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it's true in basically every field. my phd experience [machine learning] was generally very good, but i left with a very strong sense that academia is not really any better than other spheres of human endeavor. the rulebook is different, but politics finds a way - a big way. i disagree though, that 'negative results' fit into the tattle-tale category in your analogy, and think it is also a bit naive to dismiss charisma.

Of course this is not universally true, but there is definitely a culture problem within the field. Furthermore there's a repeatability problem in a ton of biological research. More time has to be spent repeating findings even at the expense of slower progress (retraction watch is mostly full of biological/medical research). I don't meant to dismiss charisma outright, but it needs to be backed up with originality and good science to be worth a damn.

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