eisenhower’s (Two) Greatest Threats to America -1961:
https://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=false&doc=90&page=transcript
“...Unhappily the danger it poses promises to be of indefinite duration. To meet it successfully, there is called for, not so much the emotional and transitory sacrifices of crisis, but rather those which enable us to carry forward steadily, surely, and without complaint the burdens of a prolonged and complex struggle-with liberty at stake. Only thus shall we remain, despite every provocation, on our charted course toward permanent peace and human betterment.

Crises there will continue to be. In meeting them, whether foreign or domestic, great or small,there is a recurring temptation to feel that some spectacular and costly action could become the miraculous solution to all current difficulties. A huge increase in newer elements of our defense; development of unrealistic programs to cure every ill in agriculture; a dramatic expansion in basic and applied research-these and many other possibilities, each possibly promising in itself, may be suggested as the only way to the road we which to travel.

But each proposal must be weighed in the light of a broader consideration: the need to maintain balance in and among national programs-balance between the private and the public economy, balance between cost and hoped for advantage-balance between the clearly necessary and the comfortably desirable; balance between our essential requirements as a nation and the duties imposed by the nation upon the individual; balance between action of the moment and the national welfare of the future. Good judgment seeks balance and progress; lack of it eventually finds imbalance and frustration.

The record of many decades stands as proof that our people and their government have, in the main, understood these truths and have responded to them well, in the face of stress and threat. But threats, new in kind or degree, constantly arise. I mention two only...”

[Cut first threat — “Military-Industrial Complex” aka Deep State / Swamp]

“... Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.

In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been over shadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.

The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded.

Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.

It is the task of statesmanship to mold, to balance, and to integrate these and other forces, new and old, within the principles of our democratic system-ever aiming toward the supreme goals of our free society.”

Yes. Eisenhower — the Supreme Allied Commander who won D-Day and the WW2 European theater; the man who faced down Communist China threatening to eradicate them with nuclear weapons unless they agreed to peace — saw as America’s worst upcoming threat as America’s own “scientific-technological elite.”

Eisenhower knew they’re worse than Hitler’s literal Third Reich Nazis and the Chicoms.

And this warning was 60 years ago.

Blogger awildgoose February 27, 2020 4:24 PM  

rumpole5 wrote:What this is really about is that the key "gray haired ladies" who used to check up on everything, and keep things in order have all died or retired.

This is just part of the general collapse of attention to detail in American society. It's everywhere now. The replacements do everything any old way, because doing it right is too hard, takes too long, keeps one from surfing on their phone, etc.

I spent over four years living and working in a Third World country. Every time I visited the US during that stretch it was obvious to me that the US was trending downward and things were getting sloppier and more frustrating in every area of life.

Blogger Pathfinderlight February 27, 2020 4:32 PM  

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Blogger szook February 27, 2020 4:52 PM  

What?!? You mean....people do science?

Blogger Gregory the Tall February 27, 2020 4:58 PM  

So maybe we should not trust the scientists to find a cure for the corona virus pandemic for us? Should we maybe use our own devices rather?
Think twice before you trust one of the many ladies or one of the few remaining guys in labcoats, they may be just out to kill you or sell you something.

Blogger Akuma February 27, 2020 5:10 PM  

"This is just part of the general collapse of attention to detail in American society. It's everywhere now. The replacements do everything any old way, because doing it right is too hard, takes too long, keeps one from surfing on their phone, etc."

Employers really need to add OODA loop training to their onboarding process. Americans are chiefly only executing the Decision and Action stages of the the loop. Anyone that Observes and Orients is labeled a lethargic space case.

Blogger Troushers February 27, 2020 5:36 PM  

There was an eye-opening editorial from a long-standing review editor that said, of the 60 or so papers he thought were "too good to be true", about half bailed when he asked to see just the raw data that figures or calculations were based on. Some of those who faded were later published in other journals.

Blogger SciVo February 27, 2020 5:46 PM  

An Orthodox Christian wrote:Question for more experienced bloggers: I found the above link using an outside search engine. What did I need to do differently to find it using the search box in the upper left hand corner of this site?

You did it correctly. Just make sure to use "site:voxday.blogspot.com".

Blogger Andrew Brown February 27, 2020 6:00 PM  

Read a PHD paper, that was cited a few times by others, on an ethylene production plant for a project. The parallel reactions in the reactor weren't even balanced right, and some had even omitted certain species altogether. They claimed to have modeled this on Aspen Plus, but it would've flagged mass balance errors. No idea how they got away with such basic high school errors, that got continued through to other papers. Not only that, I tried to access the reference they all cited from a journal in Chemical Engineering Progress, AIChemE in 1981, it was deleted.

Blogger rumpole5 February 27, 2020 6:50 PM  

You nailed it Brother Goose!

Blogger bodenlose Schweinerei February 27, 2020 7:30 PM  

This is just part of the general collapse of attention to detail in American society

The main drive for dispensing with "tradition" is the fact that so many overgrown baby children simply cannot tolerate three little words: "You are wrong." You can witness obvious examples of this right here in the comment section on a regular basis, the emotion sting of having one's error pointed out is simply too deep and painful, so like the inhabitants of Krikkit, they decide "It'll have to go."

Blogger Hammerli 280 February 27, 2020 7:43 PM  

There is Engineering, Speculation, and Superstition. If you can't make predictions you're willing to bet your life on, it's NOT Engineering.

There's a reason why it's customary for the designers of a ship to ride her down the launching ways.

Blogger Kraemer February 27, 2020 8:07 PM  

Engineering is generally pretty good, and some of the medical fields are also really reliable, simply because of how the results are easily verified. Does the plane fly? Does the surgery work? A lot of the either weird animal stuff where nobody notices if it's wrong, as well as the social sciences, are kinda bs tho

Blogger Silly but True February 27, 2020 8:30 PM  

Time to petition State legislatures to legalize Hammurabi’s Code as enforced by the State Boards of Professional Licensure? “Bob Smith was cited for advertising his services as an engineer while being unlicensed. He was fined the maximum amount of $1,325.00 and put to death.”

Professional exams used to do a decent job of weeding out lowest common denominator of those seeking the profession. But far more effective was the weight of fully geared centuria upon one’s head.

Blogger Saint February 27, 2020 8:54 PM  

The reproducibility crisis destroyed my "faith" in science. Scientific taboos (Dean Radin / PSI) restored my "faith" in the supernatural. With evidence for the supernatural, I was forced to abandon my decade of Atheism.

Following "synchronicity" (the holy spirit) led me to the Bible, and back to Jesus Christ.

You can trace all the lies of this world back to Jesus Christ, the same way shadows can lead you back to the light source they flee.

Blogger Up from the pond February 27, 2020 9:08 PM  

"Employers really need to add (...) training"

For the past 30+ years, the line from employers has been: "It's not our job to teach you anything. You should arrive having the knowledge already. Because when we spend the resources to train people, the bastards just quit and go to work for another company!"

Heard this many times. One manager used the phrase "going to school" as a whenever he contemptuous sneer caught older employees spending any time passing institutional knowledge on to younger employees. He was of the Biden generation, of course.

Blogger Up from the pond February 27, 2020 9:22 PM  

Yes. And in old fiction, especially movies, a trope was that the scientist who formulated a serum always tried it on himself first, not on "test subjects," because he was a man of honor who took responsibility for his serum. I think this happened once or twice in the real world. But will the inventors of a Corona-chan cure, if any, test it on themselves first? That doesn't seem likely.

Blogger Saint February 27, 2020 9:39 PM  

More likely, they have student debt and mortgages they can't pay back working as a Starbucks Barista.

Be honest and lose your job, or massage the numbers knowing there are no consequences and no one will ever check your work?

Hm... That's a tough one.

Blogger Akulkis February 27, 2020 10:36 PM  

@18

Read the FULL speech.

Eisenhower ALSO warned against the Media-Academia complex.

Strange how that NEVER gets publicized. Strange how not only do neither the press nor the academy ever mention it, mention it -- they don't even KNOW about it.

The Deep State isn't just the Military-Industrial Complex... it is the Military-Industrial complex FUSED WITH the Academia-Media Complex PLUS every "aid" and "assistance program" whether domestic aid or foreign aid, and of course, the NGOs add another layer of skim, sometimes taking as much as 90% in administrative overhead (American Red Cross, I'm looking at you.)

Reagan noted that the welfare bureaucracy was skimming so much out of the budget allocations that they were taking more in administrative salaries that the total payments to welfare recipients, and that it would be cheaper to scrap the whole system and give every welfare recipient a 4-year college scholarship with books, room & board plus a monthly stipend for incidentals than to run the programs that were in force at the time. (Not that many of them would have qualified to get into ANY college).

MIC is the muscle. AMC provides the propaganda to camoflauge all of it.

Blogger Jack Amok February 27, 2020 10:44 PM  

Engineering is generally pretty good, and some of the medical fields are also really reliable, simply because of how the results are easily verified.

You might want to pay more attention to what's going on.

Does the plane fly?

If it was designed before stuff got outsourced to India, probably.

Does the surgery work?

Hospital screw-ups are one of the leading causes of death in the US.

You read about the pedestrian bridge that collapsed and killed people in Florida, right?

Science could be done well. Engineering used to be done well. But it requires decent, high-trust people. Our society doesn't want the kind of "oppression" that notices when a bridge falls down or a patient dies.

Blogger awildgoose February 27, 2020 11:18 PM  

Akuma wrote:Anyone that Observes and Orients is labeled a lethargic space case.

Job #1 in today's corporate America - "There's NEVER enough time to do it right. There's ALWAYS enough time to do it twice."

Blogger Azure Amaranthine February 27, 2020 11:55 PM  

Science isn't self-correcting. Truth is science-correcting. Look, it's right there in the method itself.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine February 27, 2020 11:59 PM  

"What?!? You mean....people do science?"

Exhibit A: Humans.

Scientist: "Homo sapiens sapiens."

Christian: "You gonna add a third one and style yourself Trismegistus?"

Billy Bob: "See, even the scientist says science is for fags."

Blogger Azure Amaranthine February 28, 2020 12:09 AM  

"or is it all woke affirmative action now?"

Woke affirmative action > Awake formative fiction > Awoke varmint officiate.

Blogger Jay Will February 28, 2020 5:13 AM  

The give away is the complete lack of interest in explaining the scientific method. Because doing that would expose that they are liars and have no interest in "facts". The scientific method should be made crystal clear, and it should be made a crime to claim you are a scientist when you do not follow that method. You can get jail time for claiming it in other fields.

Michio Kaku big timer science guy, "nobody who works in my field uses the so called scientific method". So what makes a science a science then Mich? Your Doctor Who magic ID? So what is the criterion for establishing that you are a scientist? Its when you are anointed by the priest class!

Blogger Silly but True February 28, 2020 7:50 AM  

@Jack,

A good recent one is Hard Rock Hotel collapse — while media narrative sought empathy for plight of the incarcerated worker, this is a fascinatingly perverse situation detailed:

An illegal alien incarcerated in ICE custody confirmed he had cell phone video from days before collapse of the concrete formwork buckling and he and his illegal worker buddies joking about the dumbass engineer that designed the collapsing supports.
https://www.nola.com/news/article_d82bade0-f032-11e9-aaf6-231f92b121e2.html

Of course that’s not the only problem we now know: one of the permit inspectors was only licensed to inspect two-story buildings. But at least she actually showed up to look at the building. The other inspector just filed bogus reports after hanging out at strip club instead.

Nvm hurricane insurance. Maybe Lloyd’s could offer companies like Hard Rock or its developer insurance against the risk of 21st century American cultural risks.

Blogger OneWingedShark February 28, 2020 8:59 AM  

Akuma wrote:"This is just part of the general collapse of attention to detail in American society. It's everywhere now. The replacements do everything any old way, because doing it right is too hard, takes too long, keeps one from surfing on their phone, etc."

Employers really need to add OODA loop training to their onboarding process. Americans are chiefly only executing the Decision and Action stages of the the loop. Anyone that Observes and Orients is labeled a lethargic space case.

Boomers destroyed the idea of training; by pushing for "already-trained" employees either in the form of hiring away from competitors or relying on foreign workers — this is why there's such a hatred of training in corporate culture.

Up from the pond wrote:"Employers really need to add (...) training"

For the past 30+ years, the line from employers has been: "It's not our job to teach you anything. You should arrive having the knowledge already. Because when we spend the resources to train people, the bastards just quit and go to work for another company!"

Heard this many times. One manager used the phrase "going to school" as a whenever he contemptuous sneer caught older employees spending any time passing institutional knowledge on to younger employees. He was of the Biden generation, of course.

This is exactly it.

Up from the pond wrote:Yes. And in old fiction, especially movies, a trope was that the scientist who formulated a serum always tried it on himself first, not on "test subjects," because he was a man of honor who took responsibility for his serum. I think this happened once or twice in the real world. But will the inventors of a Corona-chan cure, if any, test it on themselves first? That doesn't seem likely.
That's a really good point; I hadn't thought of it like that.

awildgoose wrote:Akuma wrote:Anyone that Observes and Orients is labeled a lethargic space case.
Job #1 in today's corporate America - "There's NEVER enough time to do it right. There's ALWAYS enough time to do it twice."

That's so true; I once had a job where I was working on a new system that handled medical- and insurance-records written in PHP (about 3 months older than my being put on the project IIRC) and the number of errors that came thorough because of "do it quickly" and the combination of PHP and MySQL plus the Debug Driven Development were just staggering. Of course, when I suggested using Ada and it's strong-/static- typesystem as well as excellent error-handling I was brushed off by management because "doing it in PHP is quicker" and "we're not programming missiles".

Blogger Scuzzaman February 28, 2020 10:10 AM  

If only. In the large corporations and government departments where I have worked it wasn’t unusual to re-do large projects 3 or 4 times.

Look at the typical budget issues of a large government project: double the original cost, twice the original time, some fraction of the original quality. Since quality is more difficult to quantify / more project-specific, let’s be generous and assume it’s equal.

That means you got 1/4 the units of quality per day per dollar that you originally bargained for.

That’s if you only did that project once.

It also ignoring the opportunity costs of the projects that didn’t get done because of the time and cost overruns on this one.

Blogger Silly but True February 28, 2020 10:28 AM  

The most recent sensational case of scientist testing serum on himself I can recall was Jonas Salk injecting himself with his AIDS vaccine; of course he was at end of life at time — that was 1991 and he passed from heart attack in 1995. Apparently his 1991 vaccine was not effective and if he didn’t die of heart attack probably may have developed AIDS from his injection.

But still, I admire the whole notion of in that case, misplaced optimism about his own vaccine.

https://apnews.com/3b1c08ff2b6c2976d743aa3e2f60bb1a

Blogger patlalrique February 28, 2020 10:37 AM  

Science is fake science.

Blogger Dyspeptic February 28, 2020 10:53 AM  

@ 15 "Even worse, political incentives."

Yes, this is what I immediately thought. Most scientific research is funded, regulated and controlled by faceless bureaucrats with lifetime sinecures and leftwing political motivations. Science can't escape the political ideology of those who fund it. He who pays the piper calls the tune.

Blogger Up from the pond February 28, 2020 10:55 AM  

Sorry, s/b "as a contemptuous sneer whenever he caught"

Blogger awildgoose February 28, 2020 11:07 AM  

OneWingedShark wrote:Boomers destroyed the idea of training; by pushing for "already-trained" employees either in the form of hiring away from competitors or relying on foreign workers — this is why there's such a hatred of training in corporate culture.

Yup. One must be able to walk in off the street and just, "get it." They don't want you if you are not a perfect fit for all job requirements AND the company culture from day one.

OneWingedShark wrote:brushed off by management because "doing it in PHP is quicker" and "we're not programming missiles".

Your anecdote is hilarious to me because I worked in defense for a long time. Even for the bits that went into missiles there was plenty of time for do-overs and turnbacks.

Blogger Akulkis February 28, 2020 11:28 AM  

"Boomers destroyed the idea of training; by pushing for "already-trained" employees either in the form of hiring away from competitors or relying on foreign workers — this is why there's such a hatred of training in corporate culture."

It does survive in one place -- U.S. Army. The role of NCO is not merely of being first-line order-giver/supervisor/leader/counselor. It's also one of being an instructor, for both subordinates and at all-unit level.
If a sergeants soldiers are failing at a task which he himself knows how to teach (and if they're being tested on it, then he damn well should know it well enough to test on it within a few weeks of the skill being taught to the unit), then he's going to be held accountable for the fact that he's not testing and teaching them enough himself.


"Of course, when I suggested using Ada and it's strong-/static- typesystem as well as excellent error-handling I was brushed off by management because "doing it in PHP is quicker" and "we're not programming missiles"."

You need to do it the way Linux was brought into the corporate world.

The opening for Linux was stupid IIS web servers that would fall over every 30~60 minutes, requiring manual reboots (because Windows wasn't capable of detecting a problem and rebooting on its own)

1) Port website to Apache on Linux.
2) Months later, boss comes and asks "why did the web server stop crashing every hour or more?"
3) "We moved it to Linux."
4) What's the boss gonna do -- fire you? (for making him look better by solving the problem that was making him look bad.)

Do the same thing.
What are they gonna do? Fire you?
Besides, then they would have to find someone who knows Ada, and we all know Indian degree-mills can barely even teach interpreted languages, only a small percentage of their grads can function with compiled languages like C/C++. I can't imagine ANY Indian IT school being successful with Ada.

Therefore, job security -- you can move on when YOU want to, and your replacement will ALSO be of European extraction.

Blogger OneWingedShark February 28, 2020 11:59 AM  

Scuzzaman wrote:If only. In the large corporations and government departments where I have worked it wasn’t unusual to re-do large projects 3 or 4 times.
True; there's a lot of mismanagement around, the F-35 and LCS are merely the most prominent/well-known examples.

Up from the pond wrote:Sorry, s/b "as a contemptuous sneer whenever he caught"
That was fairly obvious, contextually speaking. But thank you for correcting.

awildgoose wrote:OneWingedShark wrote:Boomers destroyed the idea of training; by pushing for "already-trained" employees either in the form of hiring away from competitors or relying on foreign workers — this is why there's such a hatred of training in corporate culture.
Yup. One must be able to walk in off the street and just, "get it." They don't want you if you are not a perfect fit for all job requirements AND the company culture from day one.

It's absolutely frustrating and soul-crushing.
Despite the difficulties I had even getting my last two jobs, I can thank God: I fully believe that He meant it for my good, and can see that it has incredibly increased my ability to see/understand/sympathize with those who have difficulty finding jobs and, I suspect, improved me even more in ways I cannot see or understand.

OneWingedShark wrote:brushed off by management because "doing it in PHP is quicker" and "we're not programming missiles".
Your anecdote is hilarious to me because I worked in defense for a long time. Even for the bits that went into missiles there was plenty of time for do-overs and turnbacks.

True enough, but one of the frustrating things about that project was the database inconsistencies which would pop up and necessitate days of debugging. A simple thing like data-format being changed could screw up the program in difficult to trace ways, for example a SSN being stored as "#########" vs "###-##-####" and it's damn easy to fix those sorts of things at the type-system level with Ada:

Type Social_Security_Number is new String(1..11)
with Dynamic_Predicate => (for all X in Social_Security_Number'Range =>
(if X in 4|7 Social_Security_Number(X) = '-' else Social_Security_Number(X) in '0'..'9'));

Bam! Done. Now (a) trying to load a bad number from the DB or the UI raises an exception, and (b) everything regarding the formatting is in a single place: the type-definition.

Blogger awildgoose February 28, 2020 1:44 PM  

Scuzzaman wrote:It also ignoring the opportunity costs of the projects that didn’t get done because of the time and cost overruns on this one.

The corporate world talks a good game about, "weighing opportunity costs," but they never follow through because those costs are intangible and difficult to comprehend.

Labor, material, and machine-time costs are very tangible and simple to comprehend, which is why the corporate world has a laser-like focus on them, nearly to the exclusion of all else.

Blogger Canada78Bear February 28, 2020 3:45 PM  

In my country we trust real estate industry to self certify and regulate like Engineers.

Vancouver, Toronto tells you how it worked out. Until few years ago in Ontario you could get a check back for your deposit on a house when you gave the agent bricks of cash.

People self regulate their waistlines too. So I think you are spot on.

Blogger Scuzzaman February 28, 2020 5:58 PM  

Science is not self-correcting, science is self-refuting.

If science were done properly the two would indeed be the same, since science is inherently supposed to include a falsification mechanism and not a positive proof mechanism.

But as noted, science today is a game of politically correct confirmation bias, and so everything we know about science tells us that science is not a reliable means of knowing anything.

Hang on, I think this is where the thread started.

Blogger OneWingedShark February 28, 2020 5:59 PM  

awildgoose wrote:Scuzzaman wrote:It also ignoring the opportunity costs of the projects that didn’t get done because of the time and cost overruns on this one.
The corporate world talks a good game about, "weighing opportunity costs," but they never follow through because those costs are intangible and difficult to comprehend.

Labor, material, and machine-time costs are very tangible and simple to comprehend, which is why the corporate world has a laser-like focus on them, nearly to the exclusion of all else.

There's the flip-side of that too: these companies typically don't weigh the cost of non-action.
Take, for instance, these companies that keep a job-posting up for the better part of a year that also complain about being "flooded with candidates" -- how much is it costing the company to keep that position open? How much are they losing against the productivity of someone filling the position?

Blogger cecilhenry February 29, 2020 2:57 PM  

Predatory Publications in Academia By Professor Pyne


In 2017, Professor Pyne released a research report on so-called “predatory publishing”.

In it, he details how academics publish in journals that are not peer reviewed, and who make little if any effort to verify the findings.


Academics should be concerned about the quality of the screening that is done of their research.

Predatory publishes may reward professors with money or more status for work that by all rights should have been rejected. Academia can be a vicious place. In fact, shedding light on this could be viewed as investigative journalism.



https://canucklaw.ca/predatory-publications-by-professor-pyne-part-4-the-followup/

Blogger Scuzzaman March 01, 2020 3:29 AM  

Predatory publications, so-called, are largely a distraction at most.

The top four research publishers in the world take more than 5 billion USD in profits, for essentially doing nothing. They charge the researchers to publish in “respected” journals (the practical meaning of which is “expensive” journals) who run the very peer-review processes that we’re now learning are wholly inadequate to detect plagiarism, data manipulation, or even pure fabrication. Then they charge everyone else for reading those same articles.

THESE are the problem in scientific research publishing, and THESE are the apex predators of the scientific research publishing industry. THESE are the businesses who have been almost entirely captured by SJW activists and who serve as the ideological enforcement arm of the Academy.

Not some fly by night scam artists in New Delhi. The focus on these small scale scammers is a deliberate act of misdirection so nobody looks at the 9000 pound scammers in the corner busily publishing their concern trolling articles about “predatory publishers”.

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