When are we ready for Peer Review?

I sort of thought about if anyone but me sees these posts and then has a reaction to them, assuming the reaction was not one of complete boredom (indifference).  Am I ready yet for input? for peer review? for the review of a master?

It then lead me into the fractal and 1) I started questioning the metaphor of the fractal at all and 2) I started thinking about the admonition within the Tibetan Himalayan Buddhist text Words of My Perfect Teacher for the student to examine the master and, likewise, for the master to examine the student.

These all lead back to the necessity of peer review, of good scientific method of test and learn.  It reminds me of a lecture I attended at Yale when I was very young in which a speaker, I forget who, talked about humanism versus science.  He was asserting that Scientists are the true optimists about the human condition.

I don’t remember exactly what he said. But here I think it is really that test and learn *within the circumstance* because circumstances change.  And what is the main variable of that change? As Alistair Cockburn has written, it is humans.  Or as a policeman in New Orleans said to me once “Humans are the most unpredictable animal. You never know what a human being is going to do, sugar.”

OK so first, back to examining the teacher (before examining the fractal) and examining the student.

First, what does it mean to be ready for peer review?  It means that you’ve put the effort in to what you’ve thought about to a sufficient extent that you feel confident in your hypotheses.  I do not feel I’ve done enough homework (reading people’s books) and test-and-learn to be at that point. Not enough experimentation and results to report back.  (But is that true? Am I really just trying to protect my process from debate so I can feel safe in its cocoon?)

If I were ready for Peer Review, I’d want real peers first.  Why?  Fear.  I’d be scared to have a Master give me feedback until I’d done my homework.

What are peers, actually?  Other PMs?  Other Buddhist practitioners?  When can one say that they are really a peer?  This came up for me because I was thinking that if a PhD type read my material, that it was peer review – then I corrected my thinking because I’m no PhD.  In the case of a PhD type reading my work, it would be a case of a Master conducting a review, possibly.

If I was fortunate enough to find a Master who would be willing to review my thinking without pay (e.g. outside of the confines of a school), then I would want that Master to point out to me flaws in my methodology of thought itself.

So now we get to questioning Fractals as a metaphor.  A Master who has studied might say “No – a fractal is not like you have described; a fractal is like this.”  That’s already happened to me, actually, because one PhD did say to me “a fractal is not a container.”  I think this is something I need to meditate on because, as I say in my Fractal post, it is how things *feel* that remind me of fractals.  Not necessarily how fractals function in and of themselves.  However, the benefit here is that this forces me to look at my own thinking, to become more self-aware.

In the same way? Peer review.  If you are lucky enough to get it, it forces you to think about *how you are thinking.*

So back to another post I made, in which I observe religious people might want to kill you for disagreeing with them, I think it may be this: when you look at *how you are thinking at all* then the true deadly sin comes to light.  “Sin.”  Meaning, the way you are really grasping and stuck on something; where you are not inspecting and adapting.

2 Responses to “When are we ready for Peer Review?”

  1. SEMAT, Mastery, and Human Factors « Says:

    […] « When are we ready for Peer Review? […]

  2. “Done” and Mastery « Twingle Says:

    […] of by other masters. But you are reviewed. And then – why can’t students actually become peers in an odd way? When you make mistakes and you become aware of it via having students, then you can […]

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