Aren't professors certified (with PhDs) by the same institutions which certify students?

Although I think my question was stupid for other reasons. Might a better means of funding knowledge be solely with prizes? Institutions of certification would arise from that sort of arrangement. Of course there would still be the problem of what prizes to pick, but I think that problem is more self-evident than the problem of who to fund, and how much.

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I'd be interested to hear of a counter-example of a field where hard to evaluate conceptual work is over-weighted.

Maybe the "other" complexity theory (i.e., the kind Wolfram does)?

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Eliezer, does twenty years count yet as having waited "a bit"?

Scott, I'd be interested to hear of a counter-example of a field where hard to evaluate conceptual work is over-weighted.

Grant, you have in mind certifying students, I'm talking about certifying the professors.

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Might a solution be to divorce institutions of education from institutions of certification? If organizations devoted solely to certification could do a better job at certifying than universities do today, the demand for pure academic credentials could drop couldn't it? Sometimes I wonder how much the blogosphere approximates this, although I think its effects are more or less limited to the Internet.

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Maybe I should clarify that I think the bias can go both ways: it's entirely possible for a field to err in the direction of too much pontificating about big ideas and not enough nitty-gritty technical work. But within CS theory, my feeling is that that's been the least of our problems.

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I'd say: Just go ahead and write up your ideas on superior institutions first, wait a bit to see what happens, and then moan and groan about how no one really wants to do better.

I've been pleasantly surprised by the absence of backlash from the AI field against my own ideas and the more general intelligence-explosion concept - though it may just be due to sheer absence of notice. We'll see how that develops, but I was expecting much worse (perhaps based on selective experience of ideas that had been controversial enough for me to be aware of how they had been received).

Motives are not singleplexes. People don't want just one thing, with only one part of themselves. Yes, academics want to make things easy on themselves; and they also want, via quite a different sort of wanting, to promote deep conceptual progress.

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You can sometimes gain security through obscurity by writing long papers that make your results look hard.

We got some nice results using a very simple approach ... we could not get these results [published]. ...

So I wasn't out on a limb when I mentioned it last time?

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