Wednesday, July 29, 2015

My support of academic rules

Things can sound different depending on how you present them, and it occurs to me that I should note my surprising success following academic rules for presenting research results.

So yeah, I got published. And always add that the editors then got weird on me by trying to pull the paper--against established rules. And that didn't matter. The original paper is held online by EMIS and I'm a published mathematical author.

Theoretically I could simply put forward certain positions as formally peer reviewed, but defer to the reality of the weirdness from the editors, where one admitted the chief editor doubted his peer reviewers! They used two, unlike most journals from what I've heard.

So yeah, my published research passed a higher standard than most math papers ever see.

But clearly the editors maybe had less faith in the peer review system than I did.

So of course I support academic rules.

When followed they can only help me.

That shouldn't be a surprise. If I believe my own research then naturally I'm a supporter of the global system. I need it.

If I'm correct, then people following the rules will support that conclusion, which is what happened, when rules were followed.

My greatest interest is in the health of the global intellectual community not just as a concerned human being but also as a practical matter. And journals are an important part of our academic world, which is key to our intellectual community.

There are winners and losers in these kinds of things. And my place in mathematical history was set years ago. Not that I didn't keep building on it.

But you see, I have faith in the system.

In contrast to the well ordered world of academia consider the mess that is all over the web, like I had a fun time years ago for a while talking out some ideas on a Usenet newsgroup called sci.math where you had to keep people entertained. I got creative.

Some of them were nasty though, and quite a few apparently had little if any real mathematical knowledge. Wading through the useless postings could get tedious.

But some actually did know math and there were some actual professors including one of the most notable a professor from the prestigious Hamilton College that I posted about, who helped a lot. You have to grab those opportunities. Better than paying tuition! And I got a lot of useful info there as I'm not a mathematician. However the egos were out of control and some had an irritating habit of routinely proclaiming they had destroyed you, which it turned out involved trying to smear you across the web. Some of those people firmly believed in insults as a tool of power, in their bizarre imaginations. So absurd.

Of course I knew they didn't matter. When time came to get things done, notice I got a paper published.

Turns out I have only one mathematical discovery that really needed formal peer reviewed publication, otherwise I wouldn't have needed to bother with it at all. But I didn't know that before. Regardless I like the idea of at least one published result and do have a lot of respect for the system.

You have to know what you're doing, you know?

And don't take yourself too seriously! Life's to be enjoyed. Gotta have fun! And follow your own schedule I say. Don't let others pressure you onto theirs.

People can think what they want. Doesn't make it true.

James Harris
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