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hold on a minute....
As one from the anally retentive ASA school I was a bit concerned about
some of the comments regarding al bregman's suggestions. So here's my view
Demos are a great way of giving an audience a subjective feel for a
phenomenon. But they are no substitute for experiment, nor for peer review.
So I can see a value for making some demos avalable on the web, but only as
spurs for those with the time and inclination to do the experiments and
write them up. It is these papers, which should be published in reviewed
journals, that would then deserve to be cited.
Onbe reason for my comments is that, although some demos are heard the same
way by everybody, there are bound to be inter-subject differences -
especially in the less anally-retentive areas that Al works in (and to
which I personally am somewhat belatedly heading). I think it would be an
enormously retrograde step to bypass the review process and have people
referring to a "demonstration" that is only perceived by a subset of
listeners, or that has inadequate controls for co-varying aspects of the
stimulus. Of course, experiments with the latter weakness sometimes slips
through in refereed journals, but there at least you have the CHANCE that a
couple of expert reviewers will spot a fatal flaw. I was particularly
concerned by the statements that because Al is so distinguished he doesn't
NEED a reviewer. Yes he's distinguished, no that doesn't mean he doesn't
need, like everyone else, thorough external appraisal of his work before it
enters the scientific literature. I think we got past accepting the
"sayings of wise men" in lieu of rigorous experimental investigation some
Dr. Bob Carlyon
MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit
15 Chaucer Rd.
Cambridge CB2 2EF
Phone: (44) 1223 355294 ext 720
Fax: (44) 1223 359062
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