04 November 2013

Anything but water

  1. Recycling: car shredders and China's scrap hunters

  2. Read Why is Zambia so poor? if you want to understand how development works, or fails

  3. Oregon proposes to tax cars by the distance they drive. This is supposedly more fair than raising the gasoline tax, but I can't see why hybrids (lighter, less polluting) should pay the same as SUVs. I bet that politicians are just afraid of the oil industry

  4. Obama may be a phony who sounds good (except to experts), but since when have politicians underpromised and overperformed?

  5. As a follow up on my post discussing how academics have driven research into the ground in their quest to "publish or perish," consider The Economist's discussion of the failures of academics as well as Aquadoc's lament of professors who fail to cross interdisciplinary lines until a long delay for tenure (if at all). I left this comment at TE:
    I have a PhD but I have given up on academic research because the publish or perish incentives (1) make it difficult to find a matching journal, (2) put way too much weight on impact factors, (3) result in a flood of phony ("open access") journals, (4) result in too many papers for anyone to keep abreast of the research and (5) leave professors with no incentive to engage in public debates.

    It's therefore ironic that I have published a proposal -- an auction market for academic papers (http://www.springerlink.com/content/2q80214867370564/) -- to fix this problem and NOT ironic that no academics have bothered to consider it as a reform.

    The academic world faces a collective action problem (those with the power to reform benefit from the current system), and there's no solution in sight.
    Also read TE's longer briefing

H/T to HZ

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