Maciej comments on the "web of trust" in academia:
We don't normally think about cultural norms in science, because it is supposed to be a dispassionate pursuit of knowledge. And after all, many famous scientists were also famous misanthropes. But just because the regular social rules don't apply to scientists doesn't mean they don't have their own set of norms, equally strong. Some of them are strong enough to be taboos. You always cite other people's work. You publish results in scientific journals, and adopt an impersonal written style. You attend conferences and referee others' work.