19 February 2012

Boycott Elsevier

Elsevier is a huge and aggressive scientific publisher. Their business practices, however, are not valued at all by academics. The reasons are:
  1. Elsevier charges very high prices for subscriptions to individual journals.
  2. Individuals cannot afford to buy them. They are offered to libraries but only in very large bundles, essentially forcing libraries to get journals they do not want.
  3. They support acts which aim at restricting free exchange of information (SOPA, PIPA, Research Works Act).
  4. They exploit the free (and most essential) services offered by referees, in order to increase their profit.
In http://thecostofknowledge.com/ we boycott Elsevier by refusing to publish in their journals, refusing to offer voluntary and unpaid services as referees and refuse to do editorial work for Elsevier.

At this day and age when we look for immediate access to papers in depositories such as http://arxiv.org/, we find it ludicrous to have greedy publishers like Elsevier who will do everything they can in order to increase their 2+ billion euro profit, including publishing journals of dubious quality, such as "Chaos, Solitons & Fractals", which was involved in a big scandal 2-3 years ago.

More details on this can be found on this statement of purpose, signed by some well-known mathematicians.

So, please visit the Cost of Knowledge web page and boycott Elsevier.

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What measure theory is about

It's about counting, but when things get too large.
Put otherwise, it's about addition of positive numbers, but when these numbers are far too many.

The principle of dynamic programming

max_{x,y} [f(x) + g(x,y)] = max_x [f(x) + max_y g(x,y)]

The bottom line

Nuestras horas son minutos cuando esperamos saber y siglos cuando sabemos lo que se puede aprender.
(Our hours are minutes when we wait to learn and centuries when we know what is to be learnt.) --António Machado

Αγεωμέτρητος μηδείς εισίτω.
(Those who do not know geometry may not enter.) --Plato

Sapere Aude! Habe Muth, dich deines eigenen Verstandes zu bedienen!
(Dare to know! Have courage to use your own reason!) --Kant