Perceived reality

The most reputed scientists (and even worse, philosophers) decided that the KPI for the epistemic endeavour of the humanity should be reputation impact, i.e. visibility, which has become part of the bias of meta-research. No wonder that the field it is now full of posers, impostors and attention whores. This doesn’t play well with rigorous research, which may be overlooked in favor of some research with more impressive results, for the greater impact.

It may be the case that, as societies become more complex, what other people think may become more relevant for the well being (i.e. salary) of the person than actually making something. As a consequence, people strive to become competent at politics (i.e. managing their image), because nobody will be able to judge the work done. That why people could technically work from home but so few are allowed to do so, because of sheer incompetence in actually judging the difficulty of the work done and the quality of the solution.

Eventually, the work will be done by some underpaid interns, because quality cannot be measured, and being out of the metrics nobody in management cares about it (it does not exist in their Powerpoint presentations). The interns will comply with this underpaid work with a smile because they want to forge their image of competent friendly sympathetic people, so that they can move on. No reason to worry about that, eventually this work will be done by artificial neural networks, I mean, the real work, not social interactions. Then people will be able to focus on these social interactions. In fact, it doesn’t matter if some are not good at social interactions either, the point of more and more jobs is just to keep people entertained to prevent revolutions, so they are boring and repetitive, the way they are meant to be. People that comply with the status quo to a greater extent are the ones rewarded, especially the ones that feed economic bubbles of fictional value completely disconnected with reality.

This is perfectly exemplified by actual politicians. Most people voting cannot understand the kind of problems involved in managing a country, neither can they decide which candidate is proposing the best solutions. They don’t vote to whoever may really be the best candidate, but whoever looks like the best option. Promising something impossible eases the way to the government more than being realistic in the expectations. People just want to be deluded, unconsciously, yet they will always say that they value honesty over everything else.

At this point in time you may be wondering what is the take-home message. Simply put: The revolutionary idea that some rants may be right. They are usually overlooked, misheard, paid no attention. It’s not pleasurable to read unexciting research, but that may be the most trustworthy research. We may not like negative political discourses, but those may be the only ones that are honest and realistic. Finally, about the work and the workplace, distrust friendly people, let the work of each one talk by itself, if you think that it does matter, if something needs to be done, if something matters. This is not epistemology but axiology, and a matter for another post.

What is the task of all higher education?

From a doctoral examination. — “What is the task of all higher education?” To turn men into machines. “What are the means?” Man must learn to be bored. “How is that accomplished?” By means of the concept of duty. “Who serves as the model?” The philologist: he teaches grinding. “Who is the perfect man?” The civil servant. “Which philosophy offers the highest formula for the civil servant?” Kant’s: the civil servant as a thing-in-itself, raised up to be judge over the civil servant as phenomenon.

Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols, or, How to Philosophize with a Hammer