The culture of self-promotion

Self-promotion, why not?

In the Internet era, many ways to promote yourself. Sometimes quite disgusting to see people promoting themselves although they has only a few or small achievements. Today is the era of the culture of self-promotion. Many people try to become famous by approaching the mass media, usually by exaggerating the news. Over claim!

Unlike the prophets, they became popular and have many followers because they convey moral force and the idea of truth. Because of these, the prophets became role models for society. Proverb that says “silent is golden” is not valid anymore in today’s era.

In the world of science the self-promotion also happened. The following is a snippet from website of Prof. Gerad ‘t Hooft on “how to be famous”.

You may consider the option of connecting your work with mystery topics such as telepathy and consciousness. Make outrageous claims of having solved long standing problems. Of course, you expect that you will become famous, but unfortunately, only a few really good theoretical physicists have equations and effects named after them. This is because colleagues recognize their importance and since they want to give names to equations and effects anyway, they bestow the discoverers with that honor. The bad theoretical physicist, in anticipation, names his own equations and effects, and even his entire theories, after himself right away. The impudence to attach your own name to whatever you claim to have discovered is considered improper in science, and in practice it betrays amateurism and incompetence. If a good theoretician refers to an equation to which colleagues have attached his/her own name, he/she uses a different description if available.

On your way towards becoming a bad theoretician, take your own immature theory, stop checking it for mistakes, don’t listen to colleagues who do spot weaknesses, and start admiring your own infallible intelligence. Try to overshout all your critics, and have your work published anyway. If the well-established science media refuse to publish your work, start your own publishing company and edit your own books. If you are really clever you can find yourself a formerly professional physics journal where the chief editor is asleep. To recognize such a journal, look for one where, in the list of board members on the cover, more than 50 % has already deceased. Accuse all your critics of the short-sightedness that you actually suffer too much from yourself. It is easy and pleasant, it does not require the hard work of checking and re-checking your results, and if you are sufficiently eloquent, you might even gather some admirers.

Your next step should be to advertise your work. Your reputation may have caused the xxx ArXives and Wikipedia to refuse your submissions (congratulations, they are not really peer-reviewed), but in that case you can still start your own weblog, and buy pop-ups in Google. Do not mention the number of citations you received in the established literature (you probably did not receive any) but instead install a counter that identifies the number of times someone by mistake downloaded your papers. Some people just download anything so you are guaranteed to get many hits there, and you can proudly announce those numbers.

Melayu proverb says “Tong kosong nyaring bunyinya“, means “Empty barrel voiced a loud”.

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Hadi Nur

An ordinary man living in Johor Bahru, Malaysia who likes to write anything. This is table of content of my blog posts.

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