Cornell arXiv HEP since 2002

On reading Peter Woit's blog entry at put up the first comment which was:

1. Tony Smith Says: January 18th, 2007 at 5:07 pm

Peter said "… a posting at physicsforums ... shows the number of HEP submissions growing until about 2002, more or less flat since then, although each of the last two years have shown slight declines. …".

2002 was the year that the Cornell arXiv began (or greatly expanded) its blacklisting actvity. A 14 October 2002 e-mail message from (not addressed to me, but it was forwarded to me which is how I know the quote is accurate) referred to: "… a large pool here - typically flagged by reader complaints …".

Without regard to whether or not any particular person (me or any other) should have been blacklisted, it appears that 2002 marked the establishment of a policy of using "reader complaints" as a basis for rejection of submissions from people in the "large pool".

I am not surprised that the establishment of such a policy coincides with a flattening of the number of submissions, followed by slight declines.

I (for the record I am not disinterested in such matters) feel that this does indeed not "reflect a healthy field".

Tony Smith


Within an hour an anonymous coward using the name anon dismissedmy comment, saying:

2. anon Says: January 18th, 2007 at 5:46 pm

As far as I know, which is very little, there are a few "referees" working ad-honorem for the arXiv. Submissions are not evaluated in detail but, rather, by their abstracts. The number of preprints actually rejected is allegedly extremely low, and consists of obviously nonsensical submissions. I don't think those very few rejections should have any impact on the global statistics of a given research field.

When I checked that blog entry a bit later there had been 14 morecomments, but none of them dealt with the issues of my comment, andPeter Woit himself had not dealt with the issues of my comment. So,neither Peter Woit nor any other commenter made any effort to correctobvious factual inaccuracies in by the anonymous coward anon, suchas:

Note anon's use of the word "allegedly" in the statement "Thenumber of preprints actually rejected is allegedly extremely low",and

that the number of preprints "actually rejected" is much lowerthan the number of preprints that would have been submitted andposted if the blacklist were not in effect. For example, afterrejection of a paper makes it clear to me that I am still on theblacklist, I don't even try to submit some subsequent papers that Iwrite and post on my web site. Therefore, many of my papers don't getexplicit notice from the Cornell arXiv that they are "actuallyrejected".

Note also that anon did not use the word "allegedly" in sayingthat rejected preprints "... consists of obviously nonsensicalsubmissions.", even though in fact many preprints were rejected onlybecause the author was on the blacklist, without any evaluationwhatsoever of the content of the preprint.

It is painful for me to write something a reasonable comment andthen see that a factually inaccurate attempt at refutation by ananonymous coward stands unchallenged by Peter Woit or any othercommenters. That makes it clear to me that "respectable" members ofthe USA high energy theoretical physics establishment really hate me,and hate hurts.

No matter what the anynymous coward anon says, it is clear to methat the Cornell arXiv has been successful in restricting HEPsubmissions to its ingrown incrowd of cronies, with the result thatthey are acting as a self-congratulatory private club whose mainactivity is a sterile circle-jerk recycling of their stagnant set ofold ideas.

They are even worse than the Roman Church of the time of Galileoand Bruno, because at least the Roman Church acknowledged thesubstance of their ideas, made public the allegations against them,and conducted trials. In Galileo's case, at least one faction of theRoman Church (the Jesuits) acknowledged that he was correct on atleast one point (the existence of mountains on the moon).

Based on Peter's statement "… a posting at physicsforums ...shows

the number of HEP submissions growing until about 2002, moreor less flat since then, although each of the last two years haveshown slight declines. …"

it seems that the policy of the high energy theoretical physicspart of the Cornell arXiv to purge itself of new ideas is leading ittowards a Dark Age of Stagnation.




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