## Democratic changes in OA can be only reactive. We need daring private initiatives

Democratic changes in OA can be only reactive. That means one step back with respect to active opposition to change, methodically pursued by interests of a small but powerful minority of big players in the publishing game (i.e. publishers themselves and their academic management friends, sometimes overlapping). And even more, one might say that democratic changes are even two steps back with respect to strategic decisions taken by the said big players. It’s only speculation, but for example the admirable DORA could throw us in the future into the arms of the newly acquired Mendeley.

By democratic changes I mean those which are agreed by a significant part of the research community.

So, what else? Privately supported changes. By this I mean support of any potentially viral solution for getting us out from this tarpit war. It’s clear that Gold OA is the immediate future change agreed by the big players, although it’s just as useless  as the actual research communication system based on traditional publication. Why waste another 10 years on this bad idea, only to repeat afterwards that it is already technically possible to disseminate knowledge without making the authors (or public funding agencies which support those) pay for nothing?

The advantage of a new dissemination system is already acknowledged, namely it is far more convenient, economically speaking, to profit from the outcomes of low Coase cost research collaborations, than to keep paying a hand of people who offer an obsolete service and don’t want to adapt to the new world of the net.

This point of view is stressed already in my Seven years forecast (i.e. until 2020), part 5:

In seven years all  successful changes of the process of dissemination of knowledge will turn out to be among those born from private initiatives,

Wish I have a crystal ball,  though I only have some hope.

UPDATE: Oh, yeah, maybe the uber-library idea is not the right thing. Yes, everybody wishes for a world library at a click distance, but that’s not all. That’s like “what can we do with cars? Well, let’s make them like coaches, only without the horse. The rich guys will love them.” And boum! the car concept became a success from the moment they were mass-produced.

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## Freedom sector of graphic lambda calculus

Yes, graphic lambda calculus has a freedom sector. Which means in that sector you can do anything you like (modulo some garbage, though). It’s yet not clear to me if this means a kind of universality property of graphic lambda calculus.

The starting point is the procedure of packing arrows explained in this post.  This procedure can be seen in the following way:

Here, the left and right void circles with the respective arrows represent: the one from the left is a generic out arrow which exits from a gate and the one from the right is a generic in arrow which enters in a gate.

This gives the following idea: replace the inputs and the outputs of the gates from graphic lambda calculus by the following graphs (the green wiggly arrow means “replace”):

For example, look how it’s done for the $\curlywedge$ graph. Technically we define new macros, one for each elementary gate. Let’s call these macros “the free gates”.

These free gates define the free sector of the graphic lambda calculus, which consists all graphs made by free gates, along with the move of cutting or gluing arrows.

The free sector has inside a copy of the whole graphic lambda calculus, with the condition of adding a local move of elimination of garbage, which is the local move of elimination (goes only one way, not both) of any graph which is not made by free gates with at most, say, 100 arrows + gates. This move is needed, for example, for the case of emulating the graphic beta move with free gates, where we are left with some garbage consisting of one $\lambda$ gate and one $\curlywedge$ gate, seen as disconnected graphs.

## The good, the bad and the iawful: OA, measures of scientific output and bad legislation

What happens in the real world, the one of the  powers that be, as concerns open access, peer-review and communication of research results? Let’s see.

Funding agencies, institutions that employ scientists, and scientists themselves, all have a desire, and need, to assess the quality and impact of scientific outputs. It is thus imperative that scientific output is measured accurately and evaluated wisely. [...]

A number of themes run through these recommendations:

• the need to eliminate the use of journal-based metrics, such as Journal Impact Factors, in funding, appointment, and promotion considerations;
• the need to assess research on its own merits rather than on the basis of the journal in which the research is published; and
• the need to capitalize on the opportunities provided by online publication (such as relaxing unnecessary limits on the number of words, figures, and references in articles, and exploring new indicators of significance and impact).

Read it. Disseminate it. Sign it.

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The bad:  The apparatus of research assessment is driven by the academic publishing industry and has become entirely self-serving. In this article by  Peter Coles you find:

The involvement of  a company like Elsevier in this system just demonstrates the extent to which the machinery of research assessment is driven by the academic publishing industry. The REF is now pretty much the only reason why we have to use traditional journals. It would be better for research, better for public accountability and better economically if we all published our research free of charge in open archives. It wouldn’t be good for academic publishing houses, however, so they’re naturally very keen to keep things just the way they are. The saddest thing is that we’re all so cowed by the system that we see no alternative but to participate in this scam.

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The iawful:  From this g+ post by Peter Suber we find out that:

Elsevier, NewsCorp, Facebook, and Yahoo are some of the major players in NetChoice, an industry group “promoting convenience, choice, and commerce on the net.”

NetChoice has a watch list for bad legislation that it calls iAWFUL (Internet Advocates’ Watchlist for Ugly Laws). The latest version of iAWFUL includes the White House OA directive plus the state-level OA bills in California, Illinois, and North Dakota. (Yes, there was a bill in ND, and no, NetChoice doesn’t seem to know about the OA bill in NY.)
http://www.netchoice.org/2013-may-iawful/

Insofar as NetChoice has an argument for opposing these OA initiatives, it’s a crude bolus of false assertions and assumptions. I haven’t seen this kind of motivated distortion since the days of PRISM and the Research Works Act.
http://www.netchoice.org/2013-may-iawful/4-forcing-journals-to-make-their-works-publicly-available/

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So, things happen … eventually. But slowly. I bet many of us, not entangled with the high politics or management in academia, wish for a faster pace.  For my part, I would rather play the Game. It has a very low Coase cost, you know?

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UPDATE:  if you still wonder  about Gold OA, is it good? is it bad?, here is a tweet about Elsevier and iawful:

## Sets, lists and order of moves in graphic lambda calculus

Suppose that we want to group together three arrows in graphic lambda calculus. We have this:

We want to group them together such that later, by performing graphic beta moves, the first arrow available to be 11′, then 22′, then 33′. Moreover, we want to group the arrows such that we don’t have to make choices concerning the order of the graphic beta moves, i.e. such that there is only one way to unpack the arrows. The solution is to “pack” the arrows into a variant of a list. Lists have been defined here, in relation to currying.

Basically we take a zipper and we close it.  Further we see how to unpack this list.

The dashed red curve encircles the only place where we can use a graphic beta move. The first move frees the 11′ arrow and then there is only one place where we can do a graphic beta move, which frees the 22′ arrow and finally a last move frees the 33′ arrow and produces a loop which can be eliminated.

The uniqueness of the order of moves is true, in fact, if we accept as valid beta moves only those from left to right (i.e. those which eliminate gates). Otherwise we can go back and forth with a beta move as long as we want.

There is another way to pack the three arrows, under the form of another graph, which could aptly be called a “set”. This time we need a graph with the property that we can extract any arrow we want from it, by one graphic beta move. Here is the solution:

Indeed, in the next figure we see that we have three places, one for each arrow, which can be independently used for extraction of the arrow of choice.

In between these extremes, there are other possibilities.  In the next figure is a graph which packs the three arrows such that: there are three places where a graphic beta move can be performed, as in the case of the set graph, but once a beta move is performed, the symmetry is broken. The performed beta move does not free any arrow, but now we have the choice between the other two possible beta moves. Any such choice frees only one arrow, and the last possible beta move frees the remaining two arrows simultaneously.

Here is the figure:

The graph from the left hand side is not a list, nor a set, although it is as symmetric as a set graph.  There are $3 \cdot 2 = 6$ possible ways to unpack the graph. So this graph encodes all lists of two arrows out of the three arrows.

## We, researchers, just need a medium for social interaction, and some apps

… so that we can freely play the game of research. Because is a game, i.e. it is driven by curiosity, desire to learn, does not depend on goals and tasks, it is an extension of a child attitude, lost by the majority of adults. Let the vanity aside and just play and interact with other researchers, on equal foot. Let the creativity manifest freely.

Two    Three examples:

Rap Genius is a very well-loved and well-used online tool for annotating rap songs.  Only, not so surprisingly, people are starting to use it to annotate other things.  Like scientific papers.

• Olivier Charbonneau writes

Actually, that’s an interesting take on mass data visualization – imagine creating an algorithm that could parse a dataset of bibliographic information into minecraft (for example) – what would that research “world” look like?

• Hermann Hesse’s   Das Glasperlenspiel (aka Magister Ludi)

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Context:

## Graphic lambda calculus used for quantum programming (Towards qubits III)

I want to make a bit more clear one of the goals of the research on graphic lambda calculus, which are reported on this blog.  I stress that this is one of the goals and that this is live research,  in the making, explained here in order to attract, or invite others to join, or use this exploration for their purposes.

More precisely, further I present several justifications for two series of posts

which have as common goal the application of graphic lambda calculus to some form of quantum programming (probably some version of a quantum lambda calculus). I use the informative linked wiki page on quantum programming  for citing. Please click on the links to go where the real information is.

Efforts are underway to develop functional programming languages for quantum computing. Examples include Selinger’s QPL,[1] and the Haskell-like language QML by Altenkirch and Grattage.[2][3] Higher-order quantum programming languages, based on lambda calculus, have been proposed by van Tonder,[4] Selinger and Valiron [5] and by Arrighi and Dowek.[6]

Simon Gay’s Quantum Programming Languages Survey has more information on the current state of research and a comprehensive bibliography of resources.

I hope that in some finite time I can prove that there is a “quantum lambda calculus” sector in graphic lambda calculus. Let me explain why.

Basically, leaving much detail aside, quantum computation needs a  mix of at least two ingredients:

• some algebraic structure, which contains objects like complex vector spaces, real projective spaces, unitary transformations, projections, etc,
• some logical structure overarching the algebraic one (purists may say that in principle a lambda calculus would do).

The algebraic structure is not needed entirely, i.e. the needed part is the web of relations between the various algebraic operations. For example, the vector space operations are needed and not the points of the vector space. Likewise, we need “linearity”, “unitarity” and not particular linear or unitary transformations. Enough is to know how linearity and unitarity interact with the algebraic operations.

In the same way, as concerns the logic part, we need (say, if we are interested in a quantum lambda calculus) an abstraction an an application operations (like in lambda calculus) which interact well with the algebraic structure. Right?

There is one more ingredient needed: some form of evaluation procedure. There we can see a difference between a quantum and a classical lambda calculus. A quantum lambda calculus is more geometrical, less commutative than a classical one. One has to take care of phases, of the order of evaluations more than in the classical one.

Graphic lambda calculus seems to be a welcoming host for all these demands. Indeed, let’s see.

Graphic lambda calculus encodes algebraic structures in the barest way, by using only one gate: the emergent algebra gate $\bar{\varepsilon}$, with the parameter $\varepsilon$ in a commutative group. This $\varepsilon$ models “scale”, it is usually taken in $(0, \infty)$ or in $\mathbb{Z}$. However, phase is a kind of scale, i.e. the formalism works well with the choice of the commutative group of scales to be $\mathbb{C}^{*}$.   Any algebraic operation and any algebraic computation in complex vector spaces, or in real projective spaces, may be expressed into graphic lambda calculus by the intermediary of the emergent algebra gate. Moreover, even some of the differential calculus (needed but not mentioned previously) can be embedded into graphic lambda calculus, in a kind of constructive way. This is the “emergent algebra” point of view, introduced in arXiv:0907.1520 .

So, shortly said, in graphic lambda calculus we have the algebraic structure needed. It “emerges” from the $\bar{\varepsilon}$ gate, when we take the scale parameter to be in $\mathbb{C}^{*}$. With the barycentric move BAR from Towards qubits part I   we get the algebraic structures of vector spaces (see  how to get projective spaces in   part II, work in progress). More interesting, without the barycentric move we get Carnot groups, i.e. non-commutative vector spaces.

Question 1. What we obtain if in the formalism of quantum mechanics we renounce at complex vector spaces and we replace with their non-commutative version, the Carnot groups?

(This is the motivation for the series of posts Gromov-Hausdorff distances and the Heisenberg group part 0, part I, part II, part III  in this blog.)

For the logic part, we know that graphic lambda calculus has a sector which corresponds to untyped lambda calculus. In quantum programming it would be interesting to find a quantum version of the lambda calculus which interacts well with the algebraic structure. But in graphic lambda calculus are allowed interactions between the lambda calculus gates,  (or logical gates) of abstraction and application, and the algebraic gates. We don’t need more, that is what I shall try to convince you eventually. Indeed, probably obscured behind the lambda scale calculus  (which is a first, non-graphical version of the graphic lambda calculus), this was already explored in section 4 “Relative scaled calculus” of arXiv:1205.0139, where we see that to any scale parameter $\varepsilon$ is associated a relative lambda calculus. This was done in whole generality, but for the needs of a quantum lambda calculus  ”linearity moves” like in the  “Towards geometric Plunnecke graphs” series could be applied selectively, i.e. only with respect to  the $(0, \infty)$ part of $\mathbb{C}^{*}$, thus obtaining a relative lambda calculus which is phase-dependent.

Question 2.  What would a relative scaled lambda calculus look like in graphic lambda calculus?

Finally, for the evaluation procedures which are adapted to quantum world, in this respect, for the moment, I have only results which indicate how to get usual evaluation procedures in graphic lambda calculus by destroying it’s geometrical nature (that’s what I call the “cartesian disease“, if you care), which are explained in some detail in   Packing and unpacking arrows in graphic lambda calculus    and Packing arrows (II) and the strand networks sector.

Question 3.  Design evaluation procedures in graphic lambda calculus which are geometrical, in the sense that, at least when applied to the yet vague quantum lambda sector of the graphic lambda calculus, they give evaluation procedures which are useful for quantum programming.

So, that’s it, I hope it helps a bit the understanding. You are welcome to join, to contradict me or to contribute constructively!

I don’t get it, therefore I ask, with the hope of your input. It looks that the Gamifying peer-review post has found some attentive ears, but the Game on the knowledge frontier not. It is very puzzling for me, because:

• the game on the frontier seems feasible in the immediate future,
• it has two ingredients – visual input instead of bonus points and peer-review as a “conquest” strategy – which have not been tried before and I consider them potentially very powerful,
• the game on the frontier idea is more than a proposal for peer-review.

My question is: why is the game on the frontier idea less attractive?

Looking forward for your open comments. Suggestions for improvement of such ideas are also especially welcomed.

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UPDATE:  Olivier Charbonneau writes:

Actually, that’s an interesting take on mass data visualization – imagine creating an algorithm that could parse a dataset of bibliographic information into minecraft (for example) – what would that research “world” look like?

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