MindMatters is worrying about hard-to-detect deepfakes in “scientific” research.
As with replication, this is not a serious problem, and doesn’t affect real research. The real problem is tenure and federal funding. Quantity, not quality.
The vast QUANTITY of low QUALITY papers is a direct result of tenure and grants.
These papers don’t matter because real labs DON’T READ THEM.
Everyone knows which papers are essentially resume enhancers and which papers are meaningful.
More to the point, serious labs are vertically integrated, with long-term projects based on earlier work in THIS LAB. We don’t need to read resume enhancers by someone else’s postdocs; we’re too busy churning out our own resume enhancers.
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We can see a nice model of the solution in the economic realm right now. For 14 years central banks have been pumping endless grants into the stock markets, with no regard for quality or profit or payback. The result is a huge QUANTITY of low QUALITY companies and fraud and deepfakes. Last year the central banks turned off the QE faucet and started to reabsorb some of the excess. The result is dramatic. The entirely fraudulent part of the fake economy (blockchain, NFT, DAO) is collapsing fast, and the semi-fraudulent tech IPOs are collapsing a bit less rapidly.
The same thing would happen in research if federal funding went away. Real labs would have to seek corporate funding or crowdfunding, and the payers would be demanding CORRECT ANSWERS TO SPECIFIC QUESTIONS. Value for pay.
Tenure would still be creating resume enhancers, but with no surplus money universities would have to eliminate tenure, or at least disconnect it from publishing. This turnaround has already started to some extent, in smaller universities that depend more on tuition and less on grants and endowments.
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Important footnote: I was looking for ‘tenure’ on Youtube. Not much, mostly hints to grad students on improving your tenure chances. Very little description of the problem.
BUT: DeSantis has just signed a law decreasing the permanence of tenure, and decreasing the power of accrediting agencies!!!!!
DeSantis is the new FDR.
He’s aiming to solve ALL THE REAL PROBLEMS, and he’s not wasting effort on nonsense or fake problems.