This posting is another in what I now realize will be a longer series on the life-cycle and utility of communication channels. The first, posted on December 14, 2003 is entitled: Six Stages In The Life Cycle Of Communication Channels.Six Stages In The Life Cycle Of Communcation Channels Now in this current paper I will consider the special case of information propagation and dissemination for original, disruptive, or counterintuitive intellectual content.
The peer-review process filters undesirable qualities from publications within scientific and academic communities. It is generally intolerant of innovations, disruptive observations, and contributors whose work is nearly entirely original (with the exception of mathematics), yet these qualities are essential to a healthy intellectual environment.
Original workers take great risks, often remain isolated from their peers, and are typically shunned and disrespected by potential employers. They are lonely thinkers that crave colleagues and dialogue.
The web-log, or blog, is now the most accessible as well as the most rapid route to publication for these original minds, and it does offer some dialogue. But the blogosphere is a generally a chaotic and unreliable marketplace for information. It is more often used for agglomerating news, publishing news and commentary or accessing news, either personal or news of interest to the greater community, than as a portal for serious intellectual publication.
Publishing original material on a blog is risky because the contribution is automatically branded unreliable because the writers become known by the company that they keep, and that company is far too often intellectually messy and unreliable.