Different target groups may use different signals.
For example, for a scientist the citations may be more important than formal education. For an ordinary person with a university diploma who never published anything anywhere, formal education will probably remain the most important signal, because that's what they use. A smart sponsor may instead consider the ability of getting things done. And the New Age fans will debate about how much Eliezer fits the definitions of an "indigo child".
If the goal is to impress people for whom having an universi... (read more)
A diploma mill degree like you describe is not going to get any respect from the (large) population that went to a real university.