Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Academic life - just more work on the block chain gang? - citations are just non fungible tokes of esteem: discuss

I was idly thinking about worthless pieces of information, and suddenly struck by the parallel between citations and NFTs. the citation graph is append only (practically never does someone delete a citation, let alone the actual citing paper, or cited work). so it is a very stuff of Merkle Trees. the repositories of record are persistent (e.g. british library, library of congress etc), but independent,, cross checked (c.f. dewey decimal etc) for consistency, so you have decentralised.

and you have proof of work - academic life is (aside from the odd bit of teaching) all about writing (rarely about reading - hint, this could lead to a radical optimisation of the implementation above:)

and we use this nonsense for H-Indices for employment, promotion, honours and the the REF? (oh, ok, you aren't meant to use citation counts for that, but hey, people are lazy).

so what is the exchange rate between BTC based NFTs and paper citations now? why isn't there one yet? we could easily set it up, and all retire on the proceeds....

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misery me, there is a floccipaucinihilipilification (*) of chronsynclastic infundibuli in these parts and I must therefore refer you to frank zappa instead, and go home