Monday, September 15, 2014

Forget Peer Review. Try Fark.

“As you know, the concept of the suction pump is centuries old.  Really that’s all this is, except that instead of sucking water, I’m sucking life. I’ve just sucked one year of your life away. I might one day go as high as five, but, I really don’t know what that would do to you. So let’s just start with what we have.”

Would Count Rugen, I wonder, turn to the Internet for help in his research? Part of me – the part that remembers that secret knot that even the Count said was always so difficult to find – says no. But that’s not stopping others.


And it gets even beholdier. (You have to click the link to understand that I'm ranting about an inventor seeking advice on an invention at -- a site dedicated not to inventing or engineering or marketing, but to snarky news commentary.

Now I’m being presumptuous in thinking that the inventor of this nifty pump isn’t going to like-minded scientists to find real-world applications for his or her invention. But going to a snarky website where juveniles run maturely supreme doesn’t seem like a natural for scientific inquiry or commercial development outside of anything than a new and improved Whoopie Cushion.

But I’m being unfair. Why not go where the public is on the Net? It should be clear enough to filter the snark from the comments to find the germ of a great application. Unless someone posts the next collection of mugshots or a roundup of what politicians did or didn’t do over the weekend. Going where the public is good. Going where a more scientifically-minded public goes might be even better. Surely there are places . . . 

I shouldn’t be one to quibble with such a choice: I’ve got Facebook friends beta reading a book right now. If someone from Fark opted to beta read it, I’d be thrilled.

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