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Pressure for Conformity

… has groupthink led us down the wrong path for the last 40 years?

The pressure for conformity is enormous. I have experienced it in editors’ rejection of submitted papers, based on venomous criticism of anonymous referees. The replacement of impartial reviewing by censorship will be the death of science.

J. Schwinger

[A]s a person who was in the field, I would say I did not see much flexibility in accepting new ideas. I am sure the next Einstein is already changed his field to “finance” or something else.

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In his essay "Are You A Pirate?" Michael Arrington uses a pirate analogy, which works surprisingly well for the physics community. It goes like this:

On the one hand there are “normal” people, seeking security and stability. On the other hand there are “pirates”, seeking adventure and bravely sailing into the unknown. A functioning community, of course, needs both and everyone needs to decide which path he wants to follow. However, in physics there are almost no pirates, because the current system makes it almost impossible to be one.


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causes/pressure_for_conformity.txt · Last modified: 2017/11/08 11:52 by jakobadmin