I know very well that academia is imperfect. But in academia there are at least some checks and balances. Here it's just a random person on the Internet (granted, who has a big fan club).
Hm. Show me where I've made the argument that says "lots of people are listening to him so we should, too." I'm pretty sure I haven't made that one. If I ever did, you'd be right to call me on it, because that would be crap.
It seems to me that you're looking for a quick, easy way to sort this guy, and you'd really like to use credentialism to do it. You're free to do that if you want to, but that would be so easy that I don't think we'd even be having this conversation if you were really comfortable with it. We both know it's a crappy tool, and if we'd hesitate to use it then let's use something else.
And, let's also not commit the fallacy fallacy, and say that because he's wrong about quantum mechanics (and he may well be, I have nothing like enough knowledge of the field to even pretend to know), he must also be wrong about Bayes' Rule and his understanding of rationality. That doesn't work. At the end of the day, you have to decouple the person from the arguments and evaluate the arguments that you can understand for yourself. That's challenging and it's a labor-intensive pain in the ass sometimes, but there isn't a better tool.
Well the LW critique declared science was broken (not imperfect, but broken) and you defended it, so I got the impression that what was therein was new information.
Did you not read the post, or were you just unfamiliar with the arguments he was making? They're pretty common. "Broken" and "imperfect" is a matter of salesmanship on both sides, and I didn't get very hung up on it. Just read the arguments.
But to take that a shade further, it does sometimes bother me when I hear the term "imperfect" applied to science, as if "perfect" isn't so very far away. Compared to outright woo like ass-reading, sure. But we shouldn't walk away with the idea that science as it exists now is so close to everything we could ever want that no adjustments are really necessary. There's no reason to think that science is as good as it can be in practice, and there's also no reason to think that there's no more room for conceptual improvements in the process of science, which is perhaps more important.
Science is not the same thing it was during the Enlightenment, and it's a good thing it isn't. Science changes as we get better at it and as we learn more about what it can and can't tell us. So why shouldn't it continue to evolve, and why shouldn't we take seriously the ideas that intelligent people have about making it better?
Eh what, a researcher doesn't have to produce research ("do" and "produce" are just word-picking)? Am I a researcher as long as I study, read and think a lot about a subject?
Well first, everything Zytheran said because he's exactly right about what I meant. And, if you are legally employed by some institution or company that's paying you to do those things, and refers to the sum of those practices as "research," then yes. You're a researcher. It's not a regulated title so it's not worth getting our underwear twisted over.
And, for the sake of being bouncy in argumentation, I'll add something else. A research product can be much more than just a published experiment or a lab report. Another common product of extensive research is a book, or an in-depth discussion of a subject, or an just an explanation of a complicated event. Like Yudkowsky's very long blog posts on AI and rationality and decision theory. Why don't you regard that as a research product when it clearly is exactly a product of how he spends his work day, wherein he is called a "research fellow"?
In regards to science in general, do you agree that Bayes is superior to science?
While I don't understand the first thing about quantum mechanics so I can't get my head around that post, I do understand Bayes' Rule. And it is an incredibly powerful, almost ridiculously useful bit of math. To the extent that someone is rational about their expectations, they are following Bayes' Rule. But where I don't agree with Yudkowsky is where he tries to say that reality must conform to our expectations of rationality, and therefore that what Bayes' Rule says we should expect based on our priors is a superior answer to scientific experimentation.
You still have to run the experiment to see if your expectations are correct. You can (and I think should) use Bayesian expectations to help inform you of possible methodological or setup errors you made during the experiment, but you cannot replace the experiment so long as it's possible for the experiment to truly and without error tell you something other than what you expected.