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...or the HalfPapery
  [vote for,

During the 20th century, one of the most influential mathematicians was Nicolas Bourbaki.

Nicolas Bourbaki, however, was not a person. He was a pusedonium for a group of French mathematicians who wrote and published papers collectively.


The HalfBakery is one of intellectually richest non-academic sites on the entire webternet. Occasionally (well, sometimes. Well, OK, it could happen) discussions here are actually meaningful and relevant, and include one or more (or fewer) persons who actually know what they are talking about. In a minority of cases, the discussions actually lead somewhere.


Most academic journals publish theoretical (ie, non-experimental) papers, either exclusively (in 'theoretical' disciplines like sociology, though I use the word 'discipline' loosely here), or alongside experimental papers (for instance, in biology, physics, chemistry...). Some of these are full papers, others are opinion pieces.

It ought to be possible to take some of the discussions that grow, like moss on a bolting horse, in ideas here on the HB, and beat them into shape as papers and submit them to peer-reviewed journals. 98% of them will be rejected by the editor (98% of all papers are rejected by the editor), but a few will turn out to be publishable in half-decent journals.

Imagine seeing "Theoretical considerations on reactionless impulse devices" in PhysicsB, or "Considerations on brain/machine interfaces" in J. Neurophys.!

You're probably thinking that anyone who survived the editor's shredder would get slaughtered by the referees, but you'd be amazed at some of the stuff that gets through.

MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 26 2011

We can definitely get it in here http://math.rejecta.org/
[mouseposture, Apr 27 2011]

Or save effort, and submit here http://www.universalrejection.org/
[mouseposture, Apr 27 2011]

http://www.atlaspress.co.uk/theLIP/ Publish here - one of my favourite places. [xenzag, Apr 27 2011]

An interesting idea Reptomobile
rdv: use reptiles instead of horses because when you're not using them they're dormant, especially in the winter. Of course *modern* reptiles probably won't do the trick... [FlyingToaster, Apr 29 2011]


       Oh this certainly would.
rcarty, Apr 26 2011

       //but you'd be amazed at some of the stuff that get through.//   

       I was when I got published -but then they were only conferences...
Jinbish, Apr 26 2011

       I would love to participate, if my shouting "NO!" all the time would add anything.
WcW, Apr 26 2011

       Does anyone have to be French?
...and I don't get //one or fewer//.
xandram, Apr 26 2011

       what [21Q] said.   

       That would require a relaxation of the rules regarding "theory" and "research should be done" to disinclude "serious" works of same from m-f-d'ing.   

       But hey, I still think the earliest tool was actually a scrunchie. (And there may be otherwise-ignored evidence near an exhumed skeleton.)
FlyingToaster, Apr 26 2011

       I can see this contributing meaningfully to the advancement of human knowledge, and certainly there are occasionally great minds resident here. Monsiuer Demipain would make fascinating contributions to academia.   

       Of course, we would have the resist the temptation to re-enact the Sokal affair. On reflection, that seems the most difficult part of the enterprise.   

       (Assuming we wish to resist it.)
gisho, Apr 26 2011

       //pusedonium// a what?
po, Apr 26 2011

       I said "pusedonium". You're not listening loud enough.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 26 2011

       //That would require a relaxation of the rules ....//   

       You're partly right. I imagine that there would need to be some sort of off-bakery forum where discussions could be continued and beaten into shape, and disturb the well- ordered normality of the Ha...no, wait...
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 26 2011

       ([po], a pusedonium is a type of wall-mounted gothic mirror with candle-holders. The Bourbaki group used to hold their meetings and write papers sitting underneath it.)
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 26 2011

       [MB] quit shouting, you little puse. I'd be a goth but I hate the shade of lipstick.
po, Apr 26 2011

       Better than being a big pseud.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 26 2011

       //"serious" works of same from m-f-d'ing//   

       This anecdote is completely off-topic:   

       My son's Cub Scout pine-car derby race, (he took 2nd place), was held at the volunteer fire department in the small city of Meadow.   

       Being property of the Meadow Fire Department, all of the neatly arrayed folding metal chairs had "MFD" stenciled on the backs.   

       I stood in the back, and gazed over the seated crowd of parents and laughed maniacally (softly chuckled maniacally to myself) as I envisioned Mother Nature marking these soft and bloated social animals as "Marked-for-deletion".   


       oh, and what [21Q] said. [+]
MikeD, Apr 26 2011

       The problem is, I suspect once you condensed the entire discussion down in to the formal paper it would be very short and repetitive:   

       1. It doesn't work in (theory/practice).   

       1.1 because of the laws of (conservation of energy / gravitation / thermodynamics)   

       1.2 beause of (friction / wind resistance / insufficently advanced technology / human behavior / economics / legal liability)   

       2. It still doesn't work no matter how many times you repeat your base arguments.   

       3. It still doesn't work even if you make up your own laws of physics, unless you can demonstrate those laws have validity.   

       4. Appeals to (magic / genetic engineering / your uncle Ralph) don't help either.   

       5. Repeat, ad naseum.
MechE, Apr 26 2011

       Yes, [MechE], undoubtedly true in many cases. But out of the many hundreds of ideas (well, postings at least), there are a handful which contain enough nuggets of reasoned argument to act as the starting point of a paper.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 26 2011

       //half-decent journals// Playboy?
spidermother, Apr 27 2011

       there is very solid scientific merit in discrediting an idea.
WcW, Apr 27 2011

       No relaxing of the //research should be done// rule would be required, since there's no prohibition against ideas proposing specific experiments, or detailed programs of experimentation. Only ideas that merely identify a field of study, nu?   

       //there is very solid scientific merit in discrediting an idea// Hardest kind of paper to publish: odds are, the reviewers'll be proponents of that idea.   

       Consider the difficulty of writing, revising, strategizing re: choice of journal and suggested reviewers, wrestling with the deranged formatting demands of the journal's online submission system, chewing ones fingernails, licking ones wounds and/or frothing at the mouth after the first set of reviews, revising, resubmitting, repeat ad lib or ad neauseum, whichever comes first. Now multiply by 50 (the expected number of submissions, according to [MB] required to get one paper into print).   

       I used to believe the stringency of the peer review process was related to its effectiveness in separating intellectual wheat from chaff. No longer. Even when it's very hard to get past the filter, the stuff that does get past is only marginally better than the stuff that doesn't.   

       But [+] because I recognized the reference in the title, and enjoyed feelling smug about that. And also because I want to nominate [Vernon] to draft and revise the manuscripts, while the rest of us edit.
mouseposture, Apr 27 2011

       By publishing in journals you can gain prestige and credibility, but the information is generally locked up behind the publisher's copyright paywall (admittedly there are exceptions under the banner of "open access journals").   

       Anyway, what I'm trying to say is "I like my ideas like I like my women - free and easy". Leave the journals to the boffins.
xaviergisz, Apr 27 2011

       //"I like my ideas like I like my women - free and easy". //   

       Don't forget to mention -- on the Internet.
rcarty, Apr 27 2011

       //"I like my ideas like I like my women - free and easy". //

- and mindful of the need for proper spelling and grammar, of course.
hippo, Apr 27 2011

       See last link for London Institute of Pataphysics.
xenzag, Apr 27 2011

       //Pataphysics//, [Maxwell]. Quizzical. Careful with that hammer.
spidermother, Apr 27 2011

       I nominate the <linked> idea "Reptomobile"   

       "On using vat-grown dinosaurs as an economical and eco-friendly replacement for many modes of transportation's motive power"
FlyingToaster, Apr 29 2011

       Will these articles turn up in a PubBread search?
Cuit_au_Four, May 07 2011

       I suggest "Considerations and Reconsiderations of Proposed Vacuum Blimp Technologies" as the title for the first attempt. But am not sure what journal to submit to.
sqeaketh the wheel, May 08 2011


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