Sunday, September 18, 2022
Wednesday, June 24, 2020
At the beginning of the year we have be raising a smaller pre-seed round for experify.io. Since I considered myself sufficiently educated about what it takes on a founder's journey, "being an excellent storyteller" obviously was high on my list. And given my past, I always thought I know what that meant and I was confident that for me that would be one of the easier parts of the job.
All my life I spent time, so much time, explaining things to people. Being educated as a “man of reason”, I was convinced that if I’d only have the right arguments, presented in a way as comprehensible as possible, I can actually make people see and understand what I see and imagine. Of course, within the limitations of language and logic as outlined by Ludwig Wittgenstein, but still. If I could bring the pictures in my mind into the real world as best as possible, that has to make people see what I see.Oh boy ... have I been wrong.
Above article summarizes it perfectly: you cannot tell people anything. And that includes startups trying to explain their business to (early-stage) investors. It is impossible at that stage to convince anyone about your startup, unless they have some predisposition to believe in it. Because there is quite literally nothing to be convinced of at this stage. There is no way to get to a "reasonable early-stage investment decision". At this stage the whole game is unreasonable by definition. The best (and only) thing one can do as a startup founder is to tell a story that might ignite a fire in the other party. But for that to happen, the spark needs to be there already. So at the end, my task as a startup CEO is to reach out to hundreds of people, providing the right cues for that handful of potential investment partners that show a suitable predisposition for our business.
Everything else, is a waste of time. I learned the hard way. Do not try to convince people about your startup. It's impossible. Either they "feel it", or they don't . And if they don't, then move on. Do not waste your time.
You don't have network effects. Network effects is something you see in social networks leading to exponential user growth."
A company is said to show network effects if its product(s) become not less, but more valuable with usage.
Saturday, November 23, 2019
Friday, November 22, 2019
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Monday, January 1, 2018
Saturday, November 25, 2017
Sunday, November 5, 2017
Thursday, September 7, 2017
Summary: Scientists should get / be their own social media influencers to popularize their research.
Great idea -- I already envision future tenure requirements: "The successful candidate has at least 50k Twitter followers and maintains a vast network of social media influencers."
That kind of bullshit is one of the reasons that drove me away from an academic career path before I even finished my PhD. I am so disgusted by it. And believe me, many people in academia are.
So what is the problem, you might ask. Very simple: if someone starts this kind of thing it quickly becomes the norm, up to the point that scientists will be evaluated against their ability to achieve social media reach. Don't believe me? Well, we already have seen this happening in science in the last 10+ years.
I am talking about "citation metrics", especially the infamous h-index. In many places it literally became the "gold standard" for evaluating scientists. Might it be for hiring decisions, tenure decisions or simply decisions on whether or not to grant a proposal. People will look at your publication history and judge it solely based on how well it has been received by others. Sounds all very reasonable at first, but turns out to be fatally flawed. Why? It promotes "hype research". If the metric I have to optimise to achieve my academic career goals (i.e. get a permanent position) is reach, I will engage in research that currently resonates with as many people as possible. Let me repeat this very slowly: people - will - engage - in - research - that - is - well - perceived. I don't know about you, but for me this rings a very loud alarm bell. This undermines the most important pillars of academia: intellectual independence and the possibility, even the obligation, to engage in unpopular research topics: to be an independent mind; to explore the unknown, the un-hyped. However, incentive schemes like the current ones, make this harder and harder -- especially for young researchers.
I know a couple young assistant professors who bluntly told me that for the next years they simply have "to play the game", do the research that their peers want and if they get tenured they'll be able to explore more freely. This is not utopia. It already is reality in academia. But even worse, once you engaged in "hype research" for six years, and let's say you were able to build yourself a reputation, do you think people will stop doing what they are doing? The apparent fame, the visibility, the invited talks, the citations -- it's basically the opium of science. And what you end up with is a bunch of attention whores, people who take themselves way too serious.
I know this won't resonate with everyone in academia. And it is good that it does not, as there are still academic communities where all of this is less pronounced. But still, a large portion of academia already went into this direction and in our fury to measure success, many others will follow. Also, given that there are way too less permanent academic positions for all the aspiring PhD students and PostDocs, the question on judging the potential of people is indeed a huge challenge. And there must be some kind of objective measure. I just don't think it's citation metrics, and for sure it's not social media reach.
Sunday, June 18, 2017
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Key take-aways, in case you don't have time to watch it.
We are still very far from human-level AI.
Everyone should be aware of that before jumping into crazy scared horror scenario conversations about machines taking over the world and killing the human race.
There is too much hype about AI these days. Especially in public discussion / public media.
I want to add: which is based on a non-existing understanding within the general public on how the current "AI" methods work and what they are able to (not) do. I even think that "Artificial Intelligence" is a very misleading name for the currently available methods. And big, historically trusted players like IBM marketing their efforts as "cognitive computing" is in my opinion even worse. It's misleading and almost deceiving. After listening to talks (read: sales pitches) about IBM's Watson, I got asked by executives if I think their AI could help them to solve *insert really tough business problem here*, because it seems to be so much smarter and efficient than real people).
Deep networks can avoid the curse of dimensionality for compositional functions.
Which also means, they can only learn to do tasks that could be expressed as such. Which again means that tasks that cannot be decomposed cannot be learned. Is creativity such a task?
Thursday, May 11, 2017
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Monday, April 10, 2017
Thursday, February 23, 2017
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Monday, December 19, 2016
Friday, December 9, 2016
Friday, December 2, 2016
OBS: If you want the Cassandra driver as well, you have to download the Enterprise Edition (which is also for free, but not OSS).
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Saturday, November 12, 2016
"Das demokratiefördernde Element geht verloren, was durchaus negative Auswirkungen haben kann." Urs Bühler, zitiert in obigem blogpost.
Dass es negative Auswirkungen haben wird, wenn "das demokratiefördernde Element" des Journalismus verloren geht, ist unbestritten. Ob die DNI jedoch dazu führt, dass dieses Element verloren geht, darüber lässt sich trefflich streiten. Urs Bühler's Standpunkt ist einer. Meiner ist ein anderer. Der Medienbranche geht es schlecht. Einige Medienhäuser sind in der glücklichen Lage a) liquide Mittel und b) eine kluge Unternehmensführung zu haben um in Innovation investieren zu können/wollen. Realität ist: bei den allermeisten Medienhäusern ist wenigstens eine der zwei Bedingungen nicht erfüllt. Doch Innovation ist notwendig um Menschen auf neuen Kanälen mit unseren Inhalten erreichen zu können und sie davon zu überzeugen, dass es sich lohnt für diese Inhalte zu zahlen. Da die finanziellen Mittel, welche Google im Zuge des DNI Funds bereitstellt, zur Umsetzung von Projekten ausgeschüttet werden, deren Ziel es ist mittels innovativer technologischer Ideen genau das zu erreichen, fördert die DNI "das demokratische Element", anstatt es abzuschaffen.
Thursday, October 6, 2016
As I discussed already earlier, we are (semi-happily) using Apache Zeppelin as Spark notebook. However, at some point Zeppelin notebooks were so slowly responding and running into time-out errors, that it was impossible to work with. Restarting the Zeppelin server did not help -- and for quite some time we were clueless what suddenly happened. At some point we figures out that Zeppelin has severe problems shutting down processes when errors occurred -- and starts accumulating zombie processes over time. We had a couple of hundred, that cluttered our system. Killing these zombie processes and restarting Zeppelin server did the trick -- now everything is running as smooth as before.
Monday, August 29, 2016
Friday, August 26, 2016
/etc/spark-python/spark-venv-py2.7/bin/pip install py4j
After you did this, make sure to set variable PYSPARK_PYTHON in /etc/spark-env.sh to the path of the new binary, in this case /etc/spark-python/spark-venv-py2.7/bin/python
Also, if you use Zeppelin make sure to set the correct python path in interpreter settings. Simply alter/add property zeppelin.pyspark.python and set it's value to the python binary as above.
Friday, August 19, 2016
Thursday, August 18, 2016
Monday, August 1, 2016
Thursday, July 7, 2016
For those of you using Apache Zeppelin as interactive Spark notebook: if you have been wondering whether there is an autocompletion function. The answer is "yes". No, its not "tab" it's
Ctrl + .
It's not optimal (as of now), but works fairly well.
Tags: Zeppelin, Apache Zeppelin, autocompletion, auto-completion, code completion
Saturday, June 18, 2016
So, what will happen? Well, I think the Ethereum community learned a valuable lesson. The attack might foster the creation of long-awaited "best-practices" for smart-contracts, maybe even projects to "security check" your own smart-contract code. Learning the hard way is often the only way to learn. In this sense: no, the project certainly is not dead -- quite the opposite, it might never have been more alive.
Thursday, June 9, 2016
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Monday, April 18, 2016
You are a physicist. And you are working at a newspaper. But you don't write articles. What do you do? And why?
To be quick: As a data scientist at Neue Zürcher Zeitung I am dealing with predictive analytics, statistical modeling, advanced data analysis tasks as well as everything "algorithms" (e.g. recommendation & personalization). I am mainly using R for tasks involving small data and Apache Spark for tasks dealing with not-so-small data. Python and bash are my favorite scripting languages. I just happen to have a background in theoretical physics -- could be engineering, math or computer science as well.
But why media? I have always been looking for challenges and opportunities, intellectual and societal. And, well, being in media these days one finds both. The publishing business is super exciting, because everything is changing: how news are done, the way stories are told, distribution channels, the audience, the technology, the business models, ... Indeed, many of these issues are still open, are just being explored and the future of many publishing houses is still uncertain. So why is this?
Not-so-long ago news were mainly distributed using one medium: paper. For the individual there were exactly two possibilities: either you want to be informed daily, then you'd have to pay for a newspaper subscription, or you don't. If you (or your parents) happen to belong to the first group, chances are you only had one daily newspaper subscription. At the end, they are not cheap (NZZ subscription for example is roughly 600CHF/year) and you chose the one that suited you best. However, fast-forward less than 10 years and you find that reality today looks quite different. If you want to be informed, you can do this mainly for "free" on the www. Also, as you have immediate access to all these manifold resources and they do not cost you a dime, you have a much wider variety at hand. No need to stick to one newspaper.
So newspapers are not only suffering from the problem that technology has been changing fast (from print to web 1.0 to web 2.0 to mobile,...), but that this change undermines the very basis of the (news) publishing industry: loyal customers who are paying for the service you provide and, given this loyal, well-known customer base, to be able to monetize on the advertisement market.
Actually, from a balance-sheet perspective, the publishing industry has mainly been an advertisement industry -- only 20%-40% of revenue have been revenues due to subscriptions -- the rest was advertisement.
So what do you do, when the very basis of your business model is eroding? You innovate -- and this is where, among others, people like me come in.
Innovation comes in two parts. First you innovate in the sense that you optimize your current operations: you cut costs were possible and increase efficiency. And data, clearly, should be the basis for this: understand the numbers, then you can optimize. For example in marketing: use predictive analytics to help you decide where to put your marketing budget best. Or use customer analytics to better understand the need of your readership and to improve the customer experience accordingly.
The second part is what I like to call "true innovation". True innovation for me is not mere optimization, but novelty -- doing things that have not been done before. For this, on the one hand, data can be used as a decision criterium ("where to innovate"). On the other hand, data can also be the very basis for innovation. Here I am mainly thinking about data-driven / algorithmic products & services: things like smarter search, automated recommendations or personalization, in all its facets, that have the potential to greatly improve the customer experience, explore new ways of news consumption and reach a more tech-savvy audience.
I am contributing my part to this transformation at NZZ. Founded in 1780, NZZ is one of the oldest still published newspapers in the world. A heritage like this comes with a lot of responsibility -- balancing the tradition with the modern is a worthwhile challenge. At the end, a diverse and well-functioning media landscape is the basis for democracy. And I am glad to be part of it.
Sunday, April 3, 2016
I just read the following slashdot
commenting on an article from the NYTimes
And, as an academic, I simply cannot not comment on this. First of all: Kids, please, think twice! Especially the part where he talks about not attending college at all. Let me explain why.
Often people confuse correlations and causality. Example: because Einstein played the violin, if I play the violin I will be super smart. There is no correlation here (at least not in this direction). Dropping college, because Mark Zuckerberg dropped college and now is who he is, will not bring you big bucks. Not seriously attending college at all and instead traveling through India will not make you a legend.
In general I disagree with how college education is judged in the article. Maybe what follows is simply my European perspective, but anyways. Attending University is about more than just "getting a degree at the end". It is about developing your mind, in an environment where free-thinking is allowed and, even more, specifically wanted. You are surrounded by smart people 24-7, somewhat isolated from reality. This enclave permits you to read and learn and work on the things you would not be able to in "the corporate world" - simply because in reality you would have to think about surviving. University life is different - and it is supposed to be. It is a period in your life to not worry about these things - because you have a scholarship, your parents can afford to pay or (if you happen to be in the USA) you got a students loan. But you won't need a lot of money anyways: you share a flat, you ride a bike, you eat noodles every day. But you are free from all wordly hastles. Free to think. Free to learn. Free to transform yourself into a beautiful and sharp mind. In classes (sure, not in all) you will be exposed to cutting-edge research or crazy theories you will never ever need in real life but that are simply fascinating and mind-boggling. You will spend nights awake discussing with your mates about Darwin and Freud and Einstein and this fu**** integral that took you the whole night to solve. College is about suffering on many levels: intellectually, financially and even physically. You will be some kind of ascetic, living only for the mere purpose of embedding yourself in an intellectual world and to fill your head with knowledge. College will lead you to the edge of wisdom, to the edge of your mind and will push you beyond. Sure, a hacking course will teach you how to program Angry Birds and eventually to become a Millionaire. But attending university is a once-in-a-lifetime cultural experience. An experience you will only be able to appreciate at a young age. An experience and exposition to human culture you should not miss. Sure, if during this experience you realize that you had enough and instead are inspired to found an awesome company, then dropping out might be the right choice. But remember (and this was the case for Zuckerberg and Brin and many others): college atmosphere most likely was the reason that you had this spark of inspiration in the first place.
Sunday, December 9, 2012
Today in the afternoon I went to the Kunsthaus in Zurich - a very impressive collection, basically from all epochs of European art (I highly recommend a visit). Usually I like the classics and old masters most. Maybe this is because they are often very precise, observant, almost analytic. I also very much enjoy photography, especially of nature and people, since it captures reality and has the power to directly convey feelings via empathy. I never could relate to most pieces of modern art, though. But this changed today - and is my personal aha-moment of the year.
In Kunsthaus there was a video installation by contemporary artist Pipilotti Rist, which basically consisted of a dark, weakly lit room with a 70s-style floor lamp, velvet carpet and velvet bar seats, with opened woman's purses on it and silent, somewhat harmonic, but still unidentifiable sound coming from somewhere. When I entered the room I felt somewhat uncomfortable. Even more strange, I felt it was not so much the room itself that made me feel like that, but it was more the presence of the few other visitors. I kept on strolling around the room, somewhat observing the purses, looking into them, because the sound seemed to come out of there. And indeed, in every of these purses was a little TV, showing a private scene: a young girl swimming in a swimming pool with her mother; a woman swimming in a pool and being filmed from below, such that the only thing you see are her breasts; a scene of a woman with, what seemed to be, a lot of blood all over her body; big red lips moving like they would passionately kiss someone. All of these scenes made me feel even more uncomfortable, because it was basically some kind of a "peep show" - a short glance into a most private scene of the live of someone else.
I left the room, thinking that there is no sense whatsoever in it. I could not say what the artist wanted to tell me, what she wanted me to see. Being back in the main art hall, I sat down for a second and started feeling comfortable again. And then I realized: this is what the artist wanted to "show" me. As the classic sculptures and photographs earlier made me feel the joy of beauty or feel empathy with other people, this video installation served the exact same purpose, although much more extrem and intense: to trigger an emotion. An emotion, however, you would not expect to be exposed to or even wanted to be exposed to. In our everyday life, most (if not all) of the things we do take place in our comfort-zone. But this video installation forced me out of the zone and triggered this very precise feeling of being uncomfortable. And that was when I realized that with a large number of modern art pieces I have seen so far, I completely missed the point. I was much too focused on what can be seen, and not on what do I feel. So next time you see a modern piece of art and you think it's shit because you cannot "understand" it: there might not be anything to "understand", but only to "feel". And rather than analyzing the art installation, you should analyze yourself in order to "see" what the artist wants you to "see".
Friday, October 12, 2012
Let me begin with an observation: I read from a lot of people from countries within the EU that this is the most hilarious and ridiculous decision ever (without any reasons). Well, the strange thing here is: it is de facto the recipients complaining about receiving the prize. What does this tell us? That a) they honestly and truly do not consider the EU a good endeavor, that has brought peace to Europe and is fostering inter-cultural exchange or b) they don't see that they are the European Union. Since I find it hard to imagine that there is anyone who really thinks in terms of a), it must be b). Now the question is: what is worse? a) implies a very hard-lined world view, which is even objectively wrong, but hey - at least it is a clear stand point. b) instead implies "unknowingness" or even ignorance and a very confined world view. Especially for a lot of Germans "the EU" is merely a huge bureaucratic apparatus that gets generously founded by their taxes but does not produce any visible and immediate output or personal benefit. Well, this is completely wrong: the immediate output is visible for every one, every day, in every European country (and especially the more wealthy ones like Germany): we live in peace - for over sixty years. One has to keep in mind: when we are talking about Europe, we are talking about 27 states, with 27 different national interests, 27 very different histories and 0.5 Billion people living on a rather confined space (as e.g. compared to North America). It is a tremendous political and societal achievement to somewhat coordinate these interests and to build a web of international contracts, agreements, treaties, etc. that secures this stable, peaceful state. For most European citizens, especially the younger ones, this state is the state we have always known. We cannot imagine Europe being full of hate and national conflicts. Not thinking about "the alternative" however creates in most of those people's heads the illusion that the status quo is something "normal", "natural" and not worth reflecting on. Also they do not see that they personally contribute to the European Union by living in a country that, as being part of the EU, accepts and complies to European law. And this is exactly the problem with those comments: people take peace as granted and do not consider themselves as part of the machinery that created this European state of peace.
However, here is an interesting point: In some sense, these comments which let me to write this text, are in a very strange way the perfect, living evidence that the European Union (i.e. we all) is a role model for peaceful co-existence and deserves this prize. Because: if you reach a state where people take their peaceful lives as granted, not being in doubt about it or fearing any severe international conflict, you really did your job 100% right.
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
You know this? Let's assume you are working on whatever new (research) project and are doing some initial information search on the web: relevant papers, journals, conferences, people, and so on. Your learning curve will be steep - you will be retrieving information that seems relevant to you every other minute. How do you keep track of this vast amount of information?
- Old style: use a notebook. This is great for sketching initial ideas and noting down basic knowledge. However, it apparently lacks all the online possibilities (videos, talks, slides, ...) plus you would have to print every interesting paper ... hence you will separate these resources somehow, which is suboptimal.
- You could use bookmarking. Sure, this will let you save the links to the information you found but does this help you in organizing your new project? In my opinion, it does not. Will tell later why.
- Use evernote! If you don't know it or haven't tried it: it's totally awesome! And it's free (in the basic version)!
Evernote easily let's you save articles and links, using it's webclipper, a very useful tool. Additionally to that you can store typed notes, handwritten notes from you tablet, pictures taken with your phone, and so on, in one big virtual notebook. This alone is great, since it allows you to later easily "reconstruct" the line of thought you were following.
So far, so good. I think you got it: having one place to store all kinds of information is enormously useful. However, personally I think that the search functionality in evernote is the Killer Feature! Not because of the mere fact that you can perform search on your notes (if you were using emacs and storing notes in .txt files on your hd you could do this 20 years ago) - but because of how they implement it.
There are basically two ways of searching your evernote: a) open evernote (the client or online) and type something in the search field. Fine, these are the basics you would expect. Problem here: you have to have a clue, that a certain piece of information is already in your collection, otherwise you wouldn't do a search in evernote but in google, right? And this is where awesome possibility b) comes in: when you install the webclipper in your browser, it will ask you whether you want your evernotes searched, whenever you do a google search. How awesome is this?! Think about it for a moment: with enabling this features (and I highly recommend to do so) you will basically enable searching through your "virtual memory" - on the fly - whenever you look for whatever information on google. Meaning: with evernote you are not only able to store any relevant information, but you will also be able to find this information again! Even when you are unaware that you have it! Without evernote you would most likely spend a lot of time to look for it again, using google.
Summa summarum: the crucial part here really is the integration of evernote search and google search. And the latter, most of you will agree, is exactly what we do all the day: searching information on google, and not actually thinking about the stuff resting in our bookmark folders, delicious accounts or note-files somewhere on our hd. In this sense, one could also say that evernote is not only a tool for storing information, but for optimizing your personal information retrieval, in that it remembers what you already found. And this is truly ... awesome!
PS: Putting in my five cents - if you lost a lot of money because you were too *...* buying stocks of a social network company without a good business plan - if evernote goes IPO: invest!
I was waiting for such a service for quite some time. Actually, with some friends I built our own little cloud-based system to do similar things. However, it never really matured (science keeps us busy ;-) and we were merely using it on a private basis.
Sunday, September 2, 2012
1.) If you use Raspbian - that won't work, since it is build using the hard float ABI capability of the ARM. If you try to install libspotify and make the examples work, eveything seems find at the beginning, but then you get an error like
libspotify.so.12.1.51: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directoryThis is due to the fact that libspotify seems to have been build using soft-float ABI. As long as spotify doesn't release a hard float build, you will have to go to step 2. This insight is the crucial part of the game here (and a "cannot open shared object file" error is not an obvious hint in this direction)
2.) If you want libspotify to work, you will have your RPi running the soft-float build of Raspbian, also available here: http://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads
3.) Once you have that, things are straight foward. Download libspotify from the spotify developer page and follow the instructions in the readme. This is also where you will need a spotify premium membership in order to get an appkey.
4.) In order to test it, you can use the jukebox example. Simply, after building it, run jukebox/jukebox. It will ask you for your login credentials and a playlist to run. If you don't hear anything, try another playlist. This "terminal version" of spotify seems to not tell you when a title is not available anymore, but instead simply keeps silent.
Advice: The jukebox example requires you to have alsa installed and *configured*. So, before testing the spotify api and complaining that it does not play any sound, you should configure the sound card. See e.g. here or simply google for raspberry pi and alsa Have fun!
PS: As a kitchen-radio this is still a bit uncomfortable. What I would ultimately like to have is a LAN-internal web-interface to the pi and libspotify, so that from every computer/tablet/smartphone in the LAN, I can access the local web-interface and search for/play titles, artists, albums ...
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Thursday, December 15, 2011
So here is the thing: we (here at ETH) were thinking quite a bit lately about issues of scientific evaluation and peer review. In this vein, especially the following questions arise: 1) How can one judge the value of research performed in an interdisciplinary research environment and 2) How can we get *good* research by *unknown* people in high-impact journals and *bad* research by *established people* out of them, prohibiting a view scientists to de facto decide what is "hype" at the moment and what is not. But I will try to post about this another time. So let's talk about Aaron's post.
Aaron is basically talking about the idea to use wisdom-of-crowds effects for scientific peer review:
...what if you could reproduce academic peer review without any expertise, experience or credentials? What if all it took were a reasonably well-designed system for aggregating and parsing evaluations from non-experts?And he continues:
I’m not totally confident that distributed peer review would improve existing systems in terms of precision (selecting better papers), but it might not make the precision of existing peer review systems any worse and could potentially increase the speed. If it worked at all along any of these dimensions, implementing it would definitely reduce the burden on reviewers. In my mind, that possibility – together with the fact that it would be interesting to compare the judgments of us professional experts against a bunch of amateurs – more than justifies the experiment.First of all, I agree, it would be an interesting thing to test, whether non-expert crowds might perform as good as "experts" in a peer review process. Here is my predicted outcome: for the social sciences and qualitative economy papers, this might be the case most of the time. It will *not* work for the vast majority of papers in the quantitative sciences. But this is actually not the point I want to make here. The point is the following: what Aaron and people were thinking of is how to "speed up" the peer review process and "...reduce the burden on reviewers." Humbly, I think those are *completely wrong* incentives from an academic point of view. Reviewing is a mutual service scientists provide among their peers. When our goal is to reduce "the burden" of reviewing so many papers, we all should write less. (This might be a good idea anyways). Also, the problem with peer review without peers: non-experts will not know the existing literature and redundancy will be increased (even more) and this is something you can not get rid of without peers. If we however would go into this direction the "reviewing crowd" would basically be a detector of "spam papers" and nothing more. But those are also not the papers which need a lot of time to review, they are often very easy identified. What really is it that makes peer review so time consuming is a) the complexity of papers and b) the quantity. We should not aim at reducing a), because this is just the way it goes in scientific evolution: once the easy work has been done, the complicated details remain. (Einstein famously (supposedly) said that he does not understand his GRT anymore, since mathematicians started working on it). So I assume, in order to get rid of all the papers to review but maintain scientific excellence, option b) is the only choice. And, as I said earlier, this might not be a bad idea at all. It might also have a positive effect on the content and excellence of the published papers. But decreasing the number of published papers is complicated and would require us to *rethink* how science is done today. But this is material for another post.