Vixra: A potentially valuable source of stimulating ideas
Continuing the “decentralization” theme that was largely the focus of a recent post, consider Vixra.org as a resource you might find useful (or at least entertaining). Vixra is “an e-print archive set up as an alternative to the popular arXiv.org service owned by Cornell University. Vixra was founded and is maintained by scientists who found they were unable to submit their articles to arXiv.org because of Cornell University’s policy of endorsements and moderation designed to filter articles considered by the editorial staff as “inappropriate.”
Vixra provides free access to well over 20,000 electronic documents which can be read online or downloaded as PDFs. Access is free, with no subscription required. Available articles cover a wide range of topics falling under the general categories: physics, mathematics, computational science, biology, chemistry, humanities, and academics. While the general idea is to present articles on “science and mathematics”, you might be surprised by the wide range of topics that appear. Each of these major categories contains multiple subcategories such as Mind Science, Religion and Spirituality, Quantitative Biology, Education & Didactics, Condensed Matter, Mathematical Physics and Relativity & Cosmology, and many others.
Regarding the departure from Cornell’s arXiv.org, article posted in what might be called “official” sources (scholarly journals and websites) area routinely screened through a process generally called “peer review”. This peer-review convention is an academic-oriented process whereby posted articles are pre-read by so-called professionals. The intent is to (appropriately) screen content in accordance with the sensibilities of the academics who review it. (A few of our seekingGood associates have acted as such reviewers in the areas of anthropology, literature and social psychology). In these current times when too many have become anti-science and anti-authority, we do not advocate the elimination of such standards. However, no academic field provides a range of acceptability which suits all tastes and interests.
Reliance on such pre-screening provides a certain level of relative faith in the material presented by a given publication for a given audience. At the same time, such practices limit reader access to what might be generally considered “fringe” or otherwise controversial content. For instance, one of our sG colleagues, a retired NASA astronomer has proposed a research-based theory that the speed of light is not constant. While he has managed to publish at least two papers on the subject, widespread access has not been available. Even if the idea appears to be ”out there”, some of us would like to read such material if only to encounter new ideas. Vixra offers many well researched articles and some startlingly goof-ball albeit interesting notions. In any case, we, the readers must judge for ourselves. Is that not what freedom is all about?
As noted above, while the topics posted on vixra.org are loosely categorized as “science” articles, the term is interpreted far less dogmatically than other so-called “scientific” journals (e.g., spirituality”). With that in mind, do you have a paper or article worth reading and that you are willing to share? Check out vixra.org. Get the lay of the land. Consider posting your own work. That is also what freedom is about.