A view from the periphery on the tribal self-validation of academic cliques:
The patterns, symmetries and flows of information and energy within the research community are as subject to the principles (or laws) of information and energy flow as are the systems the researchers study. Recursive self-selection is a key method of cultural and cognitive bias which shapes the grammatical rules by which (a) logic of consensus intelligibility and tribal self-validation propagates itself – it is an active factor in the metamorphosis of the logic of explanation itself. It can only lead someone to wonder what unmapped logical paths and insights, alternative conceptual systems or paradigms might (also) exist in the forest of facts.
What potential branches of the tree of knowledge or possibility-spaces of cognitive, technological and intellectual diversity may have withered unnecessarily? There are very good reasons for the hard-won insights and accolades of an integrated research community but questions arise as to the authentic meritocracy of any dynamic information system in which lineage is such a powerful shaping factor.