Friday, January 16, 2009

TigerHawk: Why do professors deplore enterprise? (via Newsalert).


Blogger Francis W. Porretto said...

The professoriate imposes a motivational filter upon those who enter its ranks. That filter selects for persons who seek a guarantee of absolute security and are willing to conform to any imaginable norm to get it. It selects against persons more interested in opportunity and willing to take risks -- including, of course, the risk of offending against "the consensus."

Filters work over time. Their results are seldom obvious over the short term. But this filter has been at work on academe in America since before I was born -- and at this point, few persons remain in the professoriate who have not been seined for conformance to its requirements. Most of those are in hard science and engineering: fields where the questions have objectively verifiable answers, and whose graduates will be tested by the real world.

(Apologies to Professor Reynolds, an obvious exception to the above.)

5:38 AM, January 16, 2009  
Blogger uncle ken said...

Those in power have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. Goes for tenured academia too.

I see two possible outcomes. Technology and society's accelerating rate of change are bypassing the relevance of our fossilized collegiate heirarchy. America it's ownself has turned inward, many are abandoning the risks and reponsibilities of freedom for the sinecure of socialized security. That dog won't hunt for long. There are already barbarians gathering outside the gate.

7:46 AM, January 16, 2009  
Blogger Brett Rogers said...

Self-improvement through education is overripe for disruptive innovation.

10:50 AM, January 16, 2009  
Blogger Alex said...

Because they know intuitively that they'd fail in a free market system. Losers hate the free market.

3:07 PM, January 16, 2009  
Blogger DADvocate said...

There's a lot of truth in Alex's statement. I can barely imagine some of my past professors making it in the real world where they had to interact with others in such a manner as to create profitability.

Some had inter-personal skills that were so poor they were lucky to be intelligent engough to be professors. Others were such egotistical jerks that few would tolerate their presence.

4:05 PM, January 16, 2009  
Blogger Alex said...

They've lucked out with their government gig. Of course with Obama hiring 500K new federal employees, I think we should all take our fair share.

4:19 PM, January 16, 2009  
Blogger Jeff said...

I have a sister-in-law who is a liberal arts professor (very hard core). You can not pick your relatives. She lasted a year or two in the real world before she got an instructor's job at the university. She could not take the pressure of a real job.

7:58 AM, January 17, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

I think we are also talking about different skill sets. Most professors are hired because they publish and bring in grant money to their department. Research is research, and the hard sciences and practical areas of study tend to partner with and understand business.

Now I was an English major as an undergrad (the shame) and I am not sure that there are many non-academic analogues for the liberal arts side of things. Maybe they are closest to people who write for a religious audience. Those folks have a more narrow focus and audience. Perhaps the anti-enterprise attitudes of the academics ir partly just them playing to their constituents or preaching to the choir.

Or maybe the liberal arts stuff has become so post-modern it is just useless. 8)


10:34 AM, January 17, 2009  
Blogger Unknown said...

A big batch of cliche comments about profs unable to make it in the real world. Many go into academic life because it is what attracts them, in much the same wayh that some go into sales, medicine, small business ownership --because they are suited for it. To suggest the tenure system and insecurity etc is just plain putting down a world that you have gone to, will send your kids to...why, if it is so bad?

In fact, I could spend days listing those who have been in both worlds, those who have left business etc and gone into academic work...after all, Obama was an academic and now he will have a new job...I suspect he is competent in both worlds.

10:37 AM, January 17, 2009  
Blogger SGT Ted said...

O! is hardly an academic. He is good at getting elcted mouthing empty platitudes and appealing to leftwing useful idiots, who were in rapture for the Progressive Jesus who said the oceans will recede when he gets elected. He was a guest lecturer at a University. So what? I have done lecturing and presentations at Universities too. It doesn't make me an "academic".

The fetish of credentialization in American society is obscene, considering it was the alleged "Wizards of Smart", graduates of these allegedly superior institutions who tanked the economy by doing lots of stupid, shortsighted things.

No thanks.

I'll go with WFB; "I would rather be governed by the first 500 names in the phone book than by the Yale faculty."

1:29 PM, January 17, 2009  
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