Saturday, March 30, 2013

Peer review, or clothing the wolf.

As this piece is about authority I'll state my own background (in case anyone hasn't seen it before), as being qualified in law and psychotherapy, two disciplines not entirely unconnected. They both for example work on principles of authority, that of the law and how they are made, and who decides what they are, and the other being who people believe and trust. My own personal experience has shown me that most people, the majority who believe what they are told, are not concerned in analysing what they are told by professionals and politicians, but when the identical things are given by anyone else, if contradicting the first set, are correspondingly dismissed out of hand, and if the feeling is strong enough condemned personally for doing so.

Goebbels and Machiavelli were two of the best known names who knew and exploited this principle, part of man's evolution, where the masses have still not learnt to think or rely on their own judgement but pass it up to a small group of experts who do that for them. This as a result means when those in such positions wish to exploit the situation, they can say things which normally would make no sense, such as the longest and coldest winter in living memory being caused by global warming (as they did yesterday) and everyone nods and (if where permitted) cocks their weapons to shoot anyone they see emitting too much CO2. In the end this mechanism only serves to delay the inevitable discovery of the truth, but the money taken in the meantime has completed the missions enough to move onto the next.

Personal charisma and sheer effort is the sole exception to this principle, as no one I am aware of has ever questioned David Icke's authority for accusing famous people of the worst crimes known to man, and turn out lists of facts relating to the present and future plans of the shadow government behind over 200 countries. But he was already a TV reporter so possibly that is a qualification in itself as once you're on TV people tend to view that in itself as a reason to believe you, as how could you be there if you weren't special in some way. The fact two different TV reporters disagree may challenge this position, and then I presume it's how qualified each person is before they decide who to believe.

David Icke aside, we have a current formula where the identical correct figures will be dismissed from an unqualified messenger, even when quoting the qualified, whereas the qualified can say whatever they want and enough people will blindly accept it. Once the intelligent among us discover this, then as with all people at all levels, the decency is spread in the same proportions among the clever as everyone else. The sociopaths, officially accepted as being the best leaders, devote their lives to earning power over others, and then use it to change whatever they believe needs changing, and improve their own conditions of wealth and power. They have no conscience (the basis of being a sociopath) so are (at the extreme or partially) not sensitive to other people as fellow human beings so only see them as a means to their own personal advancement.

Once enough people learn this formula (from someone they can trust of course) then they can't be caught again. The knowledge they have been taken advantage of is easily enough to work on its own to close that wide open door to their wills which was previously equivalent to a lorry leaving the back door open on a deserted road full of expensive kit. However gullible people are to begin with they still have a stronger sense of survival than their relative IQs, and therefore when they realise these sods are out to get them will no longer be susceptible to Al Gore or the outgoing head of the UK met Office whose parting words were 'This freezing weather is because of global warming' and left to a chorus of cheering. Of course, like the people who blamed the banks for offering unlimited loans they couldn't pay back, the victims tend to pass the responsibility to the clever crooks who legally or otherwise exploit their wide open brains and raid them for every ounce of material before they suddenly realise they're broke and wake up. That's the easiest way to do it, but look at the cost, and they still haven't completely woken up as they still genuinely believe as the loans not been available they had no responsibility to think before they accepted them all. This means they still have divested the entire responsibility onto those with authority (despite now discovering they were bent), with little or no insight into their own willing and entirely optional role in the formula.

This observation itself is a start, and when taken on as a recognised means to exploit the majority of unwilling citizens while unaware what is being done to them, most of the time quite deliberately, is the means to their escape and freedom.

Back to peer review, now you've seen the big picture it fits in, it's basically those in authority endorsing those in authority so comparable with internal disciplinary procedures and the like. It is supposed to stop scientists from producing inaccurate material for any reason, but is apparently used to protect them when they need it. It is not the same as marking an exam, but more of a safety net just to pick up the really dodgy stuff and pretty much let the rest through especially when chosen by the authors.

"It constitutes a form of self-regulation by qualified members of a profession within the relevant field. Peer review methods are employed to maintain standards of quality, improve performance, and provide credibility. In academia peer review is often used to determine an academic paper's suitability for publication."

In theory, but if a lot of the utter nonsense that gets through represents the actual position then it is an honourable theory but in practice can and almost certainly has been used to give credibility to any old junk the system wants to get out there. It can be done properly, but can and is also used to endorse political and related material which can then be defended by claiming it's passed peer review, as if that makes it beyond any further questioning. As with equity law, peer review is designed as a shield and not a sword (in law meaning you cannot sue someone under it, but use it to defend against another), but with no higher court available in science once something has been peer reviewed there is no known way to challenge it at a higher level unless you discover a pretty obvious error. Not being a scientist myself the only channel I've come across is Retraction Watch, which is simply a service which posts every withdrawn paper online, the great majority being for fraud. Peer review assumes honesty, meaning various professors at the highest level have made up data for years, and as it looked convincing was passed up and published. This alone proves the total lack of safety in relying on it to confirm a paper is genuine, and shows a vast hole in the security of scientific papers in general, which is there to be used and exploited by anyone driven to do so.

Tie this up with my general points on the evil exploiting the average and you will see exactly how and where it fits in.

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