On reading Peter Woit's blog entry at http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/?p=508#comments I 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 register-query@arXiv.org (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".
Within an hour an anonymous coward using the name anon dismissed my 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 more comments, but none of them dealt with the issues of my comment, and Peter Woit himself had not dealt with the issues of my comment. So, neither Peter Woit nor any other commenter made any effort to correct obvious factual inaccuracies in by the anonymous coward anon, such as:
Note anon's use of the word "allegedly" in the statement "The number of preprints actually rejected is allegedly extremely low", and
that the number of preprints "actually rejected" is much lower than the number of preprints that would have been submitted and posted if the blacklist were not in effect. For example, after rejection of a paper makes it clear to me that I am still on the blacklist, I don't even try to submit some subsequent papers that I write and post on my web site. Therefore, many of my papers don't get explicit notice from the Cornell arXiv that they are "actually rejected".
Note also that anon did not use the word "allegedly" in saying that rejected preprints "... consists of obviously nonsensical submissions.", even though in fact many preprints were rejected only because the author was on the blacklist, without any evaluation whatsoever of the content of the preprint.
It is painful for me to write something a reasonable comment and then see that a factually inaccurate attempt at refutation by an anonymous coward stands unchallenged by Peter Woit or any other commenters. That makes it clear to me that "respectable" members of the USA high energy theoretical physics establishment really hate me, and hate hurts.
No matter what the anynymous coward anon says, it is clear to me that the Cornell arXiv has been successful in restricting HEP submissions to its ingrown incrowd of cronies, with the result that they are acting as a self-congratulatory private club whose main activity is a sterile circle-jerk recycling of their stagnant set of old ideas.
They are even worse than the Roman Church of the time of Galileo and Bruno, because at least the Roman Church acknowledged the substance of their ideas, made public the allegations against them, and conducted trials. In Galileo's case, at least one faction of the Roman Church (the Jesuits) acknowledged that he was correct on at least one point (the existence of mountains on the moon).
Based on Peter's statement " a posting at physicsforums ... shows
it seems that the policy of the high energy theoretical physics part of the Cornell arXiv to purge itself of new ideas is leading it towards a Dark Age of Stagnation.
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