Friday, August 11, 2017

Peer Review = Conspiracy

Peer Review = Conspiracy

Heard someone say this the other day- I thought to myself ..... That's it! 
It was so simple. So basic. So obvious. Why hadn’t this ever occurred to me? 
Then I reminded myself often times it is most difficult to see what is in plain sight

To understand where I’m headed with this you must DISCARD the modern day manipulation of the word conspire/conspiracy and get to the root or most basic meaning of it.

Conspire- means to breath together. Or to breath as one. To act in harmony.

1325-75; Middle English < Latin conspirare to act in harmony, conspire, equivalent to con- con- + spirare to breathe; see spirant, spirit
A  “conspiracy” is at least two people, but it could be more, working/breathing together. Acting in harmony. Acting in unison.
2:to act or work together toward the same result or goal.

Reiterating: Conspire/conspiracy: Two or more people working together towards the same result or goal.

Now let’s consider the idea of peer review:

Peer simply means: another person who is similar or equal to you.  Or a companion.
A person who is equal to another in abilities, qualifications, age, background, and social status.
As in a jury of his/her peers-

Basic example: Greencrow As the Crow Flies... is my peer. She is a woman and she blogs on political issues.

Peer can also mean companion
Archaic. a companion.
Hence, my friend can also be my peer.

Peer Review:

 Peer Review at it’s most basic means people who appear as equals based on arbitrary
(subject to individual will or judgment without restriction; contingent solely upon one's discretion )
 parameters (limit, boundary)  sharing some common attributes,  who conspire together (breath/work together) toward a common result or goal.

Making Peer Review at it’s most basic a conspiracy. 

 Scientists breathing/working together/conspiring with a common goal in mind. Not always truth. So that should not be assumed.  The concept of “peer review” has been afforded a prestigious place in society (revered) that is not  necessarily warranted or deserved. Since prestige is very often used to trick/ fool or manipulate a receptive audience. Large or small.

 Understanding what words represent in reality we must accept that "Peer Review" should be considered first and foremost as a conspiracy of like minded individuals working towards an already agreed upon goal that may or may not be legitimate, correct or valid.

The very fact of peer review as conspiracy explains how you can actually get a “consensus” 
(general agreement) that isn’t necessarily legitimate or even close to truth. 
But can still be presented as definitive or authoritative in order to persuade.

As in “consensus” on Anthropegenic Global Warming

Link and Link

 “The IPCC provides an internationally accepted authority on climate change” (appeal to authority)

The IPCC was created to present an internationally accepted authority on climate change- Self anointed.
The aims of the IPCC are to assess scientific information relevant to:[6]

    Human-induced climate change,
    The impacts of human-induced climate change,
    Options for adaptation and mitigation.

In order create the concept of consensus the IPCC conspired with scientific peers on a 
pre conceived & pre ordained agenda. The very basis of the idea of conspiracy enshrined in an institution or bureaucracy specifically created as an internationally accepted authority on climate change.

Or how you can have bogus papers getting positive “peer reviews”on agenda specific issues?

The Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct: A Sokal-Style Hoax on Gender Studies


Perception management
"Perception" is defined as the "process by which individuals select, organize, and interpret the input from their senses to give meaning and order to the world around them". Components of perception include the perceiver, target of perception, and the situation.

Perception management is the practice of ensuring the message you wish to send is understood by the specific individuals or groups you want to reach.

UPDATE: The Fifth Branch: Science Advisers as Policy Makers
 
Pages 63 - 80 address some of the myriad of issues with peer review- it's by no means exhaustive, but, it will get you thinking

23 comments:

  1. Hi Penny the exception to this maxim (and it is an important one) would be the peer reviews of the scientific evidence that 9/11 was an "inside job". As a case in point, Professor Stephen Jones' did a paper on thermite being behind the collapse of the towers...he even got some of his peers to agree with it...but it made NO difference. His paper was ignored by the M$M and the "authorities" and the official lie continues to prevail. So, in the case of Stephen Jones' the usual veracity given to a scientific report that is supported by those with the same background/training was negated. So peer reviews do have their place but the concept, like all other appeals to humanity's intellectual and ethical angels...has been perverted by the perps in the "Deep State".

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  2. Hey Greencrow! - rather then being the exception your example demonstrates what is the norm-

    When an idea or concept is created for acceptance on a mass scale.. peer reviewed or consensus science is employed to demonstrate the rightness or correctness of the agenda being pushed.

    In the case of Stephen Jones, not arguing whether his science was correct or incorrect, his theory was not considered as plausible by the scientific community at all, or very minimally because it was not the consensus or the socially acceptable point of view.

    We see the very same situation play out wrt AGW
    The consensus science is all pro the pre conceived agenda.

    The arbitrary science, presented by non consensus scientists is ridiculed, maligned and denigrated.

    It's not the exception. It is the norm

    Peer review having it's place is debatable because it's subject to corruption.

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  3. So, let us agree...that "peer review" is a double-edged sword.

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    1. Actually Greencrow, I question the entire concept and validity of the peer review and am not sure if double edge sword is concise enough for my personal preference- I've spent most of the afternoon thinking about this concept and may add more to this post...

      I've just got to flesh out some thoughts.. and how to present them.



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  4. So, in the absence of a peer review, who should the average person look to for validation of, say, a technical/scientific paper?

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    1. Yah, that's a tough one isn't it?

      Was talking with hubby about this today and said it boils down to the same old, decide for yourself.

      I realize that is asking a lot of people, but, given the problems inherent in the peer review system and I do think the problems are built right into the system, people are going to have to do their own research as much as possible and decide what is valid and what isn't for themselves. To the best of their ability

      I'm going to link to a book in the post above and encourage readers to take the time to read pages 63 to 80, minimally.

      I also think science is vastly more understandable then most people realize- of course not all of it

      But I think people are more intimidated by the very idea of science, rather then the actual science.

      But, for cripes sakes baking is science- it's chemistry- the right ingredients in the right quantity for the right rise or texture or what ever.

      I read loads of science based information to write many blog posts and have become vastly more comfortable with it over these past nearly 10 years

      I'm not claiming expertise, but, quite frankly no honest scientist can claim expertise either.

      There is always more to learn and understand and I'm sure a truly honest, sincere, scientist would agree with that.

      I guess more people have to do what you and I engage in with our blogs every day :)

      Read, read, read... think, think, think.

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    2. I think Penny's hubby is spot on. We need to stop relying on what others tell us what the truth is and start thinking for ourselves. Most of the junk they throw at us can be dismissed by just stepping back a bit and look at it with some common sence.

      This global warming junk would not be believed it people just look at what is around them. Most of the heat on this planet comes from within due to an ongoing nuclear reaction deep within the planet. The solor radiation the planet absorbs is just as quickly dissipated through its own release if infra-red radiation. Its basically an even swap. If the sun had a massive effect on the heat of the planet, you would see the snow accumulate in valleys, not on the top of mountains. This is what is seen on planets with no atmosphere that protects it from solar radiation and no hot core.

      It's just common sense to those who choose to find out what is really causing things and using their own eyeballs.

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    3. Common sense but wrong. If solar radiation were negligeable one wouldn't see the very marked difference of climate depending on latitude. The temperature difference between the poles and the equator is solely due to solar radiation.
      The internal heat produced by the earth is real, nobody denies it, but it only add a certain amount of heat everywhere regardless of latitude and daytime and is, compared to the solar radiation, tiny (0.03% according to what a quick duckduckgo).

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    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    5. OJD: "This global warming junk would not be believed it people just look at what is around them"

      I agree with that OJD- people should actually observe for themselves what is going on around them- keep a journal-

      I had discussed here the cooler then normal summer, the long cold wet spring that has resulted in a reduced bird population locally

      I can see these things for myself and am affected by them-- aka lack of tomatoes ripening

      Other people tell me it's hotter, maybe so, but is it AGW- And if so how can that be verified?

      Because a hotter daytime temperature is not verification of AGW- I mentioned Toronto as having skewed temps because of where they take their temps- Pearson airport- then there is the heat island affect- which skews temps.
      Additionally there have been periods of extreme heat which cannot be connected to man

      Including when the ice retreated from North America- didn't have a dam thing to do with SUV's

      Address these issues and go from there

      Claims of water levels rising often have more to do with erosion- and water is a big time cause of erosion

      so yes, observation, which is basic science is a very good practice

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    6. gallier "If solar radiation were negligeable one wouldn't see the very marked difference of climate depending on latitude"

      good point.

      so many variables to consider

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    7. It is extremely important to have notions in math and statistics. It doesn't need to be above high-school level but some notions are essential. I will list some things that people need to get a feel for:
      - logarithms and exponentials : human intuition works linearly but a lot phenomenons are not linear (interests are exponential, radioactivity, radiative absorption and beer foam decay are logarithmic, etc.)
      - order of magnitudes : if an effect is 4 or 5 order of magnitudes below another it can be neglected in the short term. 0.03% (i.e. 5 orders of magnitude) of the earth energy budget coming from inside the earth makes it negligible compared to solar irradiation. CO2 of human origin in the atmosphere is 4% of 400 ppm, i.e. 0.0016 % of the atmosphere, yeah and that will scorch the earth...
      - units : know thy units, converting the values published in something sensible often reveals the bluff (iceshelfs counted in multiple of Manhattens or gigatons).

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  5. As co-author of 2 peer reviewed papers*, I can only agree with your assessment. The "peers" (in quote because they were peers of the main author not of me, the one that did the grunt work) who reviewed the paper asked really tough questions, with a lot of mathematical slant, giving the semblance of seriousness and importance in the process, but missed the real issues with my work. They didn't check if my calculations were right (hey I had to lookup wikipedia to know how to calculate a standard deviation, I don't know to this day if I did it right), they didn't ask to check the programs I wrote to make the statistics (I've found myself at least 3 bugs since then that have a slight incident on the values published) and they didn't ask for the rules used to prepare the data.
    To make it short, what they asked was irrelevant and what was published might be rubbish but I couldn't tell because nobody checked what I really did (at least if the data is rubbish I didn't to it willingly).
    Of course, one can not extrapolate from one experience on the generality but one anecdote is better than nothing.



    * see what I did there? Appeal to authority.

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    1. thanks for sharing that Gallier2-

      Your appeal, being an appeal to authority, of your own, was at least based on your personal knowledge and experience.

      At least you had first hand experience with the very issues raised here with peer review.

      The book I linked to covers so many issues/problems with peer review that I can't come away with any other conclusion that peer review is not the gold standard it's been presented as.

      It is too influenced by biases of all kinds, links to business, links to NGO- ties to prestigious institutes- personal biases among peers- competitions between persons and institutes and the involvement of government or business money

      It seems to me that "peer review" is just another selling point for some agenda or drug or what ever

      I think about all the big pharmaceutical drugs that have been 'peer reviewed ' and have caused such harm to people and then have been withdrawn from the market, or kept on and given 'black box' warnings so they continue to do harm but what the hell you've been warned- so much for all that peer review, right?

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    2. I forgot a point I wanted to make concerning peer review. What most people don't get, especially those that brandish peer review as something with inherent truth, peer review never was introduced to make sure that published papers are true (whatever that means). It was put in place by editors to ascertain that the proposed papers follow a set of formal conventions so that other scientists can follow the paper without needing to learn whole new notations they are not familiar with. In fact peer review does not and cannot know if a paper is true or is rubbish. The real checking of the paper only can be done after it is published when other researcher can redo or not the experiences.
      But that process is now completely broken, because most people and especially authors take peer review itself for what it is not. To say it again in a CS vocabulary, peer review is at the syntax level not at the semantic level.

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    3. I was reading a bit about the origins of Peer Review: It's in the book linked into the post "Mertonian Norms"

      I also found this:Merton's sociology of science
      http://understandingsociety.blogspot.ca/2009/12/mertons-sociology-of-science.html

      Robert Merton was one of the giants of American sociology. One of his core contributions had to do with his efforts to define the subject matter and methodology of the sociology of science.

      So you can see right there that Mertonian norms didn't define or assess the actual science

      "A final topic of interest in Merton's sociology of science is his treatment of "peer review" Here is how he describes this part of the institutions of science in "Institutionalized Patterns of Evaluation in Science" (1971):

      The referee system in science involves the systematic use of judges to assess the acceptability of manuscripts submitted for publication. The referee is thus an example of status judges who are charged with evaluating the quality of role-performances in a social system. They are found in every institutional sphere. (460)

      In your comment Gallier2 you said

      "peer review never was introduced to make sure that published papers are true (whatever that means). It was put in place by editors to ascertain that the proposed papers follow a set of formal conventions so that other scientists can follow the paper without needing to learn whole new notations they are not familiar with. In fact peer review does not and cannot know if a paper is true or is rubbish"

      And you are correct peer review does not and cannot know if a paper is true, correct or rubbish- what it can do is ascertain that the publishing of the paper follows accepted norms.

      Gallier2 "that process is now completely broken, because most people and especially authors take peer review itself for what it is not"

      it sure looks as if that is the case!

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    4. Nice that you found documented evidence of something that I only had deduced from the usage I've seen and discovered by being at the margin of the process (I'm not a researcher but I work with some who are). The domain my colleagues work in is, contrary to climate science, a more or less usefull one, it stroke me as odd to see how much woowoo and pointless jargoning was going on. Also how politically naive these people are, really pampered lives. Even my nearly analphabetic african friends I have in my entourage know more about what happens in real life.

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    5. hey gallier2

      I'm looking for a bit more info, potentially for another post on the topic- It seems quite apparent from additional reading I have done that peer review has more to do with the place of science in society

      Merton being a sociologist- his paper on peer review has nothing to do with the science, but, rather it is about science in society

      when I find something appropriate it will be here, however, it's interesting.. the rabbit hole this could potentially take many persons down

      talk about being a paradigm smasher

      everything anyone thought they knew about Peer review is wrong

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  6. It is just like the saying, "buyer beware". You are the one to decide if you accept what you read as valid or not. Therefore, a little studying-up will be required. I do it regularly just to keep up with the world-wide ground news. Graham

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    1. Exactly Gator Graham- It is buyer beware- Do your own thinking, informing, observing and decide for yourself

      I also do plenty of regular reading just to keep up with the world wide happenings, and if I can do it- anyone else can too

      They just have to prioritize

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  7. It is just like the saying, "buyer beware". You are the one to decide if you accept what you read as valid or not. Therefore, a little studying-up will be required. I do it regularly just to keep up with the world-wide ground news. Graham

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