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I'm a computational neuroscientist and anarchist looking to change the way we do science.

In neuroscience, I'm interested in spiking neurons and non standard machine learning. I wrote "Brian" (briansimulator.org/) and organise SNUFA (snufa.net/).

As an anarchist, I want to replace hierarchies that hold science back. I've started with Neuromatch (neuromatch.io/), but hoping to do more. Next target, replacing journals.

Loving the fediverse philosophy!

@neuralreckoning Welcome Dan 👋 Looking forward to hearing more about.. well, everything you mentioned there! 🙂

@neuralreckoning awesome work with Brian and NeuroMatch! Really interested in knowing more about the anarchist ideal of how we should do science and science education. Do you have any recommendations on the topic that i can read up on?

@linyezi not really. I'm sure there's some stuff written on this from an anarchist perspective, but I'm not particularly familiar with it. I probably should be, so if someone has recommendations I'd like to hear them too! For the moment I'm just applying general anarchist principles as I understand them.

@neuralreckoning sure will share if I find any! Just out of curiosity, and if you don't mind sharing - what's your understanding of it and what principles do you follow in your teaching/research practice?

@linyezi decision making by communities affected by those decisions, not by virtue of seniority or whatever. Removing hierarchies generally. Free and open access to the extent possible. That sort of thing.

@neuralreckoning ahh gotcha. Curious to know - what's your approach to achieve these when most of science research is conducted/associated with Higher Ed institutions with strict hierarchies and where power concentrates?

@linyezi it's tricky! Check out what we've done with neuromatch.

@neuralreckoning Interesting. It's not surprising to see anarchist attitudes in science, but in neuro ... hmm. The brain is so hierarchical! Hierarchies form spontaneously whenever you put enough agents together. How about hierarchy vs. anarchy vs. heterarchy?

I love neuromatch btw.

@Dobri_Dotov thanks!

I don't agree that the brain is hierarchical. It might be, but I haven't seen anything that makes me think it is, only models that presuppose it. We're actually looking into non hierarchical models of the brain at the moment.

And why do you say agents always spontaneously form hierarchies? I don't know of any such result and seems there are counterexamples in nature (eg flocking)?

Heterarchy is a cool metaphor to look into though!

@neuralreckoning The case of flocking birds makes for an interesting domain for this question. I haven't thought of that.

@neuralreckoning as an anarchist would you advise a freelance researcher passionate about compneuro to shortcircuit the phd step or is this too audacious to convince anyone ? I m starting soon a phd in math after years of free research plus philosophy but i still have a look to neuromath. I am really wondering if i m legitimate there if i want to publish former studies/works.

@Selma for the moment you still need a PhD if you want anyone to hire you in academia, but you don't need a PhD in the topic you want to research in. My PhD was in pure maths!

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