Why Most Published Research is False

This is my reaction to a blog entry at https://cacm.acm.org/blogs/blog-cacm/216306-fact-over-fiction/fulltext titled “Fact Over Fiction”.

The author could get a better perspective if he would read. Why Most Published Research is False:

One implicit premise to the article is that reductions in funding for science is tantamount to censorship. It is not. Censorship is a ban by the biggest institution of coercion in a given territory: the government that claims jurisdiction over it.

Science research funded by involuntary confiscation of resources (aka “taxes”), and by inflationary government debt, is by definition “politicized science”, it is not pure. Sure, anybody can apply, but who pays? And who decides?

Politically directed funding is the biggest distortion today.

Now there is also empirical evidence about the very bad consequence of trusting government-funded decision makers:

Hunh. Fake news in medical studies. Who would have thought it? (It’s worse than I even thought)

Disinformation is endemic now in academia. Even set aside for a minute the issue of political motivations in funding, and the indisputable fact that funding decisions are political decisions by nature made by people who have their own perspectives and preferences. Big Pharma pays for studies used by FDA for approval or denial. The skepticism shown to corporate studies should also apply to the deciders of grants in governments.

Climate-gate, non-repeatable medical studies, falsification of data, source code hidden from peer review, peer reviewers who enforce conformity, these are problems that are built into current traditional institutions for science.

The wild wild Web is now proving to be a solution to misinformation. Let us call it “fake information”. The P versus not P solution offered recently in a Web post was refuted in about 24 hours. Best peer review ever.

The same principle applies to the wider Internet. Misinformation? Look at the long list of historical misinformation below in the traditional news media and press. Note that the most trusted newspapers and media networks propagated these false stories, mostly from government sources..

** Battleship Maine: Culpability still not resolved, a war was fought based on it.
** Gulf of Tonkin: Another war justified based on a later proven false story.
** WMDs in Iraq: Another war justified based on a false intelligence report.
** Wikileaks: NOT ONE of their leaks –begun during the Bush administration– has been refuted, yet the reports are quashed and their implications denied in traditionally trusted media. It is non-traditional Internet web sites and blogs that have pushed it out into the public conscience. — Yet the “intellectual class” is pushing back against it.
** FBI Funding myth, that Comey requested more money for the Russia investigation.

With so many false stories coming from places like NYT, Washington Post, CNN, allegations repeated as if they were credible with no evidence at all and stories with evidence ignored, why in the world would anybody think there is a problem with alternative news sources? We should celebrate, for example, that climate scientists have a forum to speak if they disagree with the politically approved dogmas?


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