Caught in the Act


You follow closely behind the cops. Even though you lose them at a red, you manage to catch up and you find yourself just outside the city limits at what appears to be Dr. Smyth’s home away from the university. It’s his place alright, that’s his truck just in front of the garage. The cop puts his flashing lights on, whoops his siren and pulls right in front of the truck, blocking any sudden exit.

You get out to watch and see. Loud Jam-band ska music is coming from out of the garage. You also see empty chimp cages just outside. Oh my God, your hunch is right.

“They’re in there!” you shout.

“Now I normally would need to get a search warrant for this, but that dirty ass jam band music is reasonable suspicion enough,” the cop replies.

The two draw their guns and begin pounding on the door. Without a chance for Dr. Smyth to respond, one of the cops begins pulling the garage door open. The music is blasting. Inside is Dr. Smyth on a guitar, a chimp on drums, an orangutan on bass and a a couple spider monkeys gripping a couple trombones absolutely clueless.

“Yeah, Yeah, that’s the beat,” Dr. Smyth says. He’s somehow managed to get the Orangutan and Chimp on beat. The music is still awful, almost as bad as if they were playing correctly. “Oh woah, is there a problem here officer?” All of the monkey’s and Dr. Smyth stopped playing.

“Yes, we received a tip that there’s animal abuse going on at this residence,” the officer started poking his head inside. “Do you have a license for these animals.”

“Oh yes, all right here,” Dr. Smith opened a drawer and grabbed some papers to hand to the officer. “I don’t see what the problem is, these animals love playing these fat chill rhythms and I’ve done everything by the book.”

The officer began reading over the papers and flipped through matching the picture of each monkey with each license, nodding his head.

“You see, this is cruel, no animal should be subjected to this!” you shout.

“Well, all the paperwork seems to be in order, it looks like you’re free to uhh, keep playing whatever this is,” the officer handed back the paperwork.

“What? Nothing? He can just do this?” you protest.

“I’m afraid there’s nothing we can do,” the officer answers. “Until the Philadelphia state legislature wake up and do something, primates can be exposed to however much Ska music this sadistic man wants to play.”

“I would never break the law,” Dr. Smyth told you, “It’s all incredibly legal. All of it, the monkeys, the Ska music, even the immoral massaging of data to get valuable publishable research. All incredibly legal. And until someone changes the law or drops the required p-value for publishable research from 0.05 or starts auditing all of my research, I’m going to keep doing it and I’m going to succeed. You could have joined me. You could be on your way to Boston with me for that conference but you chose to quit the game and the academic hustle I like to call life. You’ll never make it into research!”

You Failed!

emotional black woman yelling and touching head

It turns out you didn’t have what it takes to help Dr. Smyth P-hack his way to a publishable result. Better luck next time.

Thankfully we have a time machine and you can Restart your research adventure and try again!

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Published by B McGraw

B McGraw has lived a long and successful professional life as a software developer and researcher. After completing his BS in spaghetti coding at the department of the dark arts at Cranberry Lemon in 2005 he wasted no time in getting a masters in debugging by print statement in 2008 and obtaining his PhD with research in screwing up repos on Github in 2014. That's when he could finally get paid. In 2018 B McGraw finally made the big step of defaulting on his student loans and began advancing his career by adding his name on other people's research papers after finding one grammatical mistake in the Peer Review process.

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