Simfish/InquilineKea's Thoughts

research priorities
March 20, 2008, 11:23 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

It so happens that there is a potentially infinite amount of research you can conduct on any subject. Yes, this includes subjects such as football games, computer games, reading habits, library-using habits, blogging habits, and so on. It just happens that there are some issues that academic researchers find more interesting than others at the particular time (such “interesting” issues are socially determined, although they may not be completely arbitrary as at any given time there are some activities that influence the behaviors of a substantial number of people and other activities that do not influence such behaviors).But we can apply the “natural” vs. “experiential” analysis again here. Oftentimes the easiest research to do is the research that is on subjects that have already been analyzed. After all, comparisons and verifications are easier on such subjects. However, this alone does not make such subjects as more worthwhile research pursuits than other subjects. There are some fields that are more “stable” than others, stability being determined by the history and depth of research in the field.It should also be noted that this applies to math and science research. A lot of subjects actually publish papers on theoretical math – but different fields of theoretical math. Even psychology professors write papers on theoretical math – just on equations they find more applicable to their immediate problems than theoretical math professors do (after all, there are a potentially infinite number of functions one can analyze). Much theoretical math progress has come out of those alternate fields. Physicists with string theory, population geneticists with Fischer tests, etc.

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