Out of the pie holes of “experts”

There is nothing I hate worse than a collection of elite “experts” sitting around deciding what everyone else should think is interesting (<cough>BRAINI<cough>). Thus, I was not amused by this arriving in my twitfeed:

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First: Pay. Fucking. Walled.

Second: I skimmed the list of experts (many are not neuroscientists). One of them is a Google executive who—I shit you not—suggests that we read a book by Ray Kurzweil.

Third: Optogenetics. WOW! What crystal ball from 2005 did this visionary genius look into?

Which brings me to the main point. This kind of list is self defeating. No one would’ve put “light activated ion channels” on this list 10 years ago. It’s totally fucking unnecessary to sit around guessing, and in the medium to long term you are guaranteed to look stupid. In the short term, it enforces buzz, hype, and conformity.

Fund young scientists. Period. We know what to do with the money.

My reaction summarized thusly:

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2 Comments on “Out of the pie holes of “experts””

  1. “No one would’ve put “light activated ion channels” on this list 10 years ago.”

    Are you fucken high? Ten years ago numerous prominent neuroscientists were avidly getting optogenetics to work, precisely because they suspected how transformative it would be. This includes Miesenbock, Isacoff, Kramer, Diesseroth, Boyden, Tsien, Gottschalk, and others.

  2. rxnm says:

    I should’ve been clearer–an article like this never would have. They all just say that the hot/obvious shit from the last 5-10 years is “the future.”

    I’m not saying you can’t with hindsight go back and see who was going in an exciting direction. I’m saying having a bunch of “experts” prognosticate is fucking dumb.


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