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Optimal Strategies for Destroying Public Credibility of Academia?

I want to solve a problem that eludes any quick and easy solution. It goes something like this-

What are the best strategies for destroying academic credibility and respectability in the minds of the general public?

As alluded to in many of my previous posts on related topics, I believe that academia in its current form has become the new Catholic Church- complete with an almost complete embrace of dogma, corruption, fraud, exploitation and bullshit. This includes the so-called STEM disciplines, and indeed biomedical research today is more likely to be irreproducible (aka fraudulent) than not.

While more and more intelligent people are becoming aware of this fundamental problem, they are still in the numerical minority. Unfortunately far too many people still believe that academia is still reasonably honest and self-correcting.

Consequently they are willing to believe in what scientists say and perceive them as more objective and knowledgeable, when in reality most academics and scientists are amongst the most narrow-minded, unscrupulous and partisan hacks you will have the misfortune of meeting. Even politicians, mob bosses and child-molesting catholic priests look pretty decent when compared to your average academic or scientist.

I have two main objectives-

1. Destroy the public image of academics such that the average person sees them as dogmatic, dishonest, exploitative hacks who lie and scam to impress the non-insiders. Hopefully people will then stop funding their worthless and fraudulent ventures.

2. Destroy their professional image such that almost no young person who is interested in science would consider becoming an academic or scientist in the current setup. This will starve the current system of talent thereby hastening its loss of credibility and richly deserved demise.

I believe that both goals can be achieved by simply exposing and publicizing the truth, because the reality is worse than what you can imagine.

However achieving those goals will require a well thought out strategy. It is also very clear to me that conventional modes of information dissemination are not suitable for conflicts where your adversary is better known and is considered to me more respectable- at least initially.

I believe that any successful strategy will involve constant, if not intensive, use of social media and blogs to create a critical mass of people who can then amplify the signal further. While such an attempt would have failed even 10 years ago, technological possibilities and socio-economic conditions have changed such that it is now feasible.

For starters- it is now obvious to many that the current academic model is a ponzi scheme. While that was true even a decade ago- the pressure did not build up because academia was still expanding and private sector jobs were reasonably easy to get. Moreover the mass overproduction of grad students began only in the late 1990s, though biomedical research had started down that road a decade before that. There is therefore a critical and rapidly growing mass of pissed off intelligent young people without decent career prospects in all areas of academia. Even postdoc- and instructor-type positions which were easy to obtain as recently as 4 years ago have become much hard to get. It certainly does not help that many industrial sectors have laid off hundreds of thousands of older career scientists and trained professionals in the last 3-4 years. While my other scientific and technical skills have kept me in a somewhat comfortable situation, it is very clear that the current situation is not particularly stable or desirable.

However this destructive scam will not stop before it destroys everything of value unless somebody stops it before it can do so. I intend to do something about that, or at least start something which will eventually destroy it.

What are your thoughts? Comments?

  1. robert61
    January 2, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    Permit student debt to be discharged in bankruptcy. This would stanch the flow of tax dollars to the academy.

  2. January 2, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    hahahaha,

    I’m less educated than you…

    does that mean I’m less “indoctrinated?”

  3. Ryan
    January 2, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    How about this little known fact. Who is the highest paid federal government employee? Its impossible to say for sure but among the highest paid of all federal employees are the football coaches of the service academies. In fact West Point goes to great lengths to keep their coaches salary entirely secret, so West Point football coach might be the highest paid job in the federal government. For sure every service academy’s football coach makes more then the President (not school president,Obama ie the man that decides what desert those student athletes go fight and die in.

    JoePa was awful but its the tip of the iceberg; how long did our grunts wait for proper uniforms and armor?

  4. Don Bonn
    January 3, 2012 at 12:51 am

    OK, people like science and scientists, why?

    People like things. Scientists take credit for the manipulation of nature to make things, chiefly industrial technology mass products. They also gloss over manifestations of their distasteful spawn (hellish warfare technology, utilitarian ugliness of industrial products…), fuck-ups (pollution, disasters..), etc. with the public persona of the quirky good-natured scientist ‘dude’, a popular (and relatively recent) meme that makes the average person hold a semi-conscious respect for the mythical authority of the scientist; this is an attempt to maintain the image of the more respectable original crop of scientists that put today’s fraternity to shame.

    Modern philosophy, which walked hand-in-hand modern science, is a non-entity to the average person these days. Why? Because it was a lot of babble that never produced anything. When a branch of science is purely speculative, begins to fail in its production of things, or (even worse) begins to obviously fuck shit up, it will lose credit in the eyes of the average person, and on a mass scale this results in that science being ignored, and mocked like the liberal arts. Smaller groups of people might actively campaign against science, e.g. ‘alternative health’ supporters versus aspects of modern medicine, but the main result of the destruction of some thing’s public image is that the thing in question is thenceforth ignored by the majority, and this is really what you’re hoping for.

    That science is corrupt wouldn’t matter much if it were not for two points; i) it enjoys public prestige, and ii) it enjoys legal privilege. So it largely directs the trajectory of social development to the exclusion of other considerations.

    Moving to your question, “What are the best strategies for destroying academic credibility and respectability in the minds of the general public?”, the general public will gradually lose a sense of their credibility as the academics fail to achieve tangible results, and as the general public becomes coarser in nature, so that academia eventually loses the ability to rouse even a trivial curiosity in the average person. Furthermore, without tangible results, money will eventually move away from the afflicted profession, further destroying academic prestige.

    I’ve observed tendencies that can inspire strategies:

    -The public dislikes being told what it cannot have, cannot do etc. “”Do these academics think they are better/smarter than us? We have the internet, we should be free to learn and choose without their control over our heads!””

    -Controversies over business connections, that erode the image of the objective and neutral academic/professional. “”They are money grubbers like the rest, pretending to be high and mighty but only after the bucks!!””

    -Constant changing tunes and conflicting contentions, a paradox when viewed through claims of internal consistency of the scientific method, and a reflection of the exhaustion of quantitative research in areas to which it is not suited. “”Last week they said farting causes cancer, now they say it improves longevity, last year they said it was leading to an outbreak of ebola on Neptune!””

    But I do not expect the public prestige that science (and ergo academia) enjoys to dissipate rapidly, so long as the average non-specialist can tinker with his very own i-Toy, which may as well have been produced by aliens as far as his understanding is concerned, and which may as well have been produced by aliens as far as our own individual productive capacities are concerned (that is, can you make one at home even with the circuit diagrams?).

  5. kyle
    January 3, 2012 at 3:15 am

    there is no rest for the wicked. you can eliminate high academia. evil will find its way into other human institutions; technical colleges, government, civil service, food&beverage, pharmaceuticals.

    are you going to pick off all of these one by one? trying to destroy human institutions to drive out evil intelligent people is like draining off all your blood to clear your body of chickenpox virus; the intention is there but the way you’re going about it is going to kill you first.

    it’s not like academia serves absolutely no purpose in society, and it’s not like the evil intelligent people are not smart enough to be evil elsewhere. you need to think harder about how to cure the root of the symptoms instead.

  6. Ryu
    January 3, 2012 at 4:02 am

    Dogma serves a purpose.

    There is nothing that is all gain or all loss. I know, I know. You are an anarchist and you hate all forms of order, even the order of your body, language, and civilization.

    A more intellectually open person might point out that “dogma” might be called “a common set of values and ideas.” Under your ideas, the flat Earth and hollow Earth people will be held in equal esteem as the current model with a molten iron core.

    However, I do have an interest in this. If you’d like to destroy the respect for STEM fields, begin the job in Asia, specifically, in India and China. Take’em back to the stone ages. Then they won’t be able to immigrate here because they believed the dogma. You don’t respect the West anyways, so leave the management of it to us.

  7. January 3, 2012 at 6:15 am

    AD,
    I have the basic material upon which one can start something like that. I don’t know about you?

  8. hans
    January 3, 2012 at 6:23 am

    Meh, don´t have to destroy anything. THAT problem is taking care of itself as we speak.

    Just spread actual knowledge and awareness like for instance McCanney (http://www.jmccsci.com) does.

  9. April 19, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    I am very impressed with this blog post. I have been an activist in academia exposing corruption to the public to destroy the public and professional images of these types of criminals you mentioned after I was fired from my job using corruption and mainly after the use of perjury at a trial. Is there a way to connect with more individuals in one place and make a substantially strong web to display the material we find. For instance this is what I do. I also have a group of international collaborators of technical experts that are very good at doing investigations on potential criminals. The individuals you are talking about have so much power it is possible to (similarly use) technology to cover up what you are trying to expose. There are ways around this problem that I learned. Recently there have been a sudden insurgence of companies that are well established in trying to cover up corruption that is being exposed over the internet.

    WARNING – Last two are R-Rated.

    http://corruptryerson.blogspot.ca/
    http://www.facebook.com/dilanii.senadheera
    http://alleged-ryerson-criminals.blogspot.ca/

    Sid Senadheera

  1. January 3, 2012 at 6:42 am

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