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orion: Scholars and Others [was: Altman and Crowder]

Tim L Phillips wrote:
> If "scholarship" occurs outside of a university setting is it still
> "scholarship" and how valued will it be by those in that setting if it
> originates outside that setting?

I think the point, to be fair is, is not that it is _impossible_ for such
serious scholarship to appear outside of a standard academic environment. 
It's just --frankly-- that the odds go way, way down. 

Several folks here have already invoked the myth of "contributions" made
by the proverbial lone genius, without credentials working in splendid
isolation.  To the extent that such things actually occur, its worth 
pointing out that for every one of those guys there are ten thousand 
cranks pushing their trisections of angles, alternate versions of General 
Relativity or some other pet theory that could be shown to be gibberish 
by any first year grad student in the field.

In short, there really _are_ credentially, competent people working in
these disciplines and the overwhelming majority are found in exactly the
places where you would expect to find them. 

To ask a slightly silly version of this question, would you let the
stranger sitting next to you on the bus home tonight take out your
appendix?  Why not?  She _might_ be the world's greatest surgeon, who just
happened not to go to medical school.  What do you know?  Can prove

Nichael Cramer
work: ncramer@bbn.com
home: nichael@sover.net