Critique of some trends in the TCS community

by Oded Goldreich

I claim that there is a connection between some wrong attitudes which emerged in the Theoretical Computer Science community several years ago and some present attitudes regarding the merits and goals of TOC (as criticized in Theory of Computation: A Scientific Perspective). I've published a position paper regarding the former in in SIGACT News, Vol. 23, Nr. 1, January 1992. The original abstract follows

I criticize the growing influence of some ``trade-unionism'' attitudes in the Theoretical Computer Science community. I trace these attitudes in the arguments used in two recent controversies which attracted much attention: the controversy on the acceptance rate in STOC/FOCS conferences and the controversy on anonymous submissions (in Crypto conferences). I believe that these attitudes stand in contradiction to the scientific progress and call for their abolishment.

In retrospect, I think that using the term ``trade-unionism'' was a mistake. As stated below, what I meant are attitudes focusing on personal benefits to members of a group while neglecting the original goals for which the group was formed. Being entrenched in the political context of Israel, I failed to see that the term ``trade-unionism'' may carry different than I meant associations.

To obtain the entire (3-page) paper click HERE.

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