… [I]t is important to understand that every incentive in academic life is geared against engagement with the world outside of academics. There’s no other way to put it. This has perhaps changed slightly in the intervening 15 or 20 years – with the Internet being a major part of that. But I suspect that’s more people acting in spite of these incentives and reacting to the increasingly straightened [Update: SOS thanks her Nabokovian reader, johnshade, for pointing out that Marshall needs to straiten this word out] job opportunities in the profession…

All the incentives of academic life drive against having the time, the need and in many cases the ability to communicate with a larger public. In some cases, that’s as it should be. In others, it’s about the straitened nature of academic life, specialization driven by bad job prospects, an over-abundance of Phds, and a deep, deep conventionality driven by risk aversion rooted in those other factors.

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2 Responses to “Josh Marshall on why he decided against becoming a professor.”

  1. johnshade Says:

    I’d be more impressed if he knew the difference between “straightened” and “straitened.”

  2. Margaret Soltan Says:

    johnshade: Yikes. How did Scathing Online Schoolmarm miss that? Thank you. I’ll add some comment about it to the post.

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