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Dude, you play games?

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I doubt it is the flagging, though it might be.

Might perhaps be that this is the very first time that someone publicly asks to get deleted and no one knows what to do about it, hence deleting the thread t is an easy option.

Perhaps I do not quite so much care about the actual content, but that the content is likely to be permanent does quite change my opinion of social media and their kins such as this website.

I simply would not want to comment on a site like this if indeed all that I have commented has no way of being eradicated. For me on a personal level I suppose that is fine since my Id is fairly anonymous, but others would simply treat such platforms as businesses and that is, well would be, a sorry state of affairs.

I can not believe however that the brightest minds can not deal with this, yet can deal with utterly complex mathematical formulae and even P does or does not equal NP!

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This is a public website and it's cached and retained by many servers all over the internet. Even if you deleted your comments at the source there's nothing preventing me from going to Google or The Internet Archive or whatever to find your old posts.

You decide what you make public, once it's public you can't close Pandora's box again. That's just the way things are now.

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I just want to not be able to log in tomorrow.

So too I would perhaps also like this website to not contain my thoughts.If it takes a man to go through each of them, then fine. If it takes me going through each of them and deleting them then fine.

Not that I would, but it is in a way a matter of principle. I own all these comments. I should have the right to decide as to which site or which person can view them or otherwise. Not some complete stranger.

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I disagree. You do not own those comments. The moment you made them public you shared ownership with everyone on the internet and beyond. If a newspaper wants to quote you they can do so without seeking your permission. If I want to copy it and post it on my blog I can do so, and if you ask me to remove it from my blog I can refuse.

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I would need case authority for that proposition.

I would not for example see how my comment would be any different from any other article which you can not simply post in your blog as it is copyrightable. I do not either see for example how it would be different from say mentioning a great idea I told a friend I was going to implement yet goes on to implement it himself.

The boundaries are yet to be defined for certain, but I do not see how one can reason that others should be freely able to record my speech in a permanent form without making me know so.

If Hacker News in their terms and conditions stated that they owned all that I contributed and made this blatantly obvious, then fine, but otherwise, all that I have stated is mine, and within my authority alone.

Not that I care at all of any of it. I simply want my account to be deleted because I am tired of this place.

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Nobody is recording your speech for you, YOU are recording it and putting it on the internet. YOU have the power to keep your thoughts off the internet if you want to. If you choose not to do so then that's fine too, you just can't change your mind about it later. That's how things work, if that's not OK for you then sorry but it's not going to change.

Equating a public comment on a public website to a copyrighted article by a professional writer is just naive. If you talked to a copyright lawyer in the USA I'm almost 100% sure that your comments would not clear the bar of what can be copyrighted. Even if it could there are many countries where it would not be protected by copyright and where anyone could reproduce your comments at will.

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Don;t ask that. Etiquette is last century in hacker news land.

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Why would the question need context? It is not asking of a specific instance, as in, was it reasonable that such a thing happened at such a time, but generally.

That is, do you think that reason reigns supreme from your practical experience of life.

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I think most people (myself included) feel that context here is important and deeply philosophical. If Reason indeed reigns supreme, who or what are Its subjects? Is it Love, Emotions, Experience, the Senses, etc.? But then what would reigning supreme mean? That Reason is (say) more aesthetically compelling than Love? But what would that mean? You get the idea... this kind of question is intrinsically rather vague, though not necessarily worthless (at least to me). It's a topic more amenable to long essays and treatises than to polls. (Still, see http://philpapers.org/surveys/results.pl .)

If your intention was, however, to restrict your question to mere humans, it should have read something like, "Are human beings eminently rational?" But I doubt that was your intention.

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Or this is just a different kind of reddit. Just as useless as the previous kind, for humans only make both.

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Wow. That is brutal. To be absolutely honest, I would love that kind of objective, brutal feedback if I did not suspect motivations.

It is very silly however to suggest that my motivation for this is something which I would expect to get down votes, not least because the original post, the comments of which I echoed, got downvoted. I simply wanted to say it. Which is my very nature. Uncensoured thoughts. Be the results what they may. I care about the downvotes as much as I would care about the looks of any person down the street. A mere moment, here now, gone in seconds.

I have been thinking of making such a post in quite a while, not least because, and of course I might be much wrong hence the post, I think that this place will at one point become too big and perhaps loose the culture it has. My motivation thus was, to ask the brilliant minds that reside within these pages, to speculate as to how perhaps such fate does not need to become a necessity. That is, whether you can have a reddit like site, without becoming reddit.

But thanks for your comment in any instance. It does quite prove my original point.

Edit: I should add also, on a purely objective and inquisitive manner also, I do not quite see why you would do that. I have looked as far as I could in you comments, and I do not see any comments that I have made in reply to any of yours, let alone to leave a bitter taste in your mouth.

It frankly is sufficient to simply make me not want to have anything to do with this community any longer. I sought reason and I found it. Once reason vanishes, so indeed shall I.

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Let me contribute my perspectives about the posts in this thread: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1627749

mathgladiator's post: I would vote this down as being totally content-free. The words "late night orgies" do not make a comment hilarious, and other than that, his comment literally had nothing to say.

lsb's post: I'd vote this down as being a reply to a useless post that doesn't contribute except to scold the parent. I don't think we need reminding that AIDS is a serious problem. I don't follow why it has 7 upvotes.

Your first post: Downvoted. Again, no content. You just made the same off-hand remark about orgies that the grandparent made. Besides being pointless, it's also absurdly offensive and tasteless to respond to a serious comment about AIDS and rape in this tone.

Your second post: Downvoted. Why are you replying to yourself? Why would you open a comment with an insult to the audience? What makes you think we want to read an impromptu lecture about the joy of sex?

Look, all these posts have something in common. It's that they add absolutely zero value to the discussion. They aren't wise or informative, they don't clarify anything, and they're not funny. Elsewhere in the thread, although your posts were sometimes marginally off-topic, you clearly had something to say; e.g. your defense of paywalls on academic journals, and your back-and-forth about the value of HIV research outside of the human environment. Here, you have nothing to say. "Sex is great, everyone should have sex, it's nice if AIDS is gone" is not worth the time it takes to write or read. (It's ten times worse as a reply to a comment about rape.)

Taking issue with these things is just a matter of filtering spam, not a matter of personal grudges.

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Right. So affiliate marketing is on a completely different level to adsense.

What I have been doing is use affiliate links no different than adsense, that is find 250 by 250 image links and put them on some location on my website.

I gather that I have been doing it all wrong and affiliate advertising is fundamentally different from say adsense.

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Do you then mean that affiliate ads are not quite suitable for an informative website and do not quite compare or supplement adsense. I suppose I mean to ask, do you mean affiliate ads are fundamentally different from adsense, in the way that say walking and driving a car are different.

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Yeah, most successful affiliate marketers seem to do it as their main thing--- they build entire sites with the sole purpose of pulling in visitors who'll click through and buy something via the affiliate link. It seems much more difficult to use them as a way to make money from a normal site, although I've had modest success with relevant Amazon links (Amazon is nice because you get commission if someone clicks through and buys anything within 24 hours, not necessarily the product you linked).

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They really are on different levels. You can push an affiliate offer through a review site, through an email list, through ppc ads, ppv traffic. Adsense is pretty ordinary, and works in situations when users want more than a site or page can deliver for the most part.

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So it is not a good idea to put an affiliate banner on a normal page, hence perhaps why I have not gotten a single sale. Affiliates just require a different strategy?

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you need to recommend products. I've had some success w/ list posts full of recommended products.

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Because we have not heard of a $225K microscope before - thus the microscope must be well good - but have heard of $10M research building and actually expect the latter.

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I'm sure the vast majority of the readers of this article have also not heard of a $10K, $100K or $700K microscope either which is why it's incongruous to have the price in the first sentence of the article without any context.

Here are many other microscopes the prices of which you may not have heard. Is it enlightening?

http://www.technicalsalessolutions.com/

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There are only seven microscopes there which are more expensive.

This is journalism of course, but there is no need to discredit everything simply because you can word it in such a way as to make it sound stupid.

Personally, once the sum for the microscope was mentioned I was able to judge that the research is quite serious, has the latest technology and advantages of the latest technology and thus give me more confidence in their findings. Is it such a bad thing to use facts to make a story credible?

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The point is that there are a range of microscope prices. The one they used falls somewhere in the spectrum of prices of lab microscopes I'd expect scientists to be using routinely. Mentioning it in the lead sentence of the article makes it seem notable for some reason. Maybe it is, but it's impossible to know without any context.

Aside from its price, does it have some unusual capability that enabled them to make this discovery? That is the kind of fact which would make the article more informative. When it's possible to image molecules with a device you can build for under $100, knowing the cost of the equipment someone used isn't very useful. It's analogous to an argument from authority.

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I understand finely why your criticism might be a valid point, however, when all comments take the same shade that your criticism does, we start looking for the trees and miss the forest.

If you can build something for $100, yet the same thing they used costed $250,000 to build, ok let us even say for good measure it costed $25,000 and the rest was inflated, compared to $100 it must be a well awesome product, way superior than what you could build, ten times, 25 times, and if we are to trust the actual figure, 250 times better than what you could built.

The point of the article is most probably that it is the latest technology anyway. I mean, it is fine to look out for these flaws, but something much grater happened there, they actually discovered something. If all we get from comments is flaws flaws and the opposite down voted, then this community simply is not working.

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Readers of a peer-reviewed article are, I think, willing to stipulate that the authors of the article are using adequate equipment. Probably most of the researchers of submitted articles which the reviewers criticize or reject use the same equipment.

The price of the equipment is not a factor in the credibility of the work. It does not make it more or less credible or flawed in any way. It is unusual to see the price of the lab equipment mentioned - that's all.

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We were not reading a peer reviewed article.

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No. But Virology is and its inclusion there is deferred until the third paragraph. If the point you are trying to make is that you are a representative audience member for this article and you find it more compelling that they used expensive equipment than that their result was featured on the cover of a peer-reviewed journal, I think we can agree that the the writer of the Loyola Medicine press release has taken the full measure of his readership.

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Good luck with that. Barriers to professions - which includes access to research - is what keeps the professionals well paid and thus perhaps allow them to fund more research.

Isn't that infringement of copyrights by the way? Do you think it is fine too if I start distributing freely an application for which you have worked for years and decided to charge for?

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> Do you think it is fine too if I start distributing freely an application for which you have worked for years and decided to charge for?

Sure, as long as I developed the application with taxpayer money I think it would be fair game to have it freely distributed. From the article:

> The study was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health.

I wish the NIH and others would require free distribution for papers originating out of publicly funded research.

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They do. The catch is there is (up to) a 12 month lag.

http://publicaccess.nih.gov/

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I think there is a difference between the substance of the content and its distribution. The way that the article can have any validity and authority is for the current time through a peer reviewed system which requires plenty of money to be upheld.

I like the system, with all its flaws. Why should you be free to cheat it? If you are poor and can not afford it, then fine, but if you do not value the knowledge sufficiently for a fiver or tenner, then maybe you should not gain it.

The thing is that this goes beyond a random user like you or me. It is not hard at all to see vast distribution of such articles on free websites. You only need to buy a subscription to the distributor, and then copy and paste and upload each and everyone of them. Then, the people who actually find it necessary to read such articles, which is quite different from a random viewer, and who are the actual people who support the system, would simply not need to provide the funding for the system, and thus the system either collapses, or it evolves stupendously fast.

I would rather give them their time. This is not music or film. This is knowledge. I would thus rather be conservative and give them the freedom to adapt and adopt to the new technology and innovate within their own space and time.

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Then there should be grant money set aside to cover peer review. I'd bet most of the subscribers are already doing so with public money in some form, it doesn't make sense to lock up all that information behind a pay wall.

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Why should there be grant money set aside to cover peer review? Just ask yourself honestly and try to be unbiased, is that not a very selfish proposition?

This is only one article, amongst thousands of which we do not care of. We do not care of them because they have nothing to do with the field we have chosen to focus on, be that computer science, medicine, history, physics, law, or artificial intelligence. I would rather the money goes into research, than to provide some randomer with the pleasure of reading something they hardly can understand anyway.

I did not read the peer reviewed journal, I do not care to read it, I know little about medicine besides what I was taught in school. The terminology used is different, one word contains entire concepts, there is an entirely different way of thinking in that field, and frankly, it adds no value to me personally. If it did and I could afford it, I would buy it. £30 is what one spends on a Saturday night!

Now if we wished to live in a paranoid world where we do not trust the experts in their field and wish to validate everything our self, then that is a personal choice of perspective.

One can well choose to spend his entire life to learn of every field in this earth. Most people, if not the vast majority of people, if not 99% of people, sooner or later, focus on one field, and perhaps focus further on that field, especially if such field is medicine, or computer science, or law. That is how we work, that is the best system we have found of operating.

I personally do not see anything wrong with the way the system currently works, not wrong in such a way as to justify throwing it out entirely. If you are a doctor, you subscribe, if you are not, then buy the one article you want to read, if you do not want to buy it, then you do not need it.

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> Why should there be grant money set aside to cover peer review? Just ask yourself honestly and try to be unbiased, is that not a very selfish proposition?

Why should there be grant money set aside to cover research?

I don't think I'm alone in finding that it's frustrating to have tax payer funded research be hidden behind paywalls that other tax payer funded institutions can access but the general public cannot. We're paying for both sides and not getting the goods.

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Those who are interested in the goods however, subsidise those goods. You, or the tax paying public is not interested in those goods, but only the results. Just bare in mind this is only one article. There are thousands of other articles which you personally, let alone the tax paying public cares nothing of.

Knowledge is useful only to those who know how to make use of it.

But my opinion is not wanted, thus, you have your opinion and hold it dearly beside any questions of reason or logics because perhaps I should say if you had such understanding then you would have the liberty to suggest a better system.

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because perhaps I should say if you had such understanding then you would have the liberty to suggest a better system.

Ask, and Ye Shall Receive

http://mitworld.mit.edu/video/534

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Why should there be grant money set aside to cover peer review?

Because we're already paying for it in journal subscriptions , memberships, and publication fees paid by public institutions. We might as well pay something other than a for-profit organization. Elsevier, for example, does something like $600 million in pre-tax profit per year.

That profit comes, in part, from your tax dollars via research grants and public education funding.

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Most researchers haven't really chosen to charge for their papers. It's the only way to get published in the journals, and it's based on an old scarcity where the distribution of quality journals was a difficult task. Now a social network of scientists could handle it for almost nothing. Barriers to research do nothing but make life difficult for poor college students.

See http://arxiv.org.

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There's still a scarcity of validation via reputation that is hard to get rid of.

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Common. You probably are a college student, or the original poster is, or both were thus know full well that you get free access to the journals you need when you are a student.

A journal has editors, some choose to have their journals in print which requires much money, and some journals have sub editors, and assistant editors, and chief editors, and a whole infrastructure which demands much money to be upheld.

If you do not pay for it, well not you precisely, but the professionals who work in that field, then the funds would be taken either away from research or from students. I would rather someone who is in their thirties, and thus able to afford merely £10 for an article, or £30 for a monthly subscription, or however much it is, pay for it, than the students, amongst whom may be many poor ones and amongst whom almost inevitably the next Einstein come from.

There are problems with the system for certain. Personally I think such research should not be beyond a firewall for those who can not afford to pay for it. There is no reason that those who can should not, for if they do not, then the poor will pay.

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>Common. You probably are a college student, or the original poster is, or both were thus know full well that you get free access to the journals you need when you are a student.

That's entirely false. If there was a single distribution point that charged a nominal fee, that would be one thing, but to do any significant research you need at least 5 such £30 monthly subscriptions, and no school subscribes to all journals a student might want.

>If you do not pay for it, well not you precisely, but the professionals who work in that field, then the funds would be taken either away from research or from students.

I'd like to meet the professionals that buy these papers. I get the distinct impression it's mostly professors, students, and universities paying these outrageous fees.

Personally, I'm a professional now and if I needed a paper relevant to my work I would buy it. But I don't need it. Very few professionals need any sort of academic papers, especially in CS. We've got the whole Internet, from Wikipedia to Github to this very site to get information about trends, and we offer it for free because we know that hiding information is more trouble than it's worth (and it's much easier for us to work when those around us freely share.)

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no school subscribes to all journals a student might want.

I went to a crappy (but huge) state university and they did indeed subscribe to ALL of the journals. My family has a good number of academics and this seems to be the case at any large university, regardless of quality.

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I went to a ~3000 student private liberal arts college and we subscribed to a handful. 90% of what I needed was out of reach. I suspect there are some economies of scale, but those economies are completely artificial; there's no reason the per-student rate should be different for a small college than a large one.

Well, I suppose there is one: most of the cost is administrative overhead in actually collecting the bill, so it's easier if you've got one bill for 40k as opposed to one bill for 3k

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What you needed, not the students.

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I was a student (now graduated). And I was not alone in lacking needed resources. I had numerous friends in other departments who complained of lacking needed journal articles.

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Desirable and necessary resources are different. The entirety of the night in regards to hacker news however has been quite revealing.

This place is no less a waste of time than telly. Your insistence simply proves so. Anyone who has been in a university just knows that they had access to the journals they needed, but perhaps not some they might have wanted to.

Yet regardless, neither helps us in our endeavour. Whether the person publishes all the journal articles, I care little. This is no longer a community. No longer are etiquettes and the culture of the site enforced, it is a play ground instead where populism wins.

That is fine, that is how things have been working. You go there first and leave when so it becomes. Yet I thought naively perhaps that this time it would be different.

It is not. Only in the physical world is it different, only in the physical world do we have the freedom, for in that sphere, nature has had the advantage of many years.

Not even the best and brightest can come even close to it. Though maybe I am just naive to suggest that PG is either of those in regards to the internet. He is of a different generation, of a different age too, in his 40s or 50s, chasing money or whatever he chases.

This is our net to make. Ours to learn the mistakes and implement their solutions.

Long Live Youth perhaps I should have said.

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>Desirable and necessary resources are different.

That's a bit of a retreat from where your argument was.

But yes, I'm sorry HN is becoming such an echo chamber with no regard for honest discourse. In a lot of ways I prefer Reddit, since there's no pretension that the downvotes are anything other than a mindless disagree.

Honestly, I think that pg probably has it backwards, and that comments should be flag-only while posts should have downvotes. Of course, any system is vulnerable to abuse given enough time.

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How did we get here from academic journal pricing?

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This should perhaps be my last comment on this.

On your first point. I was a student and during that time I had access to all the papers I needed, sufficient papers to get the top grades.

Second, I do not know what profession you are in, computer science is very different from medicine. To start with, the latter requires actual physical stuff, you know, people you can experiment with, or monkeys, and substances, like bleach, and an actual physical space, rather than simply a computer and some time.

I understand that my opinion is in the minority. I understand too that most of you bright smart angels are trying to find loopholes in my reasoning or arguments. I am not however pleased at all with having the entire people of reason and intelligence set against like leaches.

This is a discussion. Not of an adversarial kind, but of a collaborative nature, where people of reason and intelligence try to arrive at a conclusion, rather than win one over. If I gather this wrong, then that is my bad. My intention however was to suggest as to how things taking in consideration practical matters, matters of principle, matters of a complex nature and combined by my own self, derives at simply copying a journal article and putting it on your web page to be no different than my buying the application you sell and putting it on my web page for free for all others to use as they please.

If reason is dead in this place and what counts is the "I am right", then that is fine.

Long Live Liberty of Choice.

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>On your first point. I was a student and during that time I had access to all the papers I needed, sufficent papers to get the top grades.

Where did you go to school? From my experience yours is most atypical.

I don't sell applications. I configure and make slight modifications to free applications, or applications my employer pays for (and in my experience the ones that charge have negative value from my perspective, while the free ones save me hours of time.) So feel free to copy my code and documentation and put it all online. Those that aren't available online are only closed because I felt my clients/employers wouldn't appreciate their free availability. You would be giving me a great 'out' to give back to the community.

But yes, reason has little purchase in this place. The community has very strong biases and refuses to give time to opposition.

That said, long live liberty.

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"But yes, reason has little purchase in this place. The community has very strong biases and refuses to give time to opposition."

What exactly do you mean?

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You're being downvoted purely because people disagree with you. HN is supposed to be above that.

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While I didn't downvote him, I agree with the downvoters. His substantive claims about how the research/peer review system works -- upon which is entire argument is based -- are factually incorrect.

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(I really wanted to write a reasoned rebuttal, but the more I read your posts here the less I can figure out exactly what you've intended to say. Maybe some of this disagreement is due to a misunderstanding over writing.)

There are quite literally thousands of relevant journals for a college to subscribe to, and institutional access is fantastically expensive. In fact, the cost of journal access here in the US has expanded year over year far faster than inflation or any other information resource, and now consumes the majority of library budgets at many colleges.

That "free access" you were talking about for students? Physical Review alone runs from $17,000 to $32,000 annually. Now imagine maintaining a few hundred of those subscriptions.

On the other side of things, I have published in Physical Review Letters, and was disillusioned with the editorial/peer review process. You're hopelessly constrained for length, but asked to remove key sentences while expanding abbreviations. Because it's extremely difficult to explain your work in such a short space, your reviewers can focus on details you know deserve explanation but simply can't include for brevity--or worse, misunderstand your research entirely.

Let's face it: this is only a problem for dead-tree publishers. We could double the page limits for online articles at negligible cost, and I would argue, decreased difficulty for reviewers and referees.

Some people have raised more political concerns about the review process, but I don't understand those as fully.

[edit] I should make it clear that I greatly value the work being done by APS and journals in organizing, qualifying, and sharing high-value correspondence. I simply believe there may be a space for open-access journals as well.

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I'm sorry, but there is no excuse whatsoever for that old bloated system for distribution to continue to exist. Sure, editors have value, sure, peer review should be rewarded. But trying to create artificial scarcity by bringing an outdated distribution model to the online world doesn't make sense. Any pdf is just a few hops away on most social networks anyway, so it's not like their paywalls are stopping anyone.

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"old bloated system"

You mean the same one that google uses for, amongst other things, to measure authority?

I am fine with kicking the old system into oblivion. I am not fine with doing so before suggesting a new system however. I simply do not see how, in this chaotic internet where everyone has an opinion and is able to communicate it to the entire world, we can differentiate between objective solid stuff, and mere speculation.

If we are for freedom, then lets us have such freedom. Let us not frown at wikileaks if they publish deep and damaging secrets, let us not be defensive when our own content is concerned and copied, let us so too resist any attempts of the real law, say the law of defamation to apply to the internet, let us be cool with bittorrent and the way it distributes freely our content.

If that is the internet we wish, then fine, let us be the pioneers and disrupt all older notions.

If the above is extreme however, then let us be impartial and judge where the line ought to be not from a selfish perspective, not from an emotional or ideological perspective, but from a rational, detached, without favour or fear perspective.

That is the choice of our generation, but I submit, we can have only one of them. We can not be hypocrites when our own interests are concerned and guard them ferociously, yet fight to undermine the interests of others.

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     Good luck with that. Barriers to professions - which includes access to research - is what keeps the professionals well paid and thus perhaps allow them to fund more research.
>> No, Public interest in research is what keeps funding higher.

     Isn't that infringement of copyrights by the way? Do you think it is fine too if I start distributing freely an application for which you have worked for years and decided to charge for?
>> Researchers publishing papers dont earn a penny, the only thing that they get is free (no charge to researcher) dissemination. In fact a lot of researchers post a free version on there own web site.

I have published two papers in journal published by American Chemical Society and authors are allowed to put up pre-publication / non edited copy of their papers on their own website. ACS also provides a link from which upto 50 visitors can download the authors paper for free in first year and there is no limit after first year.

E.g. http://pubs.acs.org/cgi-bin/download.pl?ie0704647/P8Lu is free link to my first paper, the article is behind the firewall but if you use above link, you can get it for free.

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