Criticism of the academic institutions

So, we explained that the consensus among scientists in a field (especially in hard sciences) is generally the most reliable sign of truth (among all available means of inquiry in the same world at the same time) as concerns their research subjects. This is already interesting, but leaves many questions unanswered, because many important questions are not currently the subject of any serious scientific research.

Note that the trust expressed here towards the scientific consensus, is basically not a trust towards institutions, but a trust towards the global behavior of some community of people, based on how reason works, disregarding the administrative structure that currently hires them. Hopefully there are many cases when official institutional positions properly reflect serious scientific findings, but there can be exceptions too. This can either be because
  1. the established official community working on the subject is not made of really qualified people (or: their training and the conditions of academic recognition they must follow does not favor the right form of discernment), or 
  2. the issue (subject of claims by an institution) is not directly the research subject of any established scientific community, but an aspect of the political forces and paradigms which determine the behavior of these institutions.
Instances of 1. will be listed in the below section. Now let us present an important instance of 2, the question: how should education be organized and which knowledge or skills should be taught at every level, from the curriculum contents to the practical management (admission requirements, schedules, pedagogical tools, types of interaction between students and faculty, obligations, exams and the administrative roles of exams and diplomas for the working of the curriculum and the insertion in the rest of society).

The situation and its assessment may depend on countries, viewpoints, types of students, possible diversity among institutions of each country (with marginally some very different systems from the norm), and goals and criteria for comparison.
For example, the scientific teaching level has often been quite higher in the Soviet Union and some Asian countries, than in most of Western European and U.S. countries at the same years and ages of secondary and high school. A higher teaching level for some age may fit some of the best students, but be very hard to others, while a lower teaching level can be awfully boring to the most clever students.
Still, in average, the most frequent situation is quite awful, especially in a way that can roughly be described as a dire lack of freedom for pupils and students: the rules to follow are, for many pupils, far from the most favorable circumstance to their development and fulfillment of any kind (compared to alternatives with similar costs).

The situation in this field is quite paradoxical because the teaching and academic management activities, especially in higher education, are an essential component of the official duty of a large majority of scientists, and are so crucial to the life and career of the next generation of scientists, but they happen to be so wrongly done in some ways, because the full question of the global design of how academic institutions should work and what tasks should scientists be hired for, was not actually developed as a genuine research subject.

In fact, the academic system as a whole is not a decided well-thought conception of scientists (but only, if I don't mistake, a thought of the Enlightenment philosophers modeled after the practices of religious academies and finally fixed by decisions of states, with no significant design update since then), and its role has never been to properly share and show what science really is. Its main role was to be a democratically and administratively stable way of managing a population, the overwhelming majority of which has no chance to really understand science anyway; to provide them with diplomas, hopefully (but not always reasonably) likely to let them chances to find a job (especially among public institutions themselves, to reliably avoid any genuine connection to reality, such as a free market would provide). Only little hints of real science were reflected there. Scientists have been the servants of this system, mainly because they hardly had any other option to keep their jobs.

In this context, many individual scientists do notice the problem, sometimes speak and write about it (unless some obligation of political correctness linked with their job prevents it), and eventually try to do something about it, but overall they remain rather powerless against it (see references below).
A famous example was the French mathematician Evariste Galois. He made some pioneering work in group theory (fixing the name "group"), as well as a whole field of algebra now named after him: Galois theory (about algebraic equations). He died in 1832 at the age of 20 as a final result of his unsustainable troubles with the world and the academic system, which happened to make life quite hard to him as a genius (hard inadequate school work and troubles to be accepted and find recognition).

A possible way to describe the problem is in terms of MBTI typology.
We previously mentioned that types are correlated with profession, and in particular, that the types of Teachers are preferably EFJ, and a few more types around it. But a very Frequently Unasked Question, is what is the right personality type for a very peculiar job: the job of the Pupil ? Now you can take it as an exercise to check the MBTI test (or from any other testing or describing page) and figure out the right answers which the Good Pupil should give to each of the four questions: what is the right personality type a good Pupil should have.

Are you done ?
Of course, the right answers come to form a unique type quite straightforwardly. Then you can go and check the description of this type, which will confirm that this is indeed the correct type qualifying one to be a Good Pupil.
Now, remember a big claim of the school system: that it does everything to provide fair chances for all young people to succeed in society, without any discrimination.
Traditionally (at least in France), this paranoid concern for absolute fairness and equality of chances for all people, has been focused towards the exclusive ideal of breaking social boundaries by trying to cancel all possible correlation between people's careers (social positions, incomes) and those of their parents. To try to reach this goal, a lot of money has been invested in education, together with a very big focus on the care to "treat all pupils equally" by putting them together in the same classrooms and providing them the same lessons.
So, teenagers are jailed in schools to protect them from all possible influence of their parents (their respective social ranks, their cultures that might contaminate them), so that none will be "unfairly" favored as compared to others.
But it remained a big failure, as the correlations ("social boundaries") remained.

Our education ministers failed to notice that, if cancelling the correlation between the careers of children and those of their parents was really the purpose, then a much cheaper and more reliable solution was available: to use a lottery system for distributing diplomas.

More seriously, the basic situation is that there are a diversity of needs, interests and abilities between people who are diversely fitted for the many possible jobs needed by the economy to properly function, so that not all pupils need to do the same thing and follow the same curriculum for preparing to the jobs that best fit them. In such conditions, treating them all the same induces a hidden discrimination according to "how normal" every pupil is.

More specifically, this norm that school requires pupils to conform to and after which they are selected to succeed, is not an average (middle way) between all types of people, but it is a specific end of the spectrum: the system discriminates people according to how good ISTJ (or secondarily ESTJ, INTJ) they can be. School makes these types, first feel much better than others, then succeed best.

Do you wonder why social boundaries remain ? Well, if MBTI types are given by nature (possibly genetically inherited, at least partially), it is no mystery. The same with intelligence, which school requires to stay just in the middle, as too intelligent people cannot fit with the low level curriculum in force. But even if the types are not natural but given by education, this is no better: making everybody ISTJ with a limited intelligence and a life spoiled by wasting the precious youth years doing stupid school work, is no good solution for a sane economy which requires a diversity of skills for a diversity of jobs.

For example, what's the point of forcing pupils to obey a time schedule ? Why should it be better for the ones to spend the first hour of the day learning this subject, and the next hour that other subject, while it should be different for those who have been put into another group of pupils at the beginning of the year ? Why should it be different from a day to the next ? Why is it so important to start lessons every day at the same time, rather than to learn any other time of the day, regardless of how tired they may be ? Why should a lesson be stopped after exactly the same amount of time fixed in advance to switch to the next lesson, regardless of whether the issue was completed or not ? Why should every pupil hear exactly the same lesson at the same rhythm as the next pupil, regardless of his troubles or easiness to understand it, and regardless of his curiosity to more closely examine a detail or ask any question ? Why should it be the same schedule from a week to the next ? How many jobs on Earth except school teachers, need to be structured in this precise way ? Okay, some do in a way, such as doctors; but even if some features can be seen as common, many other features are usually quite more different.

By the way, what are the jobs for ISTJ ? Their list of preferred jobs includes: Inspector, administrator, manager, accountant, school director, police officer and prison guard. ESTJ become managers and organizers. Things that can indeed be useful for society, but quite far from scientific research anyway, so that school does not properly reflect science (just as it hardly reflects the needed skills for any decent job in general). After being the ones feeling at school like at home and succeeding, they will work to ensure that everything remains the same.

Another problem with school, is the insane system of relationships between pupils induced by this common pot: why nerds are unpopular.
See also this analysis about autism (but autistic people and many other serious or uncommon people such as geniuses, are facing the same problem):
"As for blaming autistic people's difference for the cruelty we receive, that removes the accountability of the people who are being cruel to autistic people. It makes it sound as if autism is to blame for the harm done to autistic people by others, which makes no more sense than saying accent and skin color are to blame for racism. When a person is being discriminated against for a quality, it's not that quality that needs changing. Being bullied on the schoolyard is not the fault of the autistic person for "looking like an easy target", and being socially ostracized is not the fault of the social aspects or "quirks" of autism."

Let's go further: geniuses are generally accused of not properly adapting to the world.
Sorry, what are they required to adapt to ?
They are required to adapt to a system that has been artificially designed and built up by society for the service of the sort of pupils that is stupid and reluctant to learn. The very purpose why the school exist, is to force them to learn, through mental brute force methods destroying all possible freedom of thought, to get more knowledge than they would naturally do if their freedom of thought was respected.
The problem is that there are other types of pupils, (unfortunately a small minority, therefore with no chance to have their lives respected in a democracy), such that, if you let them just free, they would naturally learn much more than what school is teaching them. For them, school is an obstacle to their thirst of knowledge, so that they desperately look for the little free time it lets them, to start satisfying it.

How can this trouble be blamed on these intelligent pupils, how can they be blamed for their inadaptation to this system precisely designed, artificially built up and adapted for pretending that the best adapted pupils are this majority of dumb ones, who would naturally not learn (to adapt to a world of knowledge) and therefore need brute force obligations to reach an appearance of intellectual skills ?

In fact, for the true mentally sane pupils, serious enough to better learn in free time than at school, the best adaptation method would be to drop them out of this fools asylum as soon as possible. And either let them learn by themselves (with books, internet...) or in some specialized institution better suited to them.

Then, if you wish the question of how adapted to the real world they are, to start making sense, there would be, in principle, a rather more fair measure : to test them directly against the world of job market, rather than the world of bureaucratic standardized testing. But, there is one problem: many jobs, in particular scientific jobs, are provided by public administration and other quite bureaucratic organizations. As long as recruitments there will be a matter of diplomas that require to go through the mental torture of academic nonsense to be obtained, there is little hope for change.

But the domination of the cult of diplomas as a substitute for knowledge, is widespread. It is widespread among students, who usually prefer to dedicate all their work to diplomas without being really curious to anything or asking themselves any deeper question on the subjects studied, or any question on the sense of their life ; and if ever some rare student would dare to think out of the curriculum, they would be strongly criticized for this by their teachers, and coerced into changing their mind, as any intellectual interest away from the race for diplomas would be a "waste of time" leading to a failure of life (as it wastes the chance to get a good job whatsoever).

But diplomas are not the only problem. Indeed, imagine an education system ready to recruit self-taught as teachers. But, why would they even be interested to bother coming to work there ?
Why should the young anti-conformist geniuses, even bother to search for any means to have their skills recognized by this awful system ? Recognized for what ? For getting the right to work for the repetition of this standardized, awful way of teaching ? This would be rather pointless, and even unbearable for some, not the way to the intellectual fulfillment they are seeking.

Let us explain what forces lead school classes and curricula to remain so boring, devoid of intelligence and imagination, full of errors, light years away from the wonders of true science.

First, it is hard to figure out any possibility of improvement in the teaching system: if you take the whole curriculum as it is, and inside it, take a precise subject, and wonder how to best present this subject at this level for students who followed the rest of the curriculum as it is, then indeed, not much can be thought of as a better way to do it. Instead, most genuine improvements would require a serious research work for a global redesign of the curriculum, which is harder to imagine, undertake or experiment.

Other necessities must be respected: be understandable by most of the students as they come, with the precise knowledge they previously acquired ; follow the official curriculum so as to let students "speak the same language" as any other students of the world; to prepare them to exams, and make their diplomas equivalent to those of any other institutions.
In such conditions, freedom and innovations in curricula are rather hopeless.

Thus, even INTPs who reached academic positions, cannot easily bring their INTP souls in their teaching. Indeed, their margin of freedom is both restricted by the administrators their job depends on, and the backgrounds and expectations of the Pupils filling the classrooms, who cannot accept to be required anything else than to remain Pupils. Teachers falling under these obligations, focus all the energies on distributing as many diplomas as possible, rather than sharing the light of any meaningful and interesting science.

The intermediate process between this mass arrival of ISTJ Pupils in undergraduate level, and the final PhD success dominated by INTPs,  can be compared to the arrival of a high speed train without brakes, to a series of obstacles ending at a wall, where each obstacle is designed and installed by an independent agent made fully responsible of the damage made by his own obstacle.
It is thus a slow but desperate failure of most Pupils, spread among the years of study, where each teacher is hit by a part of the failure, but is pressed by the different forces, to minimize this part of the failure by emptying their lessons of any possibly meaningful and interesting content, therefore keeping their lessons so dull and boring, and forwarding a larger remaining part of the Pupils with their necessary imminent failure, to the teachers that will receive this population at the next level.

Apart from these obstacles, there is also a lack of incentive for scientists to rethink the teaching curriculum. First is a lack of institutional incentive, as scientists'career is determined by the specialized research work to the exclusive interest of other working scientists, not by the production of courses for students. Second, a lack of personal, intellectual interest.

Indeed, most mathematicians and physicists (I don't know about other fields) are usually not interested to think about the contents of undergraduate teaching in their field, because they see these subjects as "too simple" for them to think about, and quite boring in comparison with their own high-level research. Indeed it is boring and tedious, because it is so many hours just to present "simple" concepts and prove "simple" results. They went through this boring stuff as students, they had to accept it as such, and it was so tedious and boring for them that they don't want to think about it anymore. They just assume that this is the only way to do at this level, because this is the way everybody is doing.
They prefer to think about new subjects, and would not be interested to think again about what they already know, because they can't consider that the way they learned and to which they adapted, could have been far from the best possible way and deserved to be questioned. Anyway they don't expect it to be a chance for them to develop their creativity. It is not even a claim they are making, as they did not even start addressing the question (it would not be their job anyway).

We may consider that teaching institutions were necessary long ago, when there were very few places of knowledge, and poor communications methods, when there was no other practical way to access knowledge than being present at the same place with the professor who has this knowledge. Still, formal teaching is necessary for some parts of education, such as for most primary school pupils who need more the presence of adults for focusing on the lesson. The situation is more variable at higher levels, depending on the diversity of personalities among students, and specific aspects of their learning work.

The necessity of formal lessons already started being questionable long ago by the development of libraries, by which it would have been possible for many students to learn by themselves at negligible cost for society, making useless all the expensive fuss of organizing for them classrooms, schedules and teachers. A learning way restricted to such methods of negligible cost, would already have ended the justification to care about organizing all these exams that preselect who should be allowed as students (if ever they had a sense of self-responsibility), and therefore, the fuss of ensuring this selection to be fair.
As if tolerating a student to come and try learning something at no cost for society, while he is not officially known as being properly enough able to do it, was a wrong favor that should not be granted. Where is the value of freedom linked to a sense of self-responsibility here ?
What is this world of fools where some people should be forcefully denied for their own sake the right to satisfy their curiosity in some field of knowledge, just for fear they would later come back and make troubles because they mistook this right to satisfying their curiosity, with the "right" to later oblige some employer to hire them for the skill in this field they mistakenly thought they had ?
What is this world of fools where students are never supposed to be able to find clues by their own means on the question whether they are understanding something or not, so that they would all absolutely need someone else to judge them and forcefully decide in their place whether they do, and thus whether they should go on learning this or that ? Where nobody even considered to publish any self-assessment tool to help students take the responsibility of their own life, rather than have as now some teachers take the full decisions over it by some blind formal means ?

It remains a pitiful truth that very few students are really interested in knowledge, nor willing to take any responsibility on their own life. All what most of them want is diplomas. So, academic institutions are there to provide them diplomas disregarding whether the curriculum makes any scientific sense or not.

The pitiful situation is that every student's social struggle for exterior signs and administrative acknowledgement of one's knowledge (intellectual skills), has become for everybody (first for administration itself, then forcing this on students) a sort of exclusive concern and values system, serving as a substitute for the reality of knowledge. The administration manufactured, then forced on all the ideology according to which the hardest a student socially struggles for the recognition of his skills, the more knowledge this struggle will create in him. In other words, all possibility of a natural intelligence is banned and repressed, while only an artificial form of intelligence, defined as manufactured by an administrative dictatorship over all details of students'minds and lives, is tolerated by society as an acceptable form of intelligence.

In such conditions, the minority of gifted young people (naturally inclined for knowledge), for whom learning should have been easy and natural, are often confronted to a system that makes life artificially harder to them: their natural skills are repressed and mistaken for a form of hubris, and they are labelled as "ambitious". Against them, a fighting field is opposed where they are challenged to waste years of absurd efforts (absurd school classes and homework) as a precondition to conquer the right to officially become what they already were from the start. By pretending to provide for the development of the skills, the school system is (at least for some students) damaging and endangering it. It is both damaging for the life (by being hard, time-consuming and stressing), and for the intelligence (by being of a lower level than could be done in a free time, to conform to the lower average level of other students); and without a happy life, intellectual productivity may be damaged. This may be seen as a caricatural form of logical positivism where no intelligence has the right to exist unless it is administratively measured.

Geniuses are accused of being ambitious, and of being personally responsible (especially in the eyes of spiritual people) for choosing the hassle that is put over them. But it may not really be their choice: it is not their "fault" if they are naturally clever and more thirsty of knowledge than others. Their real need, at least for some of them, is not as much a special expensive treatment, exhausting training and hard competitions, but to be let free to be what they are (which may have zero cost for society); but it may be beyond the mental ability of the System, to understand this need of freedom and tolerate geniuses for what they are. The System "needs" to be the official creator of every good thing that happens; and to be respected as such, it needs to first destroy any positive thing that previously existed in nature, and for which the System cannot be granted the merit. So it will divert the natural aspiration of geniuses into a fabricated ambition, requiring a hard artificial work, to conquer the right to be accepted into a higher meaningless social class whose role will replace the one of natural intelligence. This will require a harder artificial work for the ambition to conquer the right to enter the next grade, and so on. But this endless strive can turn out to be destructive of the very creativity and knowledge that it pretends to create.

Finally, while the System officially praises the geniuses it trains as an elite (and may have positive effects on some of them), some of these geniuses not at ease with the System, happen to suffer this treatment as a sort of mental slavery, nonsense that destroys their time, life and creativity. It is a known fact that intellectual creativity erodes with age. Any harm or obstacle that limits the time and opportunity for young geniuses to find fulfillment and develop knowledge, is a terrible waste.

This situation has been recalled here:

"the human brain has it's best time in the early to mid twenties. Why do we waste these best years?"

A fabric of crackpots

As we said, the most disgusting thing for (at least some) clever people, is intellectual mediocrity.
This is both true for young geniuses as for tenured scientists. These are two artificially separated sides of a population that would otherwise have naturally been one brotherhood, but whose chances to connect to each other are severely limited by this wall of administrative rule of intellectual mediocrity that is the school and undergraduate teaching system, separating both sides, and which repels each member of a side away from the other side.

Why are there no more serious attempts at communication and direct unions between networks or organizations supporting gifted people in desperate need of opportunities to fulfill their curiosity and develop their skills, and scientists that feel desperate at the statistics of the decreasing popularity of scientific studies in official institutions ? Or is there ? Of course some efforts are made at popularizing science in the media, in conferences, expositions, or science museums. But this is usually not done in a serious manner: this is not the full depth of science that is usually shared in these ways, but rather some oversimplified accounts or anecdotal aspects of science. The separation between scientists and those who wish to learn science, may seem to be reduced through such popularization works, but no real decent bridge seems to be currently in place.
Core theories that could be really more interesting, such as the main foundations of mathematics (set theory, model theory), linear or abstract algebra, tensors, electromagnetism, non-euclidean geometries, topology, classical mechanics, gravitation, special and general relativity, quantum physics, are hardly ever fully shared in such environments. (I am personally interested to contribute in communicating these subjects to gifted people who wish to learn them outside formal academic contexts, so please contact me if you know about any math&physics education network, either local or online, for skilled free students at undergraduate level).

Such an absence explains both the lack of popularity of scientific studies that many scientists officially deplore, and the proliferation of cranks that worsen the separation between scientists and the public. How can students be expected to seek scientific studies, if the academic system welcomes them there with the spines of a hard, tedious and boring work ? How can young geniuses not be tempted to mistake the scientific community with the mediocre appearance of it given by the academic system, which somehow really looks like crackpot ? This deprives them of the means to trust the intelligence of scientists, and thus leads them to believe that their own thought, just because it goes a little higher than the lessons they are attending, would be higher than mainstream science too. This is what is leading some of the young geniuses, who otherwise may have become good scientists, to become paranoid cranks instead.

A change is needed

The opposition of political forces is so naturally flawed between
  1. The ITP, introverted independent thinkers interested in things and ideas rather than in other people, who prefer to flee political conflicts
  2. The EJ (extroverted organizers) who like to rule the lives of other people and find it right to do so
Thus, while they are usually a free and reliable reference of knowledge inside their precise subject of research, geniuses and scientists may remain a sort of sheep in the hands of businesses and administration (and sometimes thoughtless intellectual fashions among their peers, as professional recognition is dictated by peer-review processes), as for the conception and orientation of the work they are employed for.
This is where the natural need of scientists to take refuge in the ivory tower of their specialized knowledge (while many pseudo-scientists are much more eager to share their crackpot ideas to the public) to avoid the hassles of mental nonsense and political conflicts that reign in the rest of the world, reaches its weaknesses. This lack of political consciousness among those who may have been best able to understand society's troubles and invent possible solutions, is both damaging to many of their own possible intellectual peers, and to society as a whole.

Since long, hardly any justification remained for such a lack of liberty to the whole students population, especially the top fraction of them. But now the obsolescence of the system is even clearer with the development of the Internet, which gives everyone virtually all the best knowledge of the world at home for free. But this new field of opportunities still has to be further developed.

Scientists already started to revolt against publishers of scientific journals (whose main remaining role in the Internet age is to take as a direct profit most of the public funding of scientific libraries, with no real service in return), by developing alternative online peer-reviewed journals with free online access for all.

It may be time to make a similar revolution with education, to provide free or cheaper online higher education. Indeed, the methods of sharing knowledge are currently quite wasteful with this way of having to repeat the same lessons at precise schedules each year, while it is the same performance that thousands of professors are supposed to repeat worldwide from a university to another, with hardly any innovation effort actually done: this is far from any optimized use of the creative scientific abilities of professors, while a simple video broadcast of the best lesson of the world on each subject (just to be translated in each different language, and eventually to adapt once for all to a list of different skills and profiles of students), would sometimes do better and cheaper. Thus we need to consider

Other mismanagement of intellectual resources

Some research subjects in mathematics that initially developed with no purpose of practical applications, finally produced unexpected important ones (such as number theory that led to cryptography). However this is not a general case; and, while most fields of mathematics (as listed by the Mathematics Subject Classification) seem connected with possibilities of applications, some active research subjects (as I could see) can't be reasonably expected to be useful to mankind in the near future.

This uselessness is a general phenomenon that can take different forms. What was the usefulness of sending men on the Moon ? Some technical usefulness of the Apollo program exists (technological development, some scientific research...), but this alone would not have justified its huge cost (such new technologies could have been developed at a lower cost). The main "usefulness" was to make people dream (and to bring a bright reputation to the US worldwide). Hopes of clearer kinds of usefulness such as making it profitable to colonize the Moon in the short term, have been disappointed.
What is the usefulness of astronomy, except to warn us whether an asteroid threatens to hit the Earth and kill many of us ? To bring a knowledge of our place in the cosmos, to feed the imagination of an educated public curious enough to look after it. The advantage of astronomy is that it can be popularized in a way that preserves much of its wonder (and it is cheaper than the Apollo program). In terms of strict usefulness, just enough space research to send the useful satellites to observe, localize and communicate everything on Earth would have sufficed.
What is the usefulness of particle physics ? Progress in fundamental physics in the first half the 20th century has been tremendously useful. This usefulness was expectable because the physics underlying ordinary matter (to specify exactly what can be done with matter for practical purposes by affordable means) had not been fully understood before. However, this time has passed, as the laws of physics for ordinary matter are rather fully understood; what is not understood yet of fundamental physics and that is being researched in particle accelerators, clearly won't be technologically useful in a foreseeable future (as it can only bring information about the mess of particles produced in particle collisions from over-expensive, energetically wasteful particle accelerators; about the Big Bang and cosmology; and some pointless details on how cosmic rays can damage spacecrafts and the health of astronauts). Now, further discoveries in particle physics can only be useful to feed the dreams of... the small minority of particle physics that can understand such discoveries (as this field can't be popularized in a similarly meaningful way as astronomy).
Some mathematical research subjects are just as useless, only good to feed the dreams of a few specialists, where the news of any discovery can eventually not be popularized at all.

The mismanagement of intellectual resources is particularly striking in the case of string theory, to which a huge lot of work was dedicated with hardly any effective result (testable predictions), which led some to dismiss this theory as not even wrong (though interesting from a purely abstract mathematical viewpoint).

This does not exactly make it a pseudo-science like other pseudo-sciences. Unfortunately the debate has been polluted with some cranky claims of opponents to string theory (especially Lee Smolin), but I guess that a sort of agreement between most physicists would remain on the following points: that string theory is a somehow self-consistent mathematical theory (though this may not be so clear), that it has a chance to fit the real world but we cannot know. It is merely speculative with no practical prediction as it lets a much too wide range of possibilities that can't even be reasonably computed to compare them with the standard model, so that it largely fails in practice (under the limitations of our human deductive abilities...) to reach the status it initially promised, that is of a scientific theory for physics.

On the other hand, other possibly more useful research subjects for scientists are neglected, such as

Some references

See my long list of links of criticism of the academic institutions

In this article:
"The assumptions and procedures of science in the West have long been shaped by military and commercial imperatives. The scientific establishment has accepted these shaping constraints, reluctantly or enthusiastically, but they have had little choice in the matter."
and in the New Scientist article Time to democratize science, linked from there:

"In the words of Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz:
"If science is defined by its ability to forecast the future, the failure of much of the economics profession to see the crisis coming should be a cause of great concern."I am not sure economics even qualifies as a science any more. It is as though physicists spent hours pushing an elephant up the stairs of their department and then expressed surprise at what happened when they heaved it off the roof.
As a source of world-changing knowledge, the social sciences are as nothing when compared with the natural sciences.
The pharmaceutical sector, for example, has spent billions on copycat drugs and treatments for depression and anxiety that have few clear benefits.
There is no good reason I can see why science funding could not be made subject to democratic decision-making. Yes, it will hand power to non-experts, but so does the present system: non-experts in the state and private sector often have a decisive say in what scientists study.


Back to the exposition on the nature of science