Norming Spammers

Social media lives on the Normative component of the Theory of Reasoned Action/Planned Behavior. Facebook and twitter capture the Other Guys of your life in a self-created network to influence you to both your benefit and theirs. Norms work! Except when They don’t. Consider spam in social media.

Spammers create as many as 40 percent of the accounts on social-media sites, according to Risher. About 8 percent of messages sent via social pages are spam, approximately twice the volume of six months ago, he says. Spammers use the sharing features on social sites to spread their messages. Click on a spammer’s link on Facebook (FB), and it may ask you to “like” or “share” a page, or to allow an app to gain access to your profile.

Hmmm. Nefarious evil doers use networked Norms for their nefarious evil TACTs. How do you handle the evil doers?

Pinterest encourages users to form a virtual neighborhood watch and report spam before it spreads. Last month the site put up a blog post urging visitors to use its “Report Pin” button to tag spam.

So. Social media sources create authentic and sincere Normed networks, yet cannot protect them from inSincere spammers. They then suggest you Norm together to protect yourselves from evil doers the social media sources cannot defeat.

Do you see the persuasion foolishness of Web 2.0? All of it persuades you with Normative plays that only serve to make you vulnerable to evil doers and to the profit plays of the social media sources (see the Facebook IPO).

You are witnessing one of the great persuasion plays in modern business with the Social Media revolution. Those sources have convinced you to provide your own vulnerability for their uses. They provide a free cloud and easy to use software and you provide your time, attention, address, and background all the while thinking you are Norming with those you like and love.

You can find no persuasion utility to Web 2.0 for yourself. It exists only as a persuasion play for its inventors and backers. Even as the most cynical persuasion maven, I see no value to social media unless I built or backed it. Stated another way, except for a very small handful of sources, everyone in the world is the Other Guy on this.

Freeloader Persuasion Play™

Do you like comfy chairs, free Wi-Fi, an attractive aesthetic in the room, easy access to good coffee, friendly people all around, but you don’t want to pay for it? Then freeload at those cool urban designer hotels like the James in Chicago or the George in DC. Really. They want you to.

Why would somebody give you something like this for free?

Hoteliers say they like a lobby that is abuzz with locals doing business or kicking back, and out-of-town guests like the local feel, too. “The most boring thing in the world is to go to a hotel restaurant and a hotel bar that only hotel guests go to,” says Ian Schrager, who started installing nightclubs in the lobbies of his boutique hotels in the 1980s. Consumers are willing to pay a premium to stay at a property with buzz, he says, likening the ideal lobby atmosphere to that of the deck on an ocean liner.

Thus, freeloaders become Atmosphere Artists, the more polite name I learned as a movie actor that directors use for the more banal, Extras. Movies use people as set decoration and now so do some hotels. Take your Cue!

See the Comparison Cue and If Everyone Else Is Doing It, You Should, Too. Hotel guests walk into a buzzing, hip lobby, and engage the Comparison Cue. They observe everyone else and see similar others looking cool while doing cool. The cool comparison motivates cool thoughts, feelings, and actions.

Implicit in the Comparison Cue is Modeling Theory. Chances are good that you will behaviorally emulate the scene you observe in the lobby on the Low WATT Peripheral Route. You’ll just skip like a stone the same way everyone else is skipping.

Now, the hoteliers are also setting up their Lobby Atmosphere Artists. While the Extras feel like They are getting something for nothing, chances are extremely good that They provide a lot of Word of Mouth about the hotel to other people They know. Word of Mouth, buzz, is a strong persuasion play that tends to elicit more Reception on the Cascade and also more Processing, too. Furthermore, many of these chic flophouses run in chains. Freeload in Chicago, but you’ll pay for it when you visit LA and stay at the chic chain hotel located in the Hollywood Hills.

See shades of the Truman Show! Next time you pass one of those cool hotels, stop in and watch the show. The fun part is that no one wrote the script, but persuasion and human nature make it run like a movie anyway.

There’s a Difference between Persuasion, and Smoke and Mirrors; With Persuasion the Illusion Lingers.

Technology as Intervention on the Digital Divide

Many years ago as both a professor and a Fed administrator I confronted the problem of the Digital Divide. Poor people could not afford modern technology which was bad because that modern technology was transparently good for you, particularly regarding education. Thus, to help poor people get information and education, we needed to close the Digital Divide with any means necessary.

At the time, I had my doubts about the information and education advantage inherent to a new technology. I could remember my own youth and early college experience with Educational TV, a technology that was supposed to make everyone more informed and educated.

If you ever suffered through EdTV as either student or teacher you knew how deadly the thing was. You could read much faster and live lectures demanded at least the illusion of civil attention. A videotaped talking head destroyed your will to live along with your will to learn.

But, the Internet is different than TV and it is obvious that iGizmo learning actually occurs compared to bad EdTV. This time is different! Except, it isn’t.

As access to devices has spread, children in poorer families are spending considerably more time than children from more well-off families using their television and gadgets to watch shows and videos, play games and connect on social networking sites, studies show.

As this interesting NYT article demonstrates, Access (or Exposure or even Reception) is never enough for Change whether aimed at information gain or behavior change. Closing the Digital Divide put everyone in the Communication Cascade where they could then follow it wherever they wanted. As we are slowly learning, most of the Internet only kills time with faux friends, faux learning, and faux culture.

You might remember Neil Postman and his book, Amusing Ourselves To Death, a disquieting inquisition into the effects of TV. We only scratched the surface of triviality with television compared to Facebook, twitter, and Pinterest. Technology does not deliver only high culture – learning, taste, nuance, openness, sophistication, suppleness, insight, imagination. It also brings low culture and, surprise, most of us, most of the time will take our culture set on Low rather than High. Taste follows WATTage and we prefer to operate Low WATT when we can.

If you cannot control the Other Guys WATTage, then you will usually find Them on the Peripheral Route. Life is good with Cues, but if you aspire to more for yourself and everyone else, you’ve got to get Everyone on the Central Route. No technology exists to turn that switch at your command. (There Are No Laws of Persuasion and without Laws, Technology is no solution.)

As this example demonstrates, smart and well-intention people misunderstand the Rules of Persuasion (and Learning) when they fall in love with the Gizmo. Vehicles only carry you where you already want to go; they do not Change the Destination.

Science, Money, and Persuasion

Craig Venter is an amazing scientist and entrepreneur who managed to map the Human Genome with private money faster than the NIH with tax money. He then conceived the idea of designer organisms, synthetic microbes that could eat pollution or create energy, and then, more amazing, actually built proof of concept designer organisms.

But.

Venter was quick to acknowledge that he still hadn’t created a microbe that serves an innovative purpose. “Sorry we didn’t design some new creature that never existed before as our opening gambit,” he said with a laugh. “What we published was the proof of concept. It’s like: ‘Gee, it would be really nice if the Wright brothers made a supersonic jet! Because that would have been much more useful!’ ”

So. Not quite there. How close?

Venter was quiet for a long time. He nodded his head, as if making some calculation, then he said: “We’re doing a grand experiment. We’re trying to design the first cell from scratch.” He suggested we head into town for dinner with his two closest partners in synthetic biology, to discuss the leap they were about to take. “It’s a little bit of a black art,” he said.

Stripped of the persuasion plays from Venter, the designer bugs do not exist and this elegant scientific solution for pollution, energy, or food problems isn’t close to Prime Time. Maybe someday. But not today or the near future. Venter and his teams have been working on this since mapping the genome in 2000. And, still, no designer bugs saving us from ourselves with science. But, maybe.

You see the glittering science and if you know anything about this kind of science, private science, not public science, you know that it is a Beast that eats money like race horses eat hay. Raising money for the Beast requires two things: Inventions to market and . . . persuasion. To date, Venter has been slow and small to market his scientific inventions, but doing great at getting money.

Yeah. The inference just hangs there. How’s he getting the money without the New New Bug?

There’s a Difference between Persuasion, and Smoke and Mirrors; With Persuasion the Illusion Lingers and so does the Money.

A Peitho nomination for Venter!

P.S. Read the NYT profile on Venter for a classic example of persuasive PR.

Right now, Venter is thinking of a bug. He is thinking of a bug that could swim in a pond and soak up sunlight and urinate automotive fuel. He is thinking of a bug that could live in a factory and gobble exhaust and fart fresh air. He may not appear to be thinking about these things. He may not appear to be thinking at all. He may appear to be riding his German motorcycle through the California mountains, cutting the inside corners so close that his kneepads skim the pavement. This is how Venter thinks. He also enjoys thinking on the deck of his 95-foot sailboat, halfway across the Pacific Ocean in a gale, and while snorkeling naked in the Sargasso Sea surrounded by Portuguese men-of-war. When Venter was growing up in San Francisco, he would ride his bicycle to the airport and race passenger jets down the runway. As a Navy corpsman in Vietnam, he spent leisurely afternoons tootling up the coast in a dinghy, under a hail of enemy fire.

Remember James Cameron parting the Amazon?

La Persuasión No Verbal Española

From Ben Lerner’s Leaving The Atocha Station.  First, nonverbal facial persuasion.

Her face was formidable; it seemed by turns very young and very old; when she opened her eyes wide, she looked like a child, and when she squinted in concentration, the tiny wrinkles at their outer corners made her seem worldly, wise.  Because she could instantly look younger or older, more innocent or experienced than she was, she could parry whatever speech was addressed to her.  If you were to accuse her, say, of reading too much into a particular scene in a movie, she would widen her eyes and look at you with an innocence that made you feel guilty of projection; if you accused her of some form of naivete, her squint would bespeak such expanses of experience that the accusation was instantly turned back on you.

Now, nonverbal language persuasion.

I never spoke English with Teresa, not since the first night of our meeting when my volubility had swelled.  I told her that this was to promote my acquisition of Spanish, but it was, in fact, to preserve the possibility of misspeaking or being misunderstood, and to secure and amplify the mystery of that inaugural outburst.

But, this may not be as persuasive as it seems.

And yet as we spent more and more time together, I found myself avoiding her eyes . . . while she was happy to let me believe she believed in my profundity, on some level she was aware that she was merely encountering herself.

You can never let the Other Guys see Themselves in your eyes, whether in Spanish or English, verbal or nonverbal.

 

Pairing Wine with Hypocrisy at Harvard/CIA

I frequently foil physicians against persuasion principles, demonstrating the dynamic tension between science and persuasion. Physicians, or health care workers in general, combine persuasion and science badly. When their science is weak, they strain toward persuasion. When they seek change in the Other Guys, they miss the science of persuasion and instead do things like this.

To confront the obesity problem, the Harvard School of Public Health is wisely stealing a page from the celebrity chef persuasion play. Harvard has partnered with a cooking school to create a continuing education program aimed at teaching front line physicians about healthy cooking. The argument is that physicians may know a lot about obesity and maybe even nutrition, but they don’t know anything practical about good and healthy cooking. In a three and a half day seminar, physicians attend numerous sessions typically run by both a chef and a Harvard researcher who demonstrate the interplay of the basic science and the applied cooking.

Sounds persuasion smart, doesn’t it? Take the celebrity chef play, combine with standard lecture presentation, mix in a dog and pony show and you’ve got persuasion and science in happy marriage. A little sizzle with the steak, so to speak. And, you’ve got that Two Step Flow wherein Harvard trains physicians who return to their practice and they train other physicians, but more importantly, the real Other Guys, patients.

Now. The details. Persuasion is always in the details.

To participate in the program, folks have to pay $1200 for registration plus travel and lodging expenses . . . to Napa Valley, CA at the Culinary Institute of America. Physicians earn continuing education credits the same way they can with, say, pharmas holding research conferences in San Juan in February.

What do we cook?

. . . a stir-fry with perfectly browned shiitake mushrooms and a heavy dose of sake . . .

Rice wine to you is sake to me!

In a place that celebrates perfect pairings (say, a riesling with a spicy chicken Madras) . . .

Make mine a Piesporter! Auslese.

. . . Dr. Fox said as he chopped rosemary for a mustard-crusted seared lamb loin . . .

Dr. Fox? Hmmmm.

A sold-out session called “Wine: The Latest Research on the Health Impacts Plus a Guided Tasting,” taught by John Buechsenstein, a winemaker, and Eric B. Rimm, a cardiovascular epidemiologist from Harvard, preceded a tasting of a Washington State gewürztraminer and other wines accompanied by a geeky PowerPoint presentation.

Gee, those are popular dishes and drinks in Marshall, MO and Beckley WV, and on and on with all those flyover shtetls in the sea of Red that surrounds urban Blue. Nothing with Miracle Whip? Bacon? Fried twinkies? Where’s the beer pairings seminar? Bud with burgers, Keystone with casserole?

And, if you think about it, 1200 bucks is actually kinda cheap for this kind of training firepower. The CIA is a world class operation and Harvard’s pretty good, too. That much content from those kind of instructors is expensive. Wonder how they make it happen on 1200 dollars?

They have partners, of course.

Aetna, Compass Group of North America, SPE, Legal Sea Foods, B&W Gourmet Farms, Chobani, National Peanut Board, Vital Choice Wild Seafood & Organics, Saskatchewan Mustard Development Commission, Ameriflax, Avocados from Mexico, California Olive Ranch, Northern Canola Growers — USA, and Northern Canola Growers Association.

They provide additional funding and helpful exhibition booths . . .

. . . to the 400 or so pediatricians, endocrinologists, dietitians and other health practitioners who were spending three and a half days in the Napa Valley learning how to cook.

While most of the NY Times story on this persuasion play rivals the fawning PR for James Cameron, the writer does hear the dissonance.

In a place that celebrates perfect pairings (say, a riesling with a spicy chicken Madras), the combination of James Beard Award-winning chefs with heavy guns from the Harvard School of Public Health, including Dr. Walter Willett, an epidemiologist and international authority on the health consequences of food choices, could at times feel surreal.

Surreal? Like Dali?

Or surreal like Orwell?

Everyone involved in this operation thinks they are doing a smart persuasion play, mixing science with persuasion principles when all they are doing is making a yuppie getaway into an elitist tax break and resume builder. All the participants and the partners will take tax exemptions on this. The participants will buy CEUs for their medical credentialing. The partners will do some business with either the CIA chefs or some of the participants. And, maybe a few participants will bring this idea back to their own clinics. The writer notes at least three successes.

For instance, Dr. John Principe of Palos Heights, a Chicago suburb, said that he seriously thought about quitting medicine, fed up with “a pill for every ill.” Fantasizing about a second career as a chef, he attended “Healthy Kitchens” five years ago and realized that he might be able to combine the two. He now holds a culinary boot camp in the 2,400-square-foot kitchen and lecture room he built below his medical office, where he teaches people how to whip up cauliflower crust pizza and other dishes. (The sessions qualify for insurance under the group medical appointment model.) “Instead of being in the downtrodden mode, it’s given me a zest for life,” he said.

Hmm. The guy was gonna quit the profession, but because now he can cook and see patients, he stayed.  With insurance coverage! Not exactly a big win for the program.

At the Baylor College of Medicine, Jasdeep Mangat, a 24-year-old medical student, was a founder of Choosing Healthy, Eating Fresh (CHEF), enlisting a chef from a local bistro to teach classes for 20 students using five portable gas burners in the student lounge. “We need to walk the talk,” he said.

Gee. A med student. Student. And twenty other students learning to cook for themselves.

And seven years ago, Dr. Daniela Connolly, now 40, and her husband, Patrick, bought a farm in Chester, N.H., to feed their five children healthy and reliable food . . . After three days of “Healthy Kitchens,” she is now convinced she needs to teach her patients healthy cooking. “In a perfect world, I would have my patients meet me at the farm,” she said. “That would make me a really happy doctor.”

So, somebody who’d already bought a farm attended the class and likes the idea. And imagine that she’d be really happy if all her work came to her farm rather than her having to go to her work. Harvard counts with Rare Pride!

Neither the Harvard crew behind this or the program participants have any inkling of how bad this looks. Read the article or the Harvard website for the program. The snobbish elitism leaps off the page. Foods and cooking practices and beverages that have absolutely no contact with the great mass of Other Guys the program proposes as targets for change. One exclusive location and only once a year. Significant time, money, and travel costs. Manufactured CEUs. Hey, we’re doing seminar here. Really.

While the program aims to change all those fat slob Other Guys, it clearly will have no measurable impact on national waistlines or kitchen practices. Yet, under the imprimatur of Crimson CEUs everyone can authentically parade around as persuasion mavens when they are just pretense on the prowl.

Why would any maven devote the resource this program requires, yet make no countable change in Other Guys?

Mull that over your gewürztraminer and let me know.

P.S. They’ve got a Dr. Fox? Guess they’ve never read the research on the Dr. Fox effect.

 

 

Sua-Dar

The NY Times gives us all the Psychological Science Fit To Print.  Here’s how the researchers start the opinion piece about their research.

“GAYDAR” colloquially refers to the ability to accurately glean others’ sexual orientation from mere observation. But does gaydar really exist?

Let’s test it. Show participants pictures of faces, some gay, some straight. Only 50 milliseconds. Enough to see face-ness, but not much more. Then make a gay or straight judgment.

Even when viewing such bare faces so briefly, participants demonstrated an ability to identify sexual orientation: overall, gaydar judgments were about 60 percent accurate.

So, what?

Since chance guessing would yield 50 percent accuracy, 60 percent might not seem impressive. But the effect is statistically significant — several times above the margin of error. Furthermore, the effect has been highly replicable: we ourselves have consistently discovered such effects in more than a dozen experiments . . .

So, we’ve replicated an effect. A Statistically Significant effect. I told you that, right? Don’t forget that. (I mentioned the Statistical Significance thingy, right?)

Should you trust your gaydar in everyday life? Probably not. In our experiments, average gaydar judgment accuracy was only in the 60 percent range. This demonstrates gaydar ability — which is far from judgment proficiency. But is gaydar real? Absolutely.

So, gaydar exists. Scientific Science along with Statistical Significance (I told you the result is Statistically Significant, didn’t I?). But, it doesn’t work in practice. So, don’t use it. But, it is real. Absolutely. Positively. Statistically Significantly.

Did your Sua-Dar fire off?

Consider the methods for this science.

Participants. Twenty-four University of Washington students (19 women; age range = 18–22 years) participated in exchange for extra course credit. Data from seven additional participants were excluded from analyses due to failure to follow instructions (n = 4) or computer malfunction (n = 3).

An observational design with a convenience sample of UDub undergrads, mainly women (are all the men at Wazzu?). The sample started with 31 people but 7 blew up. The protocol failed 22% of the time. Thus, just showing pictures on a computer was so complicated that it failed nearly 1 in 4 times. Geez, imagine the fail rate if they’d been using fMRI. Or even two tin cans on a string.

Facial photograph selection and preparation. The stimulus set included facial photographs of 111 gay men, 122 straight men, 87 gay women, and 93 straight women. Facial photographs were gathered from Facebook.com profiles, . . . of individuals living in 11 major US cities who self-identified as straight or gay; photographs of self-identified bisexual people were not used as target stimuli.

The best guess is that about 10% of the population is gay, yet this test challenges participants to look at a sample of images where 50% of the faces are straight and 50% gay. The actual test of gaydar occurs in real life with that low rate of gay faces swimming in a sea of straight faces. Let’s re-run this Scientific Science with the gay/straight proportion at 10/90 and tell me about gaydar.  Let’s re-run this with other physical cues like race, religion, and, along the way, sexual orientation, then have people make guesses like Asian, Baptist, or Straight.  Something that gets closer to the mess of life we typically scan with our various -Dars.

As displayed in Figure 2, participants were significantly better than chance at reading women’s sexual orientation (Mean A′f = .64), t(23) = 7.07, p<.001, Cohen’s [38] effect size d = 1.44. Participants also read men’s sexual orientation significantly better than chance (Mean A′m = .57), t(23) = 3.58, p<.002, d = 0.73. This finding indicates that naïve perceivers can, in fact, read sexual orientation from unknown others’ faces.

Holy Cohen! Look at those d effect sizes, 1.44 and .73. Those are Large to Stupendous Windowpanes, from 25/75 and up. Yet, absolute accuracy was only 60%, 10 points better than chance expectation. In this instance, the calculation and reporting of effect sizes misleads. The real effect of gaydar is about a 10% improvement over mere guessing and under highly favorably conditions that probably inflates accuracy. That’s still a Small effect, about 45/55. The reported effect sizes are based on various ratios and transformations aimed at juicing up what is only a 10% effect.

So. Start with 31, oops, 24 people, (almost all women), show them pictures of self identified gay and straight faces in equal proportions, and we’ve got scientific proof that gaydar exists, but doesn’t work in the real world. Kinda like gravity that only works in Newton’s head, but not on the apple.

Nice to read real Psychological Science in the New York Times.  Wonder if any Members of Congress voting on funding for NSF or NIH read this?  Probably moved to provide more money if only to make sure that research participants can successfuly complete difficult research protocols like looking at pictures on a computer screen then clicking the Gay or Straight button.

I’ve warned you about this before.  Whether the stone hits the pitcher or the pitcher hits the stone, it’s bad for science to be in public.

 

 

Rules, not Laws, of Chatter

The title gives it up.

“Does Chatter Really Matter? Dynamics of User-Generated Content and Stock Performance.”

Seshadri Tirunillai and Gerard J. Tellis present a line of analysis that links online chatter, called User Generated Content, to stock price performance of individual stocks. They conclude that chatter matters!

UGC and returns exhibit a significant positive correlation. Granger causality tests suggest that UGC predicts returns and trading volume.

As the current and reigning persuasion champ on this blog, I dispute the claim. My Rule!

There Are No Laws of Persuasion and If There Were Why Would Anyone Tell You?

If indeed chatter does predict individual stock prices, then why would anyone publish this information? You could make a literal killing in the markets with this and to release the information is to make it useless. The presumed information asymmetry between people who know this versus those who do not is absolutely crucial, a true New New Thing, the Thing that the Queen of Tomorrow craves. Publishing the information destroys the asymmetry between you and all the Other Guys, snatching the very crown off your regal head.

Chatter matters only to chatterers.

Persuaders, 2.0

If you look hard enough you can find a persuasion Box and Play in every persuasion Local. Even with social media. Like this!

Social-media sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Tumblr are increasingly forging relationships with celebrities to give both users and advertisers plenty of new material. Many of the sites have hired people and added resources to provide celebrities and entertainment-industry brands like TV host Kelly Ripa and Nascar with marketing ideas, insider tips and even technical support.

So. If you, your product or service, or your issue is already famous, you can use Web2.0 to enhance your fame! Gee, famous people using technological devices and services to stay famous. What a novel persuasion idea!

Past my mockery you see the problem. Let’s express it with persuasion math formulae.

You + Facebook = You.

By contrast,

You + Fame + Facebook = You + (Fame + a little bit more, maybe).

Social media at present have no predictable or controllable way of making you, your product or service, or issue Famous, or worse still, Persuasive. Sure, you get those wild, random lightning strikes (see Invisible Children), but where’s the control?

Furthermore, this persuasion play does not operate the way it is described in the article. I’d argue that celebrities are not using Web2.0 to enhance themselves, but rather Web2.0 is using celebrities to enhance Web2.0.

Facebook shows Hot Blondes how to use its megaphone while making sure that everyone sees the Facebook brand next to the Hot Blonde. Companies pay Hot Blondes hundreds of millions of dollars every year just to stand next to a product, service, or issue, and twitter is getting it for free.

The only people persuading with Web2.0 are the guys who invented it. They are selling persuasion to persuaders who then fail at their persuasion with Web2.0. I predict that if you compared the future success of celebrities using Web2.0 versus those who did not, you would find only a Tooth Fairy Tale.

Consider these Rules with the Web2.0 Masters of the Peruasion Universe.

Persuasion Is Strategic or It Is Not.

Persuaders Can Either Be Famous or Effective, But Not Both.

There’s a Difference between Persuasion, and Smoke and Mirrors; With Persuasion the Illusion Lingers.

Let’s close with a Zen metaphor.

When those fabulous first person shooter games came out on computers (Doom!!!), developers quickly created online networked versions so people could play against each other. Some computer shooters wanted an Invisible option wherein no one could see you as you played the game. The game developers laughed at the request and simply asked, “What kind of shooter game have you got when all the shooters are invisible?”

All Bad Science Needs More Money!

Gasp!

A Sharp Rise in Retractions Prompts Calls for Reform

Who knew?

“Nobody had noticed the whole thing was rotten,” said Dr. Fang, who is a professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

Sneaky bad science. So what?

“This is a tremendous threat,” he (Dr. Casadevall) said. “I think this is really coming to a head,” said Dr. Roberta B. Ness, dean of the University of Texas School of Public Health. And Dr. David Korn of Harvard Medical School agreed that “there are problems all through the system.”

Why would such good people as scientists do this?

“What people do is they count papers, and they look at the prestige of the journal in which the research is published, and they see how many grant dollars scientists have, and if they don’t have funding, they don’t get promoted,” Dr. Fang said. “It’s not about the quality of the research.” Dr. Ness likens scientists today to small-business owners, rather than people trying to satisfy their curiosity about how the world works. “You’re marketing and selling to other scientists,” she said. “To the degree you can market and sell your products better, you’re creating the revenue stream to fund your enterprise.”

But wait. There’s a solution!

Time for a renewed investment in science. Since 1963, the federal investment in research and development as a percentage of GDP has fallen steadily (17). If the major problems facing humanity are to be addressed, then this trend must be reversed.

More money, less stealing!

All Bad Science Is Persuasive!

Oh, the humanity!

!!!

P.S. We could improve the review process. Start with the reviewers who reviewed the “retracted” research. Publish their reviews and ask them to describe what they did. Hey, require reviewers to read Methods and Results. You could require data to be submitted with the article for review then up with the publication online. Hey, you could publish the reviews (nameless is okay) along with the papers.

P.P.S.  Wonder if most or all of the increase in retractions is only consistent with the tremendous growth in page space for peer review research?