8 Matching Annotations
  1. Oct 2020
    1. Weber notes that according to any economic theory that posited man as a rational profit-maximizer, raising the piece-work rate should increase labor productivity. But in fact, in many traditional peasant communities, raising the piece-work rate actually had the opposite effect of lowering labor productivity: at the higher rate, a peasant accustomed to earning two and one-half marks per day found he could earn the same amount by working less, and did so because he valued leisure more than income. The choices of leisure over income, or of the militaristic life of the Spartan hoplite over the wealth of the Athenian trader, or even the ascetic life of the early capitalist entrepreneur over that of a traditional leisured aristocrat, cannot possibly be explained by the impersonal working of material forces,

      Science could learn something from this. Science is too far focused on the idealized positive outcomes that it isn't paying attention to the negative outcomes and using that to better define its outline or overall shape. We need to define a scientific opportunity cost and apply it to the negative side of research to better understand and define what we're searching for.

      Of course, how can we define a new scientific method (or amend/extend it) to better take into account negative results--particularly in an age when so many results aren't even reproducible?

  2. Nov 2019
    1. To avoid the pursuit of unproductive paths, we report here what has not worked in our hands, as well as our progress developing a method to screen the most efficient electroporation parameters for optimal DNA delivery into Prochlorococcus cells

      negative results

  3. Mar 2018
    1. Con-servative strategies (15) serve individual careerswell but are less effective for science as a whole.Such strategies are amplified by the file drawerproblem (16): Negative results, at odds withestablished hypotheses, are rarely published,leadingto a systemic bias in published researchand the canonization of weak and sometimesfalse facts (17). More risky hypotheses may havebeen tested by generations of scientists, but onlythose successful enough to result in publicationsare known to us.

      cc @Lepou

  4. May 2015
    1. “Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the effect,” he said. “But the worst part was that when I submitted these null results I had difficulty getting them published.

      Important point to make again in the proposal as to why negative results are difficult to publish

  5. Apr 2015
    1. Why sully a CV with papers from the ‘Journal of Failed Experiments’? Don’t we want our colleagues (and especially our competitors) to believe that we succeed at every undertaking?

      Same reason pharma hates the term: Failed drugs

    2. Thus, although the arguments in favor of small-unit publishing all seem to revolve around benefits to the community, the costs of generating these small units would fall on individual authors. If the community is to reap the benefits, then the costs to the individual authors must be driven to zero – or associated with some reward.

      Will they do it?

    3. Time spent publishing small papers is time not spent developing big ones
    4. but because journal editors are obsessively vigilant about rejecting papers that fall below a threshold of ‘novelty’, these papers become unpublishable in practical terms

      The Inglefinger rule.