Friday, September 17, 2004

Journal of Rampant Speculation

Publishing and sharing ideas is a central to the process of collective enlightenment. Traditional mechanism for publishing ideas through a peer-review mechanism, however, is fraught with inefficiencies. Motives other than the pursuit of truth hinder the process, particularly the desire for notoriety and economic gain. It's hard to blame the academicians. The reward mechanism in academics is attention and funding, and academic literature is the marketplace for competition. The misplaced motives lead to inefficient allocation of effort among scientists and inefficient selection process for ideas among publishers. Indeed, both science and publishing are forms of economic enterprise.

As a result of this structure, academicians tend to pursue and publishers tend to print incremental science. The system is intrinsically reactionary and often inadvertantly rewards safety in the name of scientific rigor. Truly innovative ideas, however, may find no forum if the idea does not or cannot fit into the existing publishing schema. Most of the literature landspace is fairly homogeneous in terms of requirements for submission. There are scattered forums for untested hypotheses, but even those tend to be severely constrained by traditional intellectual limitations. Science is advancing rapidly, but there is little doubt that the absence of a forum for sharing novel outlier hypotheses is hindering even faster progress by not fostering discontinuous innovations.

It is the goal of this blog to fill this gap by encouraging the development and sharing of innovative outlier hypotheses in all areas of academics, particularly the sciences. We solicit your ideas, which will be evaluated by our editorial board. Great ideas will be published and opened up for commentary so that the ideas take on a life of their own. Occasionally, we may solicit outlier hypotheses on a particular topic which the editorial staff may feel would be of general interest. Submissions to these solicitations will receive priority review.

The review process, as well as the composition of review staff, reflects our non-traditional mission. The reviewers are all academicians at top institutions who are at the early stages of their careers. By day, their creativity and enthusiasm are stifled as day laborers in the rigid structure of modern academics. By night, they rage, rage against the dying of the most plastic portion of their intellectual lives.

Submissions should state the current dominant theory, describe the proposed alternative theory, and provide an argument for the theory. All submissions should be made to editorjrs@yahoo.com


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