Scientific research appears to be made mainly by people in academia, government labs, and corporations, which I collectively refer to as “the system.” The system is permeated with fear because everyone is afraid of being kicked out before they get tenure (or at least some sort of permanent position where they are not removed after a small number of years). However it has occurred to me recently (somewhat to my embarrassment since it took me so long) that science itself has absolutely nothing to do with this fear-driven system. It is extremely liberating to realize that the system is a tool which we can choose to use or choose not to use and it not something that we must conform to.
Since the system applies a lot of constraints to what I work on, I henceforth choose not to conform. From now on I will be pursuing research independently here at Funny Logic (although I will still use the system as a tool to my advantage to the extent that it is rational).
Since there appears to be a myth floating around society that in order to be a scientist one must get a PhD and become a professor, I believe it is worth giving this other radical form of science a different name (even though it was, of course, the original way science was done). I propose the name “libertarian science” since the point is to achieve liberty as a scientist. The idea is also consistent with political libertarianism, which is a position that is opposed to the use of violence or threats of violence in order to get things done, and is thus opposed to government solutions to anything, including funding science.
I’m not the first person to discover the liberating idea that we don’t need universities, corporations, or government to do science. Einstein, for instance, discovered special relativity in his spare time while working as a patent clerk and not as a professional scientist, and was therefore operating outside the system as a libertarian scientist. Today, you can find a bunch of people who do libertarian science at, for instance, Less Wrong, which is a community of very intelligent people who have done a lot of really great work on human rationality on their discussion forum and blog.