Archive for September, 2010

Peer Review is Dead; Long Live Massively Collaborative Brainstorming!

September 1, 2010

That’s right. See this New York Times article:

Debate Over P vs. NP Proof Highlights Web Collaboration –

The article isn’t about peer review, it’s about Web Collaboration like the title says, but some of them are finally getting heard saying what I have said for almost ten years already now, that the Internet is going to replace peer review.

Peer review was established to protect the reputation of its publications, and one might say to help them decide which papers to publish. But it is a major status-quo enforcement methodology that quashes new ideas more than helping them along.

The Web blows it all wide open for rapid and massive collaboration. Great numbers of “peer reviewers”, doing “peer review” as fast as the they can read and type, communications almost as fast as light, and anybody who can understand enough to contribute can do so.

Now, if you are a climatologist, it does not have to matter than a group of conformity enforcers wants to game the peer review process, they can be overwhelmed by the real thing. If you are a creationist or an intelligent design proponent, or geocentricist, or believe in green Martians, you can collaborate with the rest of your fellows, with communications spilling over between them all.

So much the more reason to keep vigilance against the strategies being formulated in dark corners of the Internet and the body politic to arrange some kind of scheme for de-facto censorship.