12-18-09 - The ACM

There's a bunch of hubbub lately in the game/graphics community about the anti-scientific actions of the ACM.

I find it all much ado about nothing. Of *course* the ACM is a bunch of cocks that are against scientific progress and dissemination of information. Ooo the group of evil bastards who claim all the rights to the paper that you yourself wrote are being dicks !? Well big fucking surprise. Woop-tee-do.

Everyone should boycott the ACM and the IEEE. Duh. The paper publications have absolutely zero purpose now. The conferences have almost no purpose, it's just a bunch of hob-nobbing and back-slapping. The internet is how real information is conveyed. I'm not quite sure why people are so enamored of conferences. I can get way more information in 10 minutes reading papers on the internet than you can get from a 4 day conference, because I am pulling the information I want at the pace that I want, not having it pushed to me.

Now, peer review and collection of papers does in fact provide a service. You don't just want researchers putting up papers on their own web sites with no organization and no peer review. (for example, Arxiv is great and all, but the lack of organization and peer review makes it weak as a primary publishing location).

If you actually cared about getting away from the evil iron grip of the ACM and IEEE bastards, you should work harder to organize and promote the free online journals, of which there are many, but they haven't caught on because the majority of major researchers are smitten by the prestige of the ACM/IEEE names.

Go to DOAJ , pick a journal, support that. Or you know, start a new one focused on higher performance / realtime computer graphics.


Renderwonk said...

If they were ALL "a bunch of cocks" I wouldn't give a shit and would just cancel my membership and never go to one of their conferences again. The problem is that ACM / SIGGRAPH / etc. is 99% people like you and me that just like working in the area, having other people see their work, and seeing other people's work. Then you have the 1% who, unfortunately, are currently in the driver's seat for these issues. However, this is easily remedied since a lot of the senior ACM positions are up for open election next summer. As far as the value of going to conferences like SIGGRAPH - yeah you can get (almost) all the stuff later from the web, but marinating in it for a solid week (or 3 days, or whatever, depending on the conference), in the company of other people in the field, has a lot of value.

cbloom said...

I don't think the recent actions are out of character, and even before them the policies were ridiculous. I can't imagine the ACM or IEEE changing enough to be an organization that I would support.

The copyright policy is absurd. Authors should own their own works.

Charging fees for the digital library is absurd. It should be free.

Brian said...

Sometime you can negotiate alternative terms if you balk at signing the copyright agreement.

Ultimately, I think most researchers feel the same regarding the copyright issue. But we work for organizations that need some sort of proof of the value of our research and that comes in the form of ACM/IEEE conferences and journals.

old rants