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<title>“Publish or Perish” = “Life or Death”</title>
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<h1>“Publish or Perish” = “Life or Death”</h1>

<p>
There is an old adage about the Academic life that reads:
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Publish_or_perish">“Publish
or Perish”</a>. Wikipedia reads:
</p>

<blockquote>
<p>
“Publish or perish” is a phrase coined to describe the pressure in academia to
rapidly and continuously publish academic work to sustain or further one's
career.
</p>
<p>
Frequent publication is one of few methods at scholars’ disposal to demonstrate
academic talent. Successful publications bring attention to scholars and their
sponsoring institutions, which can facilitate continued funding and an
individual's progress through their field.
</p>
</blockquote>

<p>
Let’s go a little farther from the “frequent publishing” and just into
publishing something in time, and it is evident that a man has two choices:
</p>

<ol>

<li>
<p>
To publish everything he or she knows and thinks in time, and be completely
honest and sincere (without lying, keeping secrets, or even speaking in
riddles, but while still keeping some privacy and using tact and wisdom.).
( = "Publish" ).
</p>
</li>

<li>
<p>
To keep things to himself or herself, lie, or use other forms of deceit
or camouflage, thus resulting in him isolating himself from society and
becoming paranoid. (= "Perish" ).
</p>
</li>
</ol>

<p>
If we look at history, we will see that the most enduring and surviving idea
systems were the ones that consistently published: the
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Greek_philosophy">Greek
philosophers</a>,
the Jewish scholars, the Muslim scholars of medieval times, the
post-Renaissance/post-Printing-press Europeans, the American mass-media /
mass-publishing revolution of the 20th century, and the
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User-generated_content">user-generated
content</a>
Internet of today. Yes, there always was a lot of junk
(see <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sturgeon%27s_Law">Sturgeon’s Law
that says that “90% of everything is crap”</a>), and that includes the
very <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanakh">Tanakh (= Jewish Bible)</a>
that many people still consider holy, but there is always a minority of
exceptionally good stuff.
</p>

<p>
It is extremely unlikely that a single man called Aesop told all of the
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aesop%27s_Fables">fables
that have been attributed to him</a>, and even if
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David">(King) David</a> existed, he has
not taken all of the actions that he was told to have taken in the Bible,
because many such tales were common in the ancient Near East. Instead, they
were both ancient <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meme">memes</a>, and
people had no qualms to gradually improve upon them and spice them.
</p>

<p>
So you should definitely publish, because keeping your “secrets” or
“core competency” for yourself is not only dishonest, but a superbly
bad strategy, because you will have little motivation to improve what you did,
and other people won’t be able to contribute to it, build upon it,
or criticise it.
</p>

<hr />

<p>
The biggest offender of the “Publish or Perish → Life or Death” principle
I can think of and can relate to is
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Security_Agency">National
    Security Agency (NSA)</a> and they now face two options: either publish
everything they know promptly —­or perish.
</p>

<p>
How do I plan to make them realise that?
See <a href="http://www.shlomifish.org/humour/bits/facts/NSA/">my page
    with NSA “facts”</a> and its links, as well as my latest anti-NSA
activism in the form of the informal screenplay
<a href="http://www.shlomifish.org/humour/Summerschool-at-the-NSA/"><i>Summerschool
at the NSA</i></a>. The latter stars the actresses
<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Michelle_Gellar">Sarah Michelle
Gellar</a> (of
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffy_the_Vampire_Slayer_%28TV_series%29">Buffy</a> fame) and
<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Summer_Glau">Summer Glau</a> (famous
for being featured in <a href="http://xkcd.com/406/">xkcd #406: “Venting”</a>
and some other <a href="http://xkcd.com/">xkcd</a> strips) as themselves,
and who conspire to slay/terminate/kick-the-ass-of the NSA for good, in a
typical
<a href="http://www.shlomifish.org/philosophy/philosophy/putting-all-cards-on-the-table-2013/#david_and_goliath">David
vs. Goliath</a> fashion.
</p>

<p>
For publishing and therefore life,
</p>

<p>
<a href="http://www.shlomifish.org/">Shlomi Fish</a>
</p>

<h2 id="license">Licence</h2>

<p>
This document is Copyright by Shlomi Fish, 2012, and is available
under the
terms of <a rel="license"
href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/">the Creative Commons
Attribution Non-commercial License 3.0 Unported</a> (or at your option any
later version of that licence). In addition to that, the author gives an
explicit exemption to use the article in sites with web advertising.
</p>

<p>
For securing additional rights, please contact
<a href="http://www.shlomifish.org/me/contact-me/">Shlomi Fish</a>
and see <a href="http://www.shlomifish.org/meta/copyrights/">the
explicit requirements</a> that are being spelt from abiding by that licence.
</p>

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