Category Archives: Philosophy

Who shall survive?

published 1934

The eugenic doctrine, similarly to the technological process, is another promiser of extreme happiness to man. The eugenic dreamer sees in the distant future the human race so changed through breeding that all men will be born well, the world populated with heroes, saints, and Greek gods, and all that accomplished by certain techniques through the elimina­tion and combination of genes. If this should really come to pass the world would be at once glorious, beautiful, and God­ like. But it may be reached at the cost of man as a creator from within himself; it would have, like Siegfried in the myth, a vulnerable spot into which the thorn of death could enter,-a tragic world, a. world in which beauty, heroism, and wisdom are gained without effort, in which the hero is in want of the highest reward, the opportunity to rise from the hum­ blest origin to a supreme level. It sums up to the question whether creation in its essence is finished with conception or whether creation does not continue or cannot be continued by the individual after he is born.
The eugenic dreamer and the technological dreamer have one idea in common: to substitute and hasten the slow process of nature. Once the creative process is encapsuled in a book it is given; it can be recapitulated eternally by everybody without the effort of creating anew. Once a machine for a certain pattern of performance is invented a certain product can be turned out in infinite numbers practically without the effort of man. Once that miraculous eugenic formula will be found a human society will be given at birth perfect and smooth, like a book off the press.

Is ChatGPT outperforming Google search?

Unfortunately it is useless to enter any research question that I am interested in, so lets go to some more trivial examples.

Alberto Romero

It’s still quite apparent that ChatGPT lacks reasoning abilities and doesn’t have a great memory window (Gary Marcus wrote a great essay on why it “can seem so brilliant one minute and so breathtakingly dumb the next”).
Like Galactica, it makes nonsense sound plausible. People can “easily” pass its filters and it’s susceptible to prompt injections.

ChatGPT maybe a jump forward. But it is a jump into nowhere.

Time to cite the Gwern essay

Sampling can prove the presence of knowledge but not the absence

which is basically my problem from the beginning that it is useless to enter any search question that I am interested in.

Apropos Gerechtigkeit

 

30 Gerechtigkeitstheorien auf Wikipedia

Sowohl Sokrates und Platon als auch Aristoteles sahen das Glück als den höchsten anzustrebenden Wert an. Gerechtigkeit war für sie die oberste Tugend, um diese Glückseligkeit zu erreichen. Gerechtigkeit war so eine grundlegende Charaktereigenschaft…Kant wies das Naturrecht als metaphysisch zurück und entwickelte die Idee des Vernunftrechts…In einer kantischen Position wird der Rationalität die praktische Vernunft gegenübergestellt, die ein allgemeingültiges Motiv moralischen Handelns beinhaltet.

Fortunately Galactica is down

I just started a review of Galactica.

but today the search bar is already gone. So what happened here? cnet knows more

Galactica is an artificial intelligence developed by Meta AI (formerly known as Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research) with the intention of using machine learning to “organize science.” It’s caused a bit of a stir since a demo version was released online last week, with critics suggesting it produced pseudoscience, was overhyped and not ready for public use.

There is no need to make any further comment.

https://twitter.com/JoeBHakim/status/1592621465018720256?s=20&t=LrwiBQLg4qK_zBUofTRXPA

Claims
Vitriol

Une grenouille vit un Bœuf

Jean de la Fontaine

Ein Frosch sah einen Ochsen gehen.
Une grenouille vit un Bœuf

Wie stattlich war der anzusehen!
Qui lui sembla de belle taille.

Er, der nicht größer als ein Ei, war neidisch drauf,
Elle qui n’était pas grosse en tout comme un œuf,

Er spreizt sich, bläht mit Macht sich auf,
Envieuse s’étend, et s’enfle, et se travaille

Um gleich zu sein dem großen Tier,
Pour égaler l’animal en grosseur,

Und rief: »Ihr Brüder achtet und vergleicht!
Disant : « Regardez bien, ma sœur,

Wie, bin ich nun so weit? Ach, sagt es mir!« –
Est-ce assez ? dites-moi : n’y suis-je point encore ?

»Nein!« – »Aber jetzt?« – »Was denkst du dir!« –
— Nenni. — M’y voici donc ? — Point du tout. — M’y voilà ?

»Und jetzt?« – »Noch lange nicht erreicht!« –
— Vous n’en approchez point. » La chétive pécore »

Das Fröschlein hat sich furchtbar aufgeblasen,
Es platzte und verschied im grünen Rasen.
S’enfla si bien qu’elle creva.

Le monde est plein de gens qui ne sont pas plus sages :
Tout Bourgeois veut bâtir comme les grands Seigneurs,
Tout petit Prince a des Ambassadeurs,
Tout Marquis veut avoir des Pages.

 

 

At least one positive advice?

Is there at least one positive advice of all that Musk utterance?

https://archive.ph/TcxaF#selection-1319.0-2987.210
  1.  Avoid large meetings
    Large meetings waste valuable time and energy – They discourage debate – People are more guarded than open – There’s not enough time for everyone to contribute. Don’t schedule large meetings unless you’re certain they provide value to everyone.
  2. Leave a meeting if you’re not contributing
    If a meeting doesn’t require your: – Input – Value – Decisions Your presence is useless. It’s not rude to leave a meeting. But it’s rude to waste people’s time.
  3. Forget the chain of command
    Communicate with colleagues directly. Not through supervisors or managers. Fast communicators make fast decisions. Fast decisions = competitive advantage.
  4.  Be clear, not clever
    Avoid nonsense words and technical jargon. It slows down communication. Choose words that are: – Concise – To the point – Easy to understand Don’t sound smart. Be efficient.
  5. Ditch frequent meetings
    There’s no better way to waste everyone’s time. Use meetings to: – Collaborate – Attack issues head-on – Solve urgent problems But once you resolve the issue, frequent meetings are no longer necessary. You can resolve most issues without a meeting. Instead of meetings: – Send a text – Send an email – Communicate on a discord or slack channel Don’t interrupt your team’s workflow if it’s unnecessary.
  6. Use common sense if a company rule doesn’t make sense
    Contribute to progress – Apply to your specific situation Avoid following the rule with your eyes closed. Don’t follow rules. Follow principles.

Warning : 2) and even other x) only suitable for slightly autistic, self obsessed and excellent scientists.

 

 

No irony allowed

Ronagh & Souder in “The ethics of ironic science

We adopt the concept of irony from the fields of literary and rhetorical criticism to detect, characterize, and analyze the interpretations in the more than 60 published research papers that cite an instance of ironic science. We find a variety of interpretations: some citing authors interpret the research as valid and accept it, some contradict or reject it, and some acknowledge its ironic nature.

bonus example 61 “Effect on human longevity of added dietary chocolate

Does identification of misconduct in studies affect medical guidelines?

This question has been answered by an earlier study of Avenell et al.

By 2016 the affected trial reports were cited in 1158 publications, including 68 systematic reviews, meta-analyses, narrative reviews, guidelines and clinical trials. We judged that 13 guidelines, systematic or other reviews would likely change their findings if the affected trial reports were removed, and in another eight it was unclear if findings would change. By 2018, only one of the 68 citing publications, a systematic review, appeared to have undertaken a reassessment, which led to a correction.
We found evidence that this group of affected trial reports distorted the evidence base. Correction of these distortions is slow, uncoordinated and inconsistent. Unless there is a rapid, systematic, coordinated approach by bibliographic databases, authors, journals and publishers to mitigate the impact of known cases of research misconduct, patients, other researchers and their funders may continue to be adversely affected.

Querdenken

Es gibt bisher wenig gute Erklärungen der Querdenken Bewegung.

Warum verfallen Menschen auf bestimmte  Meinungen? Und was unterscheidet sie zum Beispiel von den wahnhaften Störungen in der Psychiatrie oder aber auch von Fehlschlüssen in der Wissenschaft? Irgendwie scheint sich doch alles auf einem Kontinuum zu bewegen?

Bei dem Versuch einer Antwort folge ich dabei mehr oder weniger dem Psychiater Manfred Lütz, der auch nicht viel auf unsere psychiatrischen Diagnosen gibt, da sie nur Hilfskonstruktionen sind die nur einem Zweck dienen, nämlich Menschen medizinisch zu helfen (S.32ff)

Manfred Lütz. Irre! – Wir behandeln die Falschen: Unser Problem sind die Normalen. Goldmann 2019.

Unbestrittenes Kennzeichen des Wahns ist jedenfalls die Unfähigkeit, die Perspektive zu wechseln.  Mit dieser Definition gelingen nun auch die Unterscheidungen: So sind Psychotiker und Querdenker beide unfähig, die Perspektive zu wechseln, während das den meisten Wissenschaftlern aber möglich sein sollte.

Psychotiker leiden unter dieser Unfähigkeit (zumindest im symptomfreien Intervall) während Querdenker darüber in ihrer Gemeinschaftserfahrung Bestätigung erfahren. Die “self enforcing loops” bei der Psychose sind wohl hirnorganisch  bedingt, während sie bei Querdenker eher sekundär und erlebnisreaktiv sind. Die Ideenwelt der Psychose ist kreativ, während Querdenker kaum zu neuen oder innovative Ideen in der Lage sind.

Dennoch: Querdenken sollte  nicht pathologisiert werden – Labels helfen nicht, sie verstärken nur eher den Zusammenhalt der Gruppe. Mit Wegfall von Youtube und Telegram würde die Bewegung wohl in sich zusammen fallen. Da dies nicht passierte, sucht sie sich neue Ziele etwa Russland.

Im selbst gewählten Asyl ist es dann aber mit dem Gemeinschaftserlebnis vorbei, so auch bei den zwei prominentesten Ärzteaccounts diese Woche zu sehen.

Bodo Schiffmann https://twitter.com/Tzerberus1/status/1589185591127977984
Carola Javid Kistel https://twitter.com/Alemanniel/status/1589318971769196551

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Academic freedom

Peer review kann auch Wissenschaft verhindern, wie wir gestern an dem Cosmos Artikel oder vor ein paar Tagen bei eLife gesehen haben.

Und es ist ein riesiges Problem, wie ich gerade in einem weiteren Essay bei Sandra Kostner gefunden habe “Disziplinieren statt argumentieren. Zur Verhängung und Umsetzung intellektueller Lockdowns” in ApuZ 71. Jahrgang, 46/2021, 15. November 2021.

Continue reading Academic freedom

Peer review in peril

Cosmos has an interesting article

The list of retractions and editorial issues of concern, even from the most-respected peer-reviewed journals, swells daily, exposing the underlying problem of expecting peer review to act as the gatekeeper for scientific rectitude and rigour. This is a job for which it is woefully inadequate.
Academic peer review became an integral part of the scientific publishing process in the early 1970s and quickly became synonymous with trustworthiness – both of the journal and of the science itself…“One of the biggest issues in peer review is the lack of incentive to do a good job,” says medical researcher Dr Hannah Wardill, from the University of Adelaide. “There is no oversight and no training. People are just so thinly spread. None of these factors facilitate a robust and thorough peer-review system.”

Von Algorithmen bestimmt

Too many complaints about eLife

Following the recent announcement of eLife to overcome a accept/reject decision

We have found that these public preprint reviews and assessments are far more effective than binary accept or reject decisions ever could be at conveying the thinking of our reviewers and editors, and capturing the nuanced, multidimensional, and often ambiguous nature of peer review.

there are now many complaints

Destroying eLife’s reputation for selectivity does not serve science. Changes that pretend scientists do not care about publishing in highly selective journals will end eLife’s crucial role in science publishing, says long-time supporter Paul Bieniasz

While the announcement could have come in a more polite way – creating a second tier of an eLife archive – I believe this is a good decision.The rejection attitude  is basically driven that “your inferior paper would harm my journal impact” while it just goes to another journal. Publication is seldom stopped so it produces workload at other journals and for other reviewers in particular when the initial reviews are not public.

The eLife decision therefore breaks a vicious circle.

Surveillance Publisher

Capitalized value? Personalized PDFs? DFG warning? User tracking? Forced marriage? It is incredible how scientific publishers are expanding their business. Here is a new paper

This essay develops the idea of surveillance publishing, with special attention to the example of Elsevier. A scholarly publisher can be defined as a surveillance publisher if it derives a substantial proportion of its revenue from prediction products, fueled by data extracted from researcher behavior. … The products’ purpose, moreover, is to streamline the top-down assessment and evaluation practices that have taken hold in recent decades. A final concern is that scholars will internalize an analytics mindset, one already encouraged by citation counts and impact factors.  

Sure, this already happens as some committees look only at lists of impact factor and grant sums. In the near future, they will switch to Elsevier`s “human ressources” management system Interfolio to compare candidates.

Founded in 1999, Interfolio supports over 400 higher education institutions, research funders and academic organizations in 25 countries, and over 1.7 million academic professionals and scholars. Theo Pillay, General Manager of Research Institutional Products, Elsevier, said: “Interfolio has a proven track record in supporting the academic community, thanks to its deep understanding of faculty needs, institutional workflows, research assessment and academic careers, combined with its agile technology and experienced leadership.

Back to the original article

the publishing giants have long profited off of academics and our university employers—by packaging scholars’ unpaid writing-and-editing labor only to sell it back to us as usuriously priced subscriptions or article processing charges (APCs). That’s a lucrative business that Elsevier and the others won’t give up. But they’re layering another business on top of their legacy publishing operations, in the Clarivate mold. The data trove that publishers are sitting on is, if anything, far richer than the citation graph alone.

Data is the new oil, indeed.