Sisyphean PCT, E. coli rejection

[From Rick Marken (940720.2200)]

I will be off the net for a couple days so I will leave the
Sisyphean stone of PCT, which seems to have rolled right
back to the bottom of the hill once again, at the capable and
persistent shoulders of Bill Powers, Mary Powers and Tom Bourbon.

But first, just a quick reply to Avery regarding the E. coli
paper(s). Avery Andrews (940722.1424) asks:

How many places did you try get the article published? There is an
element of luck in whether one gets bonehead reviewers are not, so
sometimes trying elsewhere might work.

We had quite a large sample. I sent the first version of the paper
to Science and went through two or three rounds of rejections with reviewers
who said EXACTLY what Bill said they said -- and these were "top notch"
behavioral scientists. The paper Bill and I did together was rejected
(after several rounds of review) by JEP: Animal Behavior, Journal of
the Experimantal Analyis of Behavior (JEAB) and at least two others
that I can't recall off the top of my head. It was finally published
by Behavioral Neuroscience (again after several rounds) when we finally
just left out all but a brief mention of the "possible" implications
of the results for the notion that reinforcement strengthens or selects
behavior. The concept of reinforcement is a psychological shibbolith;
our paper was a massive disturbance to the perception of that concept;
the disturbance was quite effectively (and consistently) resisted. Bill
did not exaggerate the response to our paper one bit; there was not one
reviewer who was prepared to explain how random consequences could "shape"
a consistent result; not being able to explain it, they simply dismissed
it as "not inconsistent with renforcement theory".

The response of these reviewers was a real eye opener; kinda fun, actually.

Hasta luego

Rick

<[Bill Leach 940721.19:47 EST(EDT)]

[From Rick Marken (940720.2200)]

I will be off the net for a couple days so I will leave the
Sisyphean stone of PCT, which seems to have rolled right
back to the bottom of the hill once again, at the capable and
persistent shoulders of Bill Powers, Mary Powers and Tom Bourbon.

Do you remember the analogy using a bucket of water and how much of a
hole remains when you remove your finger? :slight_smile:

Seriously though, you'll be missed even if there is no doubt that
capable people will be carrying on in your stead.

BTW, I hope this is something pleasent such as vacation or some such
thing.

-bill